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Der manipulierbare Embryo: Philosophische Grundaspekte einer aktuellen Debatte

Hoffmann, Thomas Sören

Jahrbuch für Recht und Ethik / Annual Review of Law and Ethics, Vol. 28 (2020), Iss. 1: pp. 13–26

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Hoffmann, Thomas Sören, Prof. Dr., Lehrstuhl Praktische Philosophie II: Ethik – Recht – Ökonomie, FernUniversität Hagen, Universitätsstraße 33, D-58097 Hagen


This article is dedicated to the question of normative aspects in which the relation between responsibly acting subjects and manipulable embryos has to be established. It advocates the thesis that “reflexive identity” between acting subject and treated embryonal “object” is the pivotal and starting point of the debate: the acting subject acts towards a form of objective human existence, which it has undergone by itself and therefore recognizes not only itself, but also poses the condition of possibility of its own current sovereignty in acts. Against this background the concept of “Personalism”, which is found in the German “ESchG” (Embryo Protection Act) and “StZG” (Stem Cell Act), can be understood.

If there are new questions arising from complex, technically mediated manipulations of the embryo today, as its entire synthetic production has become possible, it leads to the question regarding the normative meaning of “Besonderung” (particularity/particularization) and the identification of species as living individuality as such. Consequently, it raises the question of the normative relevance of corporal self-objectivations of individuals, which never passes over to just material circumstances. This also applies when embryos are obtained from iPS cells where the biotic substrate, as well as its “administration” and “utilization”, is not regarded an anonymous, but biotic substrate that is embedded in individual biographies that are undetachable and never completely lost. “Biopolitics” that place human biotic substrate in the disposition of arbitrary interests already has to be rejected in the interest of maintaining a perspective of reflexive identity as well as in the horizon of interpersonality.

Table of Contents

Section Title Page Action Price
Thomas Sören Hoffmann: Der manipulierbare Embryo: Philosophische Grundaspekte einer aktuellen Debatte 13
I. Reflexive Identität im Handeln und biotisches Substrat: das Problem 13
II. Spezieszugehörigkeit zwischen Partikularität und Selbstbesonderung 16
III. Leiblichkeit als sich erhaltende Besonderheit 21
IV. Biopolitik unter Bedingungen der „Leonardo-Welt“ 13
Summary 13