dr. J.S. Hermann (Julia)

Assistant Professor

About Me

I am a philosopher and political scientist by training and received my PhD in 2011 from the European University Institute in Florence (Department of Political and Social Sciences) with a thesis entitled "Being Moral: Moral Competence and the Limits of Reasonable Doubt". I held research and teaching positions at the European Intra-University Centre of Human Rights and Democratisation in Venice, Maastricht University, Utrecht University and Eindhoven University of Technology. In the past, I have worked on topics such as moral justification, the later Wittgenstein's relevance for issues in moral philosophy, moral progress, evolutionary explanations of morality, the role of context in ethics, the ethics of citizen science, and the technological disruption of epistemic certainty. My current research on the ways in which new and emerging technologies, in particular biomedical technologies, affect fundamental concepts is funded by the NWO gravitation programme "The Ethics of Socially Disruptive Technologies". I am the vice-chair of the Organisation of Ethicists in the Netherlands (VvEN) and an author of the blog Justice Everywhere.


Arts & Humanities
Ludwig Wittgenstein
Moral Beliefs
Moral Certainty
Moral Change
Moral Intuitionism
Moral Progress
Philosophical Inquiry


In the coming years, I will investigate how new and emerging technologies affect fundamental concepts related to the human condition, such as human nature, agency, and responsibility. Relatedly, I will look at how they affect traditional distinctions, such as "natural-unnatural", "human-animal" and "human-machine". One of the technologies that I want to take a closer look at is CRISPR-Cas9. I will also be working on the phenomenon of techno-moral change in relation to the artificial womb.

I am currently finishing up research on ethical desiderata for citizen science projects in the healthcare domain. In the context of my research on moral change and progress, I am also finalising a co-authored paper on what the current pandemic can teach us about the climate crisis. 

A long-standing research interest of mine is the relevance of the philosophy of the later Wittgenstein for discussions in ethics and metaethics. Recently I have started working on Wittgenstein's relevance for philosophy and ethics of technology. I am currently working on the phenomena of epistemic and moral disruption, and the technological mediation of certainty.


I am in charge of the RESTS-teaching within the study programmes Health Sciences and Technical Medicine. This academic year, I will be involved in the modules 2 and 6 (Health Sciences) and 9 and 11 (Technical Medicine). 

Within the PSTS-programme, I teach Ethics and Technology I (together with Kevin Macnish).

I just became a member of the PSTS Programme Committee.

Courses Academic Year  2022/2023

Courses in the current academic year are added at the moment they are finalised in the Osiris system. Therefore it is possible that the list is not yet complete for the whole academic year.

Courses Academic Year  2021/2022

Current Projects

Finished Projects

  • TOPFIT Citizenlab

  • Evolutionary Ethics?

    The (meta)ethical implications of evolutionary explanations of morality

Contact Details

Visiting Address

University of Twente
Drienerlolaan 5
7522 NB Enschede
The Netherlands

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Mailing Address

University of Twente
P.O. Box 217
7500 AE Enschede
The Netherlands

Working days

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