Michael Klenk

Michael Klenk
Delft University of Technology | TU · Department of Values and Technology

Doctor of Philosophy

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40
Publications
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152
Citations

Publications

Publications (40)
Article
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In the last few decades, several philosophers have written on the topic of moral revolutions, distinguishing them from other kinds of society-level moral change. This article surveys recent accounts of moral revolutions in moral philosophy. Different authors use quite different criteria to pick out moral revolutions. Features treated as relevant in...
Article
Moral disagreement is often thought to be of great metaethical significance for moral realists. I explore what remains of that significance when we look at moral disagreement through the lens of a combination of two influential and independently plausible hypotheses about moral language. The Morality-As-Cooperation (MAC) hypothesis says that our ca...
Article
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Digital tracing technologies are heralded as an effective way of containing SARS-CoV-2 faster than it is spreading, thereby allowing the possibility of easing draconic measures of population-wide quarantine. But existing technological proposals risk addressing the wrong problem. The proper objective is not solely to maximise the ratio of people fre...
Article
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Moral luck occurs when factors beyond an agent’s control affect her blameworthiness. Several scholars deny the existence of moral luck by distinguishing judging blameworthy from blame-related practices. Luck does not affect an agent’s blameworthiness because morality is conceptually fair, but it can affect the appropriate degree of blame for that a...
Article
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We propose a fundamental challenge to the feasibility of moral progress: most extant theories of progress, we will argue, assume an unrealistic level of cognitive control people must have over their moral judgments for moral progress to occur. Moral progress depends at least in part on the possibility of individual people improving their moral cogn...
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According to some philosophers of technology, technology embodies moral values in virtue of its functional properties and the intentions of its designers. But this paper shows that such an account makes the values supposedly embedded in technology epistemically opaque and that it does not allow for values to change. Therefore, to overcome these sho...
Article
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The standard way to test alternative descriptive theories of moral judgment is by asking subjects to evaluate (amongst others) sacrificial dilemmas, where acting classifies as a utilitarian moral judgment and not acting classifies as a deontological moral judgment. Previous research uncovered many situational factors that alter subject’s moral judg...
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Pandemics like COVID-19 confront us with decisions about life and death that come with great uncertainty, factual as well as moral. How should policy makers deal with such uncertainty? We suggest that rather than to deliberate until they have found the right course of action, they better do moral experiments that generate relevant experiences to en...
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I stipulate that an academic discipline is societally relevant insofar as it helps to resolve a society's real problems. What makes such a view correct depends on meta-normative views. I show how one's meta-normative view significantly determines the likelihood that disciplinary philosophy is of societal relevance. On normative non-naturalism, norm...
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Ever-increasing numbers of human interactions with intelligent software agents, online and offline, and their increasing ability to influence humans have prompted a surge in attention toward the concept of (online) manipulation. Several scholars have argued that manipulative influence is always hidden. But manipulation is sometimes overt, and when...
Article
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What is the significance of empirical moral psychology for metaethics? In this article we take up Michael Ruse’s evolutionary debunking argument against moral realism and reassess it in the context of the empirical state of the art. Ruse’s argument depends on the phenomenological presumption that people generally experience morality as objective. W...
Chapter
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Social media use is soaring globally. Existing research of its ethical implications predominantly focuses on the relationships amongst human users online, and their effects. The nature of the software-to-human relationship and its impact on digital well-being, however, has not been sufficiently addressed yet. This paper aims to close the gap. I arg...
Chapter
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A prominent view in contemporary philosophy of technology suggests that more technology implies more possibilities and, therefore, more responsibilities. Consequently, the question 'What technology?' is discussed primarily on the backdrop of assessing, assigning, and avoiding technology-borne culpability. The view is reminiscent of the Olympian god...
Article
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Empirical moral psychology is sometimes dismissed as normatively insignificant because it plays no decisive role in settling ethical disputes. But that conclusion, even if it is valid for normative ethics, does not extend to bioethics. First, in contrast to normative ethics, bioethics can legitimately proceed from a presupposed moral framework. Wit...
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Several moral objectivists try to explain the reliability of moral beliefs by appealing to a third factor, a substantive moral claim that explains, first, why we have the moral beliefs that we have and, second, why these beliefs are true. Folke Tersman has recently suggested that moral disagreement constrains the epistemic legitimacy of third-facto...
Preprint
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Most epistemologists maintain that we are rationally required to believe what our evidence supports. Generally speaking, any factor that makes it more probable that a given state of affairs obtains (or does not obtain) is evidence (for that state of affairs). In line with this view, many metaethicists believe that we are rationally required to beli...
Article
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Moral philosophy continues to be enriched by an ongoing empirical turn, mainly through contributions from neuroscience, biology, and psychology. Thus far, cultural anthropology has largely been missing. A recent and rapidly growing ‘ethical turn’ within cultural anthropology now explicitly and systematically studies morality. This research report a...
Article
Hanno Sauer, Debunking Arguments in Ethics (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2018), pp. xi + 244. - Michael Klenk
Article
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I make a case for distinguishing clearly between subjective and objective accounts of undercutting defeat and for rejecting a hybrid view that takes both subjective and objective elements to be relevant for whether or not a belief is defeated. Moderate subjectivists claim that taking a belief to be defeated is sufficient for the belief to be defeat...
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Several philosophers have recently argued that evolutionary considerations undermine the justification of all objectivist moral beliefs by implying a hypothetical disagreement: had our evolutionary history been different, our moral beliefs would conflict with the moral beliefs of our counterfactual selves. This paper aims at showing that evolutiona...
Article
I address Andrew Moon's recent discussion (2016, this journal) of the question whether third-factor accounts are valid responses to debunking arguments against moral realism. Moon argues that third-factor responses are valid under certain conditions but leaves open whether moral realists can use his interpretation of the third-factor response to de...
Article
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Evolutionary debunking arguments (EDAs) purport to show that robust moral realism, the metaethical view that there are non-natural and mind-independent moral properties and facts that we can know about, is incompatible with evolutionary explanations of morality. One of the most prominent evolutionary debunking arguments is advanced by Sharon Street...
Article
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Richard JOYCE. Essays in Moral Skepticism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016. 288 pp. " Essays on Moral Scepticism " is a collection of twelve essays by Richard Joyce, a leading contemporary proponent of moral scepticism. With one exception, all essays have been published elsewhere already and, in case you are wondering, Richard Joyce is still...

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