Dr. T.M. (Trijsje) Franssen


I am Lecturer in Ethics and Philosophy of Technology at TU Delft. I am particularly interested in emerging technologies, especially NBIC (nano- bio-, information technology and cognitive science). Central themes in my research are the human/machine relationship, (self)creation and the many moral questions raised. Related disciplinary interests are philosophical anthropology and aesthetics.

I obtained my PhD in Philosophy at the University of Exeter, UK (2014). Before I joined the TU Delft Section I have been assistant professor in Philosophy at the University of Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit and Leiden University. I obtained my BA and MA Philosophy – as well as my BA Spanish – at the University of Amsterdam.

Apart from in academic philosophy I am also involved in public philosophy, amongst other things as a board member of the Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP) and member of the editorial staff of philosophical forum Felix en Sofie (monthly events at theater Perdu, Amsterdam).


Currently at Delft I am involved in the SURF project on Ethics Education for Engineers (4TU.Ethics project) 2019-2021.
Since my PhD I have been doing research on the ‘posthuman’, human enhancement, cyborgs and robots. I focus in particular on the role of myths, narratives and (science) fiction in thinking and discussion about emerging technologies.
My PhD thesis concentrates on the ancient myth of Prometheus in Western philosophy and includes a considerable case study of the debate on human enhancement.

I am involved in a number of courses, amongst which are:

  • Social and Scientific Values in MOT (Management of Technology)
  • IT and Values
  • Critical Reflections on Technology (HT)
  • Franssen, T. M. (2017) ‘Prometheus Redivivus. The Mythological Roots of Transhumanism’. In: Sampanikou E. (ed.) Audiovisual Posthumanism. Cambridge: Cambridge Scholars      Publishing pp. 27-49.
  • Franssen, T. M. (2017) ‘Het Laboratorium van Sciencefiction’. In: Cimedart, Vol. 47, no. 2, pp. 43-54.
  • Franssen, T. M., Malmqvist, E. (2015) ‘Heracles or Icarus? Mythological References in the Enhancement Debate’. In: V. Menuz, J. Roduit , D. Roiz, A. Erler, N. Stepanova (eds), The Future Human Life. Zürich: Neohumanitas e-book pp. 52-61.
  • Franssen, T. M. (2014) ‘Performer or Transformer? Prometheus and Posthumanism’. In: R. Ranisch, S. Sorgner (eds), Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism. Vol. 1: Post- and Transhumanism: An Introduction. Frankfurt: Peter Lang pp. 73-82.

SURF project on Ethics Education for Engineers (4TU.Ethics project) 2019-2021.

Board Member of Society for Women in Philosophy (SWIP)

Peer reviewer of several academic journals, amongst which are

  • Journal of Posthuman Studies
  • International Journal of Feminist Approaches to Bioethics

Member of editorial staff of philosophical forum Felix and Sofie. Monthly public events at theater Perdu, Amsterdam

Publications (broader audience)

  • Franssen, T. M., (2019), ‘Burning Neck-stumps or Melting Wings? Mythology in the Enhancement Debate’. In: Simulacrum, 2019
  • Franssen, T. M., Houterman, A. (2017), ‘Held of Bedrieger? – Het Prometheïsche Lot van de Sporter’. Bij Nader Inzien https://bijnaderinzien.org, 18 July 2017.
  • Franssen, T. M. (2006) ‘Houellebecq: ‘Ook de Ellende Kan Ons Niet Meer Uiteen Rijten’ In: Filosofie Magazine, Vol 15, no. 2, pp. 30-31.

Invited Lectures

  • ‘De Binnenwereld Als Verhaal’. Conference Day on documentary M. Nevejan ‘Ik Ben er Even Niet’, Nederlands Filmfestival. Stadsschouwburg Utrecht, 1 October 2019.
  • ‘Human Enhancement, Narratives, and a First-person Cyborg Experience’. Symposium at GOGBOT festival Future Flash 200 – From Frankenstein to Hyperbrain. Enschede, 8 September 2018.
  • ‘Transhumanisme - Samensmelting van Mens en Robot’. Debate on VPRO’s W.E.B. REVISITED with Jos de Mul, Bruce Sterling and Frank Theys. OBA Theater Centrale Openbare Bibliotheek Amsterdam, 15 June 2016.
  • ‘The Immortalists’. Debate on documentary The Immortalists by Jason Sussberg and David Alvarado. InScience Dutch International Science Film Festival. LUX Nijmegen, 5 November 2015.

Trijsje Franssen


Values, Technology and Innovation

Ethics and Philosophy of Technology

Research interests:
Human/Machine Relationship
Science Fiction