•  59
    A Survey of Expectations About the Role of Robots in Robot-Assisted Therapy for Children with ASD: Ethical Acceptability, Trust, Sociability, Appearance, and Attachment
    with Cristina Pop, Ramona Simut, Andreea Peca, Sebastian Pintea, Daniel David, and Bram Vanderborght
    Science and Engineering Ethics 22 (1): 47-65. 2016.
    The use of robots in therapy for children with autism spectrum disorder raises issues concerning the ethical and social acceptability of this technology and, more generally, about human–robot interaction. However, usually philosophical papers on the ethics of human–robot-interaction do not take into account stakeholders’ views; yet it is important to involve stakeholders in order to render the research responsive to concerns within the autism and autism therapy community. To support responsible …Read more
  •  56
    Artificial Companions: Empathy and Vulnerability Mirroring in Human-Robot Relations
    Studies in Ethics, Law, and Technology 4 (3). 2010.
    Under what conditions can robots become companions and what are the ethical issues that might arise in human-robot companionship relations? I argue that the possibility and future of robots as companions depends on the robot’s capacity to be a recipient of human empathy, and that one necessary condition for this to happen is that the robot mirrors human vulnerabilities. For the purpose of these arguments, I make a distinction between empathy-as-cognition and empathy-as-feeling, connecting the la…Read more
  •  52
    Can Machines Create Art?
    Philosophy and Technology 30 (3): 285-303. 2016.
    As machines take over more tasks previously done by humans, artistic creation is also considered as a candidate to be automated. But, can machines create art? This paper offers a conceptual framework for a philosophical discussion of this question regarding the status of machine art and machine creativity. It breaks the main question down in three sub-questions, and then analyses each question in order to arrive at more precise problems with regard to machine art and machine creativity: What is …Read more
  •  51
    Contemporary health care relies on electronic devices. These technologies are not ethically neutral but change the practice of care. In light of Sennett's work and that of other thinkers one worry is that "e-care"aEuro"care by means of new information and communication technologies-does not promote skilful and careful engagement with patients and hence is neither conducive to the quality of care nor to the virtues of the care worker. Attending to the kinds of knowledge involved in care work and …Read more
  •  50
    Engineering can learn from ethics, but ethics can also learn from engineering. In this paper, I discuss what engineering metaphors can teach us about practical philosophy. Using metaphors such as calculation, performance, and open source, I articulate two opposing views of morality and politics: one that relies on images related to engineering as science and one that draws on images of engineering practice. I argue that the latter view and its metaphors provide a more adequate way to understand …Read more
  •  49
    In this paper, we engage in a philosophical investigation of how blockchain technologies such as cryptocurrencies can mediate our social world. Emerging blockchain-based decentralised applications have the potential to transform our financial system, our bureaucracies and models of governance. We construct an ontological framework of “narrative technologies” that allows us to show how these technologies, like texts, can configure our social reality. Drawing from the work of Ricoeur and respondin…Read more
  •  47
    In this paper, we engage in a philosophical investigation of how blockchain technologies such as cryptocurrencies can mediate our social world. Emerging blockchain-based decentralised applications have the potential to transform our financial system, our bureaucracies and models of governance. We construct an ontological framework of “narrative technologies” that allows us to show how these technologies, like texts, can configure our social reality. Drawing from the work of Ricoeur and respondin…Read more
  •  45
    Imagination, distributed responsibility and vulnerable technological systems: The case of Snorre a
    with Ger Wackers
    Science and Engineering Ethics 13 (2): 235-248. 2007.
    An influential approach to engineering ethics is based on codes of ethics and the application of moral principles by individual practitioners. However, to better understand the ethical problems of complex technological systems and the moral reasoning involved in such contexts, we need other tools as well. In this article, we consider the role of imagination and develop a concept of distributed responsibility in order to capture a broader range of human abilities and dimensions of moral responsib…Read more
  •  43
    Contemporary philosophy of technology after the empirical turn has surprisingly little to say on the relation between language and technology. This essay describes this gap, offers a preliminary discussion of how language and technology may be related to show that there is a rich conceptual space to be gained, and begins to explore some ways in which the gap could be bridged by starting from within specific philosophical subfields and traditions. One route starts from philosophy of language (bot…Read more
  •  43
    Cryptocurrencies as narrative technologies
    with Wessel Reijers
    Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 45 (3): 172-178. 2015.
    Transitions in monetary technologies raise novel ethical and philosophical questions. One prominent transition concerns the introduction of cryptocurrencies, which are digital currencies based on blockchain technology. Bitcoin is an example of a cryptocurrency. In this paper we discuss ethical issues raised by cryptocurrencies by conceptualising them as what we call “narrative technologies”. Drawing on the work of Ricoeur and responding to the work of Searle, we elaborate on the social and lingu…Read more
  •  42
    Contemporary philosophy of technology, in particular mediation theory, has largely neglected language and has paid little attention to the social-linguistic environment in which technologies are used. In order to reintroduce and strengthen these two missing aspects we turn towards Ricoeur’s narrative theory. We argue that technologies have a narrative capacity: not only do humans make sense of technologies by means of narratives but technologies themselves co-constitute narratives and our unders…Read more
  •  41
    The public thing
    Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 13 (3): 175-181. 2009.
    Is there a politics of artifacts, and if so, what does it mean? Defining the issue as a problem about the relation between the human and the non-human, I argue that our common philosophical concepts bar us from an adequate understanding of this problem. Using the work of Hannah Arendt and Bruno Latour, I explore an escape route that involves a radical redefinition of the social. But the cost of this solution is high: we would lose the metaphysical foundation for our belief in the absolute value …Read more
  •  40
    Mogelijkheid van een eiland: Houellebecqs heimwee naar de mens
    Wijsgerig Perspectief 48 (1): 38. 2008.
  •  39
    Artificial agents, good care, and modernity
    Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 36 (4): 265-277. 2015.
    When is it ethically acceptable to use artificial agents in health care? This article articulates some criteria for good care and then discusses whether machines as artificial agents that take over care tasks meet these criteria. Particular attention is paid to intuitions about the meaning of ‘care’, ‘agency’, and ‘taking over’, but also to the care process as a labour process in a modern organizational and financial-economic context. It is argued that while there is in principle no objection to…Read more
  •  39
    This article explores the relevance of Georg Simmel’s phenomenology of money and interpretation of modernity for understanding and evaluating contemporary financial information and communication technologies (ICTs). It reads Simmel as a philosopher of technology and phenomenologist whose view of money as a medium, a “pure” tool, and a social institution can help us to think about contemporary financial media and technologies. The analysis focuses on the social-spatial implications of financial I…Read more
  •  39
    Environmental Virtue: Motivation, Skill, and (In)formation Technology
    Environmental Philosophy 8 (2): 141-169. 2011.
    Environmental virtue ethics faces the problem of motivation: there is a gap between knowledge and action. This paper first analyzes the roots of this problem and discusses possible solutions that require the use of imagination and information technology. Then it reformulates the problem of motivation and the question concerning environmental virtue by using the notion of skill. It sketches the contours of a non-Romantic and non-Stoic virtue ethics that attempts to move beyond dualist assumptions…Read more
  •  38
    Towards a Philosophy of Financial Technologies
    with Quinn DuPont and Wessel Reijers
    Philosophy and Technology 31 (1): 9-14. 2018.
    This special issue introduces the study of financial technologies and finance to the field of philosophy of technology, bringing together two different fields that have not traditionally been in dialogue. The included articles are: Digital Art as ‘Monetised Graphics’: Enforcing Intellectual Property on the Blockchain, by Martin Zeilinger; Fundamentals of Algorithmic Markets: Liquidity, Contingency, and the Incomputability of Exchange, by Laura Lotti; ‘Crises of Modernity’ Discourses and the Rise…Read more
  •  37
    The social ascription of obligations to engineers
    with J. S. Busby
    Science and Engineering Ethics 9 (3): 363-376. 2003.
    Discovering obligations that are ascribed to them by others is potentially an important element in the development of the moral imagination of engineers. Moral imagination cannot reasonably be developed by contemplating oneself and one’s task alone: there must be some element of discovering the expectations of people one could put at risk. In practice it may be impossible to meet ascribed obligations if they are completely general and allow no exceptions — for example if they demand an unlimited…Read more
  •  35
    The Public Thing
    Techne 13 (3): 175-181. 2009.
    Is there a politics of artifacts, and if so, what does it mean? Defining the issue as a problem about the relation between the human and the non-human, I argue that our common philosophical concepts bar us from an adequate understanding of this problem. Using the work of Hannah Arendt and Bruno Latour, I explore an escape route that involves a radical redefinition of the social. But the cost of this solution is high: we would lose the metaphysical foundation for our belief in the absolute value …Read more
  •  33
    AI Ethics
    The MIT Press. 2020.
    Artificial intelligence powers Google’s search engine, enables Facebook to target advertising, and allows Alexa and Siri to do their jobs. AI is also behind self-driving cars, predictive policing, and autonomous weapons that can kill without human intervention. These and other AI applications raise complex ethical issues that are the subject of ongoing debate. This volume in the MIT Press Essential Knowledge series offers an accessible synthesis of these issues. Written by a philosopher of techn…Read more
  •  33
    Response to “The Problem of the Question About Animal Ethics” by Michal Piekarski
    Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics 29 (4): 717-721. 2016.
    In this brief article we reply to Michal Piekarski’s response to our article ‘Facing Animals’ published previously in this journal. In our article we criticized the properties approach to defining the moral standing of animals, and in its place proposed a relational and other-oriented concept that is based on a transcendental and phenomenological perspective, mainly inspired by Heidegger, Levinas, and Derrida. In this reply we question and problematize Piekarski’s interpretation of our essay and…Read more
  •  32
    This paper tries to understand the phenomenon that humans are able to empathize with robots and the intuition that there might be something wrong with “abusing” robots by discussing the question regarding the moral standing of robots. After a review of some relevant work in empirical psychology and a discussion of the ethics of empathizing with robots, a philosophical argument concerning the moral standing of robots is made that questions distant and uncritical moral reasoning about entities’ pr…Read more
  •  32
    Ethics of healthcare robotics
    Robotics And Autonomous Systems 86 152-161. 2016.
    How can we best identify, understand, and deal with ethical and societal issues raised by healthcare robotics? This paper argues that next to ethical analysis, classic technology assessment, and philosophical speculation we need forms of reflection, dialogue, and experiment that come, quite literally, much closer to innovation practices and contexts of use. The authors discuss a number of ways how to achieve that. Informed by their experience with “embedded” ethics in technical projects and with…Read more
  •  31
    Postphenomenology and posthermeneutics as initiated by Ihde have made important contributions to conceptualizing understanding human–technology relations. However, their focus on individual perception, artifacts, and static embodiment has its limitations when it comes to understanding the embodied use of technology as involving bodily movement, social, and taking place within, and configuring, a temporal horizon. To account for these dimensions of experience, action, and existence with technolog…Read more
  •  30
    Machine generated contents note: -- Acknowledgements -- Introduction - The Problem of Moral Status -- PART I: MORAL ONTOLOGIES: FROM INDIVIDUAL TO RELATIONAL DOGMAS -- Individual Properties -- Appearance and Virtue -- Relations: Communitarian and Metaphysical -- Relations: Natural and Social -- Relations: Hybrid and Environmental -- Conclusion Part I: Diogenes's Challenge -- PART II: MORAL STATUS ASCRIPTION AND ITS CONDITIONS OF POSSIBILITY: A TRANSCENDENTAL ARGUMENT -- Words and Sentences: Form…Read more
  •  30
    Technology Games: Using Wittgenstein for Understanding and Evaluating Technology
    Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (5): 1503-1519. 2018.
    In the philosophy of technology after the empirical turn, little attention has been paid to language and its relation to technology. In this programmatic and explorative paper, it is proposed to use the later Wittgenstein, not only to pay more attention to language use in philosophy of technology, but also to rethink technology itself—at least technology in its aspect of tool, technology-in-use. This is done by outlining a working account of Wittgenstein’s view of language and by then applying t…Read more
  •  29
    Responsibility and the Moral Phenomenology of Using Self-Driving Cars
    Applied Artificial Intelligence 30 (8): 748-757. 2016.
    This paper explores how the phenomenology of using self-driving cars influences conditions for exercising and ascribing responsibility. First, a working account of responsibility is presented, which identifies two classic Aristotelian conditions for responsibility and adds a relational one, and which makes a distinction between responsibility for (what one does) and responsibility to (others). Then, this account is applied to a phenomenological analysis of what happens when we use a self-driving…Read more
  •  28
    The work of Ludwig Wittgenstein is seldom used by philosophers of technology, let alone in a systematic way, and in general there has been little discussion about the role of language in relation to technology. Conversely, Wittgenstein scholars have paid little attention to technology in the work of Wittgenstein. In this paper we read the Philosophical Investigations and On Certainty in order to explore the relation between language use and technology use, and take some significant steps towards…Read more
  •  25
    The invisible robots of global finance: Making visible machines, people, and places
    Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 45 (3): 287-289. 2015.
    One of the barriers for doing ethics of technology in the domain of finance is that financial technologies usually remain invisible. These hidden and unseen devices, machines, and infrastructures have to be revealed. This paper shows how the “robots” of finance, which function as distance technologies, are not only themselves invisible, but also hide people and places, which is ethically and politically problematic. Furthermore, “the market” appears …Read more
  •  23
    In response to challenges to moral philosophy presented by other disciplines and facing a diversity of approaches to the foundation and focus of morality, this paper argues for a pluralist meta-ethics that is methodologically hierarchical and guided by the principle of subsidiarity. Inspired by Deweyan pragmatism, this novel and original application of the subsidiarity principle and the related methodological proposal for a cascading meta-ethical architecture offer a “dirty” and instrumentalist …Read more