Moral Machines: Social Values, Technology & Critical Constructivism

Date(s) - March 26, 2024
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

Regent College Chapel

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The Houston Centre invites you to a lecture and discussion about social values, technology, and critical constructivism. Join us in the Regent College Chapel or online on Tuesday, March 26, from 7 to 9 pm.


In this lecture, Professor Andrew Feenberg (Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Technology, Simon Fraser University) will offer an overview and analysis of the theory known as critical constructivism. Critical constructivists argue that the technologies we use are not neutral: their invention and use incorporate social values of all sorts, depending on the actors who influence the design of such technologies. Professor Feenberg will illustrate this way of understanding our technological world with examples from current technological developments that demonstrate trends toward democratic thinking, which in turn culminate in important social correctives such as today’s environmental movement.

Craig Gay (Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies, Regent College) and Brent P. Waters (Emeritus Jerre and Mary Joy Professor of Christian Social Ethics, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary) will offer brief responses to Professor Feenberg’s lecture. The evening will conclude with a panel-style discussion on technology and society among the three speakers, moderated by Jens Zimmermann (J.I. Packer Professor of Theology and Director of the Houston Centre, Regent College).

This event will be offered onsite in the Regent College Chapel, and will be available via livestream and recording at



Dr. Andrew Feenberg is Canada Research Chair in Philosophy of Technology in the School of Communication, Simon Fraser University, where he directs the Applied Communication and Technology Lab. He is widely published in a range of fields, including philosophy of technology, continental philosophy, and the work of Herbert Marcuse. His most recent title is The Ruthless Critique of Everything: Nature and Revolution in Marcuse’s Philosophy of Praxis (Verso, 2023).

Dr. Craig Gay, Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Regent College, lectures in the area of Christianity, society, and culture and directs Regent’s Master of Theology (ThM) degree program. He has written books and articles on a wide range of subjects, including modernity, secularization, economic ethics, and technology. His articles and reviews have appeared in Christian Scholar’s ReviewAmerican Journal of SociologyCrux, and Markets & Morality.

Dr. Brent P. Waters is Emeritus Jerre and Mary Joy Stead Professor of Christian Social Ethics and Emeritus Director of the Jerre L. and Mary Joy Center for Ethics and Values at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, Illinois. He is the author of Just Capitalism: A Christian Ethic of Globalization and Christian Moral Theology in an Emerging Technoculture, among many other writings on the relationship of theology, ethics, and technology. His primary research interests are in the areas of Christian social and political thought, bioethics, science, and technology.


The Houston Centre for Humanity and the Common Good is a five-year initiative of Regent College, grounded in Dr. James M. Houston’s comprehensive vision of integrative scholarship. Its main task is to foster interdisciplinary and interreligious dialogue on the central question of the late-modern world: what does it mean to be human?

Inviting a range of philosophical perspectives through collaboration with the University of British Columbia and other institutions, the Centre explores a holistic understanding of humanity that accounts for the unique social, political, and theological issues of our time. Comprising a community of leading scholars, the Centre generates dialogue across disciplines—theology, philosophy, biology, cognitive science, political studies, and more—in order to navigate the mystery of the human person.

Through public lectures, seminars, and a variety of publications, the Houston Centre helps others engage theological questions of humanity for the common good.

Questions? Get in touch with the Houston Centre team at [email protected].

Regent College Chapel (5800 University Blvd, Vancouver, BC)

Paid parking available at Regent College and UBC

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