ResearchBib Share Your Research, Maximize Your Social Impacts
Sign for Notice Everyday Sign up >> Login

Biocapitalism and the ‘temporal infrastructure’ of biotechnologies

Journal: The Digital Scholar: Philosopher’s Lab (Vol.2, No. 3)

Publication Date:

Authors : ;

Page : 89-102

Keywords : biocapitalism; social expectations; post-ELSI approaches; constructive philosophy of technology; time studies; ‘temporal infrastructure’; humanitarian expertise;

Source : Downloadexternal Find it from : Google Scholarexternal


The concept of biocapitalism was proposed to study specific forms of social dynamics arising from the perception of human biology in the logic of investment. The author shows that the phenomenon of biocapitalism advances due to the difference in social, biological, and other “local times” considered in the article from the viewpoint of the “time studies” program proposed by Helga Nowotny. Both social time and biological time can lose unity, breaking up into the duration of the disease, the epidemiologic cycles, the duration of pregnancy or maturation. On the other hand, one “local time” can serve as a point of unification, a mediator for the other two. In addition, our research perspective corresponds to the postELSI view on the role of philosophy. In this regard, the second approach is the constructive philosophy of technology, developed by Philip Brey (Netherlands) to achieve the objectives of responsible research and innovation. Through the use of these two approaches, we make an attempt of transdisciplinary examination of modern technological cases and some aspects of the genealogy of technology. “Local time” areas are constructed and connected along with development and distribution of new technologies – biotechnologies, as a rule. The author suggests naming this process the creation of a “temporal infrastructure” of biotechnologies. He proposes a preliminary model of such infrastructure, which ensures the development of biocapitalism: biotechnologies create local times for biological objects; the biotechnology market opens up the possibility of gluing these local times to social ones. Through the study of these processes, we can use the concept of biocapitalism not only for external criticism of the social consequences of new technologies, but also for a humanitarian expert's participation in the value-sensitive design of their “temporal infrastructure.”

Last modified: 2020-03-03 19:40:43