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Naturalness and Neuronal Implants – Changes in the perception of human beings

Fiedeler, Ulrich and Krings, Bettina (2006): Naturalness and Neuronal Implants – Changes in the perception of human beings.

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With our contribution we would like to refer to the debate on nanotechnology (NT) and its implications for the public discourse on the relationship of human beings and technologies. Within NT the convergence of some technologies has been considered as a crucial step towards the long term objective of “enhancing human performance”. The discussion was initiated with an US-American workshop in the year 2002, where the innovative character of converging technology (CT) was strongly underlined (Roco 2002). In the final document of the workshop futuristic and far reaching scenarios on technical development based on NT and on CT were presented. First we address the implications of the mentioned document for research policy in general and especially of NT. Based on the example of neural implants we second qualify the normative expectations within the debate without however denying the helpfulness of these innovations especially in the field of medicine. But we third agree on a critical discussion, which consider a new quality of technological penetration into social and human processes.

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