Nanotechnology Challenges: Implications for Philosophy, Ethics, and Society

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World Scientific, 2006 - Technology & Engineering - 468 pages
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Nanotechnology is an emerging and rapidly growing field whose dynamics and prospects pose many great challenges not only to scientists and engineers but also to society at large. This volume includes the state-of-the-art philosophical, ethical, and sociological reflection on nanotechnology, written by leading scholars from the humanities and social sciences in North America and Europe. It unravels the philosophical underpinnings of nanotechnology, its metaphysical and epistemological foundations, and its conceptual complexity. It explores the ethical issues of nanotechnology, its impact on human, environmental, and social conditions, and the options for reasonable risk management. It examines the public discourse on nanotechnology and its related visions and provides both lessons from the past and outlooks for the future. Sample Chapter(s). Chapter 1: Two cultures of Nanotechnology? (1,013 KB). Contents: Philosophical Issues: The Drexler Challenge; The Metaphysics of Nanotechnology; The Truth of Nanoscopic Images; Dealing with Complexity; Ethical Issues: Social and Environmental Ethics of Nanotechnology; Managing the Risks of Nanotechnology; Societal Issues: Public Discourses on the Future; Visions and Public Reactions to Nanotechnology. Readership: Nanoscientists and engineers interested in the societal dimensions of their work; science studies scholars, philosophers, ethicists, sociologists; science policy makers.
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
1 Two Cultures of Nanotechnology? 728
7
The Metaphysics of Nanotechnology
49
The Truth ofNanoscopic Images
131
Dealing with Complexity
165
Generalizations in
181
Ethical Issues
201
Managing the Risks of Nanotechnology
249
Toward the Ongoing
287
14 Great Uncertainty about Small Things 315325
315
Public Discourses on the Future
327
Pleasure of Nanofutures 357382
357
Visions and Public Reactions to Nanotechnology
383
Biographical Notes on the Contributors 451457
451
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