Nanotech Database

Article Title:
On the Autonomy and Justification of Nanoethics

Allhoff, Fritz

Journal Information:
Vol. 1, Num. 3


One of the points Allhoff brings up in this article is that a cohesive field of nanoethics is somewhat counterintuitive, considering the lack of a cohesive field of nanotechnology. He looks for ethical issues that might be unique to nanotechnology that would then justify nanoethics as a field in its own. While the author does not, in fact, find any ways in which nanotechnology is so revolutionary, so different from every science that precedes it that it needs its own field of ethics to be developed to handle it, he also feels that then ignoring the ethical considerations of nanotechnology would be as irresponsible. Through his analysis, he finds a pragmatic justification for nanoethics that, while weaker than a metaphysical one, at the very least establishes a framework for a possible field of nanoethics and its impact upon nanotechnology proper. While the impacts nanotechnology would have on society would not necessarily be novel, he feels them important enough to be addressed, that [n]anotechnology deserves ethical attention, if not an autonomous applied ethic.