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Dr. Johnny Hartz Søraker is Assistant Professor of Philosophy of technology at the Department of Philosophy, University of Twente.
I did my PhD at the same department, supervised by Prof. Dr. Philip Brey and defended on April 23, 2010 “met lof” (Dutch equivalent to summa cum laude). The dissertation mainly dealt with the epistemology, ontology and ethics of virtual worlds, with a particular focus on their potential impact on personal well-being. The remainder of my 4-year (NWO VICI) PhD Research Grant was converted into a short PostDoc, and I subsequently got the position as assistant professor starting September 1, 2010. Building on a Cand. Mag. (B.A. equiv.) consisting of psychology, philosophy and comparative literature, I did my Cand. Philol. (M.A. equiv.) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, on issues related to Philosophy of Mind and Artificial Intelligence.
Although I am inspired by all kinds of philosophy, my main research interests lie in the intersections between Information Technology, on the one hand, and both theoretical and practical philosophy, on the other. I often ground my work in psychological research, especially work in the field of Positive Psychology, and I’m working on developing this toward a comprehensive methodology (tentatively entitled ‘Prudential-Empirical Ethics of Technology (PEET)’). I have published and lectured extensively on issues such as the ethical, societal and psychological effects of technology (especially related to the notion of well-being), Internet governance and the moral status of information.
I also put a lot of work and energy into my teaching, and was fortunate enough to be awarded the University of Twente teacher of the year award in 2012. Autumn 2012 I also launched SuchThatCast – a Podcast in which I sit down with some of the greatest philosophers of today to discuss their life and work.

Scientific publications (selection)

2015

  • Boer, J. de, Rijt, J., Wong, P., & Brey, P. (2015). Introduction. Four Types of Questions about Well-Being. In J. Søraker, P. Wong, J. Boer, J. De Rijt, and P. Brey (Eds.), Well-Being in Contemporary Society (pp. ix-xiv). Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Søraker, J., Wong, P., Boer, J., De Rijt, J., & Brey, P. (Eds.) (2015). Well-Being in Contemporary Society. (Happiness Studies Book Series). Berlin: Springer. available online

2010

  • Soraker, Johnny H. 2010. The Neglect of Reason: A Plea for Rationalist Accounts of the Effects of Virtual Violence. In C. Wankel and S. Malleck, eds., Emerging Ethical Issues of Life in Virtual Worlds. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, pp. 15-32. available online

2009

  • Brey, P. & Søraker, J. H. (2009). Philosophy of Computing and Information Technology. In A. Meijers (Ed.), Philosophy of Technology and Engineering Sciences (pp. 1341-1408). Vol IX in D. Gabbay, P. Thagard and J. Woods (Eds.), Handbook of the Philosophy of Science. Amsterdam: Elsevier. click to open pdf
  • Brey, P. and Søraker, J. (2009). A Précis of “Philosophy of Computing and Information Technology”. American Philosophical Association Newsletter on Philosophy and Computers, 8 (2), 15-16. click to open pdf

2008

  • Soraker, J.H. 2008. Global Freedom of Expression within Non-textual Frameworks. Information society 24 (1):40-46. available online

2007

  • Soraker, Johnny H. 2007. "Real norms, Virtual Cases: A Rationalist, Casuistic Account of Virtual Rape". In Hinman, L., Brey, P., Floridi, L., Grodzinsky, F. and Introna, L. (eds.), Proceedings of CEPE 2007 - The 7th International Conference of Computer Ethics: Philosophical Enquiry. Center for Telematics and Information Technology (CTIT): Enschede, pp. 340-347. click to open pdf
  • Soraker, Johnny H. 2007. The Moral Status of Information and Information Technologies : a relational theory of moral status. In S. Hongladarom and C. Ess (Eds.), Information Technology Ethics: Cultural Perspectives, Hershey, PA: Idea Group Publishing, pp. 1-19. available online
  • Søraker, J. H. & Brey, P. (2007). Ambient Intelligence and Problems with Inferring Desires from Behaviour. International Review of Information Ethics, 8 (1), 7-12. click to open pdf

2006

  • Søraker, Johnny H. 2006. “The Role of Pragmatic Arguments in Computer Ethics”. Ethics and Information Technology, 8(3):121-130 available online