Revolutionary and familiar, inevitable and precarious: Rhetorical contradictions in enthusiasm for nanotechnology [Book Review]

NanoEthics 1 (1):57-68 (2007)
This paper analyses rhetorics of scientific and corporate enthusiasm surrounding nanotechnology. I argue that enthusiasts for nanotechnologies often try to have it both ways on questions concerning the nature and possible impact of these technologies, and the inevitability of their development and use. In arguments about their nature and impact we are simultaneously informed that these are revolutionary technologies with the potential to profoundly change the world and that they merely represent the extension of existing technologies. They are revolutionary and familiar. In debates surrounding possible regulation of these technologies it is claimed both that their development is inevitable, so that regulation would be fruitless, and that increased research funding and legislative changes are necessary in order that we can enjoy their benefits. That is, they are inevitable and precarious. An increased awareness of these rhetorical contradictions may allow us better to assess the likely impact and future of nanotechnology.
Keywords Ethics  Funding  Nanotechnology  Public opinion  Science  Rhetoric  Technology
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 9,351
External links
  • Through your library Configure
    References found in this work BETA

    No references found.

    Citations of this work BETA
    Similar books and articles
    Colin Farrelly (forthcoming). Deliberative Democracy and Nanotechnology. Nanoethics: The Ethical and Social Implications of Nanotechnology.

    Monthly downloads

    Added to index


    Total downloads

    11 ( #112,892 of 1,088,371 )

    Recent downloads (6 months)

    1 ( #69,449 of 1,088,371 )

    How can I increase my downloads?

    My notes
    Sign in to use this feature

    Start a new thread
    There  are no threads in this forum
    Nothing in this forum yet.