David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Ezio Di Nucci
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Ethics and Information Technology 7 (3):127-138 (2005)
In this paper I question the claims made for a ‘coming era of nanotechnology’ and the ethical challenges, it is argued, that are entailed by this particular technological revolution. I argue that such futurist claims are sustained by an untenable modernist narrative which separates the technical and the social. This is exemplified by the work of K. Eric Drexler and his claim that whilst the course of scientific knowledge may remain unpredictable we nevertheless can predict with accuracy the trajectory of technology and particularly the emergence of nanotechnology. The problem then, on the basis of knowledge about the future state of technology, is to make choices now which will forestall unintended and undesirable consequences. Firstly, the paper argues for a radical scepticism towards all forms of forecasting or prediction but especially technological forecasting of the type exemplified in the debate around nanotechnology. Secondly, given this radical scepticism the paper criticises the idea that a prospective ethics can be created on the basis of an assessment of consequences of nanotechnology.
|Keywords||computer ethics consequentialism forecasting futurology nanotechnology prediction|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
Bruno Latour (2004). Politics of Nature: How to Bring the Sciences Into Democracy. Harvard University Press.
Karl R. Popper (1961). The Poverty of Historicism. London, Routledge & Paul.
G. J. Warnock (1971). The Object of Morality. London,Methuen.
Gilbert Ryle (1954). Dilemmas. Cambridge [Eng.]University Press.
Robin Le Poidevin (2003). Travels in Four Dimensions: The Enigmas of Space and Time. Oxford University Press.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
Andrew Jamison (2009). Can Nanotechnology Be Just? On Nanotechnology and the Emerging Movement for Global Justice. NanoEthics 3 (2):129-136.
Robert E. McGinn (2010). What's Different, Ethically, About Nanotechnology?: Foundational Questions and Answers. [REVIEW] NanoEthics 4 (2):115-128.
Rosalyn W. Berne (2004). Towards the Conscientious Development of Ethical Nanotechnology. Science and Engineering Ethics 10 (4):627-638.
Ellen-Marie Forsberg (2012). Standardisation in the Field of Nanotechnology: Some Issues of Legitimacy. Science and Engineering Ethics 18 (4):719-739.
Chris Toumey (2011). Seven Religious Reactions to Nanotechnology. NanoEthics 5 (3):251-267.
Armin Grunwald (2005). Nanotechnology — a New Field of Ethical Inquiry? Science and Engineering Ethics 11 (2):187-201.
Mette Ebbesen (2008). The Role of the Humanities and Social Sciences in Nanotechnology Research and Development. NanoEthics 2 (3):333-333.
Rosalyn W. Berne (2006). Nanotalk: Conversations with Scientists and Engineers About Ethics, Meaning, and Belief in the Development of Nanotechnology. Lawrence Erlbaum.
Ibo van de Poel (2008). How Should We Do Nanoethics? A Network Approach for Discerning Ethical Issues in Nanotechnology. NanoEthics 2 (1):25-38.
Robert Sparrow (2009). The Social Impacts of Nanotechnology: An Ethical and Political Analysis. [REVIEW] Journal of Bioethical Inquiry 6 (1):13-23.
Added to index2009-01-28
Total downloads10 ( #347,727 of 1,911,741 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #458,113 of 1,911,741 )
How can I increase my downloads?