The Issue of Argumentation Based on Responsibility from Future Generations

Main Article Content

Barbara Chyrowicz


The growing ability to modify the biological structure of living organisms afforded today by progress in biology produces understandable unease. This unease is expressed, among other things, in argumentation based on “responsibility for future generations”. This argumentation obliges us to be concerned with the fate of our species. Such concern has negative as well as positive dimensions. The former consists of preventing the birth of handicapped persons or limiting the population; the latter consists of creating new structures. Gen-ethics, a new subdiscipline of bioethics that addresses the above argumentation explicitly, considers responsibility for the number and identity of future human beings; this responsibility is seen to rest upon the present generation. Since future generations do not yet exist, this responsibility seems to have as its object not concrete persons, but the environmental and social context that we will leave for future generations.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
CHYROWICZ, B. The Issue of Argumentation Based on Responsibility from Future Generations. Diametros, n. 9, p. 1-22, 1 Sep. 2006.
Ecology and Ethics
Author Biography

Barbara Chyrowicz

Dr hab. Barbara Chyrowicz SSpS, profesor KUL; etyk, kierownik Katedry Etyki Szczegółowej KUL, autorka ponad 70 publikacji naukowych, w tym dwóch książek: (1997), Bioetyka i ryzyko. Argument "równi pochyłej" w dyskusji wokół osiągnięć współczesnej genetyki


Agar [2004] – N. Agar, Liberal Eugenics. In Defence of Human Enhancement, Blackwell Publishing, Oxford 2004.

Benatar [1997] – D. Benatar, Why it is Better Never to Come into Existence, ”Ameri- can Philosophical Quarterly”, 34(1997), nr 3.

Birnbacher [1999] – D. Birnbacher, Odpowiedzialność za przyszłe pokolenia, tłum. B. Andrzejewski, P. Jackowski, Oficyna Naukowa, Warszawa 1999.

Bostrom [2003] – N. Bostrom, Human genetic enhancements: a transhumanist perspective, ”Journal of Value Inquiry”, 37(2003), nr 4.

Companion [1998] – A Companion to Bioethics, red. H. Kuhse, P. Singer, Blackwells Publishers 1998.

Companion [2002] – A Companion to Genethics, red. J. Burley, J. Harris, Blackwell Publishers 2002.

Encyclopedia of Bioethics [1995] – Encyclopedia of Bioethics, red. W.T. Reich, rev. ed. Simon & Schuster MacMillan, New York 1995.

Hare [1993] – R.M. Hare, Essays on Bioethics, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1993.

Heyd [1992] – D. Heyd, Genethics. Moral Issues in the Creation of People, Oxford University Press, Berkeley – Los Angeles Oxford 1992.

Huxley [1967] – J. Huxley, The Future of Man – Evolutionary Aspects, w: Man and his Future, red. G. Wolstenholme, Churchill Ltd., London 1967.

Ingarden [1987] – R. Ingarden, O odpowiedzialności i jej podstawach ontycznych, tłum. A. Węgrzecki, w: Książeczka o człowieku, Wydawnictwo Literackie, Kraków 1987.

Jonas [1990] – H. Jonas, Technik, Medizin und Ethik. Zur Praxis des Prinzip Verantwortung, Insel Verlag, Frankfurt am Main 1990.

Jonas [1996] – H. Jonas, Zasada odpowiedzialności. Etyka dla cywilizacji technologicznej, tłum. M. Klimowicz, Platan, Kraków 1996; tyt. oryg. Das Prinzip Verantwortung: Versuch einer Ethik für die technologische zivilisation, Frankfurt am Main 1979.

Kevles [1995] – D. J. Kevles, In the Name of Eugenics. Genetics and the Uses of Hu- man Heredity, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, Ma. – London 1995.

Lauritzen [2005] – P. Lauritzen, Stem Cells, Biotechnology, and Human Rights. Im- plications for a Posthuman Future, ”Hastings Center Report”, 35(2005), nr 2.

Mieth [2002] – D. Mieth, Was wollen wir können? Ethik und Zeitalter der Biotechnik, Herder, Freiburg – Basil – Wien 2002.

Parfit [1987] – D. Parfit, Reasons and Persons, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1987.

Parfit [1997] – Reading Parfit, red. J. Dancy, Blackwell Publishers 1997.

Silver [1999] – L.M. Silver, Remaking Eden. Cloning, Genetic Engineering and the Future of Humankind?, Phoenix Giant, London 1999.

Smart [1996] – J.J.S. Smart, An outline of a system of utilitarian ethics, w: J.J.S. Smart, B. Williams, Utilitarianism. For and against, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 1996.

Suzuki, Knudtson [1988] – D. Suzuki, P. Knudtson, GenEthics, Unwin Hyman, London 1988.

Winner [2004] – L. Winner, Resistance Is Futile: The Posthuman Condition and Its Advocates, w: Is Human Nature Obsolete? Genetics, Bioengineering, and the Future of the Human Condition, red. H.W. Baillie, T.K. Casey, Cambridge, The MIT Press, Ma – London 2004.