Nano Archive

Nanotechnology, Contingency and Finitude

Groves, Christopher (2009) Nanotechnology, Contingency and Finitude. NanoEthics, 3 (1). pp. 1-16.

Full text is not hosted in this archive but may be available via the Official URL, or by requesting a copy from the corresponding author.

Official URL:


It is argued that the social significance of nanotechnologies should be understood in terms of the politics and ethics of uncertainty. This means that the uncertainties surrounding the present and future development of nanotechnologies should not be interpreted, first and foremost, in terms of concepts of risk. It is argued that risk, as a way of managing uncertain futures, has a particular historical genealogy, and as such implies a specific politics and ethics. It is proposed, instead, that the concepts of contingency and of finitude must be central to any understanding of the ethical significance of nanotechnologies, as these concepts can be used to understand the basis of recent work in science and technology studies, and the sociology of knowledge more widely, which details the multi-dimensional social nature of technological uncertainty.

Item Type:Article
Uncontrolled Keywords:Nanotechnology - Finitude - Indeterminacy - Novelty - Risk - Uncertainty
Subjects:Social and Political Science > Societal and ethical aspects of nanotechnology
ID Code:4540
Deposited By:SPI
Deposited On:03 Apr 2009 08:18
Last Modified:03 Apr 2009 08:18

Repository Staff Only: item control page