Call: Symposium on mediating morality: Using unmanned aerial systems for decision making in moral situations

Announcement / Call for registration

Symposium on mediating morality: Using unmanned aerial systems for decision making in moral situations.

Tuesday 21 January 2014, Eindhoven University of Technology

Time:  10:00 – 17:00
Location:  TU/e campus, Traverse building, Dorgelo Room (1.52)

Following the increasing civil and military deployment of unmanned aerial vehicles, an intense public debate on the positive and negative effects of drones has emerged. The ECIS symposium “Mediating morality: Using unmanned aerial systems for decision making in moral situations” focuses on how the use of drones affects decision-making in moral situations. Current research in moral philosophy and moral psychology provides no clear answers regarding the effects that drones have on moral decision making. The aim of the workshop is to bring together stakeholders and researchers in the field of technology, philosophy and psychology to discuss the consequences of using drones. The goal of the symposium is to share insights from theory and practice on technological mediation in moral situations and combine insights from these diverse disciplines to guide future interdisciplinary work.


10:00 – 10:30  Registration with coffee

10:30 – 10:40  Welcome – ECIS Synergy Program:
Dr. Bart van Bezooijen ♦ Eindhoven University of Technology, Philosophy & Ethics, TU/e

10:40 – 10:50  Overview of the symposium
Gen. Maj. (ret.) Kees Homan ♦ Clingendael – Netherlands Institute of International Relations

10:50 – 11:50  Keynote speech – Killing in the name: Stopping autonomous warfare
Prof. dr. Noel Sharkey ♦ University of Sheffield

11:50 – 12:25  Bounding the debate on drones: The paradox of postmodern warfare
Commodore prof. dr. Frans Osinga ♦ Netherlands Defence Academy

12:25 – 13:10  Lunch

13:10 – 13:45  Autonomous killing machines? Lessons from machine ethics
Dr. Mark Coeckelbergh ♦ University of Twente, 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology

13:45 – 14:20  A moral approach to armed uninhabited vehicles: Preventive arms control
Dr. Jürgen Altman ♦ Technische Universtität Dortmund

14:20 – 14:35  Coffee break

14:35 – 15:10  The ethical boundary agent and the moral implicaties on autonomy and distance
Dr. Tjerk de Greef ♦ Delft University of Technology, University of Oxford

15:10 – 15:45  Death at a distance: Unpacking the psychological effects of drone warfare
Prof. dr. Wijnand IJsselstein ♦ TU/e School of Innovation Sciences

15:45 – 16:20  Forum discussion
Discussion leader: Gen. Maj. (ret.) Kees Homan

16:20 – 17:00  Reception and drinks

Participation in the symposium is free, but registration is required. You can register for the program by emailing Rianne Schaaf ( Please register no later than 10 January. For more information about the program, please contact Bart van Bezooijen ( Lunch will be provided by the organisation. For more information about the program, please refer to the website: The directions to the TU/e can be found via the link:

This symposium is generously sponsored by the Eindhoven Centre for Innovation Studies (ECIS) and the NWO program ‘Socially Responsible Innovation’ (SRI grant no. 313-99-110).


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