Anthropology is founded on the notion of the human as a mortal and moral being. Based on a literature review, we show that anthropological scholarship on morality in the life sciences disturbs this notion of the human; rather, we direct analytical attention to the edges of the human and to the moral and mortal human as connected and vulnerable to other humans, animals, and environments. We then unfold these insights through empirical studies from a research laboratory using piglets as animal models and a clinical genetics department diagnosing children with rare diseases. Although the use of nonhuman animals in biomedical research appears morally unproblematic, the daily care for suffering piglets turns them into near humans. Human genomes, on the other hand, are closely tied to the person, yet in research and clinical practices, genomes are constantly moved out of the category of the person. This analysis compels us not simply to accept the human as the founding category of anthropology, but turn it into an empirical enquiry. Studying how the human is enacted in the life sciences promises both to grasp and exceed the conditions of possibility for the study of morality and value in technological practices.
- Mette N. SvendsenMie S. DamLaura Emdal NavneIben M. Gjødsbøl
Om denne udgivelse
Publiceret iThe Palgrave Handbook of the Anthropology of Technology.