Show Less
Restricted access

Promises and perils of emerging technologies for human condition

Voices from four postcommunist Central and East European countries

Series:

Edited By Peter Sýkora

Emerging technologies are defined as fast-growing radically novel technologies with an estimated prominent impact on human society in the future. The ambiguity and uncertainty of emerging technologies at the same time raise techno-optimistic expectations, as well as serious worries about possible unwanted and unpredicted negative consequences following their introduction into wider practice. And because of their radical novelty, emerging technologies also challenge various traditional philosophical and ethical concepts, established risk assessment methods, science and technology governance and policies, science to public communication and practices within and outside the medical domain. The aim of this volume is to present the view of ten authors from four postcommunist Central and East European countries (Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Latvia) on emerging technologies and human enhancement. They analyse the topic from various perspectives: anthropological, ethical, philosophical, ontological, empirical, and legal. A variety of views will contribute to a development of the discourse on technology assessment in their countries, help to make the process of national policy and law formation more active and less “mimetic”, and open the national discourses to international discussion and critical analysis.

Show Summary Details
Restricted access

Foreword

Foreword

Extract

Emerging technologies are defined as fast-growing radically novel technologies with an estimated prominent impact on human society in the future. The ambiguity and uncertainty of emerging technologies at the same time raise techno-optimistic expectations, as well as serious worries about possible unwanted and unpredicted negative consequences following their introduction into wider practice. And because of their radical novelty, emerging technologies also challenge various traditional philosophical and ethical concepts, established risk assessment methods, science and technology governance and policies, science to public communication and practices within and outside the medical domain. We are also witnessing growing interactions between nanotechnology, biotechnology, information and cognitive science: the so-called NBIC convergence. Emerging technologies either individually or in a converging manner promise to open new perspectives, in particular with regards to human health. At the same time, the progress in these technologies can open new horizons for interventions into human beings which go well beyond the medical domain, with the goal of enhancing human potential in lifespan, and the physical, psychological, cognitive and emotional areas.

From the beginning of the 21st century, human enhancement with the use of emerging technologies has become a fast-growing academic topic in bioethical discourse (for example, Savulescu and Bostrom 2009). However, the sphere of academic expertise is only one element in the complex system of technology assessment in modern democratic societies. The role of the public, with its understanding of science and technology, values, fears, hopes and trust in institutions, becomes a key factor which shapes how emerging...

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.