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You are here: FRIAS Fellows Fellows 2019/20 Prof. Dr. Oliver Müller

Prof. Dr. Oliver Müller

University of Freiburg
Internal Senior Fellow
October 2018 - February 2021

Room 01 025
Phone +49 (0) 761-203 97354
Fax +49 (0) 761-203 97451


Oliver Müller is Heisenberg Professor of Philosophy (funded by the DFG, German Research Foundation) at the Department of Philosophy, University of Freiburg, and Principal Investigator in the Cluster of Excellence BrainLinks-BrainTools. He obtained the doctoral degree in 2005 and his ‘Habilitation’ in 2012. Müller specializes in the fields of philosophy of technology, philosophical anthropology, and ethics. He is currently working on the foundations of a phenomenological and hermeneutical framework that helps to understand how modern technology shapes our thinking, feeling and acting. In this context, he also systematically reflects on current (bio)-technological developments such as neurotechnology, synthetic biology, and reproductive medicine. Furthermore, he initiated and heads Nexus Experiments, a platform that designs and curates participatory projects and events at the interface of science and art to foster public dialogue on the ethical and societal implications of technoscientific research.

Selected Publications

  • Oliver Müller: Blumenberg liest eine Fußnote von Marx. Zur Methodik einer „kritischen Geschichte der Technologie“. In: Cornelius Borck (eds.): Blumenberg beobachtet. Wissenschaft, Technik und Philosophie. Freiburg 2013, pp. 47-63.
  • Oliver Müller: Selbst, Welt und Technik. Eine anthropologische, geistesgeschichtliche und ethische Untersuchung [Humanprojekt 11]. Berlin, New York 2014.
  • Oliver Müller: Being seen: An exploration of a core phenomenon of human existence and its normative dimensions. In: Human Studies 40 (2017), pp. 365-380.
  • Oliver Müller: “Werkzeugdenken”. Ernst Cassirers Theorie der ‚Entechnisierung‘ des Selbst- und Weltverhältnisses. In: Thiemo Breyer and Stefan Niklas (eds.): Ernst Cassirer in systematischen Beziehungen. Zur kritisch-kommunikativen Bedeutung seiner Kulturphilosophie. Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 40 (2018), pp. 175-194.
  • Kevin Liggieri, Oliver Müller (eds.): Mensch-Maschine-Interaktion. Metzler-Handbuch. Geschichte - Kultur - Ethik. Stuttgart 2018 (forthcoming)
  • Recently published paper with future FRIAS fellows within the research focus on Autonomous intelligent systems:
  • Philipp Kellmeyer, Oliver Müller, Ronit Feingold-Polak, Shelly Levy-Tzedek: Social robots in rehabilitation: A question of trust. In Science Robotics 3/21 (2018).

FRIAS Research Project

Responsible Artificial Intelligence: Normative aspects of the interaction of humans and intelligent systems

Intelligent systems capable of autonomous behavior and self-learning, whether in medical devices or self-driving vehicles, are the core technology behind the next wave of industrial innovation. In this research focus, we will jointly investigate ethical, legal, philosophical and social aspects, including benefits and risks in a broad sense, of this impending transformation from different perspectives. In the legal and governance domain, for example, we will examine national and international legislations, regulations, and treaties, as well as soft law norms and codes of conduct, on whether they are adequate for governing the interactions between humans and intelligent systems and for adjudicating liability. We will also study algorithmic and hardware mechanisms for safeguarding users of intelligent software and robots. With respect to philosophical questions, we will study the impact of these technologies on ethical theories and concepts of agency and action. The project provides a foundational nucleus for the interdisciplinary study of ethical, legal, social and other aspects of autonomous intelligent systems at the University of Freiburg.