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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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Conclusions. The coordinates of the heuristics of (nano) technosciences


With the accelerated development of technology and the immense progress of science are inevitably intertwined the questions concerning the modes of theoretical explanation as well as practical operating with these emerged technoscientific spheres of social life. The proposed architectonic of the analyses envisages hereby a comprehensive design of the coordinates’ enabling a systemic approach – including the major general issues, theoretical and methodological approaches, and elaborated to date problems’ solution schemata – as the base of the postulated heuristics of technosciences, and presented in the case of the nano-domain. According to these assumptions the heuristics of technosciences can be understood as the way and mode of integrating and analyzing various factors and variables as well as different spheres and domains which have shaped the development of science, technology and society, but which are at the same time the objective of the passing changes. This concerns in particular the twofold understanding of ‘society’: as the ‘creator’ of technoscientific regime as well as the ‘objective’ of technoscientific impacts.

The heuristic approach as a genuine philosophical attitude towards the analyzed technoscientific regime formally refers to the philosophy of science and technology including the predominant today theoretical frames such as the concept of technoscience with science and technology studies (STS), then the theory and practice of technology assessment (TA), and finally the theory and model of converging technologies or technological convergence basing on nano-bio-info technologies and cognitive science (the NBIC-convergence). The task of the heuristics of technosciences is to extrapolate the emerging...

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