Call for abstracts: designing moral technologies


Designing Moral Technologies – Theoretical, Practical and Ethical Issues

July 10-15, 2016

LOCATION: Centro Stefano Franscini (
on the Monte Verità near Ascona, Switzerland


Scope: Many empirical disciplines, such as sociology, psychology, neuroscience and anthropology, contribute to a growing knowledge of the foundations, mechanisms, and conditions of human moral behavior in various social contexts. This knowledge provides a basis for moral technologies – interventions intended to improve moral decision-making that do not target deliberation itself, but underlying neurological or psychological processes, as well as technological mediators of human social interaction. Such technologies include pharmacological interventions (“moral enhancement”), social technologies for “nudging” people, and persuasive information technologies. This development raises important questions, such as: Are context-sensitive moral technologies possible? To what extent is it morally justifiable to bypass deliberation in pursuit of improved moral decision-making? Do moral technologies endanger ethical pluralism?


The conference will discuss theoretical, practical and ethical issues related to moral technologies. The conference will take place at the Centro Stefano Franscini ( on the Monte Verità in the southern part of Switzerland (near Ascona). Invited speakers include: David Abrams (University of Pennsylvania), Willem-Paul Brinkman (Technical University Delft), Rosaria Conte (Institute for Cognitive Science and Technology Rome), Molly Crockett (University of Oxford), Paul Slovic (University of Oregon), John Sullins (Sonoma State University), Ann Tenbrunsel (University of Notre Dame), Nicole Vincent (Georgia State University) and others.


Call for abstracts: We welcome proposals for both papers and posters from all disciplines dealing with moral technologies (empirical disciplines, engineering, social sciences, and humanities). Possible topics include theoretical, conceptual, scientific, technological, ethical, and political issues and problems related to moral technologies. For example, proposals may present research on new types or the effectiveness of moral technologies, as well as assessments of the legitimacy of such interventions in concrete social contexts such as parenting, prisons, and companies.


To submit a paper proposal, send us your name & affiliation, the title of the paper, and a brief abstract (~500 words). To submit a poster proposal, send us your name, the title of the poster, and an executive summary (~200 words). Please send all proposals to:


Deadline for submissions is January 31, 2016. Notification of acceptance is February 29, 2016.


Conference details: The conference fee will include all costs for the stay (food & lodging) during the 5-day conference and will be approximately CHF 850; special reductions for PhD students may apply (numbers are subject to change). The conference is funded by the Congressi Stefano Franscini, the Cogito Foundation, and the University Research Priority Program Ethics of the University of Zurich. The organizing committee consists of Mark Alfano (Delft University of Technology), Markus Christen (University of Zurich), Darcia Narvaez (University of Notre Dame), Peter Schaber (University of Zurich), Carmen Tanner (Zeppelin University), Giuseppe Ugazio (University of Zurich), Jeroen van den Hoven (Delft University of Technology), and Roberto Weber (University of Zurich).

Meeting with Chinese Partners

In 2015 the North Eastern University in Shenyang, China, will host the first conference of the “Society for Philosophy of Technology” outside the US and Europe. After the conference, the 4th 3TU-5TU International Conference (03-07, July, 2015) will be held. We are looking forward to meeting our Chinese colleges again to discuss “Responsible Innovation in Ports and High-tech Zones”!

Technopolicy Conference: Boosting Academic Entrepreneurship

3TU.Ethics takes part in the annual Technopolicy event (10-12 December, 2014).

This year’s conference theme is: Boosting Academic Entrepreneurship.

On 10, 11 and 12 December 2014 the Technopolicy Network organizes its 12th annual academic entrepreneurship conference and awards – this year in collaboration with Kennispark Twente. Over 30 leading experts from countries all over the world have now confirmed to present how universities, incubators and regional governments can boost academic entrepreneurship together with businesses in their region. The conference will be chaired by Frans van Vught.

Detailed programme is availiable on the Technopolicy website.

3TU.Ethics takes part in the Responsible Research and Innovation session.

Symposium on Mediating morality: Using unmanned aerial systems for decision making in moral situations

Symposium on Mediating morality: Using unmanned aerial systems for decision making in moral situations.

Tuesday 21 January 2014, Eindhoven University of Technology, 10:00 – 17:00

Location: TU/e campus, Traverse building, Dorgelo Room (1.52)


 Following the increasing civil and military deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles, an intense public debate on the positive and negative effects of drones has emerged. The ECIS symposium “Mediating morality: Using unmanned aerial systems for decision making in moral situations” focuses on how the use of drones affects decision-making in moral situations. Current research in moral philosophy and moral psychology provides no clear answers regarding the effects that drones have on moral decision making. The aim of the workshop is to bring together stakeholders and researchers in the field of technology, philosophy and psychology to discuss the consequences of using drones. The goal of the symposium is to share insights from theory and practice on technological mediation in moral situations and combine insights from these diverse disciplines to guide future interdisciplinary work.

Participation in the symposium is free, but registration is required. You can register for the program by emailing Rianne Schaaf ( For more information about the program, please contact Bart van Bezooijen ( Lunch will be provided by the organisation. For more information about the program, please refer to the website: The directions to the TU/e can be found via the link:

Design for Sustainable Well-being and Empowerment Conference


A conference “Design for Sustainable Well-being and Empowerment” is co-organized by the University of Delft on June 12-14, 2014 in Bangalore, India.

This conference is an outcome of a joint research project of Delft University of Technology (TUD, and the Indian Institute of Science (IISc,, initiated in 2009. The project, titled Technology and Human Development – A Capability Approach, was funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO, The conference covers the original topic of this research project, but also goes beyond the project to explore related issues and challenges.

The conference aims to provide a platform for:

  1. Presenting new (a) perspectives/view/ideas,(b) methods, frameworks and methodologies, and (c) cases for Design for Sustainable Well-being & Empowerment
  2. Exploring the pathways for extending research in this area, and extending benefits of such research
  3. Stimulating discussion and interaction between researchers, stakeholders and the underprivileged

More information on abstracts/papers submission and the conference can be found here.


The Dimensions of Consequentialism

3TU.Ethics coorganizes an open, international workshop The Dimensions of Consequentialism on the work of Martin Peterson, a member of 3TU.Ethics from Eindhoven University.

The conference takes place at the University of Konstanz, on November 16-17, 2013.


In his new book “The Dimensions of Consequentialism” (Cambridge University Press, 2013), Martin Peterson introduces a new type of consequentialist theory: multi-dimensional consequentialism.  According to this theory, an act’s moral rightness depends on several separate dimensions, including wellbeing, equality, and risk. Peterson aims to show that moral views about equality and risk that were previously thought to be mutually incompatible can be rendered compatible. In this context, Peterson argues for there being degrees of rightness rather than rightness being an all-or-nothing property. What is supposed to make Peterson’s multi-dimensional consequentialism attractive is that it can account for intuitions that are widely thought to speak against traditional versions of consequentialism. While one-dimensional consequentialists concede that virtually any act could be right provided that the net benefit is optimal when calculated in the appropriate way, the multi- dimensional theory proposed by Peterson seems to avoid this counter-intuitive conclusion. At best, acts that, for example, lead to someone being better off at the expense of another, or which produce unfair inequalities, or which are risky, could be right to some degree but not entirely right, no matter how well these acts score with respect to other aspects.

The programme, invited speakers and other important information can be found here: