How should we do nanoethics? A network approach for discerning ethical issues in nanotechnology

NanoEthics 2 (1):25-38 (2008)
There is no agreement on how nanoethics should proceed. In this article I focus on approaches for discerning ethical issues in nanotechnology, which is as of yet one of the most difficult and urging tasks for nanoethics. I discuss and criticize two existing approaches for discerning ethical issues in nanotechnology and propose a network approach as alternative. I discuss debates in nanoethics about the desirable role of ethics in nanotechnological development and about the newness of ethical issues in nanotechnology. On basis of a critical analysis of both debates, I formulate a number of desiderata for a method for discerning ethical issues in nanotechnology and argue that the network approach that my colleagues and I have developed for ethical issues in research and development networks is also appropriate in nanotechnology.
Keywords Ethical issues  Ethics  Moral methodology  Network analysis  Nanotechnology  Nanoethics  Research and development
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DOI 10.1007/s11569-008-0026-y
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