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LC8 Design for Values

September 5 - September 16

Approaches like Value Sensitive Design and ethics-by-design have become popular over the last decade to integrate values, and other moral considerations, from the start in the design and development of new technologies. This course provides an introduction to some of the key underlying philosophical foundations and issues of such approaches. We will discuss what values are, and whether, and if so how, they can be embedded in new technologies. We will discuss in more detail how values can be conceptualised and specified, and we discuss ‘value conflict ’and ‘value change’, philosophically as well as in terms of their implications for designing technology for values.

The lectures will be given September 5th until 9th.  The presentations are September16th.


Topic 1: Values and Technology
• Brief historical overview about thinking about values in technology in philosophy of technology
• How to understand value embedding in technology

Topic 2: What are values?
• How are values understood in philosophy (and other disciplines)?

Topic 3: Designing for values
• Brief overview of Value Sensitive Design and other approaches
• Value conceptualization and value specification

Topic 4: Value conflict
• Types of value conflict
• Value incommensurability and its consequences
• Dealing with value conflict in design

Topic 5: Value change
• Understanding value change in technology
• Dealing with value change in design

• All participants are asked to present their main take-aways from the course
We aim for a guest lecture on a more practical example of designing for values.

Aim / objective

After the course participants should be able to:
• Philosophically reflect on the relation between technology and values and to give reasoned arguments why technology can or cannot embody values (and if so how)
• Have a key understandings of basic notions of values within philosophy and some other relevant disciplines and be able to reflect on their similarities and differences
• Be knowledge of the main approaches to designing for values
• Understand the difference between value conceptualisation and specification, and how these matter for designing for values
• Be able to philosophically characterize and discuss ‘value conflict’ and ‘value change’, and understand the implications of these phenomena for designing for values


Active participation during the week of 20-24 September is required. Each session has a number of required readings that participants should have read beforehand. At the end of the course the students will give a presentation.

Credit points

Study load is the equivalent of: 5 ECTS.


The course is free for PhD candidates who are a member of the 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology and/or OZSW.

The course is also free for ReMa students who are a member of the OZSW and/or 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology.

All others will pay a registration fee of €300.

Registration/application form

The deadline for registration is August 20, 2022.

PhD candidates can register here .

Others can send an email to to be put on a waiting list. If places are available, others can participate too.


More information

For more information about the contents of the course contact Ibo van der Poel .


September 5
September 16
Event Category:


Ibo van de Poel


Technical University of Delft
Delft, Netherlands + Google Map
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