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This article suggests that as we consider the social and ethical dimensions of nanotechnology development; inclusion of analyses of the role of human cognition is essential. Cognition is formed from sensory-motor experiences, beliefs, ambitions, and ideas; scientific research and technological development are expressive of these elements of cognition, ultimately in the technological goods we use and consume. By understanding the role of imagination, which is imbedded in the cognitive process, we will be better equipped to glean the meaning of the development of nanotechnology and to direct that development toward conscientious and humanitarian ends.
Date of Publication: May-June 2004