Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics

, Volume 28, Issue 5, pp 817–836 | Cite as

Pragmatist Philosophical Reflections on GMOs

  • Lisa Heldke


This essay examines the public debate about the agricultural biotechnologies known as genetically modified organisms, as that debate is being carried out in its most dichotomizing forms in the United States. It attempts to reveal the power of sharply dichotomous thinking, as well as its limits. The essay draws on the work of Michel Serres, who uses the concept of the parasite to reconstruct or reframe fundamental dichotomies in western philosophy; it attempts a similar reframing of the public debates about GMOs. The purpose of such a reframing is to create possibilities for dialogue among participants that will move beyond the polarization that characterizes much of the current debate in the U.S.


GMO crops Michel Serres Dichotomization 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Gustavus Adolphus CollegeSt. PeterUSA

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