Department of industrial engineering & innovation sciences

Philosophy & Ethics

The Philosophy and Ethics (P&E) Group conducts research at the intersection of philosophy, technology, and innovation

Philosophical perspectives on technology and innovation

Research at the Philosophy and Ethics (P&E) group connects philosophy and ethics to technology and innovation. We believe the design, use, and regulation of technologies is enriched by ethical and philosophical analysis. In turn, philosophy must be informed by science, innovation, and technological developments. A few of the research topics studied in the group include theories and models of technological and cultural evolution, and ethical assessment of persuasive technologies, social robotics, and advances in medical and mobility technologies. Interdisciplinary cooperation is vital for our research, which often involves direct engagement with the natural, engineering and social sciences. Researchers in the P&E group often study innovative technologies and technology-related problems in detail to enable genuinely empirically informed analyses that are meaningful to philosophers, researchers in other areas, and society. For this purpose, the group has established close interdisciplinary collaborations with researchers from other groups in the TU/e School of Innovation Sciences, as well as with mechanical engineers, climate scientists, and archaeologists, among others.

Some of our researchers

Services & Outreach

P&E readily offers its expertise to third parties. We provide ethics support to scholars in the process of writing research proposals, and we help in the accreditation of TU/e educational programs (ACQA). Furthermore, we offer a webtool that supports teaching ethics to engineering students (Agora). The tool can be licensed for use to universities and individual teachers. Finally, the P&E group can be consulted on ethical issues, e.g., in the context of news or media coverage of new technologies.

Student opportunities

P&E PhD students research a variety of topics related to the philosophy and ethics of science and technology. Vacancies for funded PhD positions are advertised on our homepage.

For TU/e masters students interested in the big picture, the P&E group offers the Philosophy Certificate. Our courses aim to give students powerful theoretical tools for the critical examination of their own areas of study, and a knowledge of the state of the art of philosophical thinking on technology- and science-related topics.

Work with us!

Please check out the TU/e vacancy pages for opportunities within our group.

If you are a student, potential sponsor or industrial partner and want to work with us, please contact the P&E secretariat
or the Philosophy and Ethics group chair, Wybo Houkes