Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics

, 27:523

First online:

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The Question of Questions: What is a Gene? Comments on Rolston and Griffths & Stotz

  • Lenny MossAffiliated withDepartment of Sociology & Philosophy, & ESRC Center for Genomics in Society, University of Exeter Email author 


If the question “What is a gene?” proves to be worth asking it must be able to elicit an answer which both recognizes and address the reasons why the concept of the gene ever seemed to be something worth getting excited about in the first place as well analyzing and evaluating the latest develops in the molecular biology of DNA. Each of the preceding papers fails to do one of these and sufferrs the consequences. Where Rolston responds to the apparent failure of molecular biology to make good on the desideratum of the classical gene by veering off into fanciful talk about “cybernetic genes,” Griffiths and Stotz lose themselves in the molecular fine print and forget to ask themselves why “genes” should be of any special interst anyway.


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