Panel: Making a ‘practical turn’ in the philosophy of technology

Steven Dorrestijn, Wouter Eggink, Marijke Timmermans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

34 Downloads (Pure)


This panel contributes to making the so-called practical turn in the philosophy of technology. We coined this term for the mutual and constructive collaboration between philosophy of technology and design research. We see the practical turn as a variant and extension of the ‘empirical turn’ in the philosophy of technology. After the turn from abstract thinking on the essence of technology toward more empirical case studies about concrete technologies, the question we focus on is how philosophical reflection can become ‘practical’ by collaboration with design. Our practical turn compares to Constructive Technology Assessment, but our focus qua ‘assessment’ is on the philosophical side and qua ‘constructiveness’ it is on the design and engineering side of innovation. Interestingly there is also a counter-movement in philosophy of technology from ‘too much concreteness’ back to fundamental ethical evaluation. Our attempt is to be at the same time more practical as well as more philosophical.
The panel brings together four research projects ‘practicing’ the practical turn. Together they explore the question of “how ethical-philosophical reflection about technology can be feedback to technology development” … and vice-versa, “how design practice can include and enrich philosophical reflection”.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPHTR conference 2020 - Abstracts
EditorsPeter-Paul Verbeek, Michelle de Boer, Ellemijke Donner, Bas de Boer, Sage Cammers Goodwin, Jelle van Dijk, Margoth González Woge, John Walker, Jochem Zwier
Place of PublicationEnschede
PublisherUniversity of Twente
Publication statusPublished - 5 Nov 2020
Event2nd Philosophy of Human Technology Relations Conference, PHTR 2020 - Online Conference, Enschede, Netherlands
Duration: 5 Nov 20207 Nov 2020
Conference number: 2


Conference2nd Philosophy of Human Technology Relations Conference, PHTR 2020
Abbreviated titlePHTR 2020
Internet address


  • Practical turn
  • Philosophy through design
  • Design for values
  • Responsible design
  • Ethics of technology
  • Construction management


Dive into the research topics of 'Panel: Making a ‘practical turn’ in the philosophy of technology'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this