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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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Heuristic approach in the case of (nano) technosciences. Introductive remarks


The accelerated development of science and technology in the last two decades belongs to the major research objectives in the philosophy, humanities and social sciences. Besides the classical philosophical questions concerning human condition or relationship to the nature, on the meta-theoretical level the presented hitherto analyses deal with the phenomenon of overlapping of the theoretical conceptions devoted to the interrelations between science, technology and society such as the theory of technoscience basing on science and technology studies, the conception and practice of technology assessment and the model of converging technologies. Confronted with the development of technosciences such as genetic engineering and nano-bio-info technologies there is also recognized a need for a framework of societal and political, then ethical and legal integration of these technosciences into the culture and society. This framework ought to be designed from philosophical point of view because of the plurality of motifs, scientific disciplines and theoretical approaches involved in. Therewith appears the necessity of comprehensive heuristics with which it would be possible to characterize and to operate with the plurality and multiplication of various trading zones occurring at the point of junctions or interfaces between different and to date separated fields in the system of science, between particular technologies, but also between different reciprocally excepted understandings of science and technology in the society. Following to this the heuristics of technosciences shall contribute to better understanding of this multilayered node of science and technology, society and culture, a node, where the lines between sciences, technologies,...

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