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Michael Klenk
Delft University of Technology
  1. Digital Well-Being and Manipulation Online.Michael Klenk - forthcoming - In Christopher Burr & Luciano Floridi (eds.), Ethics of Digital Well-being: A Multidisciplinary Approach. Springer.
    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 argue that some intelligent software agents, such as newsfeed curator algorithms in social media, manipulate human users because they do not intend their means of influence to reveal the user’s (...)
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  2. Moral Philosophy and the ‘Ethical Turn’ in Anthropology.Michael Klenk - 2019 - Zeitschrift Für Ethik Und Moralphilosophie (2):1-23.
    Moral philosophy continues to be enriched by an ongoing empirical turn,mainly through contributions from neuroscience, biology, and psychology. Thusfar, cultural anthropology has largely been missing. A recent and rapidly growing‘ethical turn’ within cultural anthropologynow explicitly and systematically studiesmorality. This research report aims to introduce to an audience in moral philosophyseveral notable works within the ethical turn. It does so by critically discussing theethical turn’s contributions to four topics: the definition of morality, the nature ofmoral change and progress, the truth of (...)
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  3. Evolutionary Ethics.Michael Klenk - 2019 - Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics.
    This chapter first introduces naturalistic approaches to ethics more generally and distinguishes methodological ethical naturalism (the focus of this chapter), from metaphysical ethical naturalism. The second part then discusses evolutionary ethics as a specific variant of methodological ethical naturalism. After introducing the concepts of evolutionary theory that are relevant for evolutionary ethics, I will sketch the history of evolutionary ethics, which offers an interesting lesson about why it became a controversial topic, and then focus on four central questions about ethics (...)
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  4.  31
    Omnivores and Synthesisers: Academic Philosophers as Interdisciplinary Specialists.Michael Klenk - 2020 - In Julia Simone Hermann, Jeroen Hopster, Wouter Kalf & Michael Klenk (eds.), Philosophy in the Age of Science? Inquiries Into Philosophical Progress, Method, and Societal Relevance. Fordham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield. pp. 173-194.
    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, normative naturalism, and normative scepticism, the societal relevance of philosophy is in doubt. I then argue that philosophers should aim for two remedies. They should be what I call omnivores and 'synthesisers, (...)
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  5.  28
    Prometheus' Legacy: Responsibility and Technology.Michael Klenk & Martin Sand - 2020 - In Birgit Recki (ed.), Welche Technik? Dresden: Text & Dialog. pp. 23-40.
    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 gods’ vengeful and harsh reaction to Prometheus’ play with fire. However, the Olympian view leaves unexplained how technologies increase possibilities. Also, if Olympians are right, endorsing their view will at some point demand putting a halt to (...)
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  6.  25
    Ethics of Digital Contact Tracing and COVID-19: Who is (Not) Free to Go?Michael Klenk & Hein Duijf - forthcoming - Ethics and Information Technology.
    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 freed from quarantine but to also ensure that the composition of the freed group is fair. We identify several factors that pose a risk for fair group composition along with an analysis (...)
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  7. Change in Moral View: Higher-Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology.Michael Klenk - forthcoming - In Higher Order Evidence and Moral Epistemology. New York, NY: Routledge.
    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 believe what’s morally right and wrong based on what our moral evidence (e.g. our moral intuitions, along with descriptive information about the world) supports. However, sometimes (...)
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  8. Autonomy and Online Manipulation.Michael Klenk & Jeff Hancock - 2019 - Internet Policy Review 1:1-11.
    More and more researchers argue that online technologies manipulate human users and, therefore, undermine their autonomy. We call this the MAL view on online technology because it argues from Manipulation to Autonomy-Loss. MAL enjoys public visibility and will shape the academic discussion to come. This view of online technology, however, fails conceptually. MAL presupposes that manipulation equals autonomy loss, and that autonomy is the absence of manipulation. That is mistaken. In short, an individual can be manipulated while being fully personally (...)
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  9. Can Moral Realists Deflect Defeat Due to Evolutionary Explanations of Morality?Michael Klenk - 2017 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 98 (S1):227-248.
    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 defuse the evolutionary debunking challenge. I rebut Moon's claim and answer his question. Moon's third-factor reply is valid only if we accept externalism about epistemic defeaters. However, even if we do, I (...)
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  10. Old Wine in New Bottles: Evolutionary Debunking Arguments and the Benacerraf-Field Challenge.Michael Klenk - 2017 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 20 (4):781-795.
    Evolutionary debunking arguments 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, who argues that if moral realism were true, then objective moral knowledge is unlikely because realist moral properties are evolutionary irrelevant and moral beliefs about those properties would not be selected for. However, (...)
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  11. Hanno Sauer, Debunking Arguments in Ethics , Pp. Xi + 244. [REVIEW]Michael Klenk - 2019 - Utilitas 8 (4):1-5.
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  12.  82
    Measuring Moral Development.Michael Klenk - 2017 - de Filosoof 75:21-23.
    In the aftermath of the financial crisis, heightened awareness of ethical issues has sparked increased efforts toward moral education within universities and businesses. In many cases, psychological tests are used to measure whether moral development occurs. As long as we understand moral development as synonymous with moral progress, this may seem like a good sign: it would appear that such tests give us a handle on moral progress. Alas, moral development and moral progress are two very different things. And although (...)
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  13.  89
    Review of Richard Joyce's Essays in Moral Skepticism. [REVIEW]Michael Klenk - 2017 - Ethical Perspectives 24 (1):158-162.
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  14.  70
    Terence Cuneo. Speech and Morality. On the Metaethical Implications of Speaking. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014. [REVIEW]Michael Klenk - 2015 - Ethical Perspectives 22 (2):345-350.
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