Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 391–403

But is it Unique to Nanotechnology?

Reframing Nanoethics
Original Paper


Attempts have been made to establish nanoethics as a new sub-discipline of applied ethics. The nature of this sub-discipline is discussed and some issues that should be subsumed under nanoethics are proposed. A distinction is made between those issue that may ensue once nanotechnology applications become available and procedural issues that should be integrated into the decision structure of the development. A second distinction relates to the central value of the ethical issue. The conditions for the ethical debate differ depending on whether the value(s) in question is internal to the technological development (i.e. health and safety) or external to it (i.e. privacy, equity etc).


Nanotechnology Applied ethics Novelty Risk assessment Public involvement 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Philosophy and History of TechnologyRoyal Institute of TechnologyStockholmSweden
  2. 2.Philosophy DepartmentKing’s College LondonLondonUK

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