Hinne Hettema University of Auckland
Areas of specialization
Areas of interest
I am an honorary research fellow in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Auckland, and have completed a PhD in theoretical chemistry (Nijmegen, 1993) and Philosophy (Groningen, 2012). My philosophical interests lie mainly in the Philosophy of Chemistry and general Philosophy of Science. One of the principles guiding my approach to philosophy is that actual scientific disciplines are generally the best guides to the development of their philosophy. As a result, my work straddles the boundary between actual science and philosophy of science; working with current theories in a relatively advanced form, but at the same time aiming for philosophical robustness. The key principle is that the care with which scientific theories are generally formulated needs to be equally applied in the philosophical analyses of these theories if the results are to hold up over time. I do more and more work in the philosophy of cyberspace, and especially cyber security, where there are a number of profound philosophical questions to consider. There is currently no robust philosophical framework to address the ethical, social and methodological questions around malicious software, vulnerability exploitation, and cyber attacks. I have become convinced that this problem is not just another area of 'applied ethics' or the like -- what we are seeing is in many ways completely new and in need of philosophical reflection.