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just to add to the list of citations (for Google to archive) -
somewhat obscure, highly speculative but nonetheless facinating additions to "...the work of many individuals to re-envisage bioethics..." trying to focus on the foundation of a philosophy of biological science while showing very distinct political or ethical undertones:

Robert Rosen, Life itself
Walter M. Elsasser, Reflections on a Theory of Organisms


following this line of thoughts we cannot avoid coming back to the "Intelligent Design" issue, can we? Is Zylinska in the "Materialist/Evolutionist" camp?

Just coming in from today`s NYT

"Elderly athletes (older like in "older than 80" (!) ) are setting records. Most are also taking several medications for their health, and that raises the question of what now constitutes a natural body...."

translucy: Zylinska sidesteps theology quite early on in the book, and never returns to it. Following Levinas, one doesn't really need to commit to a specific metaphysical position because Levinas has ethics as *prior* to ontology. This point will come up in the Joanna Zylinska interview in a fortnight's time, so watch this space! :)

And yes, this question of "natural body" in this age is highly questionable. Even if one excludes steroids, there are so many other factors affecting our physical bodies these days that "natural" is far becoming meaningless!


Chris, from what the NYT writes these days I get the impression that the u.s. health care issue is yet another poltical debate to get sucked up and drowned in the omnipresent u.s. "civil war of intolerant belief systems" (or whatever you prefer to call it). I would remain very curious to know how you view the current example of u.s. "biopolitics" (aka health care reform) given your past writings on the theme of "religious / anti-religious intolerance" in the u.s.

translucy: a common name for what is going on in the US is "culture wars".

Regarding the health care reform issue, I'd say that for the most part religion is not actually much of a factor in the discussions... in fact, what is largely going on is that Fox News is acting as a rabble rouser and (frankly) lying through its teeth about just about every imaginable topic, then "reporting" on the furore that results.

It is as far from journalism as could be imagined.

Some of the ways the issues are framed are incredible. Fox spread this idea that the health care reform would lead to "death panels" i.e. committees to determine who received health care and who didn't. This manages to completely miss the fact that (a) insurance companies already have this power of life and death, and it is not wielded by panels but by single adjusters who deny coverage on any technicality and (b) in the absence of a public health care system, everyone who was sick *would certainly die*.

But "death panels" touched a nerve, and off we go into overreacting again.

The media is driving the United States insane. Or more so, at least. :)

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