NanoEthics 3 (1):31-42 (2009)

Over the past decades, self-assembly has attracted a lot of research attention and transformed the relations between chemistry, materials science and biology. The paper explores the impact of the current interest in self-assembly techniques on the traditional debate over the nature of life. The first section describes three different research programs of self-assembly in nanotechnology in order to characterize their metaphysical implications: (1) Hybridization (using the building blocks of living systems for making devices and machines) ; (2) Biomimetics (making artifacts mimicking nature); (3) Integration (a composite of the two previous strategies). The second section focused on the elusive boundary between self-assembly and self-organization tries to map out the various positions adopted by the promoters of self-assembly on the issue of vitalism.
Keywords Biomimetics  Hybridization  Bionanotechnology  Nature and artifact  Chemistry  Biology  Cybernetics
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DOI 10.1007/s11569-009-0056-0
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References found in this work BETA

Engines of Creation.Eric Drexler - 1986 - Fourth Estate.
Nanomachine : One Word for Three Different Paradigms.Bernadette Bensaude-Vincent - 2007 - Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 11 (1):71-89.

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How to Trust a Molecule? The Case of Cyclodextrins Entering the Nanorealm.Sacha Loeve & Mickaël Normand - 2011 - In Torben B. Zülsdorf, Christopher Coenen, Ulrich Fiedeler, Arianna Ferrari, Colin Milburn & Matthia Wienroth (eds.), Quantum Engagements. Social Reflections of Nanoscience and Emerging Technologies. IOS Press.

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