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.