Dr. F. (Filippo) Santoni de Sio


I have a PhD in Moral Philosophy. I am currently Associate Professor in Ethics of Technology at the Section Ethics/Philosophy of Technology of TU Delft, and an adjunct professor in Ethics of Transportation at the Politecnico di Milano. I am Associate Editor at the Journal of Ethics, co-coordinator of the TU Delft Vision Team Robotics and in the Management Team of TBM AI Lab and 4TU.Ethics. From June 2019-2020 I have been Rapporteur of the EU Commission Expert Group to advise on ethical issues raised by driverless mobility (E03659) and from 2017-2020 co-director of the NWO-funded interdisciplinary project Meaningful Human Control over Automated Driving Systems. I passionately teach moral philosophy to engineering students.


Since the time of my PhD, I have been doing research on philosophical issues raised by the attributions of moral responsibility, also in relation to philosophical debates on the role of mental capacities, intentions, and causation in criminal responsibility. Since I moved to Delft I have started investigating issues of human moral responsibility in relation to the design and use of emerging technologies, in particular neurotechnologies and robotics. Together with my partners in the interdisciplinary project Meaningful Human Control over Automated Driving Systems, I am currently creating a new theoretical framework to design for better safety and clearer distribution of moral responsibility in automated driving. This project relies on my previous work on the ethics of Autonomous Weapon Systems; the ultimate goal of this line of research is creating a general theory of what we call “meaningful human control”, to be applicable to a broad range of AI-based autonomous systems. Among my other current research projects is the development of a map of ethical issues in transportation technologies. (And yes, I have co-authored a popular book in Italian on the philosophy of football).

  • WM0320TU Ethics and Engineering
  • WB3073 The Engineer in Society
  • WM1301 Ethics of Transportation
  • PhD Startup C Scientific Integrity
  • UD2010 Critical Reflection on Technology  
  • WB3167 Topics in Robotics (Ethics part)
  • EE4C01 Profile Orientation and Academic Skills (Ethics part)
  • EE3L11 Bachelor Graduation project Electrical Engineering (Ethics part)  
  • SEN1311 CoSEM Research Challenges (Scientific Integrity part)
  • Santoni de Sio F., Van den Hoven J. 2018. Meaningful Human Control Over Autonomous Systems: A Philosophical Account. Frontiers in Robotics and AI, 28 February 2018.
  • Horizon 2020 Commission Expert Group to advise on specific ethical issues raised by driverless mobility (E03659). Ethics of Connected and Automated Vehicles: recommendations on road safety, privacy, fairness, explainability and responsibility. 2020. Publication Office of the European Union: Luxembourg.
  • Bruynseels K, Santoni de Sio F. and Van den Hoven J. 2018 Digital Twins in Health Care: Ethical Implications of an Emerging Engineering Paradigm. Frontiers in Genetics, 13 February 2018.
  • Santoni de Sio F., Di Nucci E. 2018. Pushing the Margins of Responsibility: Lessons from Parks’ Somnambulistic Killing, Neuroethics 11:35
  • Santoni de Sio, F. 2017. Killing by Autonomous Vehicles and the Legal Doctrine of Necessity. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20: 411
  • Di Nucci E. &  Santoni de Sio F. (eds.), (2016). Drones and Responsibility: Legal, Philosophical and Socio-Technical Perspectives On Remotely Controlled Weapons, Routledge. ISBN 978-1-4724-5672-4
  • Santoni de Sio F (2016) Ethics and Self-driving cars: A white paper on responsible innovation in automated driving systems. Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment Rijkswaterstaat
  • Santoni de Sio, F., van Wynsberghe, A. (2016) When Should We Use Care Robots? The Nature-of-Activities Approach, Sci Eng Ethics. 2016 Dec;22(6):1745-1760
  • Santoni de Sio, F., Faber, N., Savulescu, J., Vincent, N.A (2016). Why Less Praise for Enhanced Performance? Moving beyond Responsibility-Shifting, Authenticity, and Cheating Toward a Nature-of-Activities Approach, in F. Jotterand and V. Dubliević (eds.), Cogntive Enhancement: Ethical and Policy Implications in International Perspectives, Oxford University Press

More publications

Meaningful Human Control over Automated Driving Systems. NWO Responsible Innovation Grant (2017-2020).
Researchers involved: Bart van Arem, Filippo Santoni de Sio, Marjan Hagenzieker.

This project aims at guiding a responsible transition toward automated driving. We will develop a theory of “meaningful human control” over Automated Driving Systems (ADS), and translate the theory into design guidelines, both at the technical and at the institutional level. Based on the methodology of “value-sensitive design”, an interdisciplinary team of philosophers, traffic engineers and behavioural scientists will work together toward a definition of meaningful human control over ADS, which encompasses its conceptual, technical and behavioural dimensions; we will also develop, implement, test and improve guidelines for “designing for meaningful human control” based on two case studies: “partial” and “supervised” autonomy. 

Filippo Santoni de Sio

Associate Professor

Values, Technology and Innovation

Ethics/Philosophy of Technology

Research interests:
Design for Values
Robot Ethics

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Additional information

Dr. F. Santoni De Sio