See Research Lines

Research Lines

Foundations and Synthesis

Research line leaders: Philip Brey, Vincent Müller

Research line coordinator: Michael Klenk

Research line participants: Jeroen Hopster, Guido Löhr, Anthonie Meijers, Philip Nickel, Elizabeth O'Neill, Björn Lundgren, Herman Veluwenkamp


This research line aims to develop more synthesizing perspectives on the entire topic of the research programme. We work on frameworks that are able to provide normative responses to the challenge of SDTs. This involves the reconceptualisation of basic concepts. It also involves development of methodologies that are both sufficiently embedded in fundamental research in practical philosophy and capable of providing normative orientation with regard to concrete technologies. Ultimately these normative frameworks should find a place in the construction of new technologies and the development of regulatory frameworks.

We work on the following clusters of questions:

  • How can we understand, in an integral way, the synergetic and emergent disruptive effects of a variety of SDTs on our understanding of nature, society, and human beings, and the challenges they create for the normative principles on which modern societies are based?
  • How can we connect philosophical and ethical reflection on technology more intricately with technology development, implementation, and use? What innovations in the wider field of philosophy are suggested by our analysis of socially disruptive technologies? In which ways do socially disruptive technologies provide new opportunities to investigate old philosophical concepts, such as ‘nature’, ‘life’ and ‘the human being’ from new perspectives or in new ways?
  • What new philosophical concepts, theories, and methods are required for the critical evaluation of socially disruptive technologies? What new normative concepts and principles are required to guide the development of SDTs? How can we develop new modes of interaction and integration between the philosophy and ethics of technology and relevant subfields of practical philosophy (applied ethics, political philosophy, philosophical anthropology, and meta-ethics)?