Dr. S.D. (Sjoerd) Zwart


As an NWO PhD, Sjoerd Zwart wrote a thesis about distances on Lindenbaum Algebras, published in 2001 under the title Refined Verisimilitude (Kluwer). After being the Research coordinator of the Applied Logic Laboratory (UvA), he started to work at the Delft and Eindhoven Universities of Technology. Sjoerd Zwart has co-authored Moral Responsibility and the Problem of many Hands (Routledge, 2015) and is co-editor of Science after the Practice Turn in Philosophy, History, and the Social Studies of Science (Routledge, 2014), and the Handbook of Philosophy of Technology and the Engineering Sciences (Elsevier, 2009).


Besides a general interest in Philosophy of Technology, Sjoerd Zwart’s research interests focus on the methodology and epistemology of engineering (design) knowledge.  More specifically they concern:

  • The form, the logic and methodology of prescriptive means-end design knowledge;
  • The relation between prescriptive and descriptive theoretical knowledge;
  • The distinction between explicit and tacit know-how;
  • Engineering modeling.
  • The relation between prescriptive knowledge and normativity in engineering ethics;
  • Argumentation theory in engineering ethics.

Sjoerd Zwart has been teaching courses within a wide range of topics within philosophy and methodology of science and technology, argumentation theory and logic. Two noticeable courses he taught for more than ten years are Science and Argumentation Theory at the Delft Applied Physics department and the Methodology part of the Bachelor End Project at the Mechanics department. At the moment his most noticeable course is Research Design at the Delft Graduate School.  

  • Zwart, S.D. and M. de Vries (2016) ‘Methodological Classification of Innovative Engineering Projects.’ In: Franssen, M., P. E. Vermaas, P. Kroes and A Meijers (Eds.), Philosophy of Technology after the Empirical Turn. Dordrecht / New York / Berlin: Springer.
  • Zwart, Sjoerd, D. (2015). Modeling for Values in Engineering Design. In Jeroen van den Hoven, Ibo van de Poel and Pieter Vermaas (Eds.). Handbook of Ethics, Values and Technological Design Dordrecht / New York / Berlin: Springer Reference.
  • Diekmann, S., and Sjoerd D. Zwart (2014) Modeling for fairness - A Rawlsian approach. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science, 46, 46-53
  • Zwart, S. D., Jacobs, J., & Poel, I. van de (2013). Values in engineering models: social ramifications of modeling in engineering design. Engineering Studies, 1-24. doi:10.1080/19378629.2013.809349.
  • Del Frate, Luca, Sjoerd D. Zwart, Peter A. Kroes (2011) ‘Root Cause as a U-Turn’. Engineering Failure Analysis, 18(2) 747-759 DOI: 10.1016/ j.engfailanal.2010.12.006.
  • Van de Poel, I., and S.D. Zwart (2010) ‘Reflective Equilibrium in R&D Networks’. Science, Technology & Human Values. 35(2), 174-199. doi:10.1177/ 0162243909340272
  • Zwart, S. D. (2009b) ‘Scale Modelling in Engineering: Froude's Case.’ In A.W.M. Meijers, H. Radder, W. Houkes, P.A. Kroes, S.D. Zwart, I.R. van de Poel & S.O. Hansson (Eds.), Philosophy of technology and engineering sciences.  Burlington, MA/Oxford/Amsterdam: North-Holland, pp. 759-798.
  • Hughes, J., P. Kroes, and  S.D. Zwart (2007) ‘Means Ends Reasoning,’  Synthese 158 2 (2007) pp. 207-231.

More publications

  • Poel, I. van de, Royakkers, L., & Zwart, S. D. (2015). Moral Responsibility and the Problem of many Hands. Routledge.
  • Soler, Léna, Sjoerd D. Zwart, Vincent Israel-Jost, and Michael Lynch (Eds.), (2014). Science after the Practice Turn in Philosophy, History, and the Social Studies of Science. New York NY: Routledge.
  • Peterson, M., and Sjoerd D. Zwart (Eds.). (2014). Values and Norms in Modeling. Special issue in the Studies in History and Philosophy of Science 46.
  • Soler, Léna, Sjoerd D. Zwart (Eds.). (2013). Tacit and Explicit Knowledge: Harry Collins’s Framework. Special issue of Philosophia Scientiæ, 17 (3). 
  • Zwart, S. D. (2001). Refined Verisimilitude. Dordrecht, Kluwer.
  • President of the DLMPS commission on the Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences.
  • On Thursdays and Fridays, Sjoerd Zwart works at the Philosophy section of the Eindhoven University of Technology.

Sjoerd Zwart

Associate Professor

Values, Technology and Innovation

Ethics/Philosophy of Technology

Research interests:
Engineering (means-end) Knowledge
Engineering Modelling and Methodology in Practice
Normativity in Engineering Interventions
Logical analysis of Engineering Knowledge
Philosophy of Technology

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