About me: hands-on philosopher of technology

I have an interdisciplinary background consisting of philosophy, art, and law. It took me some time to figure out where my true passion lies, but a few years ago I finally realised that it was best reflected by philosophy of technology. Here, one of my main interests is the material dimension of technology. The last years, I have been researching the implications of digital technology while taking this particular dimension into account.

Being intrigued by the material dimension of technology (I understand 'material' in a broad sense, including electricity and air) and the implications thereof, I try to approach any particular technology that I research from a kind of "manual philosophy". Next to the general practice areas of philosophy that lies in reading (discours analysis, desk research) and talking (interviews, participation), I think it is valuable to add 'touch' (albeit in a more abstract form) as input to our methodological toolkit by trying to actually work with or in the technology we are trying to understand and analyse. Drawing on my background in art, I experienced that when you are trying to tell a story through a particular material, whether it be crayons, wood or metal, this material impresses its own inclinations and limitations on your story. Over the years I have been trying to use this experience as a background for the manner in which I approach the technologies that I research. One pivotal question I keep coming back to is: how does the material dimension of a technology affect the narrative that is told, i.e. the information that the technology affords?

Currently, I work at Wageningen University where I explore the nature and implications of Digital Twins in the agrifood and environment-related context. It is truly facinating and inspiring research matter! Links to publications and other research output will follow.

PhD Defense

After some trips in the rollercoaster of life, drinking an ungodly amount of coffee, and having my first attempt at defending my PhD dissertation postponed due to a global pandemic, I will finally defend my PhD dissertation on the 6th of October at 16.00.

The ceremony will take place in a mix of the offline and the online. The public will be able to follow it online. This page will contain the updated link with which to access the ceremony stream: https://www.tilburguniversity.edu/nl/actueel/agenda/promotie-pei-korenhof.

The doctoral committee consists of prof.mr.dr. M. Hildebrandt, prof.dr. J.V.J. van Hoboken, prof.mr. E.M.L. Moerel, prof.dr. G. Sartor, dr. M.L. Jones, and dr. A.P. Schouten. My thesis is supervised by prof.dr. R.E. Leenes and prof.dr. E.J. Koops.

About me

I have a background in philosophy, law, and art. Over the last years I increasingly specialised in philosophy of technology, with a focus on digital technology. I am particularly interested in the industrialization of "our" online collective memory, the social effects of interface design and control, as well as in the implications that the current praxis of the "internet giants" has on power and knowledge (im)balances. My main goal is to (help) build bridges between theory and practice in order to make sure that technology works for us, and not the other way around. I enjoy working with technicians in order to tackle problematic aspects of technology.

Since the first of September 2020 I work as a postdoctoral researcher philosophy of technology with the focus on 'Digital Twin technology' at the Wageningen University. Digital Twin technology is great food for philosophical thought, and I will post more on this once my thoughts have properly crystallised.

On the 8th of May I was supposed to defend my PhD-dissertation: "Let's forget about it: The Web of problems for the right to be forgotten". However, due to a global pandemic, this defense is postphoned to a yet to be announched date. For this research I explored how the socio-technological constitution of online information sources affects the presence and content of our personal information. For my research I combined philosophy of technology with semiotics, and at the end added a pinch of law. For those already curious, the manuscript can be found here: korenhof.eu/proefschrift.pdf

My dissertation is supervised by prof. Ronald Leenes and prof. Bert-Jaap Koops, who both have been great sources of inspiration and from whom I have learned a lot along the way. During the time of this research I worked at the Tilburg Institute for Law, Technology, and Society at the University of Tilburg, at Digital Security at the Radboud University and as part of Privacy & Identity Lab. I loved working in this interdisciplinary environment and enjoyed co-operating with scholars of various disciplines. In order to understand the topic of my research better, as well as being able to better bridge the communication between different disciplines, I found it important to get some feeling for the technology itself. For this, I followed some programming courses, varying from assembly for the C64 to JavaScript and started working on some hobby electronics (I have a fascination for the relation between hardware and software).

Sometimes I can blog about this, or build some crappy thing to relieve stress.