TU Berlin

Knowledge Dynamics and Sustainability in the Technological SciencesProfile

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Technologies – whether emerging or entrenched – deeply affect our lives. Artificial intelligence gives rise to fundamental questions about the very nature of what it means to be human and how humans and intelligent systems are to interact with one another. Digital tools transform tried and tested ways of knowledge production and require new modes of verification in order to regain trust in what we learn. Built infrastructures have an impact on work and recreation, mobility and communication that persists over long periods of time. 

We bring philosophical reflection into a close working relationship with disciplines that develop and use new technologies in order to better understand their impact. This cooperation enables us to jointly develop research methods and design approaches in order to recognize unwanted consequences of future technologies and to create developmental pathways that are in line with our societal values.

Profile of the interdisciplinary research group between philosophical reflection and practice of the technical sciences.

As a bridge between philosophy and the technical sciences, our group’s research unites two perspectives on the development and use of technologies. In theoretical philosophy, we investigate the methodology and dynamics of knowledge in design disciplines (such as architecture, engineering or computer science). As technical sciences, they generate and verify knowledge through the production and use of artifacts. The combination of theoretical reflection and empirical case studies allows us to gain insight into the epistemology of design practice and its tools. This processual epistemology contributes to a better understanding of the dynamics of knowledge, which are subject to significant transformational pressure due to digitalization.

In practical philosophy, our group combines expertise in ethics of technology with methods of technology assessment. In the development of new technologies, visions and values become important contributors. Embodied in artefacts, the affordances and constraints of the design shape its future use. Our research explores the complex connections between visions, values, design and artefacts in order to reflect upon and evaluate their effects on our world from an ethical perspective. We develop and work with methods of technology assessment that bring together actors from scientific research, the arts and civil society in order to pave the way for the sustainable and responsible design of future technologies.




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