Nanotech Database

Article Title:
Taking Care of the Symbolic Order. How Converging Technologies Challenge our Concepts

Swierstra, Tsjalling

Journal Information:
Vol. 3, Num. 3


This article looks at the converging technologies covered in this issue of Nanoethics and how they challenge elements of the existing symbolic order. The authors take issue with the idea of life as a do it yourself kit being the guiding principle of converging technologies, and instead insist that human sustainability should be the ultimate goal of nanotechnology and any science with which it converges, just as a more general sustainability principle evolved out of the earlier Industrial Revolution. Dialogue about boundaries and methods, as well as the extent to which we both impact and shape our environments, should dominate any discussion involving nanotechnology, so as to assure that the science is neither left to run amok nor is unnecessarily hamstrung.