Tuesday, October 25, 2005

New York Review of Reviewed Books, issue 2

I want to use this space to note new books that look interesting, but which I only know through book reviews. (I've done this before.) I was tempted to call this the New York Review of Book Reviews, but I don't want to review the review. I just want to review the book second hand.

All that is a long winded introduction to this remark: Hey look, there's a new book in the Blackwell Companion series, this one on genethics. Metapsychology has a review. The review says that it doesn't work well as an introduction or critical overview, but many of the individual articles look exciting.

1. Mary Anne Warren has an essay claiming that "the individual gene has independent moral status." I always knew her theory of moral status was too inclusive. Now I have proof.

2. Bernie Rollin has an essay on the ethics of genetic engineering and cloning animals from an animal rights perspective. Maybe he can answer a question that has been troubling me for a while: will we soon being seeing huge confinement facilities full of genetically identical, cloned farm animals? Some people I've talked to said that this is coming, others say that it will never be profitable enough.

3. George Annas has a piece on monster mythology and genetic engineering. It would be nice to see something on this topic that doesn't simply rehearse the role of the Frankenstein myth in our culture and the image of the monster as a category breaker.

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