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SMAD. Revista eletrônica saúde mental álcool e drogas

On-line version ISSN 1806-6976


MORDINI, Emilio. Autonomy and the genetics of behaviour. SMAD, Rev. Eletrônica Saúde Mental Álcool Drog. (Ed. port.) [online]. 2006, vol.2, n.1, pp. 0-0. ISSN 1806-6976.

The idea that behaviour, personality traits, preferences and choices may be the result of a sort of biological decision-making programme, shaped by evolution and carried by DNA, conflicts with the idea of "autonomy". Indeed the term "autonomy" involves the idea of freedom and the capacity to be self-determining, to be in control of one's own life, beyond any influence of biological, psychological and social compulsive forces, genes included. Policy of scientific action has to be based both on a moment of universality, which is represented by determinism, and on the pragmatic demands posed by indeterminism and autonomy. Sometimes, scientists do not seem to realise this.

Keywords : Genetics; Free will; Ethics.

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