Collection of Philosophical Essays
Epistemology of Biotechnology (Bernhard Irrgang)
93 Epistemology of Biotechnology Bernhard Irrgang In order to get an epistemic understanding of genetic engineering the theoretical scientific concept of laboratory science is being confronted with the technology science concept of implicit knowledge. It turned out that with the stage of syn- thetic biology as a contrastive technology of also new live forms technological element gets the upper hand within laboratory praxis. The number of techno- logical procedures and technological modelling next to experimental methods is increasing. This model is being accomplished by the creation of complete syn- thetic life forms, the development of renewable resources and new material. Genetic engineering like nuclear technology and information technology is believed to be an example of technological research, which sells itself to indus- try and produces incalculable risks. Technological research is usually regarded as the continuation of instrumental-experimental empirical natural sciences. Theoretical sciences and epistemological concepts are largely missing in this area. One does not need scientific theory in order to operate science, especially not with technological research. But the lack of methodical self reflection of a scientific practice provokes insufficient design concepts. On the other hand, the traditional scientific theory of technical sciences for modern biotechnology does not help too much, because it is too strongly orien- tated by traditional scientific disciplines such as physics, in particular different forms of mechanics. In order to be able to understand technological research as a hybrid of natural science and technology, the concept of the laboratory science is to be confronted with the...
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