, Volume 4, Issue 2, pp 91–101

From Speculative Nanoethics to Explorative Philosophy of Nanotechnology

Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s11569-010-0088-5

Cite this article as:
Grunwald, A. Nanoethics (2010) 4: 91. doi:10.1007/s11569-010-0088-5


In the wake of the emergence and rapid development of nanoethics there swiftly followed fundamental criticism: nanoethics was said to have become much too involved with speculative developments and was concerning itself too little with actually pending questions of nanotechnology design and applications. If this diagnosis is true, then large parts of nanoethics are misguided. Such fundamental criticism must surely either result in a radical reorientation of nanoethics or be refuted for good reasons. In this paper, I will examine the critics’ central arguments and, building on this scrutiny, formulate an answer to these alternatives. The results lead to conclusions which allow explaining and unfolding the thesis of this paper that instead of speculative nanoethics we should better speak of and develop explorative philosophy of nanotechnology.


Applied ethicsNanoethicsNanotechnologySpeculativityOpportunity costsEpistemology

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut für Technikfolgenabschätzung und Systemanalyse (ITAS)Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)KarlsruheGermany