NanoEthics 12 (2):139-153 (2018)

The emergence of new technologies regularly involves comparisons with previous innovations. For instance, analogies with asbestos and genetically modified organisms have played a crucial role in the early societal debate about nanotechnology. This article explores the power of analogies in such debates and how they could be effectively and responsibly employed for imagining and governing emerging technologies in general and nanotechnology in particular. First, the concept of analogical imagination is developed to capture the explorative and anticipatory potential of analogies. Yet analogies do not simply stimulate imagination, they also restrict it by framing emerging technologies in specific ways. Thus, second, the article argues that tracing the rhetorical and persuasive power of analogical arguments is essential for understanding how analogies are constructed to legitimise assessments, funding policies, and governance approaches. Third, the article addresses factors that account for the persuasiveness of analogies in debates about emerging technologies. The article concludes with reflections on how analogical imagination and an enhanced analogical sensibility for framing and persuasive effects can foster responsible research and innovation.
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DOI 10.1007/s11569-018-0315-z
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References found in this work BETA

Models and Analogies in Science.Mary Hesse - 1965 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 16 (62):161-163.
Frame Analysis: An Essay on the Organization of Experience.Erving Goffman - 1979 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 39 (4):601-602.

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