Call: Ethics of Digital Well-Being: A Multidisciplinary Approach (book chapters)

Call for Papers

Ethics of Digital Well-Being: A Multidisciplinary Approach
(Springer, Philosophical Studies)

Submission deadline: 9th September 2019

This edited collection is designed to explore the new opportunities and risks for human flourishing associated with the widespread adoption of digital technologies in domains such as healthcare, education and employment, media and entertainment, and social development and governance. For example, mobile apps can help us track increasingly fine-grained features of our physical health using advanced data analytics, but can also create an endless source of distraction that may impact negatively our mental health. In the same way, information and communication technologies, including virtual or augmented reality environments, connect us to communities across the globe that speak another language, but paradoxically may distance us from the people sitting right next to us. In each of these instances we observe an ethical choice about how we, as individuals, communities and society, should use the growing collection of digital technologies to protect and promote our digital well-being.

The importance of digital well-being has not gone unnoticed. In recent years, many high-profile organisations have published reports and ethical guidelines for the design and regulation of digital technologies, which place the promotion of human flourishing as a central principle in the design and development of digital technologies (e.g. British Academy and Royal Society, IEEE). However, many of these reports or frameworks recognise the inherent limitation of rigid or static guidelines for dealing with the fast-paced nature of technological development, and, therefore, emphasise the importance of ongoing debate and discussion that integrates contemporary empirical research from the cognitive and social sciences with theoretical research in ethical theory. As such, the present collection will continue and advance these debates and discussions.

This edited collection is part of a research project developed by Dr Christopher Burr and Professor Luciano Floridi, Digital Ethics Lab, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford. It aims at collecting contributions from experts working on digital well-being across disciplines such as philosophy, computer science, behavioural and social sciences, STS, policy-making and design, and many more. The goal is to offer a multidisciplinary collection of essays and commentaries, which will cast a new and more comprehensive lights on the issue of well-being in digital societies.

Submission Guidelines and List of Topics

We seek thoughtful articles (up to 8,000 words) and commentaries (up to 4000 words) that discuss the ethical opportunities and challenges related to some dimensions of digital well-being, including but not limited to:

  • Can personalised health and well-being recommendations be achieved while minimising the collection of sensitive data and ensuring individual privacy? If not, do the benefits outweigh the risks?
  • How does the use of digital technology in the contexts of employment (e.g. automated monitoring and management, digital disruptions to job markets) or education (e.g. gamification of learning) alter an individual’s self-understanding or identity?
  • How can theoretical developments in positive computing help promote social well-being, or do they only apply to individuals?
  • Are ethical guidelines sufficient to ensure our digital footprints are not misused? Or, are stricter legal frameworks required?
  • How should assistive technologies balance the often-contrasting considerations of patient safety and autonomy? How does our understanding of the concept ‘autonomy’ impact these evaluations?
  • In lieu of scientific consensus regarding the impact of social media or smartphones on mental health, how should one evaluate the possible risks of using these technologies (as parents, as a society, or as individuals)?

Satisfactory answers to these questions demand multidisciplinary efforts to adequately deal with their interrelated normative and empirical nature. As such, we encourage submissions that address these topics from a range of disciplinary perspectives.

Papers should be submitted using EasyChair at the following URL:

Timeline for submission:

  • Monday 9th September 2019: Deadline for submission of papers
  • Sunday 22nd September 2019: Notification of decision on accepted papers
  • Friday 18th October 2019: Deadline for submission of revised papers


Papers that are accepted will be published in an open-access book in the Springer Philosophical Studies Series:


For any further information, please send all enquiries to


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