Philosophical Disquisitions

Philosophical Disquisitions

philosophicaldisquisitions.blogspot.com/search/label/Podcast
Interviews with experts about the philosophy of the future.


84 - Social Media, COVID-19 and Value Change
Oct 20
Do our values change over time? What role do emotions and technology play in altering our values? In this episode I talk to Steffen Steinert (PhD) about these issues. Steffen is a postdoctoral researcher on the Value Change project at TU Delft. His…
83 - Privacy is Power
Oct 10
Are you being watched, tracked and traced every minute of the day? Probably. The digital world thrives on surveillance. What should we do about this? My guest today is Carissa Véliz. Carissa is an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Philosophy and the…
82 - What should we do about facial recognition technology?
Sep 23
Facial recognition technology has seen its fair share of both media and popular attention in the past 12 months. The runs the gamut from controversial uses by governments and police forces, to coordinated campaigns to ban or limit its use. What should we…
81 - Consumer Credit, Big Tech and AI Crime
Sep 22
In today’s episode, I talk to Nikita Aggarwal about the legal and regulatory aspects of AI and algorithmic governance. We focus, in particular, on three topics: (i) algorithmic credit scoring; (ii) the problem of ‘too big to fail’ tech platforms and (iii)…
80 - Bias, Algorithms and Criminal Justice
Aug 13
Lots of algorithmic tools are now used to support decision-making in the criminal justice system. Many of them are criticised for being biased. What should be done about this? In this episode, I talk to Chelsea Barabas about this very question. Chelsea is…
79 - Is There A Techno-Responsibility Gap?
Aug 5
What happens if an autonomous machine does something wrong? Who, if anyone, should be held responsible for the machine’s actions? That’s the topic I discuss in this episode with Daniel Tigard. Daniel Tigard is a Senior Research Associate in the Institute…
78 - Humans and Robots: Ethics, Agency and Anthropomorphism
Jul 27
Are robots like humans? Are they agents? Can we have relationships with them? These are just some of the questions I explore with today’s guest, Sven Nyholm. Sven is an assistant professor of philosophy at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. His…
77 - Should AI be Explainable?
Jul 20
If an AI system makes a decision, should its reasons for making that decision be explainable to you? In this episode, I chat to Scott Robbins about this issue. Scott is currently completing his PhD in the ethics of artificial intelligence at the Technical…
76 - Surveillance, Privacy and COVID-19
Apr 18
How do we get back to normal after the COVID-19 pandemic? One suggestion is that we use increased amounts of surveillance and tracking to identify and isolate infected and at-risk persons. While this might be a valid public health strategy it does raise…
75 - The Vital Ethical Contexts of Coronavirus
Apr 15
There is a lot of data and reporting out there about the COVID 19 pandemic. How should we make sense of that data? Do the media narratives misrepresent or mislead us as to the true risks associated with the disease? Have governments mishandled the…
74 - How to Understand COVID 19
Apr 10
I’m still thinking a lot about the COVID-19 pandemic. In this episode I turn away from some of the ‘classical’ ethical questions about the disease and talk more about how to understand it and form reasonable beliefs about the public health information…
73 - The Ethics of Healthcare Prioritisation during COVID 19
Apr 3
We have a limited number of ventilators. Who should get access to them? In this episode I talk to Lars Sandman. Lars is a Professor of Healthcare Ethics at Linköping University, Sweden. Lars’s research involves studying ethical aspects of distributing…
72 - Grief in the Time of a Pandemic
Mar 30
Lots of people are dying right now. But people die all the time. How should we respond to all this death? In this episode I talk to Michael Cholbi about the philosophy of grief. Michael Cholbi is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh. He…
71 - COVID 19 and the Ethics of Infectious Disease Control
Mar 26
As nearly half the world’s population is now under some form of quarantine or lockdown, it seems like an apt time to consider the ethics of infectious disease control measures of this sort. In this episode, I chat to Jonathan Pugh and Tom Douglas, both of…
70 - Ethics in the time of Corona
Mar 18
Like almost everyone else, I have been obsessing over the novel coronavirus pandemic for the past few months. Given the dramatic escalation in the pandemic in the past week, and the tricky ethical questions it raises for everyone, I thought it was about…
69 - Wood on Sustainable Superabundance
Feb 24
In this episode I talk to David Wood. David is currently the chair of the London Futurists group and a full-time futurist speaker, analyst, commentator, and writer. He studied the philosophy of science at Cambridge University. He has a background in…
68- Earp on the Ethics of Love Drugs
Feb 6
In this episode I talk (again) to Brian Earp. Brian is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy at Yale University and The Hastings Center, and a Research Fellow in the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the…
Mass Surveillance, Artificial Intelligence and New Legal Challenges
Dec 27, 2019
[This is the text of a talk I gave to the Irish Law Reform Commission Annual Conference in Dublin on the 13th of November 2018. You can listen to an audio version of this lecture here or using the embedded player above.] In the mid-19th century, a set of…
67 - Rini on Deepfakes and the Epistemic Backstop
Dec 17, 2019
In this episode I talk to Dr Regina Rini. Dr Rini currently teaches in the Philosophy Department at York University, Toronto where she holds the Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Moral and Social Cognition. She has a PhD from NYU and before coming to…
66 - Wong on Confucianism, Robots and Moral Deskilling
Dec 6, 2019
In this episode I talk to Dr Pak-Hang Wong. Pak is a philosopher of technology and works on ethical and political issues of emerging technologies. He is currently a research associate at the Universitat Hamburg. He received his PhD in Philosophy from the…
65 - Vold on How We Can Extend Our Minds With AI
Nov 22, 2019
In this episode I talk to Dr Karina Vold. Karina is a philosopher of mind, cognition, and artificial intelligence. She works on the ethical and societal impacts of emerging technologies and their effects on human cognition. Dr Vold is currently a…
Escaping Skinner’s Box: AI and the New Era of Techno-Superstition
Nov 16, 2019
[The following is the text of a talk I delivered at the World Summit AI on the 10th October 2019. The talk is essentially a nugget taken from my new book Automation and Utopia. It’s not an excerpt per se, but does look at one of the key arguments I make…
Assessing the Moral Status of Robots: A Shorter Defence of Ethical Behaviourism
Oct 27, 2019
[This is the text of a lecture that I delivered at Tilburg University on the 24th of September 2019. It was delivered as part of the 25th Anniversary celebrations for TILT (Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology and Society). My friend and colleague Sven…
#64 - Munthe on the Precautionary Principle and Existential Risk
Sep 19, 2019
In this episode I talk to Christian Munthe. Christian is a Professor of Practical Philosophy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. He conducts research and expert consultation on ethics, value and policy issues arising in the intersection of health,…
#63 - Reagle on the Ethics of Life Hacking
Aug 28, 2019
In this episode I talk to Joseph Reagle. Joseph is an Associate Professor of Communication Studies at Northeastern University and a former fellow (in 1998 and 2010) and faculty associate at the Berkman Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. He…
#62 - Häggström on AI Motivations and Risk Denialism
Jul 3, 2019
In this episode I talk to Olle Häggström. Olle is a professor of mathematical statistics at Chalmers University of Technology and a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences (KVA) and of the Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA).…
#61 - Yampolskiy on Machine Consciousness and AI Welfare
Jun 20, 2019
In this episode I talk to Roman Yampolskiy. Roman is a Tenured Associate Professor in the department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science at the Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville. He is the founding and current director of the…
Epicureanism and the Problem of Premature Death (Audio Essay)
Jun 2, 2019
This audio essay looks at the Epicurean philosophy of death, focusing specifically on how they addressed the problem of premature death. The Epicureans believe that premature death is not a tragedy, provided it occurs after a person has attained the right…
#60 - Véliz on How to Improve Online Speech with Pseudonymity
May 20, 2019
In this episode I talk to Carissa Véliz. Carissa is a Research Fellow at the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and the Wellcome Centre for Ethics and Humanities at the University of Oxford. She works on digital ethics, practical ethics more generally,…
#59 - Torres on Existential Risk, Omnicidal Agents and Superintelligence
May 9, 2019
In this episode I talk to Phil Torres. Phil is an author and researcher who primarily focuses on existential risk. He is currently a visiting researcher at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk at Cambridge University. He has published widely on…
#58 - Neely on Augmented Reality, Ethics and Property Rights
Apr 26, 2019
In this episode I talk to Erica Neely. Erica is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at Ohio Northern University specializing in philosophy of technology and computer ethics. Her work focuses is on the ethical ramifications of emerging technologies. She…
Understanding Hume on Miracles (Audio Essay)
Apr 20, 2019
This audio essay is an Easter special. It focuses on David Hume’s famous argument about miracles. First written over 250 years, Hume’s essay ‘Of Miracles’ purports to provide an “everlasting check” against all kinds of “superstitious delusion”. But is…
#57 - Sorgner on Nietzschean Transhumanism
Apr 10, 2019
In this episode I talk Stefan Lorenz Sorgner. Stefan teaches philosophy at John Cabot University in Rome. He is director and co-founder of the Beyond Humanism Network, Fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), Research Fellow at…
#56 - Turner on Rules for Robots
Mar 30, 2019
In this episode I talk to Jacob Turner. Jacob is a barrister and author. We chat about his new book, Robot Rules: Regulating Artificial Intelligence (Palgrave Macmillan, 2018), which discusses how to address legal responsibility, rights and ethics for AI.…
The Optimist’s Guide to Schopenhauer’s Pessimism (Audio Essay)
Mar 20, 2019
Schopenhauer was a profoundly pessimistic man. He argued that all life was suffering. Was he right or is there room for optimism? This audio essay tries to answer that question. It is based on an earlier written essay. You can listen below or download…
#55 - Baum on the Long-Term Future of Human Civilisation
Mar 14, 2019
In this episode I talk to Seth Baum. Seth is an interdisciplinary researcher working across a wide range of fields in natural and social science, engineering, philosophy, and policy. His primary research focus is global catastrophic risk. He also works in…
The Moral Problem of Accelerating Change (Audio Essay)
Mar 7, 2019
(Subscribe here) This is an experiment. For a number of years, people have been asking me to provide audio versions of the essays that I post on the blog. I’ve been reluctant to do this up until now, but I have recently become a fan of the audio format…
Episode #54 - Sebo on the Moral Problem of Other Minds
Feb 28, 2019
In this episode I talk to Jeff Sebo. Jeff is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Affiliated Professor of Bioethics, Medical Ethics, and Philosophy, and Director of the Animal Studies M.A. Program at New York University. Jeff’s…
Episode #53 - Christin on How Algorithms Actually Impact Workers
Feb 18, 2019
In this episode I talk to Angèle Christin. Angèle is an assistant professor in the Department of Communication at Stanford University, where she is also affiliated with the Sociology Department and Program in Science, Technology, and Society. Her research…
Episode #52 - Devlin on Sex Robots and Moral Panics
Jan 30, 2019
In this episode I talk to Kate Devlin. Kate is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Digital Humanities at King’s College London. Kate’s research is in the fields of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) and Artificial Intelligence (AI), investigating how…
Episode #51 - Moen on the Unabomber’s Ethics
Jan 15, 2019
In this episode I talk to Ole Martin Moen. Ole Martin is a Research Fellow in Philosophy at the University of Oslo. He works on how to think straight about thorny issues in applied ethics. He is the Principal Investigator of “What should not be bought and…
Episode #50 - Loi on Facebook, Justice and Data as the New Oil
Dec 24, 2018
In this episode I talk to Michele Loi. Michele is a political philosopher turned bioethicist turned digital ethicist. He is currently (2017-2020) working on two interdisciplinary projects, one of which is about the ethical implications of big data at the…
Episode #46 - Minerva on the Ethics of Cryonics
Dec 23, 2018
In this episode I talk to Francesca Minerva. Francesca is a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Ghent. Her research focuses on applied philosophy, specifically lookism, conscientious objection, abortion, academic freedom, and cryonics. She has…
Episode #49 - Maas on AI and the Future of International Law
Dec 3, 2018
In this episode I talk to Matthijs Maas. Matthijs is a doctoral researcher at the University of Copenhagen’s ‘AI and Legal Disruption’ research unit, and a research affiliate with the Governance of AI Program at Oxford University’s Future of Humanity…
Episode #48 - Gunkel on Robot Rights
Nov 1, 2018
In this episode I talk to David Gunkel. David is a repeat guest, having first appeared on the show in Episode 10. David a Professor of Communication Studies at Northern Illinois University. He is a leading scholar in the philosophy of technology, having…
Episode #47 - Eubanks on Automating Inequality
Oct 20, 2018
In this episode I talk to Virginia Eubanks. Virginia is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University at Albany, SUNY. She is the author of several books, including Automating Inequality: How High-Tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the…
Episode #45 - Vallor on Virtue Ethics and Technology
Sep 18, 2018
In this episode I talk to Shannon Vallor. Shannon is the Regis and Diane McKenna Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Santa Clara University, where her research addresses the ethical implications of emerging science and technology, especially AI,…
Episode #44 - Fleischman on Evolutionary Psychology and Sex Robots
Aug 29, 2018
In this episode I chat to Diana Fleischman. Diana is a senior lecturer in evolutionary psychology at the University of Portsmouth. Her research focuses on hormonal influences on behavior, human sexuality, disgust and, recently, the interface of…
Episode #43 - Elder on Friendship, Robots and Social Media
Aug 8, 2018
In this episode I talk to Alexis Elder. Alexis is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Her research focuses on ethics, emerging technologies, social philosophy, metaphysics (especially social ontology), and…
Episode #42 - Earp on Psychedelics and Moral Enhancement
Jul 26, 2018
In this episode I talk to Brian Earp. Brian is Associate Director of the Yale-Hastings Program in Ethics and Health Policy at Yale University and The Hastings Center, and a Research Fellow in the Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics at the University of…
Episode #41 - Binns on Fairness in Algorithmic Decision-Making
Jul 12, 2018
In this episode I talk to Reuben Binns. Reuben is a post-doctoral researcher at the Department of Computer Science in Oxford University. His research focuses on both the technical, ethical and legal aspects of privacy, machine learning and algorithmic…
Episode #40: Nyholm on Accident Algorithms and the Ethics of Self-Driving Cars
Jun 29, 2018
In this episode I talk to Sven Nyholm about self-driving cars. Sven is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy at TU Eindhoven with an interest in moral philosophy and the ethics of technology. Recently, Sven has been working on the ethics of self-driving…
Episode #39 - Re-engineering Humanity with Frischmann and Selinger
Jun 4, 2018
In this episode I talk to Brett Frischmann and Evan Selinger about their book Re-engineering Humanity (Cambridge University Press, 2018). Brett and Evan are both former guests on the podcast. Brett is a Professor of Law, Business and Economics at…
Episode #38 - Schwartz on the Ethics of Space Exploration
Mar 27, 2018
In this episode I talk to Dr James Schwartz. James teaches philosophy at Wichita State University. His primary area of research is philosophy and ethics of space exploration, where he defends a position according to which space exploration derives its…
Episode #37 - Yorke on the Philosophy of Utopianism
Mar 3, 2018
In this episode I talk to Christopher Yorke. Christopher is a PhD candidate at The Open University. He specialises in the philosophical study of utopianism and is currently completing a dissertation titled ‘Bernard Suits’ Utopia of Gameplay: A Critical…
Episode #36 - Wachter on Algorithms, Explanations, and the GDPR
Jan 27, 2018
In this episode I talk to Sandra Wachter about the right to explanation for algorithmic decision-making under the GDPR. Sandra is a lawyer and Research Fellow in Data Ethics and Algorithms at the Oxford Internet Institute. She is also a Research Fellow at…
Episode #35 - Brundage on the Case for Conditional Optimism about AI
Jan 15, 2018
In this episode I talk to Miles Brundage. Miles is a Research Fellow at the University of Oxford’s Future of Humanity Institute and a PhD candidate in Human and Social Dimensions of Science and Technology at Arizona State University. He is also affiliated…
Episode #34 - Lin on the Rise of Cyborg Finance
Jan 4, 2018
In this episode I talk to Tom Lin. Tom is a Professor of Law at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law. His research and teaching expertise are in the areas of corporations, securities regulation, financial technology, financial regulation, and…
Episode #33: McArthur and Danaher on Robot Sex
Dec 11, 2017
In this episode I talk to Neil McArthur about a book that he and I recently co-edited entitled Robot Sex: Social and Ethical Implications (MIT Press, 2017). Neil is a Professor of Philosophy at the University of Manitoba where he also directs the Center…
Episode #32 - Carter and Palermos on Extended Cognition and Extended Assault
Nov 23, 2017
In this episode I talk to Adam Carter and Orestis Palermos. Adam is a Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Glasgow. His primary research interests lie in the area of epistemology, but he has increasingly explored connections between epistemology…