Orphan Black and Philosophy: Grand Theft DNA

Orphan Black and Philosophy: Grand Theft DNA

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In Orphan Black, several apparently unconnected women discover that they are exact physical doubles, that there are more of them out there, that they are all illegally produced clones, and that someone is having them killed. They find themselves in the midst of a secret and violent struggle between a fundamentalist religious group, a fanatical cult of superhuman biological enhancement, a clandestine department of the military, and a giant biotech corporation. Law enforcement is powerless and easily manipulated by these sinister forces. The clones are forced to form their own Clone Club, led by the resourceful Sarah Manning, to defend themselves against their numerous enemies and to find out exactly where they came from and why.
Orphan Black continually raises philosophical issues, as well as ethical and policy questions deserving philosophical analysis. What makes a person a unique individual? Why is it so important for us to know where we came from? Should we have a say in whether a clone is made of us? Is it immoral to generate clones with built-in health problems or personality defects — and if so, does that mean that producers of clones must practice eugenic selection? What light does the behavior of members of the Clone Club shed on the nature-nurture debate? Is it relevant that most are heterosexual, one is a lesbian, and one is a transgendered male?
This TV show shows us problems of biotechnology which will soon be vital everyday issues. But what kind of a future faces us when human clones are commonplace? Will groups of human clones have a tight bond of solidarity making them a threat to democracy? If the world is going to be taken over by an evil conspiracy, would it better be a scientific cult like Neolution or a religious cult like the Prolethians? Should biotech corporations be able to own the copyright on human DNA sequences? What rules of morality apply when you can’t trust the police and powerful groups are ready to murder you?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780812699265
Publisher: Open Court Publishing Company
Publication date: 09/06/2016
Series: Popular Culture and Philosophy , #102
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 288
File size: 725 KB

About the Author

Richard Greene: Is Professor of Philosophy at Weber State University in Utah. He is co-editor of many volumes in the Popular Culture and Philosophy series, the most recent being Dexter and Philosophy.
Rachel Robison-Greene: Is co-editor of Dexter and Philosophy and The Golden Compass and Philosophy. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Philosophy at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Table of Contents

Thanks xi

Leda Thinkin' to Us… xiii

Part I "How many of us are there?" 1

1 Fearfully and Wonderfully Made John V. Karavitis 3

2 Go Ask Alison Daniel Malloy 15

3 When Clone Club Looks for Answers Johanna Wolfert Adam Barkman 25

4 Who Owns Clones? Rod Carveth 35

Part II "If we're genetically identical, do you get that little patch of dry skin between your eyebrows?" 47

5 The Human Being in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction Daniel Malloy 49

6 One Clone from Another Erik Baldwin 53

7 I Am and Am Not You Jeremy Heuslein 75

Part III "You want to grow a tail, that's your business." 85

8 Laughing in the Face of the Absurd Rob Luzecky Charlene Elsby 87

9 Variation under Ethics Rachel Robison-Greene 95

10 How Can Clones Disagree? Audrey Delamont 105

Part IV "You Know I Never would've got in if you'd said we were going to suburbia," 115

11 Leda, Castor, and Their Families Carmen Wright 117

12 Not Why but Who Sarah K. Donovan 127

13 Sisterhood's Back in Orphan Black Fernando Gabriel Pagnoni Berns Emiliano Aguilar 141

14 Re: Production Darci Doll 153

Part V "Your just broke the first rule of Clone Club." 165

15 The C-Word Rachel Robison-Greene 167

16 Is Sarah Manning Responsible for What She Does? Joshua Heter Josef Simpson 179

17 Dialog with the Buddha Christopher Ketcham 189

A Brief History of Cloning 203

References 213

The Clone Club 217

Index 223

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