My research focuses on the philosophy of human-technology relations. How to understand the relations between human beings and technologies? What are the social and cultural implications of these relations? How can we take them into account in the ethics of technology, and in design and innovation? A central line of research concerns the development of a theory of technological mediation, that conceptualizes how technologies help to shape our knowledge and understanding of the world, our ethical frameworks, and existential and religious concerns. A second line of research concerns the normative evaluation of these implications of technology, and the connection to practices of design and innovation. The research is embedded in the Department of Philosophy of the University of Twente, and in the PhilosophyLab at the Twente DesignLab.

Current research projects (funded):

  • Toward a Theory of Technological Mediation.
    NWO-VICI funded project on the mediating role of technology in knowledge, ethics, and metaphysics. Researchers: Peter-Paul Verbeek (PI), Bas de Boer (PhD candidate), Jonne Hoek (PhD candidate), Olya Kudina (PhD candidate), Nicola Liberati (postdoc), Jan Bergen (postdoc). More information can be found here.
  • Designing for Controversies in Responsible Smart Cities M.C. van der Voort (UT), Dr. M.L. de Lange (UU) and P.P. C.C. Verbeek (UT)
    As Amersfoort Municipality is building a new Internet of Things infrastructure, this consortium of public-private partners wants to develop a government-citizen-academic-industry collaboration platform that allows a wide range of stakeholders in a series of co-design sessions to discuss ethical, juridical, and social controversies, and foster broader support. Consortiumpartners: Gemeente Amersfoort, Marxman Advocaten, Aerovision, Kennislab voor Urbanisme and Design Innovation Groep. More information can be found here.
  • BRIdging Data in the built Environment (BRIDE)
    Dr. M. Nagenborg (UT), P.P.C.C. Verbeek (UT), Prof. dr. G.W. Kortuem (TUD), Prof. dr. mr. ir. N. Doorn (TUD) and N. Meratnia (UT)
    In the BRIDE-project, a team of philosophers, designers and computer scientists investigates how a 3D bridge can enhance citizens’ experience of “cityness”. The bridge, which is equipped with sensors, can respond to citizens’ interaction with the bridge. This will allow for the creation of new forms of smart urban space. Consortiumpartners: MX3D, Foundation for Responsible Robotics and Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions. More information can be found here.
  • Pride and Prejudice
    subproject on technology and interpretations of health, disease, and the body 

    4TU project on chronic disease prevention through real-life monitoring and context-aware intervention design. In this project, Bas de Boer works as a postdoc to investigate the role of technologies in our understanding of disease, prevention, and the body. More information can be found here
  • TopFit
    subproject on the ethics and epistemology of citizen science
    Research project on citizen science in the context of health and disease prevention, with a number of institutions from the Eastern part of The Netherlands. From philosophy, one postdoc (vacancy) will work on the ethical and epistemic questions related to the CitizenLab that will be established. The project will develop a framework for ‘CitizenEthics’, which will identify and address ethical questions regarding (medical) technology from the perspective of citizens and patients rather then medical or ethical experts.  Also, it will develop an epistemology of citizen science, analyzing the character of the knowledge produced in a CitizenLab, the kind of scientific expertise it involves,  the role of the material infrastructure of the CitizenLab in knowledge production, and the position of the researcher, who is both subject and object of investigation. Finally, the project will investigate how CitizenScience and CitizenLabs can be understood as elements of a democratization of science, and what this implies for our understanding of science and of democracy.


Current PhD projects:

  • Melis Baş: Hannah Arendt and political philosophy of technology (with prof. Ciano Aydin)
  • Bas de Boer: The mediating role of technology in scientific knowledge (with prof. Hedwig te Molder)
  • Yvonne Dröge Wendel: The relational and performative abilities of things (artistic research; with dr. Sher Doruff)
  • Margoth Gonzalez Woge: Environmental technologies: Material Engagement Theory and Postphenomenology (with dr. M. Nagenborg)
  • Jonne Hoek: Technological mediation and transcendence (with prof. Ciano Aydin)
  • Ching Hung: The ethics and politics of behevior-influencing technology (with dr. Michael Nagenborg)
  • Theo Wobbes: Human enhancement and Plessner’s philosophical anthropology (with prof. Ciano Aydin)
  • Niek Zuidhof: Wearable technologies: theorizing acceptance and mediation (with dr. Somaya Ben Allouch)

External PhD projects (co-supervision):

  • Liesbeth Stam (KU Leuven): Architectural Design: Postphenomenology and the Built Environment (with prof. Ann Heylighen, KU Leuven)


Past research projects (funded):

  • Responsible design of drones and drone services (finished 2017)
    NWO-MVI (Responsible Innovation) funded project to develop an ethical and legal tool for the responsible design and use of drones and drone services. Researchers: Lesley Broos (UT), Michiel Heldeweg (UT), Irna van der Molen (UT), Peter-Paul Verbeek (UT), Peter Novitzky (UT), Haomiao Du (UT)
  • The Relational and Performative Abilities of Things (finished 2016)
    NWO-Artistic Research funded project about the role of objects in human existence. Funded by NWO: PhD in the Fine Arts. Researcher: Yvonne Dröge Wendel, PhD candidate.
  • Technology and the Limits of Humanity (finished 2013).
    An inquiry into the anthropological and ethical aspects of technologies that affect the human being, like brain implants, pre implantation diagnistics, prostheses, and psychofarmaca. Which new relations between humans and technologies arise here, which ethical questions are connected to them, and which role can the philosophy of technology play here? (NWO-VIDI project). Investigators: Lucie Dalibert (PhD candidate), Theo Wobbes (PhD candidate), Peter-Paul Verbeek (researcher, supervisor/promotor)
  • Telecare at Home (finished 2013).
    Research project about telecare and its implications for the practices and experiences of patients and healthcare professionals. Part of the interdisciplinary research project Telecare at Home, directed by Nelly Oudshoorn, funded by NWO: Maatschappelijk Verantwoord Innoveren (Socially Responsible Innovation). Researchers: Nelly Oudshoorn (UT), Ivo Maathuis (UT), Val Jones (UT), Asle Kiran (postdoc), Peter-Paul Verbeek (researcher)
  • Theory and Ethics of Behavior-Influencing Technology (finished 2012).
    An investigation of behavior-influencing technology and its ethical aspects. Funded by IOP-IPCR (Innovative Research Projects – Integral Product Creation and Realisation). Part of the 3TU project Design for Usability. Researchers: Steven Dorrestijn (PhD candidate), Peter-Paul Verbeek (researcher).
  • Technology and the Matter of Morality (finished 2008).
    NWO-VENI project on the moral significance of technology and its implications for ethical theory, practical ethics, and technology development. Researcher: Peter-Paul Verbeek

Supervised PhD projects: