Can we find Human Nature in the Human Genome?

  • Eva M. Neumann-Held
Part of the Wissenschaftsethik und Technikfolgenbeurteilung book series (ETHICSSCI, volume 15)


The question posed by the overall title of this article presupposes several things. First, that there is something that can be identified as “human nature”, and second, that whatever makes up “human nature” can be found or explained by the “human genome”, that is, by the DNA sequence identified as “the” human sequence. There are several problems with these presuppositions: First, it is not at all clear how we define what we consider as “human”, in the sense that we could define what it takes for a living being to be called “human”. Usually, an approach based on meeting certain criteria (a criteriologicul approach) is considered adequate, but on closer analysis the limits of such an approach become obvious, as Gutmann (2001) and Rehmann-Sutter (2001) show in their articles in this book.


Human Genome Developmental Process Human Nature Human Genome Project Genetic Network 
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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002

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  • Eva M. Neumann-Held

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