PhD Students

PhD Students

Björn Bünger

Top­ic: Neg­at­ive Eth­ics

I stud­ied eco­nom­ics and philo­sophy in Mün­ster from 2003 to 2012. Cur­rently I am work­ing as a Seni­or Eco­nom­ist in the Ger­man Envir­on­ment Agency (Umwelt­bundes­amt).

 My PhD pro­ject asks what the norm­at­ive status isof injunc­tions to pre­vent or alle­vi­ate suf­fer­ing or unhap­pi­ness, wheth­er by action or omis­sion. The intu­ition motiv­at­ing the pro­ject is that there are strong reas­ons for a norm­at­ive eth­ics to focus on avoid­ing neg­at­ive states, rather than to pur­sue pos­it­ive ideals. Such a norm­at­ive pri­or­ity has, as I hope to show, an anthro­po­lo­gic­al found­a­tion.


  • Bünger, Björn und Aloys Prinz (2010), Staat­liche Glücks­för­der­ung? Karl Pop­per, Richard Layard und das Rauchen, ORDO — Jahr­buch für die Ord­nung von Wirtschaft und Gesell­schaft, Bd. 61, S. 169–190.
  • Prinz, Aloys und Björn Bünger (2012), Bal­an­cing ‘full life’: An eco­nom­ic approach to the route to hap­pi­ness, Journ­al of Eco­nom­ic Psy­cho­logy 33(1): 58–70.
  • Bünger, Björn (2016), Book review: Mari­on Hourd­equin: Envir­on­ment­al Eth­ics. From the­ory to prac­tice, Eth­ic­al The­ory and Mor­al Prac­tice 19(2): 533–535.

Nadine Gerber

Since Octo­ber 2017 I have been a doc­tor­al stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Duis­burg-Essen under the super­vi­sion of Neil Rough­ley. I com­pleted my Mas­ter in Philo­sophy and Polit­ic­al Sci­ence of Southasia at the Uni­ver­sity of Heidel­berg. My Mas­ter thes­is was about the nat­ur­al­ist­ic fal­lacy and was super­vised by Peter McLaugh­lin.

My philo­soph­ic­al interests lie primary in Mor­al Philo­sophy and Philo­sophy of Mind, but I´m also inter­ested in Polit­ic­al Philo­sophy.

André Waldheuser

Research Interests:
I have been a PhD stu­dent at the Uni­ver­sity of Duis­burg-Essen since sum­mer 2016. My research cen­ters on robot philo­sophy in the broad­est sense.
The rise of soph­ist­ic­ated autonom­ous arti­facts, based on machine learn­ing, chal­lenges many tra­di­tion­al philo­soph­ic­al views and con­cepts with­in dif­fer­ent branches of philo­sophy. I am par­tic­u­lar inter­ested in its rami­fic­a­tions for action the­ory and mor­al philo­sophy. I want to devel­op an advanced under­stand­ing of these new kinds of agency and their eth­ic­al and philo­soph­ic­al sig­ni­fic­ance. I am par­tic­u­larly inter­ested in ques­tions of mor­al respons­ib­il­ity that may arise due to the emer­gence of these new forms of arti­fi­cial agency.
Presently I am writ­ing on the respons­ib­il­ity gap and try­ing to devel­op my thes­is ques­tion and nar­row down my research focus.


  • Wald­heuser, A. (forth­com­ing). Book review — robot eth­ics 2.0 from autonom­ous cars to arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence. Eth­ic­al The­ory and Mor­al Prac­tice


Research Group