Habilitation at the Institute: Congratulations to Prof. Dr. Eva Odzuck

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In its meeting on July 14, 2021, the Faculty Council of the FAUs Faculty of Humanities, Social Sciences, and Theology accepted the habilitation thesis of Dr. Eva Odzuck, who currently holds the Chair of Political Philosophy, Political Theory and History of Political Ideas as a university professor. The habilitation thesis, entitled “Germline Interventions in the Name of Freedom? A Critique of Liberal Eugenics” deals with emergent biotechnologies from a political-theoretical perspective and with the interventions in the genetic material or germ line of future humans that have become possible as a result. Odzuck critically examines two arguments used in the discourse by proponents of such interventions – the “basic genetic goods” argument and the “open future” argument. By going back to the original writings of John Rawls and of Joel Feinberg, Odzuck shows that these arguments cannot easily rely on the authority of the liberal theorists Rawls and Feinberg, but that arguments against interventions in the genetic makeup of future humans can also be made on the basis of Rawls’ and Feinberg’s theories. Odzuck sketches an argument of “civic self-respect”, which claims a greater need for justification for germ line interventions than is presupposed in typical liberal arguments, and which could be connectable for citizens of different worldviews. Through this, the work simultaneously contributes to the broader question of how liberal democracies can deal well with fundamental value conflicts in the context of technological innovation, and how a common, responsible, and sustainable technology policy can be developed in the mode of public reasoning despite plural worldview viewpoints.”