Team:Heidelberg/Human Practices/Philosophy


Revision as of 01:10, 28 October 2010 by ThomasU (Talk | contribs)

At last, I would like to thank some people for their help, solicitousness and criticism. These are especially: Jonas for his annihilating criticism; Tatjana and Hasan for their effort to improve my BSE (bad simply English); Lorenz for his scientific review; Lea for some great pictures in the work break; Laura, Jan, Dominik, Phillip and Rebecca for answering any silly question (really fluorescent mice?); the British Columbia iGEM team for allocating their word clouds and, of course, last but not least, Rike for her being there when ever I needed help (stay a porn-vampire!). Thanks all of you!

Philosophical Reflection

One may wonder why I am here and why you, my dear reader, have to read my lines. I am not normal. Well, concerning iGEM and the variety of young, unusual students I have to explain why I am even more abnormal. I study Philosophy and, indeed, philosophy is quite different from synthetic biology. In Spring 2010 I got involved in a strange thing called iGEM. I listened, got interested and ... was involved. Once within, the question came up what a philosopher could do in the evolving field of SynBio. There were so many interesting tasks and topics which occured after a first introduction! But after all, the human practice team and I agreed in two budding issues, one more ethical, the other more philosophical.

© A_kep,
The importance and public interest to SynBio increased during the last years noticeable. Magazines, newspapers, TV-stations, reports, all dealing with SynBio and all are using terms to mediate facts, opinions or even manipulations. These terms, however, are the base of the perception of SynBio and they could be quite problematic. Phrases like "artificial cells", "living machines" or "genetically engineered machines" test and provoke our intuitions concerning one of the most distinct concepts humans know: nature and technology. The terms also pretend to be something they not really are. If you want to know why "living machine" is high-grade questionable, why "artificial cell" is misleading and what kind of problems may occur of an inappropriate use of terms and what, at last, the "flesh-shoe" has to do with all of this, feel free to press the button below.