Kies de Nederlandse taal
Course module: 191612540
Ethics and Technology I
Course infoSchedule
Course module191612540
Credits (ECTS)5
Course typeCourse
Language of instructionEnglish
Contact persondr. J.S. Hermann
dr. J.S. Hermann
Contactperson for the course
dr. J.S. Hermann
Academic year2020
Starting block
Application procedureYou apply via OSIRIS Student
Registration using OSIRISYes
This course is open only to students enrolled in the Master PSTS .
In case you, being a student from another master’s programme, would like to participate in this course, please contact the PSTS staff: or

This course connects to the final qualifications K1, K5, S1, S2, S3, S4 of the programme, according to the following learning objectives:
  1. Identify and analyse ethical problems in different areas of life.
  2. Engage in critical reasoning and argumentation about ethical issues.
  3. Understand and explain core ethical concepts, principles, arguments, and theories.
  4. Recognize different types of argumentation in ethical discourse.
  5. Systematically develop and defend (in writing) a theoretically informed position regarding an ethical issue.
  6. Reflect on the relationship between ethical theorising and living a good life.
  7. Analyse and critique ethical concepts, principles, arguments, and theories.
  8. Understand and explain the relevance of ethics for science & technology and vice versa.
Science and technology are ethically relevant because they co-shape the way we think of and pursue a good life. More specifically, science and technology can benefit and harm, support and undermine human values and norms, enhance and diminish agency. This course introduces students to the concepts, principles, and theories in ethics, necessary for understanding the ethical significance of science and technology. First, we will reflect on the phenomenon of morality and how ‘ethical issues’ tend to be identified. Students will then be introduced to different traditions of ethical thought (deontology, consequentialism, virtue/care ethics) and consider the use of these theories in the context of a particular ethical issue.

The following skills will be addressed:
  • Reading skills (analytic & interpretative reading)
  • Argumentation skills (reconstructing and assessing (ethical) argumentation)
  • Writing skills (summarizing texts; developing a position and a line of argument, writing a brief essay)

Teaching methods
Lectures and workshops. Attendance is obligatory
One mid-term take home exam (40% of the course grade).
One final research paper (60% of the grade).
All components (each assignment and the exam) need to be sufficient (5.5 or higher).
Assumed previous knowledge
Prior knowledge for:
191612560 Society Politics and technology,
191612580 Ethics and technology 2,
201400576 or 202000253 PhiloLab
Participating study
Master Philosophy of Science, Technology and Soc.
Required materials
Articles, which will be posted on Canvas
Russ Shafer-Landau, The Fundamentals of Ethics. Oxford University Press 2018 (4th ed.), ISBN 9780190631390.
Recommended materials
Instructional modes
Presence dutyYes

Take home exam & Research Paper

One mid-term take-home exam (40%) & one final research paper (60%)All components need to be sufficient (i.e.5.5 or more)

Kies de Nederlandse taal