ERIC Number: EJ1039958
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014-Feb
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 45
What Was Wrong with Eugenics? Conflicting Narratives and Disputed Interpretations
Paul, Diane B.
Science & Education, v23 n2 p259-271 Feb 2014
Although it is often taken for granted that eugenics is odious, exactly what makes it so is far from obvious. The existence of considerable interpretative flexibility is evident in the disparate policy lessons for contemporary reproductive genetics (or "reprogenetics") that have been derived from essentially the same set of historical facts. In this paper, I will show how different--indeed, diametrically-opposed--morals have been drawn from the history of eugenics and link these contrasting messages both to different underlying conceptions of what constitutes the central wrong of eugenics and differing degrees of enthusiasm for reprogenetic technologies. I will then argue that, for several reasons, the history of eugenics simply cannot provide the kind of direct guidance that many participants in current debates would like. Although the history does have implications for policy, the insights to be gleaned are both subtle and indirect.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A