Book Launch Symposium: The Role and Impact of Technologies on Human Activities

Published 11 May 2022

On Wednesday 8 June 2022 at 17:00, the Asser Institute and the DILEMA Project are hosting a book launch symposium, around the recently-published manuscript of Dr Sadjad Soltanzadeh, Problem-Solving Technologies: A User-Friendly Philosophy (Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2022).


As technologies become ubiquitous in our everyday personal and social life, it is essential to understand the role and impact of technologies on human activities. Against the background of discussions on approaches to ethics and philosophy of technologies, the symposium will explore the complex interrelationships between technologies and humans, and invite us to re-examine our societal and governance structures.

The symposium will take place in-person at the Asser Institute in The Hague. 

Click here to register for the event.


  • 16:45 - Arrival and registration
  • 17:00 - Opening remarks - Dr Berenice Boutin, Senior Researcher in International Law, DILEMA Project Leader (Asser Institute)
  • 17:10 - Panel Discussion
  • 18:00 - Concluding remarks by the author - Dr Sadjad Soltanzadeh, Postdoctoral Researcher in Ethics and Philosophy of Technology (Asser Institute)
  • 18:15 - Q&A
  • 18:30 - Reception                 


About the Book

We categorise our reality into cars and bicycles, planets and dwarf planets, black and white chess squares, hospitals and military bases or citizens and non-citizens. Categorisations provide tools for us to make sense of our world and evaluate our decisions and actions. We do things with and to categorisations in a similar sense that we do things with and to technologies. But what makes a categorisation useful, and how can we construct useful categorisations?


Problem-Solving Technologies is a book about the identification and categorisation of our world, particularly technologies, at the level of personal experiences. At the level where we connect to objects and use them for varied purposes. The book accepts the fluid identity of objects to argue that we need to stop asking ‘what is this object?’ and expect to hear a universal truth about the object’s identity or the category to which it belongs. What we should hear is the dynamic identities that the object acquires by playing roles in, and impacting, different human activities. In this user-friendly philosophy, the study of objects and their categorisations needs to be accompanied by the study of activities in which they are used.

Order the book here or access it online on EBSCOhost.

About the Author

undefinedSadjad Soltanzadeh is a researcher in ethics and philosophy of technology. Sadjad is working with the DILEMA project with the goal of understanding the legal, philosophical, and moral importance of human autonomy and human agency in the context of autonomous systems.

Sadjad has a multidisciplinary background and has experienced diverse workplace and academic environments in Iran, the Netherlands, and Australia. He has masters and Doctorate degrees in Philosophy of Science and Philosophy of Technology. He is also a qualified and experienced mechanical engineer as well as a secondary school teacher.

Read his full biography here.