Anticipating the Unknown: The Ethics of Nanotechnology

  • Joseph C. pitt
Part of the Philosophy and Medicine book series (PHME, volume 101)

It is argued that only a pragmatist ethics is sufficient for making ethical decisions in situations dealing with the unknown. The pragmatist ethics described here is one that emphasizes the role of the community when making descisions. Making a moral decision requires asking what the consequences of your actions are for the living the Good Life, where what the Good Life includes accounting for the actions and decisions of the other members of the community. I argue that it is crucial to making moral decisions to recognize that they are not made in a vacuum. Hence making decisions about implementing innovative technologies involving nanotechniques requires taking into account what others are doing and how their actions are likely to impact yours and the environment.

Keywords

Pragmatism ethics the good life law of unintended consequences nanotechnology 

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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

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  • Joseph C. pitt

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