The present chapter begins by exploring whether the project of a hermeneutic technology assessment (TA) squares well with some of TA's most fundamental presuppositions and commitments including, for instance, to provide assessments that are relevant for policymakers and can guide the shaping of emerging technologies in a responsible manner. If – as will be shown – the hermeneutic idea can be coherently established within TA, we must ask what does an understanding of emerging technologies in their guise as futuristic narratives entail? Which questions do we have to ask, to gain a better understanding of future technologies in their manifold present representations? The present chapter approaches these questions by examining the cases of nanotechnology and “Slaughterbots.” This will result in a demarcation of various dimensions and a list of questions about the origins and guise of those narratives that can be posed at other narratives of this sort. Taken together, this chapter makes some major steps towards a toolkit for applying the hermeneutic research lens to various socio-technical visions and narratives.
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