Research

Current research project
2019 – 2023 (FWO grant)
University of Antwerp, Centre for Ethics
Supervisor: prof. dr. Katrien Schaubroeck

My doctoral dissertation consists of six papers about a wide range of topics: from moral duties to care ethics and from biomedical enhancements to cancel culture. Love and morality are important concepts in all of them. More specifically: love and morality as inspired by philosopher and novelist Iris Murdoch, who argues that loving is what makes us better human beings.

I take Murdoch to debates where she is not a regular guest. In taking her to these different debates, this dissertation not only contributes to theoretical discussions, but also shows that Murdoch’s concept of love is relevant for the more practical and everyday questions we have today about loving, feminism and social justice.

The dissertation offers two new perspectives of Murdochian thought. First, I argue that Murdoch’s conception of love has advantages over contemporary analytical accounts of love, for viewing love as a liberation from (egocentric) fantasies. Second, I ask whether Murdoch’s conception of love could make our society a better place. I take Murdoch’s theory from her individualistic approach to a more social approach, focusing on socio-political structures. I argue that Murdoch’s conception of love is relevant for contemporary fights for social justice. Through her concept of ‘love’ as moving from fantasy to reality, we can come to know the lived realities of others. This move takes Murdochian thought to a different level, incorporating contemporary insights from feminist philosophy, critical theory and social epistemology.

I demonstrate my argument with several papers in applied ethics. All papers concern human interaction through technology: I consider the biomedical enhancement debate (‘the love pill’) and information technology ethics (attention and diversity in the public sphere) as case studies and applications of what is argued for above.

2019
Visiting Researcher at the University of Liverpool
Supervisor: dr. Rachael Wiseman

2017 – 2019
(How) Ought Parents and Children to Love Each Other? (BOF-grant)
University of Antwerp, Centre for Ethics
Supervisor: prof. dr. Katrien Schaubroeck

Teaching

BA Feminist philosophy (UA), with dr. Petra van Brabandt and Katelijne Malomgré, 2020.

BA seminar Contemporary Authors: Kate Manne Down Girl, the logic of misogyny (UA), with prof. dr. Katrien Schaubroeck and Martha Claeys, 2019.

MA seminar Philosophy of love (UA), with prof. dr. Katrien Schaubroeck, 2019

Guest lectures

The mythical norm, ‘white is a color, too’, and identity politics. MA Seminar, University of Antwerp, 2021.

Reading Kate Manne’s Down Girl, The logic of misogyny. MA Seminar, Tilburg University, 2021.

Love, attention and white innocence. BA Advanced Ethics, Radboud University Nijmegen, 2020.

Filosofische onderzoekingen en verborgen verhalen. Koninklijke Academie voor Schone Kunsten Antwerpen, 2020.

Identity: gender, culture and individuality, at Rotary summer school for international bachelor students.

Non-academic teaching

In 2014 I earned my Bachelor of Applied Sciences in Education of Social Studies after which I taught ‘maatschappijleer’ (social studies) en ‘burgerschap’ (civics) at both ROC Tilburg and Grafisch Lyceum Rotterdam (2014-2017).