Autonomous: Bioethics and/as Intellectual Property

How might posthumanist approaches illuminate current issues in bioethics? This is the central question asked throughout Bioethics and the Posthumanities, a new edited collection published with Routledge Focus. The book comes out of a series of workshops for researchers and policymakers that took place back in 2019.

From the book’s blurb:

With contributions from a variety of areas, including literature, philosophy, media, and policy-making, the book outlines the historical and philosophical development of posthumanism, and current key questions in bioethics. It generates a dialogue between bioethical approaches and the posthumanities, identifying ways in which posthumanist scholarship might be used to inform bioethical policy.

The book also looks more speculatively at the future, and the potential implications of technological developments which are only beginning to emerge. It uses posthumanism to look critically at the humanism underpinning de-extinction science, considers the ways in which technology is re-framing our social and political imaginaries, and asks about the identification of future posthumans.

My chapter, ‘Autonomous: Bioethics and/as Intellectual Property’, highlights the parallels between how humans and non-human creations (media, artworks, policy, etc.) are theorised and discussed. It does this by looking at shared concerns between the sciences and the posthumanities, such as the focus on ‘autonomy’ in medical ethics vs ’stewardship’ in animal studies, and the ‘open science’ movement vs the ‘open access’ or remix movement. The chapter uses these threads to expose the ways in which such discussions are already richly posthumanist, and to encourage further dialogue between various disciplines and sectors.

Read more on the publisher website.

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