Anticipating the Unknown

The Ethics of Nanotechnology
  • Joseph C. Pitt
Part of the Philosophy of Engineering and Technology book series (POET, volume 3)


The prospects of a fully exploited knowledge of how to manipulate the nano world can be frightening. The possibilities imagined by both advocates and opponents of research and development in the nano world range from the mundane like pants that can’t be stained, to the horrific in military applications. The problem is what should we do now to ensure the benefits of nano technologies and to avoid the horrors. This situation is in principle no different from the one we faced with the advent of techniques for splicing and recombining DNA in the 1970s. How do we go about shaping the future when the genie is out of the bottle? Specifically, how should we think about the ethical and social consequences of developing various nano-technologies?


Good Life Virtue Ethic Ethical Theory Virginia Tech Normative Injunction 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyVirginia TechBlacksburgUSA

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