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. M. Behrensen
Contactperson for the course
dr. J.S. Hermann
dr. J.S. Hermann
Academic year2022
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, as 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, in particular in relation to technology.
  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 (orally and in writing) a theoretically informed position regarding an ethical issue related to technology
  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, and 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 ethics, Confucian ethics, Ubuntu) as well as more recent ethical approaches (feminist ethics, care ethics, capabilities approach, pragmatist ethics) and consider the use of these theories in the context of a particular ethical issue related to technology. The concept of epistemic justice, the technological mediation of morality and the emerging technomoral change paradigm will also be addressed.

The following skills will be trained:
  • Reading skills (analytic & interpretative reading)
  • Argumentation skills (reconstructing, assessing and constructing (ethical) arguments)
  • Writing skills (answering short essay questions)
  • Presentation skills (presenting an ethical argument in relation to technology)

Teaching methods
Lectorials. Attendance is obligatory
One mid-term written exam (50% of the course grade).
One final presentation (50% of the grade).
All components (the exam and the presentation) need to be sufficient (5.5 or higher).

Participating study
Master Philosophy of Science, Technology and Soc.
Required materials
Articles, the links to which will be posted on Canvas
Recommended materials
Instructional modes
Presence dutyYes

Written exam & Presentation

Kies de Nederlandse taal