Starting 1 Augustus 2021, iHub member Tamar Sharon has been appointed professor of Philosophy, digitalization and society at the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religious Studies. Her research explores how the increasing digitalization of society destabilizes public values and norms, and how best to protect them.
‘We tend to think of technologies as neutral tools that we use to fulfill predefined functions,’ explains Sharon. ‘But they’re much more than that. As we use them, they also transform our world in unforeseen ways. My research focusses on how digital technologies do this by disrupting the fundamental values that ground and give meaning to our social relations, institutions, and political structures. For example, how the use of mobile apps for self-monitoring normalize surveillance and shift responsibilities for health to citizens. How the focus on individuals in personalized medicine affects practices of solidarity. Or how AI and predictive analytics lead to new types of differentiation that risk undermining systems based on equality and fairness.’ To address these questions, Sharon brings together methods and conceptual frameworks from diverse disciplines, including philosophy, ethics, Science and Technology Studies and critical data studies.
Sharon (New York, 1975) completed a BA in Political Science and History at Paris Jussieu and Tel Aviv University in 2000. She followed this with a MA in Political Science in 2001 at Tel Aviv University, and a second MA in Hermeneutics and Culture at Bar Ilan University in 2007. In 2011, she completed her PhD thesis, titled ‘Towards a critical posthumanism: a non-humanist assessment of emerging biotechnologies’. It focused on the ethics of ‘posthumanism’, and how enhancement technologies such as genetic modification, reproductive technologies and cognitive enhancements affect what it means to be healthy and what is considered natural.
She previously held positions in the Philosophy Department and STS research group at Maastricht University. Sharon joined Radboud University in 2018 to help set up iHub (verwijst naar een andere website), Radboud’s interdisciplinary research center on digitalization and society, which she co-directs. Sharon is also Chair of the Ethics and Political Philosophy department at the Faculty of Philosophy, Theology and Religion of Radboud University.