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

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

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

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

My 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, I use different philosophical schools and perspectives to analyze the interplay of technology, power and subjectivation. In cooperation with applied sciences and industrial partners, I develop Ethics by Design approaches for data ethics in the context of predictive analytics (see the joint project SIMPORT). In the context of a collectivist virtue ethics I work on the ethics of usability and User Experience Design.

In many of my projects I draw on my interdisciplinary education and seek the dialogue between the humanities and mathematics, computer science and natural sciences.


I received my Ph.D. in philosophy from Freie Universität Berlin in 2016 (supervisors: Prof. Jan Slaby und Prof. Martin Saar). My 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).

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

From earlier phases of my life I have professional experience as a programmer and management consultant. As a secondary interest of my scientific work I have specialized in typography and book 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 73242