Department Research Themes
The section Ethics & Philosophy of Technology contributes to three main research themes that intersect the overarching Department of Values, Technology & Innovation (VTI), all related to responsible innovation. Within these three themes, our focal point is on design for values.
Design for Values raises various challenges, like:
- How to understand and operationalize values?
- How to understand and deal with value conflicts in design?
- How to understand and deal with responsibility gaps?
- How to understand and deal with tensions between collective and individual responsibility?
Our theoretical and applied work in the philosophy and ethics of technology contributes to adressing such challenges.
Members of the section develop various philosophical and normative theories and approaches to study the responsible management of technology in its social and political context. These include frameworks for
- technology assessment
- the governance of sociotechnical innovation
- public deliberation on technology development.
Our section is a key player internationally in the domain of risk ethics. Traditional ethical theories have a hard time dealing with probabilities and uncertainties. Alternative approaches developed by our researchers shed light on the importance of, for example, resilience, inter- and intragenerational justice concerning the risks of energy technologies and the role of emotions and intuitions in ethical reflection on risk.
Furthermore, risks cannot be completely predicted or anticipated. Researchers in Safety & Security Science investigate this using safe-by-design principles, while our researchers have proposed considering the introduction of new technology into society as a social experiment in which risks and benefits only gradually become clear.
Our researchers also explore how works of art can contribute to ethical reflection on future scenarios that are hard to imagine and predict but nevertheless may require early interventions.
Furthermore, several people are working on the notion of normative uncertainties.
Section Research Themes
These are the themes we are currently working on, often in collaboration with researchers from engineering faculties, stakheolders and international partners.
For those interested in our philosophical work, you can read about our contributions to the field in the topics listed below.