Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies: An Introduction - cover image


Ibo van de Poel

Published On





  • English

Print Length

186 pages (viii+178)


Paperback156 x 13 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.51" x 9.21")
Hardback156 x 16 x 234 mm(6.14" x 0.63" x 9.21")


Paperback361g (12.73oz)
Hardback537g (18.94oz)




  • Dutch Research Council
  • Programme: Gravitation Program of the Dutch Ministry of Education, Culture, and Science
  • Grant: 024.004.031

OCLC Number





  • QDTQ
  • TB
  • PDR


  • HPQ
  • T
  • TB
  • J
  • UBJ


  • PHI005000
  • TEC000000
  • TEC052000


  • BJ59


  • technology
  • society
  • artificial wombs
  • climate engineering
  • social media
  • social robots
  • artificial intelligence

Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies

An Introduction

Technologies shape who we are, how we organize our societies and how we relate to nature. For example, social media challenges democracy; artificial intelligence raises the question of what is unique to humans; and the possibility to create artificial wombs may affect notions of motherhood and birth. Some have suggested that we address global warming by engineering the climate, but how does this impact our responsibility to future generations and our relation to nature?

This book shows how technologies can be socially and conceptually disruptive and investigates how to come to terms with this disruptive potential.

Four technologies are studied: social media, social robots, climate engineering and artificial wombs. The authors highlight the disruptive potential of these technologies, and the new questions this raises. The book also discusses responses to conceptual disruption, like conceptual engineering, the deliberate revision of concepts.


This is a both original and very accessible book. Everyone interested in the philosophical and social aspects of technological change has much to learn from it. I am particularly impressed by the authors’ innovative treatment of the new notion of conceptual disruption.

Sven Ove Hansson

Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden


1: Introduction

(pp. 11–32)
  • Stefan Buijsman
  • Philip Brey
  • Guido Löhr
  • Elena Ziliotti
  • Jeroen Hopster
  • Ibo van de Poel
  • Elena Ziliotti
  • Arthur Gwagwa
  • Patricia D. Reyes Benavides
  • Matthew J. Dennis
  • Sven Nyholm
  • Cindy Friedman
  • Michael T. Dale
  • Anna Puzio
  • Dina Babushkina
  • Guido Löhr
  • Arthur Gwagwa
  • Bart A. Kamphorst
  • Giulia Perugia
  • Wijnand IJsselsteijn
  • Behnam Taebi
  • Dominic Lenzi
  • Kristy Claassen
  • Alessio Gerola
  • Julia Rijssenbeek
  • Lorina Buhr
  • Ben Hofbauer
  • Elisa Paiusco
  • Lily Eva Frank
  • Llona Kavege
  • Anna Puzio
  • Julia Hermann
  • Samuela Marchiori
  • Michael Klenk
  • Guido Löhr
  • Philip Brey
  • Björn Lundgren
  • Jeroen Hopster
  • Kevin Scharp


Ibo van de Poel

Professor in Ethics and Technology at the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Technische Universiteit Delft

Ibo van de Poel is a Professor in Ethics of Technology at TU Delft. His research focuses on values, technology and design and how values, and related concepts, that address ethical issues in technology (can) change over time.

Lily Eva Frank

Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Eindhoven University of Technology

Lily Eva Frank is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at Eindhoven University of Technology where she works on technologies of the body and ways in which they can be ethically and socially disruptive.

Julia Hermann

Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at University of Twente

Julia Hermann is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Ethics at the University of Twente where she works on ectogestative technology,  care robots, technomoral change and progress, and new methodologies in the ethics of technology.

Jeroen Hopster

Assistant Professor of Ethics at Utrecht University

Jeroen Hopster is an Assistant Professor of Ethics at Utrecht University. His research centers on climate ethics and on investigating the nature of socially disruptive technologies.

Dominic Lenzi

Assistant Professor in Environmental Ethics at University of Twente

Dominic Lenzi is an Assistant Professor in Environmental Ethics at the University of Twente. His research focuses on ethics and political philosophy in the Anthropocene, including topics related to climate ethics, planetary boundaries and natural resource justice, and environmental values and valuation.

Sven Nyholm

Professor of the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München

Sven Nyholm is a Professor of the Ethics of Artificial Intelligence at the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. His research explores how new developments in artificial intelligence and robotics are related to traditional topics within moral philosophy, such as moral responsibility, well-being and meaning in life, and our human self-understanding.

Behnam Taebi

Professor of Energy & Climate Ethics at Technische Universiteit Delft

Behnam Taebi is Professor of Energy & Climate Ethics at Delft University of Technology. Taebi is the co-Editor-in-Chief of Science and Engineering Ethics, and co-editor of The Ethics of Nuclear Energy (Cambridge University Press, 2015) and the author of Ethics and Engineering. An Introduction (Cambridge University Press, 2021).

Elena Ziliotti

Assistant Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy at Technische Universiteit Delft

Elena Ziliotti is an Assistant Professor of Ethics and Political Philosophy at TU Delft. Her research focuses on Western democratic theory and Comparative democratic theory, with a particular focus on contemporary Confucian political theory.