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PhD course | University of Twente
Posted on July 11, 2022

Registration open for LC6 Good technology for users and society

The registration for the PhD course LC6 Good technology for users and society is open.
 

Registration

You can register by sending an email to Marlies Tijhuis (UT) m.e.tijhuis@utwente.nl
 

About the course

This course will ask what good technology is, and will consider various ways of assessing, guiding and improving the moral and nonmoral goodness of technology.  We will have a particular emphasis on theories of wellbeing and the good society that define individual and social notions of goodness.  Different theories of wellbeing (e.g. objectivist, desire satisfaction, mental state) will be discussed and compared, as well as different theories of what constitutes a good society. We will then consider what these theories mean for technological design and technology development.

We will also investigate the positive and negative roles of so-called socially disruptive technologies that transform society, culture, and the environment. This will be done in connection to the seven-university, ten-year research programme Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies (https://www.esdit.nl/). We will pay special attention to the transformative role of such technologies with respect to the basic concepts that we use to understand and evaluate reality.

Next, we will consider non-Western perspectives on the goodness of technology, by considering non-Western and intercultural ethics and philosophy. We will also examine the call for, and challenges of, global ethics in three broad areas. First, we will examine arguments concerning relativism and the extent to which ethical values may appropriately be differently expressed. Second, we will explore to what extent our global ethics should be responsive to demands of pluralistic ethics and normatively significant belief systems, especially when considering the design of technologies and institutions that operate at a global level. Finally, we will look at questions of when an individual is morally responsible for the actions of autonomous systems.

Teaching will be centered on a series of lectures delivered to students, together with discussion and in-class assignments, but the bulk of the learning will occur in the students’ own time as they research the different areas using recommended readings and following their own research interests.  This will be supplemented by assessed presentations given by the students regarding a final paper to be delivered at the end of the course. Help will be offered for both of these assignments through one-on-one meetings with the course professors.

More information about the course can be found here.

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