Self-Knowledge and Self-Care in the Age of Genetic Manipulation
In this final chapter, we will explore the centrality of ethical practices in the knowledge culture. In the course of this analysis, I will try to describe the opportunities evoked by the ‘‘new genetics’’ as a practice that strengthens the autonomy and well-being of the self. Here I will argue that social life can be improved or even made possible through practices informed by ethics rather than by law. A life guided by ethical practices bases on two fundamental pillars: self-care or the need to care for the self; and self-knowledge or the need to know the truth about oneself. An analysis of the shift that may lead from control to self-governance seems an unavoidable task if we are to understand the condition of possibilities of cultural changes. Changes do not simply target individuals. They go through them investing the body, its spiritual dimension, and its resources, and conversely, they are made possible by the individual’s needs to expand.
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