Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 12 December 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Fear of the unnatural plays an important role when evaluating a powerful technology such as genetic engineering. Several factors contribute to fear of the unnatural, including heuristics and predispositions. This chapter examines the availability heuristic, affect heuristic, and naturalistic fallacy. It also discusses predispositions such as environmentalism, disgust sensitivity, morality, and anxiety and how fear of the unnatural—if inconsistent with the best available scientific evidence—is a problematic basis for public debate regarding genetic modification. Drawing on several case studies in which fear of the unnatural was overcome and public debate shifted from instinctive fear to substantive deliberation about responsible innovation, the chapter suggests that strategies to overcome fear of the unnatural can foster social accountability.

Keywords: genetic modification, genetic engineering, fear of the unnatural, availability heuristic, affect heuristic, naturalistic fallacy, disgust, accountability

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.