- This pseudo-Paper is intended as the mechanism to record time spent on the Note 'Chimera1' during my Thesis research, as from 2017.
- For the actual time recorded, click on "Paper Summary" above.
Write-up2 (as at 17/03/2018 00:23:02): Chimera
- Chimeras are animals – or maybe humanoids4 – made up of parts of animals from different species.
- They were originally mythical beasts (Link), improbable amalgams of lion, goat and snake, though mules (Link, the off-spring of a male donkey and a female horse) are chimeras as the parents are of different species with different numbers of chromosomes.
- My only reference for this topic was originally "Savulescu (Julian) - Should a human-pig chimera be treated as a person?". This brief paper focuses on the ethics of using (future) pig-human chimeras as sources of (human) transplant-organs or neural matter.
- The paper’s rhetorical question is rather ludicrous as there would never be any intention5 of engineering pigs with the attributes needed to qualify as a person, nor the need to do so even in the case of neural tissue (which would remain in the petri-dish6).
- Whether such a beast – whether hybridised with a human or not – were to qualify as a person7 ought to be based on its cognitive capacities and not merely on its chromosomes.
- It is possible that this topic might relate to transhumanism8. Rather than adding small quantities of human to pig, we might add quantities of animal to human. This would be the case in organ transplants – where an essentially normal organ is transplanted – but it might be the case that augmentative strategies could be adopted whereby humans are enhanced with bodily features (or, say, the physiological infrastructure) of animals, much as in the case of cyborgs9, but with organic rather than inorganic parts.
- Works on this topic that I’ve actually read10, include11 the following:-
- "Crabb (Jon) - Monster mash", Crabbe12
- "Savulescu (Julian) - Should a human-pig chimera be treated as a person?", Savulescu
- There is currently, not much of a categorised reading-list for this topic. A reading list (where not covered elsewhere) might start with the items below, and I’ll pursue references from the Stanford paper if necessary:-
- "Rowland (Katherine) - We are multitudes", Rowland
- "Streiffer (Robert) - Human/Non-Human Chimeras", Streiffer
- This is mostly a place-holder13.
- This is the write-up as it was when this Abstract was last output, with text as at the timestamp indicated (17/03/2018 00:23:02).
- Link to Latest Write-Up Note.
- A number of my philosophical Notes are “promissory notes” currently only listing the books and papers (if any) I possess on the topic concerned.
- I’ve decided to add some text – whether by way of motivation, or something more substantive – for all these identified topics related to my Thesis.
- As I want to do this fairly quickly, the text may be confused or show surprising ignorance.
- The reader (if such exists) will have to bear with me, and display the principle of charity while this footnote exists.
- The mythical centaur is an example.
- Admittedly, "Ishiguro (Kazuo) - Never Let Me Go" considers the cloning of human beings so their organs can be harvested, but this is presumably because it is deemed to be the technologically simplest solution.
- I’m admittedly unclear about this.
- But the idea of developing neural structures within a pig-human chimera and transplanting these structures into a human head is as far-fetched as brain transplants, so can be ignored for now.
- Frequently I’ll have made copious marginal annotations, and sometimes have written up a review-note.
- In the former case, I intend to transfer the annotations into electronic form as soon as I can find the time.
- In the latter case, I will have remarked on the fact against the citation, and will integrate the comments into this Note in due course.
- My intention is to incorporate into these Notes comments on material I’ve already read rather than engage with unread material at this stage.
- I may have read others in between updates of this Note – in which case they will be marked as such in the “References and Reading List” below.
- Papers or Books partially read have a rough %age based on the time spent versus the time expected.
- Some vaguely interesting historical background.
Text Colour Conventions (see disclaimer)
- Blue: Text by me; © Theo Todman, 2018