P. S. Greenspan, "Free Will and the Genome Project," Philosophy and Public Affairs, 22 (1993), 31-43


Popular and scientific accounts of the U.S. Human Genome Project often express concern about the implications of the project for the philosophic question of free will and responsibility. However, on its standard construal within philosophy, the question of free will versus determinism poses no special problems in relation to genetic research. The paper identifies a variant version of the free will question, free will versus internal constraint, that might well pose a threat to notions of individual autonomy and virtue in connection with genetic research. Whether it does depends on the extent to which the genetic basis for behavior turns on behavioral incapacities.

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