My name is Barend de Rooij, and I'm an Assistant Professor of Ethics at Tilburg University.
I joined the department in January of 2022 after completing a joint PhD in Philosophy at the University of Sheffield and the University of Groningen. In my doctoral research, which was supervised by Boudewijn de Bruin (UG) and Miranda Fricker (NYU), I studied the notion of group character, or the idea that collectives can instantiate virtuous or vicious character states qua group.
Before moving to Sheffield, I completed an MA in Philosophy and European Studies at KU Leuven. I also hold an MLitt in Philosophy from the University of St. Andrews. During my BA at Leiden University College, I spent some time studying philosophy at Rutgers University, where my passion for analytic philosophy was awakened.
Born and raised in Tilburg, I'm beyond excited to return to my hometown. But I'm still looking for the best off-leash dog spots - please message me if you've got advice!
From group polarization to institutional injustice and negligent corporations, in recent years there has been growing concern over how group dynamics can go wrong. We often express this concern by evaluating the conduct of groups and organizations in terms of their character, or their disposition to act in particular (morally good or bad) ways. We say that a police force can be racist, for example, or that a big corporation can be led astray by greed. But what does it mean to attribute such stereotypically human qualities to collectives?
My research is at the intersection of virtue ethics/epistemology and social ontology, studying whether and how we can apply virtue theoretical insights to group agents of various kinds. In the next few months, I aim to develop a new research program that combines my interest in virtue ethics and epistemology with the (ethics) of AI. I'm particularly interested in studying the various manifestations of epistemic injustice within applications of AI.
As a teacher, I love drawing connections between cutting-edge philosophical theory and current events. No surprise, then, that I've primarily taught courses on Applied Ethics, including Business Ethics (TiU, UG) and the Ethics of AI (TiU). I also teach a general course on Ethics (TiU) and have experience teaching Applied Epistemology (TiU). At the University of Sheffield, I supervised discussion seminars on ethics, epistemology, and logic.
My teaching is not in academic philosophy exclusively. I've taught a number of workshops on scientific integrity to PhD students at this university, as well as some masterclasses in virtue epistemology to (management) professionals.
If you're a current, prospective, or former student of mine - feel free to reach out with any questions or comments about my teaching. I'm always happy to hear from you.