Rainer Mühlhoff, Dr. phil.  |  Philosopher, Mathematician, Programmer.

Rainer is a postdoctoral research fellow at the Excellence Cluster „Science of Intelligence“ at Technical University Berlin. He is also an associated researcher at the Collaborative Research Center SFB 1171 Affective Societies at Freien Universität Berlin.

His work focuses on ethics, media studies, social philosophy and philosophy of technology. Current topics include

  • ethics of artificial intelligence,
  • critical media philosophy of the digital,
  • data protection in the context of Big Data.

Rainer’s research on Artificial Intelligence starts from the assumption that Machine Learning Systems are sociotechnical systems (see “Human-Aided AI”). To map out the ethical and societal implications of this approach, he uses different philosophical schools and perspectives to analyze the interplay of technology, power and subjectivation. In cooperation with applied sciences and industrial partners, he is involved in the development of Ethics by Design approaches to data ethics in the context of predictive analytics (see the joint project SIMPORT). In media ethics he conducts research on questions of ethics and empowerment in relation to usability and Interface Design.

In many of his projects, Rainer draws on his interdisciplinary education, seeking to enter into a dialogue between the humanities and mathematics, computer science and natural sciences.

Third-party funds

Rainer Mühlhoff is involved in several third-party funded projects: As philosophical PI he leads the ethics component of the interdisciplinary project SIMPORT (BMBF, 2020-2023). Since 2019 he is a member of the Executive Board of the Excellence Cluster Science of Intelligence at the Technische Universität Berlin. In 2015 and 2019 he was directly involved in the application for the DFG Collaborative Research Center SFB1171 Affective Societies at the Free University of Berlin.


Rainer received his Ph.D. in philosophy from Freie Universität Berlin in 2016 (supervisors: Prof. Jan Slaby und Prof. Martin Saar). His dissertation was funded by the “Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes” and is available in print under the title Immersive Macht. Affekttheorie nach Spinoza und Foucault (Campus, 2018).

Earlier, Rainer studied mathematics (MA/Diplom) with the minor subjects theoretical physics and computer science. He wrote his diploma thesis on “Higher Spin Fields on Curved Spacetimes” at the University of Leipzig in 2008. As part of a second degree he studied philosophy, gender studies and German literature in Berlin.

From earlier phases of his life, Rainer has professional experience as a programmer and management consultant. As a side interest to his scientific work he has been specializing in typography and typesetting with TeX and LaTeX for more than 20 years.


Rainer Mühlhoff
Technical University of Berlin
Cluster Science of Intelligence
Marchstraße 23, Zimmer 5.063
D-10587 Berlin

E-Mail:   web (ät) rmuehlhoff.de  |  muehlhoff (ät) tu-berlin.de
Telefon:   +49 (30) 314 70148