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Ethics and Technology
TU DelftTU EindhovenUniversity of TwenteWageningen University
Ethics and Technology


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Julia Hermann

University of Twente
Department of Philosophy
Assistant professor
Visiting address:
University of Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
The Netherlands


I am a philosopher and political scientist by training and received my PhD in 2011 from the European University Institute in Florence (Department of Political and Social Sciences) with a thesis entitled “Being Moral: Moral Competence and the Limits of Reasonable Doubt”. I held research and teaching positions at the European Intra-University Centre of Human Rights and Democratisation in Venice, Maastricht University, Utrecht University and Eindhoven University of Technology. In the past, I have worked on topics such as moral justification, the later Wittgenstein’s relevance for issues in moral philosophy, moral progress, evolutionary explanations of morality, the role of context in ethics, the ethics of citizen science, and the technological disruption of epistemic certainty. My current research on the ways in which new and emerging technologies, in particular biomedical technologies, affect fundamental concepts is funded by the NWO gravitation programme “The Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies”. I am the vice-chair of the Organisation of Ethicists in the Netherlands (VvEN) and an author of the blog Justice Everywhere.


In the coming years, I will investigate how new and emerging technologies affect fundamental concepts related to the human condition, such as human nature, agency, and responsibility. Relatedly, I will look at how they affect traditional distinctions, such as “natural-unnatural”, “human-animal” and “human-machine”. One of the technologies that I want to take a closer look at is CRISPR-Cas9. I will also be working on the phenomenon of techno-moral change in relation to the artificial womb.

I am currently finishing up research on ethical desiderata for citizen science projects in the healthcare domain. In the context of my research on moral change and progress, I am also finalising a co-authored paper on what the current pandemic can teach us about the climate crisis.

A long-standing research interest of mine is the relevance of the philosophy of the later Wittgenstein for discussions in ethics and metaethics. Recently I have started working on Wittgenstein’s relevance for philosophy and ethics of technology. I am currently working on the phenomena of epistemic and moral disruption, and the technological mediation of certainty.