My name is Johnny Hartz Søraker, Assistant Professor at the Department of Philosophy, University of Twente, and I will be your host through these podcasts.
I defended my PhD (cum laude) at the same department, in April 2010, on a dissertation dealing with the epistemology, ontology and ethics of virtual worlds, with a particular focus on their potential impact on personal well-being. I subsequently got the position as assistant professor starting September 2010. Building on a Cand. Mag. (B.A. equiv.) consisting of psychology, philosophy and comparative literature, I did my Cand. Philol. (M.A. equiv.) at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, on issues related to Philosophy of Mind and Artificial Intelligence.
Although I am inspired by all kinds of philosophy, my main research interests lie in the intersections between Information Technology, on the one hand, and both theoretical and practical philosophy, on the other. I often ground my work in psychological research, especially work in the field of Positive Psychology, and I’m working on developing this toward a comprehensive methodology (tentatively entitled ‘Prudential-Empirical Ethics of Technology (PEET)’). I have published and lectured extensively on issues such as the ethical, societal and psychological effects of technology (especially related to the notion of well-being), Internet governance and the moral status of information.
Partly as a way to pay forward the help I’ve received from teachers and mentors over the years, I also put a lot of work and energy into my teaching, ranging from computer ethics to psychology and was fortunate enough to be awarded the University of Twente teacher of the year award in 2012. My love of making philosophy and ethics interesting and relevant to a broad audience was one of the main driving forces behind this podcast.
Linn Hartz Søraker is the researcher for the show. With an interdisciplinary background, a deep understanding of the podcast format and having shaped my ideas and visions for this project, she is the reason I can go into these interviews with at least some confidence and (on occasion) ability to steer the conversations in the best directions.
All the music in these podcasts are culled (and sometimes remixed) from Fastened Bulbous. I am indebted to philosophy colleague Asle Kiran for granting me the rights to do so. Most of their music is available for free from http://www.pop-eye.net/fastened.html.
Last, but certainly not least, this podcast has been made possible by the financial support from the communication department at the Faculty of Behavioral Sciences at the University of Twente — especially thanks to Linda Jonker and Marjolein Lindeman. I’m also indebted to my own department of philosophy for their support and encouragement.