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The Ethics of Influence

Date/deadline: Sunday, 16 June 2024

The Dutch Research School of Philosophy (OZSW) and TU Delft  invite PhD candidates in philosophy to register for the Summer School The Ethics of Influence to take place on July 22– 26, 2024.

Organizing university

TU Delft

Date(s)

22-26 July 2024

Location

Delft

Type of activity

5 day summer school

Primary target group

PhD Candidates

If places available, also open to

1st / 2nd year Research Master students. Interested students in participating, please send an email to assistant.director@ozsw.nl to be put on a waiting list. You will be notified asap if you can register and join the course.

Application/registration deadline

Registration open: 15 March 2024
Application deadline: 16 June 2024

About the topic

Is the use of manipulative tactics ethically acceptable in influencing people, perhaps to help them improve their lifestyles or adopt more sustainable behaviour? How do we demarcate manipulative influence from other types of social influence like persuasion and coercion? To what extent do new technological developments affect the answers to those questions? Questions revolving around the ethics of influence are gaining prominence in contemporary academic, regulatory, and public discourse. The increased awareness of the ethical implications of manipulation in areas such as AI-driven mass influence (think of generative AI, deepfakes, and social bots), behaviour change technologies in fields such as health, and political communication has prompted renewed interest in these questions. This summer school is dedicated to examining these questions from the standpoint of moral and political philosophy, particularly focusing on the ethics of influence. Participants will explore how various ethical frameworks can be applied to demarcate manipulation from other types of social influence and assess its ethical dimensions within key contexts, including AI and health. Additionally, the program aims to foster interdisciplinary collaboration, bringing together insights from the behavioural science and technology with philosophical reflection.

Aim / objective

  • To gain a deeper understanding of different types of social influence, such as manipulation, coercion, persuasion, and deception, and their ethical ramifications
  • To learn to apply current normative ethical theories to analyse and evaluate behavioural change techniques
  • To reflect on how philosophers, social scientists, empirical researchers, and technologists can fruitfully work together on developing better interventions.
  • To learn how to present your research in pitches and in writing.
  • To meet other PhDs and experts in the field of ethics of influence.

Program

(subject to revision)

Day 1, Monday July 22

  • 12:00-12:30 Arrival and registration
  • 12:30-14:00 Lunch and welcome
  • 14:00-16:00 Student presentations: Brief introduction of dissertation topic
  • 16:00-16:30 Coffee/tea & sweets
  • 16:30-18:00 Lecture 1 introducing the science and technology of behaviour change from an empirical perspective – Helma Torkamaan
  • 18:00 Closing and outlook

Day 2, Tuesday July 23

  • 09:00-10:30 Lecture 2 – Robert Noggle
  • 10:30-11:00 Coffee/tea
  • 11:00-12:30 Lecture 3 – Michael Klenk
  • 12:30-14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00-15:30 Lecture 4 – Thomas Douglas
  • 15:30-16:00 Coffee/tea
  • 16:00-18:00 One-on-one meetings of participants with lecturers
  • 18:00-19:30 Dinner (optional, own expense)

Day 3, Wednesday July 24

  • 09:00-10:30 Lecture 5 – Marcia Baron
  • 10:30-11:00 Coffee/tea
  • 11:00-12:30 Lecture 6 – Shlomo Cohen
  • 12:30-14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00-15:30 Lecture 7 – Beate Rössler
  • 15:30-16:00 Coffee/tea
  • 16:00-18:00 One-on-one meetings of participants with lecturers
  • 18:00-20:00 Summer school dinner (included in conference registration)

Day 4, Thursday July 25

  • 09:00-10:30 Lecture 8 – Bart Engelen & Thomas Nys
  • 10:30-11:00 Coffee/tea
  • 11:00-12:30 Lecture 9 – Kalle Grill
  • 12:30-14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00-15:30 Lecture 10 – Juan Pablo Bermudez
  • 15:30-16:00 Coffee/tea
  • 16:00-18:00 One-on-one meetings of participants with lecturers
  • 18:00-19:30 Dinner (optional, own expense)Day 4

Day 5 Friday July 26

  • 09:00-10:30 Student presentations of new research plan or topic
  • 10:30-11:00 Coffee/tea
  • 11:00-12:30 Student presentations of new research plan or topic
  • 12:30-14:00 Lunch
  • 14:00-15:30 Student presentations of new research plan or topic
  • 15:30-16:30 Closing and Drinks

Lecturers

  1. Robert Noggle (University of Central Michigan)
  2. Marcia Baron (Indiana)
  3. Michael Klenk (TU Delft)
  4. Thomas Douglas (Oxford University)
  5. Juan Pablo Bermudez (TU Delft)
  6. Kalle Grill (Umea University)
  7. Shlomo Cohen (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev)
  8. Bart Engelen (Tilburg University) & Thomas Nys (University of Amsterdam)
  9. Beate Rössler (University of Amsterdam)
  10. Helma Torkamaan (TU Delft)

Required preparations

  1. Read the assigned materials (will be made available before the workshop).
  2. Present a brief pitch of your current research project on day 1.

Certificate / credit points

The study load for this activity is: 5 ECTS.

Costs

For PhD candidates who are a member of the OZSW and/or another Research School in the Humanities and/or 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology, the participant fee is 250 euros.

For all others the participant fee is 300 euros.

How to apply / register

PhD Candidates can submit a brief motivation (of 300 words max.) and send it to assistant.director@ozsw.nl with email subject line ‘Summer School’. Please also indicate whether you are a member of the OZSW and/or another Research School in Humanities and/or 4TU Center for Ethics and Technology.

Applying for the event does not automatically mean acceptance to the summer school. Applications are collected, and one week after the application deadline, everyone will be informed on whether or not they have been selected.

ReMa students and Postdocs can e-mail assistant.director@ozsw.nl to be added to the waiting list.

Registration/application form

If registration has been closed because the maximum amount of participants has been reached, you can submit your name to the waiting list by sending an email to assistant.director@ozsw.nl. Please also indicate whether you are a ReMa student or PhD candidate and whether you are a member of the OZSW or not.

Cancellation and registration policy

https://www.ozsw.nl/policies-and-guidelines/

Contact info

Michael Klenk, Assistant Professor of Ethics and Philosophy of Technology, TU Delft, m.b.o.t.klenk@tudelft.nl