•  109
    Does kindness towards robots lead to virtue? A reply to Sparrow’s asymmetry argument
    Ethics and Information Technology 1 (Online first). 2021.
    Does cruel behavior towards robots lead to vice, whereas kind behavior does not lead to virtue? This paper presents a critical response to Sparrow’s argument that there is an asymmetry in the way we (should) think about virtue and robots. It discusses how much we should praise virtue as opposed to vice, how virtue relates to practical knowledge and wisdom, how much illusion is needed for it to be a barrier to virtue, the relation between virtue and consequences, the moral relevance of the realit…Read more
  •  1
    In response to my article “Earth, Technology, Language”, Christopher Müller asks whether use-oriented theory and Wittgensteinian language can capture the structural relations of power that shape habituation and argues that digital media do not provide opportunities for empowerment and democracy because there is no co-ownership. In my reply I argue that I have shown that this can be done with the broader conception of use I propose, that the grammar of technology should also be understood in term…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
  •  13
    Paul Ricœur has been one of the most influential and intellectually challenging philosophers of the last century, and his work has contributed to a vast array of fields: studies of language, of history, of ethics and politics. However, he has up until recently only had a minor impact on the philosophy of technology. Interpreting Technology aims to put Ricœur’s work at the centre of contemporary philosophical thinking concerning technology. It investigates his project of critical hermeneutics for…Read more
  •  3
    This book discusses the problem of freedom and the limits of liberalism considering the challenges of governing climate change and artificial intelligence (AI). It mobilizes resources from political philosophy to make an original argument about the future of technology and the environment. Can artificial intelligence save the planet? And does that mean we will have to give up our political freedom? Stretching the meaning of freedom but steering away from authoritarian options, this book proposes…Read more
  •  9
    “Alexa, define empowerment”: voice assistants at home, appropriation and technoperformances
    with Olya Kudina
    Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society. 2021.
    Purpose This paper aims to show how the production of meaning is a matter of people interacting with technologies, throughout their appropriation and in co-performances. The researchers rely on the case of household-based voice assistants that endorse speaking as a primary mode of interaction with technologies. By analyzing the ethical significance of voice assistants as co-producers of moral meaning intervening in the material and socio-cultural space of the home, the paper invites their inform…Read more
  •  7
    The empirical turn, understood as a turn to the artifact in the work of Ihde, has been a fruitful one, which has rightly abandoned what Serres and Latour call “the empire of signs” of the postmoderns. However, this has unfortunately implied too little attention for language and its relation to technology. The same can be said about the social dimension of technology use, which is largely neglected in postphenomenology. This talk critically responds to Ihde and Stiegler, and sketches a Wittgenste…Read more
  •  13
    The use of autonomous and intelligent personal social robots raises questions concerning their moral standing. Moving away from the discussion about direct moral standing and exploring the normative implications of a relational approach to moral standing, this paper offers four arguments that justify giving indirect moral standing to robots under specific conditions based on some of the ways humans—as social, feeling, playing, and doubting beings—relate to them. The analogy of “the Kantian dog” …Read more
  • Regulation or Responsibility? Autonomy, Moral Imagination, and Engineering
    Science, Technology, and Human Values 31 (3): 237-260. 2006.
    A prima facie analysis suggests that there are essentially two, mutually exclusive, ways in which risk arising from engineering design can be managed: by imposing external constraints on engineers or by engendering their feelings of responsibility and respect their autonomy. The author discusses the advantages and disadvantages of both approaches. However, he then shows that this opposition is a false one and that there is no simple relation between regulation and autonomy. Furthermore, the auth…Read more
  •  15
    A humanoid robot named ‘Sophia’ has sparked controversy since it has been given citizenship and has done media performances all over the world. The company that made the robot, Hanson Robotics, has touted Sophia as the future of artificial intelligence. Robot scientists and philosophers have been more pessimistic about its capabilities, describing Sophia as a sophisticated puppet or chatbot. Looking behind the rhetoric about Sophia’s citizenship and intelligence and going beyond recent discussio…Read more
  •  32
    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
  •  1
    Introduction to Philosophy of Technology
    Oxford University Press. 2019.
    Addressing the technological opportunities and challenges of the 21st century, Introduction to Philosophy of Technology offers the most up-to-date and comprehensive overview of philosophy of technology available. It covers several of the classic theories and approaches, but also moves beyond them to explore a broader range of theories and a number of new dynamics in the field, including responding to new technological developments. Esteemed scholar Mark Coeckelbergh emphasizes how new technologi…Read more
  •  30
    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
  •  79
    This paper discusses the problem of responsibility attribution raised by the use of artificial intelligence technologies. It is assumed that only humans can be responsible agents; yet this alone already raises many issues, which are discussed starting from two Aristotelian conditions for responsibility. Next to the well-known problem of many hands, the issue of “many things” is identified and the temporal dimension is emphasized when it comes to the control condition. Special attention is given …Read more
  •  20
    Wittgenstein and Philosophy of Technology
    with Michael Funk and Stefan Koller
    Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology 22 (3): 287-295. 2018.
  • Envisioning Robots in Society – Power, Politics, and Public Space (edited book)
    with M. Loh, J. Funk, M. Seibt, and J. Nørskov
    . forthcoming.
  •  10
    This article has already been published in Techné : Research in Philosophy and Technology, 19:3, pp. 358–380.: 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. 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 - Sociologie – Nouvel article
  •  31
    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
  •  13
    Narrative technologies meets virtue ethics in alternate reality
    with Wessel Reijers
    Acm Sigcas Computers and Society 47 (4): 96-106. 2018.
    Virtue ethics offers a promising starting point for thinking about ethics of technology. Usually, virtue ethics of technology focuses on explaining how we can cultivate our technomoral virtues to cope with technological change. However, it is not clear yet how exactly technologies in turn mediate technomoral virtues, or more precisely how the technological practices that cultivate these virtues do so. Inspired by Ricoeur and MacIntyre, this paper responds to this challenge with an account of tec…Read more
  •  9
    Personal Robots, Appearance, and Human Good
    International Journal of Social Robotics 1 (3): 217-221. 2009.
    The development of pet robots, toy robots, and sex robots suggests a near-future scenario of habitual living with 'personal' robots. How should we evaluate their potential impact on the quality of our lives and existence?In this paper, I argue for an approach to ethics of personal robots that advocates a methodological turn from robots to humans, from mind to interaction, from intelligent thinking to social-emotional being, from reality to appearance, from right to good, from external criteria t…Read more
  •  10
    The spider and the web
    In Psychology of Risk Perception, Nova Science Publishers. pp. 133-145. 2010.
    Evolutionary biology shows that organisms have many traits that developed by natural selection as adaptations to their environment. The so-called 'mismatch theory' holds that if the environment changes faster than the ability of the organism to adapt and evolve, it finds itself mismatched to its environment. Studies in evolutionary psychology suggest that this is the case with many human emotional responses. In this essay I explore the implications of these studies for ethics of technological ri…Read more
  • Moral Craftsmanship
    In The Ethics of Creativity, Palgrave-macmillan. pp. 46-61. 2014.
  •  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
  •  10
    The art of living with ICTs
    Foundations of Science 22 (2): 339-348. 2017.
    This essay shows that a sharp distinction between ethics and aesthetics is unfruitful for thinking about how to live well with technologies, and in particular for understanding and evaluating how we cope with human existential vulnerability, which is crucially mediated by the development and use of technologies such as electronic ICTs. It is argued that vulnerability coping is a matter of ethics and art: it requires developing a kind of art and techne in the sense that it always involves technol…Read more
  •  6
    Is Ethics of Robotics about Robots?
    Law, Innovation and Technology 3 (2): 241-250. 2011.
  • Like other teletechnological practices, drone fighting as remote fighting gives rise to a paradox with regard to the relation between ethics and distance: on the one hand, it bridges physical distance in the sense that it enables spying on people and killing people in other parts of the world. On the other hand, it seems to increase moral distance: if you are far away from your target, it becomes easier to kill. However, based on interviews with drone crew as published in the media, I show that …Read more
  • Talking to Robots
    On the Linguistic Construction of Personal Human-Robot Relations. 2011.
    How should we make sense of 'personal' human-robot relations, given that many people view robots as 'mere machines'? This paper proposes that we understand human-robot relations from a phenomenological view as social relations in which robots are constructed as quasi-others. It is argued that language mediates in this construction. Responding to research by Turkle and others, it is shown that our talking to robots reveals a shift from an impersonal third-person to a personal second-person perspe…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