Alfred Nordmann

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If one considers the Collingridge dilemma to be a dilemma awaiting a solution, one has implicitly abandoned a genuinely historical conception of the future and adopted instead a notion of the future as an object of technical design, the realisation of technical possibility or as wish-fulfilment. The definition of technology assessment (TA) as a successful(More)
In 2003, Anisa Mnyusiwalla, Abdallah Daar and Peter Singer of the University of Toronto issued their famous call to “mind the gap”1. The only way to avoid a moratorium on the deployment of nanomaterials, they claimed, was to “immediately close the gap between the science and ethics of nanotechnology”. Noting a shortage of serious publications on the(More)
Discussions of technoscience are bringing to light that scientific journals feature very different knowledge claims. At one end of the spectrum, there is the scientific claim that a hypothesis needs to be reevaluated in light of new evidence. At the other end of the spectrum, there is the technoscientific claim that some new measure of control has been(More)
This article offers a contrast between European and US-American approaches to the convergence of enabling technologies and to associated issues. It identifies an apparently paradoxical situation in which regional differences produce conflicting claims to universality, each telling us what can and will happen to the benefit of humanity. Those who might(More)
Nanoscience may be surrounded by controversy but is characterized by its absence. Evidence for this comes from the reconstruction of a peculiarly muted scientific “debate” regarding the claim that a single organic molecule may serve as a wire in electronic circuitry. Even though there are fundamentally different theoretical approaches, the debate remains(More)
The clarification of the nanotechnological research enterprise calls for a contribution of philosophy of science within the disciplinary division of labor. This applies, in particular, to the definition of the nanometer size range that presupposes measurement and measurement apparatus, and thus a particular way of acting. Action is guided by purposes. An(More)
This draft suffers from the fact that it had to be produced rather quickly. Apologies therefore for many typographical and grammatical mistakes. Especially sections 3 and 4 are mere sketches at this point. More examples would be helpful and references are missing almost entirely – compensated only by too many references to my own previous work. By the same(More)
The recent efforts to identify and analyse the neo-Kantian roots of logical positivism have primarily concentrated on the impact of the Marburg School on Carnap and Schlick. Among the Marburgers, attention focused primarily on Ernst Cassirer. From among the contemporaries of the neo-positivists he is commonly regarded as their leading representative. In(More)