Dr. J.B. (Janna) van Grunsven


I am an assistant professor in ethics and philosophy of technology and a researcher on the 4TU.CEE funded COMET project, which looks at the nature of and best practices for engineering ethics education. Additionally, I am the university-wide coordinator of TU Delft’s ethics and philosophy of technology education.

Before I joined TU Delft in 2017, I was a post-doctoral teaching fellow at Fordham University’s philosophy department in NYC (2015-2017). I received my Ph.D. in philosophy from The New School for Social Research (NYC) in 2015 and my BA and MA (Cum Laude) in philosophy from the University of Amsterdam.

I am a member of the steering committee of the “Ethics Special Interest Group” of Sefi (The European Society for Engineering Education) and I am on the editorial board of the International Journal of Technoethics.

I have also joined a TPM-based initiative to thematise and promote neurodiversity and mental well-being among our students (and faculty members) and would be happy to receive input about these important themes.


My background is in ethics and embodied, embedded, extended and enactive cognition (or 4E cognition). Currently, my research focuses on two areas:

  1. The link between 4E cognition, our (ethical) experience of other people, and developments in ICT and robotics (e.g. sex robots, augmentative and alternative communication technology, and social interaction technologies used to augment virtual and online spaces). My work has focused predominantly (though not solely) on how developments in 4E and ICT & robotics can shape our understanding and experience of persons on the autism spectrum, both at individual and societal levels. I am supervising a doctoral project on Empathy, Autism, and AAC technology that is part of the 10 year multi-university project 'The Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies' (ESDT), funded in part with a gravitation grant by NWO and the Dutch Ministry of Education.
  2. Engineering Ethics Education: together with my colleagues Taylor Stone and Lavinia Marin, I explore what we do (and should do) when teaching ethics to engineering and design students. So far, our project, which is funded by the 4TU.CEE, has looked at the notion of ‘anticipation’ in teaching responsible innovation and at the meaning of care and the role of ideology in engineering education.

I have taught a wide range of seminars, lectures, and courses in ethics and philosophy of technology at the BSc, MSc and Ph.D. levels, ranging from topics in responsible innovation and value sensitive design to the history and philosophy of clinical technology. I have also contributed significantly to the “ethics learning line” at the Civil Engineering department. In the 2020-2021 academic year I will be co-teaching a graduate seminar in the 4TU.Centre for Ethics and Technology, titled “Philosophies of Technology.”   

  • “Before Responsible Innovation – Teaching Anticipation as a Competency for Engineers,” (co-authored with Taylor Stone & Lavinia Marin), Sefi Conference Proceedings, Forthcoming 2020
  • Perceptual Breakdown during a Global Pandemic: Introducing Phenomenological Insights for Digital Mental Health Purposes,” Ethics and Information Technology, 2020 doi.org/10.1007/s10676-020-09554-y
  • “Perceiving ‘Other’ Minds: Autism, 4E Cognition, and the Idea of Neurodiversity,” The Journal of Consciousness Studies, 2020, 27(7-8), 115-143
  • “A Semblance of Aliveness: How the Expressive Bodies of Sex Robots Will Matter,” Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, 2019 Vol 23(3), pp. 290-317. Co-authored with Aimee van Wynsberghe.
  • “Enactivism, Second-Person Engagement, and Personal Responsibility,” Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences, 2018. Vol 17 (1), pp. 131-156

Janna van Grunsven

Assistant Professor

Values, Technology and Innovation

Ethics and Philosophy of Technology

Research interests:
Engineering Ethics Education

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