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)
- 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
- 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
- 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
- Soraker, J.H. 2008. Global Freedom of Expression within Non-textual Frameworks. Information society 24 (1):40-46. available online
- 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
- Søraker, Johnny H. 2006. “The Role of Pragmatic Arguments in Computer Ethics”. Ethics and Information Technology, 8(3):121-130 available online