See Research Lines

Research Lines

The Human Condition

Research line leaders: Peter-Paul Verbeek, Wijnand IJsselsteijn

Research line coordinator: Sven Nyholm

Research line participants: Caroline Bollen (PhD candidate), Cindy Friedman (PhD candidate), Kristy Claassen (PhD candidate), Joel Anderson, Dina Babushkina, Gunter Bombaerts, Lily Frank, Janna van Grunsven, Julia Hermann, Peter Ruijten, Filippo Santoni de Sio, Chris Snijders, Sander Werkhoven, Olya Kudina, Matthew Dennis


In this research line, we investigate how and to what extent socially disruptive technologies have implications with regard to humans, humanity and the human condition. Some SDTs will make an impact on our biological and mental make-up and our interactions with our social and material environment. Because of that, they are challenging basic aspects of human self-understanding and self-constitution, including notions like autonomy, sociality, corporality, mortality, and transcendence.

In this research line, we focus particularly on new biomedical and digital technologies. We work on the following clusters of questions.

  • In which ways and to what extent are the SDTs really disrupting the human condition and our self-understanding as human beings?
  • How do these disruptions challenge existing conceptualisations of ‘the human’, moral and anthropological theories, and corresponding legal frameworks?
  • Which ethical theories and normative frameworks are better equipped to provide normative guidance in responding to those challenges?

The ultimate goal is to develop new ethical frameworks that integrate theories from both ethics and philosophical anthropology. In doing so, we aim to make a substantial and new contribution to already ongoing philosophical discussions about the ‘human being’, ‘humanity’, and the human condition in relation to both technology and ethics.