Nano-ethics as NEST-ethics: Patterns of Moral Argumentation About New and Emerging Science and Technology

Tsjalling Swierstra*, Arie Rip

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    175 Citations (Scopus)
    80 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    There might not be a specific nano-ethics, but there definitely is an ethics of new & emerging science and technology (NEST), with characteristic tropes and patterns of moral argumentation. Ethical discussion in and around nanoscience and technology reflects such NEST-ethics. We offer an inventory of the arguments, and show patterns in their evolution, in arenas full of proponents and opponents. We also show that there are some nano-specific issues: in how size matters, and when agency is delegated to smart devices. Our overall approach is a pragmatist ethics, and we conclude that struggle (and learning) might be more productive than models emphasizing consensus.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)3-20
    Number of pages18
    JournalNanoEthics
    Volume1
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2007

    Keywords

    • New & emerging science and technology
    • Moral argumentation
    • Consequentialism
    • Opponents
    • Good life
    • Ethics
    • Ambivalences
    • Arena model

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