The ties to bind: Techno-science, ethics and democracy

Philosophy and Social Criticism 30 (2):159-186 (2004)
The paper seeks to address the lag between, on the one hand, existing ethical and socio-political frameworks and, on the other hand, developments in the realm of techno-science. I argue that the growing power of science and technology has been fed by, and has itself fed, the confrontation of instrumentalism and autonomy defining the modern condition. Conversely, the project of self-management of techno-science by citizens needs to proceed by binding ethical and democratic dimensions of the problem, as well as the public and subjective elements of autonomous existence. Techno-science can only be ‘ethicalized’ if it is enframed in vibrant public spaces, at the same time as its democratization depends upon subjects’ sense of conscience and social responsibility. Key Words: autonomy • democracy • ethics • public sphere • technoscience.
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