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How to Object to Radically New Technologies on the Basis of Justice: The Case of Synthetic Biology

9 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2013  

David Hunter

Flinders University - School of Medicine

Date Written: October 2013

Abstract

A recurring objection to the exploration, development and deployment of radical new technologies is based on their implications with regards to social justice. In this article, using synthetic biology as an example, I explore this line of objection and how we ought to think about justice in the context of the development and introduction of radically new technologies. I argue that contrary to popular opinion, justice rarely provides a reason not to investigate, develop and introduce radical new technologies, although it may have significant implications for how they ought to be introduced. In particular I focus on the time dependency of justice objections and argue that often these function by looking only at the implications of the introduction of the technology at the point of introduction, rather than the more important longā€term impact on patterns of distribution and opportunity.

Keywords: justice, new technologies, uncertainty, time, synthetic biology

Suggested Citation

Hunter, David, How to Object to Radically New Technologies on the Basis of Justice: The Case of Synthetic Biology (October 2013). Bioethics, Vol. 27, Issue 8, pp. 426-434, 2013. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2323070 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/bioe.12049

David Hunter (Contact Author)

Flinders University - School of Medicine ( email )

Adelaide
Australia

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