Dr. Gertz, N. (Nolen)

University of Twente

Section: Philosophy
Faculty: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS)

Human-Technology Relations
Military Ethics
Moral Philosophy
Political Philosophy
Nolen Gertz
Visiting address

University of Twente Cubicus C322

Mail address

Department of Philosophy University of Twente Postbus 217 7500 AE Enschede The Netherlands


+31 (0)53 489 42 39


Assistant Professor of Applied Philosophy, University of Twente

Nolen Gertz is the author of Nihilism and Technology (Rowman & Littlefield International, 2018), and is currently completing a book on Nihilism for MIT Press’s Essential Knowledge series. 

He received his Ph.D. in Philosophy from The New School for Social Research in 2012. His doctoral dissertation was a criticism of Just War Theory, arguing that JWT’s common morality perspective is both unrealistic and a contributor to combatant suffering. This argument was expanded in his book, The Philosophy of War and Exile: From the Humanity of War to the Inhumanity of Peace (Palgrave-Macmillan, 2014).

His research interests include applied ethics, social and political philosophy, phenomenology, existentialism, and aesthetics. He has written for the media analyses of military robots, humanitarian drones, and Facebook. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Washington Post, and on the ABC Australia website. He has been interviewed by the BBC World Service, Austrian Public Radio, Ireland’s National Independent Radio, and France’s Philosophie Magazine.

He is the Coordinator of the 4TU Task Force on Risk, Safety and Security, and a Research Associate in Military Ethics at the Inamori International Center for Ethics and Excellence at Case Western Reserve University. He is on the Editorial Review Board for Rowman & Littlefield International’s book series Off the Fence: Morality, Politics and Society.

A complete list of his publications can be found here and here.

Watch his TEDx Frankfurt talk on Nietzsche, Nihilism, and Technology here.

Scientific publications (selection)


  • Gertz, N. (2018) "Hegel, the Struggle for Recognition, and Robots". Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology. Online first 24 March 2018. DOI: 10.5840/techne201832080. available online
  • Gertz, N. (2018). Nihilism and Technology. London and New York: Rowman & Littlefield International, Ltd. available online


  • Gertz, N. (2017). "Military Professionalism and PTSD: On the Need for 'Soldier-Artists'". Essays in Philosophy 18(2): 1-17. DOI: 10.7710/1526-0569.1584. available online


  • Gertz, N. "Designing Responsibility." Van der Velden, Strano, Hrachvec, Nocera, Ess (Eds.). Culture, Technology, Communication: Common worlds, different futures? London: CATAC, 2016, pgs. 191-201. available online
  • Gertz, N. "The Master/iSlave Dialectic: Post (Hegelian) Phenomenology and the Ethics of Technology." Seibt, Nørskov, Andersen (Eds.). What Social Robots Can and Should Do. Amsterdam: IOS Press, 2016, pgs. 136-144. available online


  • Gertz, N. "Autonomy online: Jacques Ellul and the Facebook emotional manipulation study." Research Ethics, doi: 10.1177/1747016115579534. available online


  • Gertz, N. (2014). The Philosophy of War and Exile: From the Humanity of War to the Inhumanity of Peace. Basingstoke: Palgrave-Macmillan. ISBN 9781137351210. available online


  • Gertz, N. “Technologie et souffrance dans la guerre.” S. Mazoyer, J. Lespinois, E. Goffi, G. Boutherin, and C. Pajon (eds.). Les drones aériens: passé, présent et avenir. Approche globale. Paris: La Documentation Française, coll. Stratégie Aérospatiale, pgs. 575-586. available online


  • Gertz, N. (editor). War Fronts: Interdisciplinary Perspectives on War, Virtual War, and Human Security. Oxford: The Inter-Disciplinary Press. ISBN: 978-1-904710-66-0. available online

Professional/Popular publications (selection)


  • Gertz, N. "Death by Robot: The Ethics of Turning Assistive Technologies into Assassins." Australian Broadcasting Corporation. available online


  • Gertz, N. "Acting in ‘We’-Defence: Why We Don’t Consider Dylann Roof a Terrorist." Australian Broadcasting Corporation. available online
  • Gertz, N. "Our Action Figures, Ourselves." The Atlantic. available online
  • Gertz, N. "There Are No More Just Wars." The Washington Post. available online
  • Gertz, N. "What is 'Terrorism', and Why Can't People of Colour be Victims of It?" Australian Broadcasting Corporation. available online


  • Gertz, N. "#GamerGate - Is It About Misogyny or Ethical Journalism? Why Not Both?" Australian Broadcasting Corporation's Religion & Ethics Page. available online