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Durham University

Department of Anthropology


Publication details for Professor Yulia Egorova

Egorova, Y., Edgar, A. & Pattison, S. (2006). The Meanings of Genetics: accounts of biotechnology in the work of Habermas, Baudrillard and Derrida. International Journal of the Humanities 3(2): 97-103.

Author(s) from Durham


There can be little doubt that, like the Darwinian revolution in evolutionary thought, modern developments in
and perceptions of genetics will have an impact upon a variety of intellectual disciplines in terms of issues, form and content.
How are humanities disciplinhes to help themselves and others to re-image and understnad the cultural, social and other
possibilities that genetics presents beyond the realm of action and the ethical? This paper looks at discussions of genetics
provided by Jurgen Habermas, Jean Baudrillard and Jacque derrida, who attempted to explore what light the advent of
genetic research and biotechnology cast on Western culture and what effect they may have on the meanings of being human
in the future. It will be discussed how knowledge and practices arising out of genetics, as well as the images of genetics
proliferated in the mass media, informed the thought of these three authors and their critique of Western society.