Re: SOC/BIO: Reason Magazine article on "Petri Dish Politics"

Robin Hanson (
Wed, 24 Nov 1999 09:40:04 -0500

Hal Finney wrote:
> > The most influential conservative bioethicist, Leon Kass of the University
> > of Chicago and the American Enterprise Institute, worries both that our
> > quest for ever-better mental and physical states is too open-ended and,
> > contradictorily, that it is utopian.
>An Altavista search for "Leon Kass" got only 327 hits. For comparison,
>"Max More" got 1229, "Robin Hanson" got 1017, "Hans Moravec" got over
>1500. Granted, the web is not the most fertile ground for a hidebound
>reactionary like Kass, but still if he is the most influential person
>with this view, we have little to worry about.

A search in Bioethicsline gives four citations for Kass, none for the others.

  1. Kass, Leon. "I will give no deadly drug": why doctors must not kill. Bulletin of the American College of Surgeons. 77(3): 6-17, 1992 Mar.
  2. Kass, Leon. Neither for love nor money: why doctors must not kill. Public Interest. No. 94: 25-46, 1989 Winter.
  3. Kass, Leon. Ethical dilemmas in the care of the ill: 1. What is the physician's service? JAMA. 244(16): 1811-1816, 17 Oct 1980.
  4. Kass, Leon. Issues in chronic care. Proceedings of the Institute of Medicine of Chicago. 33(4): 142-145, Oct-Dec 1980.

Humanities Abstracts gives 23 articles by Kass. Moravec's book Mind Children is reviewed once. Otherwise none of the others is ever mentioned. Altavista searchers mainly pick out people who have spent a lot of time online; this is far from a good measure of overall influence.

Robin Hanson Asst. Prof. Economics, George Mason University MSN 1D3, Carow Hall, Fairfax VA 22030
703-993-2326 FAX: 703-993-2323