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Bioethics as Science Fiction: Making Sense of Habermas’s The Future of Human Nature

Abstract

There must be few philosophical projects more serious than Jürgen Habermas’s lifelong effort to realize the lofty universalist ambitions of the Enlightenment in his communicative theory of rational discourse and deliberative democracy.

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Notes

1. Gurnham D.Memory, Imagination, Justice: Intersections of Law and Literature. Farnham: Ashgate; 2009.

2. Habermas J.The Future of Human Nature. Cambridge: Polity; 2003, at 26.

3. See note 1, Gurnham 2009, at 29.

4. See note 1, Gurnham 2009, at 41–2.

5. See note 1, Gurnham 2009, at 51.

6. See note 1, Gurnham 2009, at 53.

7. See note 1, Gurnham 2009, at 61.

8. See note 1, Gurnham 2009, at 61.

9. See note 1, Gurnham 2009, at 66.

10. See note 1, Gurnham 2009, at 65.

11. See note 1, Gurnham 2009, at 73.

12. Harris J.No sex-selection please, we’re British. Journal of Medical Ethics 2005;31:286–8.

13. See note 2, Habermas 2003.

14. See note 2, Habermas 2003, at 108, 4.

15. See note 2, Habermas 2003, at 18, 107–8.

16. Searle JR.Austin on locutionary and illocutionary act. The Philosophical Review 1968;77(4):405–24, at 406, 408–9.

17. Searle JR.A classification of illocutionary acts. Language in Society 1976;5:123, at 2–7.

18. Searle JR.The logical status of fictional discourse. New Literary History 1975;6(2):319332, at 322.

19. Loxley J.Performativity. Abingdon and New York: Routledge; 2007, at 56–8.

20. Habermas J.Between Facts and Norms. Cambridge: Polity; 1997, at 226.

21. See note 2, Habermas 2003:39–40.

22. See note 2, Habermas 2003, at 108.

23. See note 18, Searle 1975, at 326.

24. See Austin JL.How to Do Things with Words, 2nd ed.Oxford: Clarendon Press; 1975, at 21–2.

25. See note 18, Searle 1975, at 325, 326.

26. Ohmann R.Speech acts and the definition of literature. Philosophy and Rhetoric 1971;4:119, at 14.

27. Culler J.On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism After Structuralism. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul; 1983, at 81.

28. Habermas J. Excursus on levelling the genre distinction between philosophy and literature. The Philosophical Discourse of Modernity: Twelve Lectures. Lawrence F, trans. Cambridge: Polity; 1987:185210, at 188, 195–9, 205, 207, 210.

29. See note 28, Habermas 1987, at 201, emphasis in the original.

30. See note 28, Habermas 1987, at 200, emphasis in the original.

31. See note 28, Habermas 1987, at 201, emphasis in the original.

32. See note 18, Searle 1975, at 327.

33. See note 19, Loxley 2007, at 58.

34. See note 20, Habermas 1997, at 18–19.

35. Capote T.In Cold Blood: A True Account of a Multiple Murder and Its Consequences. London: Penguin Classics; 2000. Quoted remarks made on Acknowledgements page.

36. See note 28, Habermas 1987, at 203.

37. See note 26, Ohmann 1971.

38. See note 18, Searle 1975, at 319.

39. A prospect that Habermas (2003, note 2) himself alludes to at 41–2.

40. Particularly irritating for many bioethicists are the headlines that occasionally appear in tabloids such as the Daily Mail.

41. Pratt ML.Toward a Speech Act Theory of Literary Discourse. Bloomington and London: Indiana University Press; 1977, at 97.

42. See note 2, Habermas 2003, at 33–5.

43. See note 2, Habermas 2003, at 54, emphasis added.

44. Garland A.Never Let Me Go: The Screenplay. London: Faber & Faber; 2011, at 41.

45. See, for example, Tsitas E.Never Let Me Go: The organ donation debate. Scoop Culture 2011 Jan 31; available at http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/CU1101/S00297/never-let-me-go-the-organ-donation-debate.htm (last accessed 19 May 2011).

46. Mameli M.Reproductive cloning, genetic engineering and the autonomy of the child: The moral agent an the open future. Journal of Medical Ethics 2006;33:8793, at 89–90.

47. See note 24, Austin 1975, at 15.

48. See note 19, Loxley 2007, at 52, 70.

49. Fish S.Doing What Comes Naturally: Change, Rhetoric and the Practice of Theory in Literary and Legal Studies. Durham and London: Duke University Press; 1989, at 454.

50. Fish S.Is There a Text in This Class? The Authority of Interpretive Communities. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press; 1980, at 242–3.

51. See note 41, Pratt 1977, at 94–5.

52. See note 41, Pratt 1977, at 136, 143–9.

53. See note 41, Pratt 1977, at 54–6.

54. See note 50, Fish 1980.

55. Norris rightly warns of the dangers of embracing the “extreme scepticism” of postmodernism’s reduction of all writing to “textual practise.” Norris C.Fiction, Philosophy and Literary Theory: Will the Real Saul Kripke Please Stand Up? London and New York: Continuum; 2007, at 118, 112.

56. See note 44, Garland 2011, at 31.

57. Iser W.The Act of Reading: A Theory of Aesthetic Response. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press; 1978, at 142.

58. See note 49, Fish 1989, at 50.

59. See note 55, Norris 2007, at 124.

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  • ISSN: 0963-1801
  • EISSN: 1469-2147
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