Peter-Paul Verbeek (1970) is Distinguished Professor of Philosophy of Technology at the Department of Philosophy of the University of Twente. He is chair of the Philosophy of Human-Technology Relations research group and co-director of the DesignLab of the University of Twente. He is also honorary professor of Techno-Anthropology at Aalborg University, Denmark. His research focuses on the philosophy of human-technology relations, and aims to contribute to philosophical theory, ethical reflection, and practices of design and innovation.
Verbeek is chairperson of the UNESCO World Commission on the Ethics of Science and Technology (COMEST), vice chair of the board of the Rathenau Institute and member of the Supervisory Board of TNO (Dutch Organization for applied scientific research); the Social Sciences and Humanities Domain Board of the Dutch Research Council NWO; the Commission for the Freedom of Academic Pursuit (KNAW); the Sector Plan Committee Social Sciences and Humanities of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science; the Dutch National Commission for UNESCO; and the program council for Responsible Innovation of the Dutch Research Council NWO. He is also vice chair of the Ad Hoc Expert Group that was installed by UNESCO to develop a global normative framework for Artificial Intelligence.
He is a member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (KNAW), the Netherlands Academy of Technology and Innovation (AcTI) and the Royal Holland Society of Sciences (KHMW). His work has received several awards, including an NWO-VENI award (2003), VIDI award (2007), VICI Award (2014), the Borghgraef Prize in Biomedical Ethics 2012 (Leuven University), the World Technology Award in Ethics 2016 (World Technology Network, New York).
He is currently one of the 6 Principal Investigators of a 10-year research program on the Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies (funded in the ‘Gravitation’ scheme of the Dutch ministry of Science). In 2014, he received a VICI award from the Dutch Research Council (a personal grant for innovative research) to develop a theory of technological mediation, aiming to theorize how technologies play a mediating role in scientific practices, ethical frameworks, and religion, and how this mediating role of technologies can be included in design practices. Earlier he received a VIDI-award (2008), for studying human enhancement technologies and the blurring boundaries between humans and technologies, and a VENI-award (2004), for studying the moral significance of technology, and its implications for design. Between 2013 and 2015 he was President of the Society for Philosophy and Technology; between 2011 and 2013 he was chairperson of ‘The Young Academy’, an independent division of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. From 2010 until 2012 he held the Socrates chair of philosophy at Delft University of Technology; in 2006 he was guest professor of philosophy of technology at Aarhus University, Denmark.
Peter-Paul Verbeek is author of Moralizing Technology: Understanding and Designing the Morality of Things (University of Chicago Press, 2011) , in which he analyzes the moral significance of technologies, and its implications for ethical theory and for design practices. He also published What Things Do: Philosophical Reflections on Technology, Agency, and Design (Penn State University Press, 2005), which investigates how technologies mediate human actions and experiences, with applications to industrial design. He is co-editor of the volumes Postphenomenological Investigations: Essays on Human-Technology Relations (Lexington 2015, with Robert Rosenberger), The Moral Status of Technical Artefacts (Springer 2014, with Peter Kroes), and User Behavior and Technology Design – Shaping Sustainable Relations between Consumers and Technologies (Springer 2006, with Adriaan Slob).
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