, Volume 3, Issue 2, pp 121–127 | Cite as

Two Dimensions of the Ethical Problems Related to Nanotechnology

  • Guillermo Foladori
  • Noela Invernizzi
  • Edgar Záyago
Short Communication


The current literature on nanoethics focuses on a wide array of topics such as equity, privacy, military, environment, human enhancement, intellectual property, and security. The identification of those topics leads to the adoption of an ethical stance, which we call the in itself dimension. In this article we argue that even though it is correct to identify the areas where ethical problems are imperative to deal with (in itself dimension), it is a partial approach. This is because the in itself dimension pays no attention to another ethical stance; one that does not have anything to do with individual or collective responsibilities, but rather with the socio-economic system into which those responsibilities are embedded. We call this second issue the contextual dimension.


Capitalism Ethics Nanoethics Nanotechnology Science and technology 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Guillermo Foladori
    • 1
  • Noela Invernizzi
    • 2
  • Edgar Záyago
    • 3
  1. 1.Doctoral Program on Development Studies, Latin American Nanotechnology and Society Network (ReLANS)Universidad Autónoma de ZacatecasZacatecasMéxico
  2. 2.Education Sector, Latin American Nanotechnology and Society Network (ReLANS)Federal University of ParanáCuritibaBrasil
  3. 3.Latin American Nanotechnology and Society Network (ReLANS)ZacatecasMexico

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