Research Fellow and PhD Student
(Lucerne Graduate School in Ethics)
T +41 41 229 52 34 • Room 3.B56 • aaron.butler@ unilu.ch
Since April of 2018 to the present, I have been a PhD student and scientific researcher for the Institute of Social Ethics at the University of Lucerne. The mainstay of my research endeavors is in the field of philosophy of technology and machine ethics, with special emphasis on ethics of artificial intelligence and ethics of digitalization. The third area of research that concerns me is what implications the mainstay of my research has for the very nature of philosophy; hence, metaphilosophy. Prior to the incipiency of my current professional endeavors, I was the editor and one of the contributing authors on a book with the thematic focus of history and philosophy of chemistry and chemical technologies of antiquity (2017).
I am originally from Silicon Valley, California (USA), and my initial interest in philosophy was inspired by the plethora of natural scenery of my home state of California: mountains, forests, deserts, lakes, rivers, and the Pacific Ocean. All of this filled me with wonder, evoking a spirit of contemplation and intense curiosity, which lead me inexorably to philosophy. I completed my BA degree at University of California, Berkeley in analytic philosophy, with particular emphasis on both philosophy of mind and philosophy of science. During this time, I also supplemented my education with a focus on continental philosophy (esp. phenomenology and existential-phenomenology) and psychology (esp. biopsychology and neuroanatomy). Subsequently, I earned my first MA degree at University of Wisconsin, Madison, whereat I focused on metaphysics, epistemology, and logic within the context of a program specializing in philosophy of science. During this time, I also taught critical thinking, formal logic, and ethics both at the university whence I earned my degree and at a local community college as a part-time faculty member. Afterwards, I earned my second MA degree at Yale University focusing on philosophy of religion, philosophical theology, analytic theology, and medieval theology. Drafts of key papers therefrom or on related topics can be found on my academia.edu page.
Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut
M.A.R. in Philosophy of Religion and Philosophical Theology (with special
emphasis on analytic theology and medieval theology)
University of Wisconsin Madison, Madison, Wisconsin
M.A. in Analytic Philosophy (foci: metaphysics, epistemology, logic)
University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, California
B.A. in Analytic Philosophy (with supplementary course work in Continental
Philosophy [esp. Phenomenology and Existential-Phenomenology], psychology & neuroanatomy)
- Ethics of technology
- Ethics of artificial intelligence (esp: “autonomous” artificial intelligence systems)
- Ethics of digitalization (esp: Blockchain Technology)