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Heuristics of Technosciences

Philosophical Framing in the Case of Nanotechnology


Tomasz Stępień

Confronted with the accelerated development of science and technology the presented analyses are focusing on three predominant theoretical approaches in the philosophy of science and technology: technoscience (STS), technology assessment (TA) and converging technologies (NBIC). On this base are extrapolated the coordinates of the heuristics of technosciences which are recognized as the platform of understanding but also dealing with technoscientific innovations. This concerns especially nanotechnology and the emerging theoretical, methodological, ethical, socio-political controversies and dilemmas. In this manner the book epitomizes the elaborated to date approaches and designs the heuristic turn as the strategy of comprehensive understanding of technosciences.
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7. Governance of technosciences: Social and political robustness


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7.   Governance of technosciences: Social and political robustness

With regard to the emerging technologies basing on the technoscientific mode of knowledge production and their impacts on society the practice of governance of science and technology belongs nowadays to the most important issues. Following to this, the analyses of technological impacts on society have to be extrapolated by the historically founded framework of the relationship between science and society. This concerns especially the public understanding and acceptance, then the practice of political supporting of science and technology development. Hereby one of the most important intermediary research field between social sciences, humanities and engineering sciences are the ELSA studies (ethical, legal and social aspects of science and technology), which make out the platform of investigation the social issues and the relevance of the nano-domain.

From the conventional point of view science and scientific research from the one hand, and societal processes and changes from the other hand, are conceptually separated as the two different areas of culture and social systems. This traditional understanding resulted from the concept of science as “an activity that is objective and uninfluenced by beliefs, interests or biases”, and therefore as “a generator and provider of objective facts” it should be remained independent from society and politics (Kjolberg and Wickson 2010: 5). In consequence there is established a clear and distinct separation between science and society, above all supported by the modern concept of science. This point of view has...

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