Owen C. King

NEWEL Postdoctoral Researcher
in Ethics, Well-Being, and Data Science
Department of Philosophy
University of Twente
The Netherlands

e-mail: owen[at]owencking.net
e-mail: o.c.king[at]utwente.nl

Photo of Owen


I research, write, and teach philosophy, especially ethics. I received my PhD from the Department of Philosophy at The Ohio State University in 2016, while I was a visiting member of the Department of Philosophy at Oberlin College.

Since 2017, I am a postdoc at the Department of Philosophy at the University of Twente, in the Netherlands. I collaborate with the HR and Advanced Analytics teams at Ahold Delhaize, working on ethical uses of data analytics to improve the well-being of employees.




My dissertation, supervised by Justin D'Arms, was called Three Kinds of Goodness for a Person. My primary research focuses on kinds of value, like well-being, that relate to individual persons and their lives. A central aim of my work is to advance a pluralistic understanding of what is good for a person. I make one stride toward this aim in my paper, "Pulling Apart Well-being at a Time and the Goodness of a Life".

Computing ethics

The second strand of my research is computing ethics, especially ethical dimensions of automated prediction. Many of the questions that interest me most are about the ethics of artificial social cognition, i.e., ethical issues about the automated attribution and prediction of mental states (intentions, desires, beliefs) of individual (human) persons.

More research


Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics

For summer 2019, I am a seminar leader at the Sherwin B. Nuland Summer Institute in Bioethics at the Yale Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics. The seminar I designed is called, "Data, Health, and Ethics: Topics at the Intersection."

University of Twente

I occasionally contribute to undergraduate and PSTS graduate courses at the University of Twente. I also teach "Ethical Interpretations of Technological Innovation" at CuriousU.


In 2013-2014, I conceived and created Ohio State University's new course on Computing Ethics, and I was honored for excellent teaching. I spent the subsequent three years teaching philosophy to the highly engaged students of Oberlin College.


Social networks

My PhilPeople profile

My LinkedIn profile

Something (sort of) fun to read

Do you ever feel like the software you use is doing a lot of things that aren't necessarily in your best interest? If so, you may be encountering software antifeatures. At a personal level, antifeatures have perturbed me for many years. More importantly, they raise some serious ethical questions that software developers must confront. I've written an introduction to some of the issues, available here: "Is It a Feature? Is it a Bug? No, It’s an Antifeature."

If this piques your interest, I'd be interested to hear. Email me!