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About me

I hold a PhD in philosophy (1998) from University of Tampere and received the title of docent in philosophy in 2002. My current research interests include ignorance studies and social epistemology relating to expertise and the politics of digitalisation in the post-capitalist society. My philosophical expertise covers social epistemology, the philosophy of technology and the phenomenology of embodiment.  


 Research and leadership in research  

Fields of expertise

The Philosophy of Technology, Social Epistemology, Phenomenology, Ignorance Studies, Body Studies  

Project links

Top achievements

I have published about 80 blind peer-reviewed articles and/or papers, three monographs and five edited books. I have supervised four doctoral dissertations and worked as an opponent in ten public defenses. My work has earned two research awards. I was also elected a member of the Board of the University of Tampere (2013–2018) as a representative of teachers and researchers. I have led a number of interdisciplinary research projects funded by the Academy of Finland, Kone Foundation, the Ministry of Education, the Finnish Work Environmental Fund, the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Tekes, the Finnish Cultural Foundation, the Wihuri Foundation and Gyllenberg Foundation.  

Main positions of trust

Member of the Board of the University of Tampere as a representative of teachers and researchers (2013–2018)  

Mission statement

My ongoing research project "Democracy, Language and the Politics of Algorithms Steering Vulnerable Citizens in Society" (DIG1t0, 2022-2025) concerns the automation of public administration and digital services and its impact on the conditions for democracy, especially from the perspective of vulnerable citizens. We are seeking answers to the questions what kind of epistemic (in)justice automated systems and digital services provide to vulnerable citizens and how such politics of algorithms transforms the conditions of democracy in society. In particular, we will focus on the complex role of language as part of using and designing public digital services.

This project utilises the methodology of citizen science. Three experts by experience from Mielen ry contribute to the scientific process by gathering data and generating results in collaboration with professional researchers. This multidisciplinary project creatively combines empirical linguistic studies and social science research with AI ethics, philosophical epistemology and political theory. Utilising diverse qualitative data, the project relies on multimodal interaction analysis, document analysis and argumentation analysis in its methodology. The results are disseminated to the public through a live science theatre performance, bringing researchers and citizen researchers on stage.

Research topics

The Philosophy of Technology, Social Epistemology, Phenomenology, Ignorance Studies, Body Studies  

Research unit

TaSTI: Research Centre for Knowledge, Science, Technology and Innovation Studies Tieteenalat


The Academy of Finland, Kone Foudation, the Ministry of Education, the Finnish Work Environmental Fund, the Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Tekes, the Finnish Cultural Foundation and the Wihuri Foundation.

Research career

My dissertation in philosophy (Bodies Moving and Moved, 1998) was a pioneering research focusing on contemporary dance within the context of the philosophy of the body. In my postdoctoral research, I have evolved a phenomenological approach to the technology of philosophy, published in several articles and as the monograph, Meduusan liike (2006). My aim has been to rethink the theoretical foundations of human-technology interaction from a phenomenological perspective and body studies. Drawing on the philosophy of technology, critical theory and phenomenology, my recent research on the philosophy of technology has focused on virtual environments, wearable technologies, big data, the digitalisation process of schools, smart cities, artificial intelligence and care robotics. 

Since 2008, I have led five research projects to develop theoretically and epistemologically relevant conceptualization and approaches to understanding embodied capabilities and competences required of professionals in post-capitalist economies. In the research project ‘The Working Body in the Post-industrial Economy’ (WORKBOD, 2011-2014), funded by Academy, in collaboration with co-researchers we used various case studies and theoretical frameworks to outline a detailed and more general view of how digitalized work cultures modify the conditions for working bodies in the 2010s. 

Throughout my research career, I have focused special attention on how researchers in empirical sciences and philosophy can cooperate in studies to develop research questions, frameworks and outcomes that are practically, empirically, theoretically and/or methodologically ambitious. Approximately half of my published books, papers and scientific articles are collaborative efforts. I have co-written research papers and articles with about 40 researchers in various disciplines, including management studies, education, sociology, information sciences, engineering, media studies, social policy, cultural anthropology and political sciences. 

Selected publications

Parviainen, J. & Coeckelbergh, M. (2024) Sophia the Robot as a Political Choreography to Advance Economic Interests: An Exercise in Political Phenomenology and Critical Performance-Oriented Philosophy of Technology. In: Diachronic Perspectives on Embodiment and Technology: Gestures and Artefacts (Eds.) Thiemo Breyer, Alexander Gerner, Niklas Grouls, Johannes Schick. Springer, pp. 57-66 

Jensen, R., Jonasson, C., Gartmeier, M. & Parviainen, J. (2023) Learning from errors in digital patient communication: Professionals’ enactment of negative knowledge and digital ignorance in the workplace. Journal of Workplace Learning

Kinnunen, T., Parviainen, J. & Haho, A (2023) The Skills and Ethics of Professional Touch: From Theory to Practice. Palgrave Macmillan

Parviainen, J. (2023) The politics of imaginary technologies: Innovation ecosystems as political choreographies for promoting care robotics in health care. In: Handbook of Critical Studies of Artificial Intelligence, ed. Simon Lindgren. Edward Elgar, 793-803. DOI:

Parviainen, J. & Koski, A. (2023) ‘In the future, as robots become more widespread’. A phenomenological approach to imaginary technologies in healthcare organisations’. In: The Oxford Handbook of Phenomenologies and Organization Studies, eds. François-Xavier de Vaujany, Jeremy Aroles, and Mar Perezts. Oxford University Press, 277–296.

Sendra, A., Torkkola, S. & Parviainen, J. (2023) AstraZeneca vaccine controversies in the media: Theorizing about the mediatization of ignorance in the context of the COVID-19 vaccination campaign. Health Communication

Sendra, A., Torkkola, S. & Parviainen, J. (2023) Non-knowledge in medical practices: Approaching the uses of social media in healthcare from an epistemological perspective. Journal of Digital Social Research 5(1): 70-89.

Parviainen, J. Koski, A., & Alanen, P. (2022). Tackling the Corona pandemic: Managing nonknowledge in political decision-making. In M. Gross & L. McGoey (eds.), Routledge International Handbook of Ignorance Studies (2nd edition) (pp. 211–220). London: Routledge

Auvinen, P., Parviainen, J., Lahikainen, L. & Palukka, H. (2021) Discussion protocol for alleviating epistemic injustice: The case of community rehabilitation interaction and female substance abusers. Social Sciences 10(2), 45;

Parviainen, J. & Koski, A. & Torkkola, S. (2021) ‘Building a ship while sailing it’. Epistemic humility and the temporality of non-knowledge in political decision-making on the COVID-19. Social Epistemology: A Journal of Knowledge, Culture and Policy 10.1080/02691728.2021.1882610

Parviainen J., Ridell S. (2021) Infrastructuring Bodies: Choreographies of Power in the Computational City. In: Nagenborg M., Stone T., González Woge M., Vermaas P.E. (eds) Technology and the City. Philosophy of Engineering and Technology, vol 36. Springer, Cham.

Parviainen, J. & Coeckelbergh, M. (2020) The political choreography of the Sophia Robot: From robot rights and citizenship to political performances for the social robotics market. AI & Society. DOI: 10.1007/s00146-020-01104-w

Van Aerschot, L. & Parviainen, J. (2020) Robots responding to care needs? A multitasking care robot pursued for 25 years, available products offer simple entertainment and instrumental assistance. Ethics and Information Technology Available at

Parviainen, J., Van Aerschot, L., Särkikoski, T., Pekkarinen, S., Melkas, H. & Hennala, L. (2019) Motions with emotions? A phenomenological approach to understand the simulated aliveness of a robot body. Techné: Research in Philosophy and Technology, 23(3): 318–341.

Parviainen, J. & Lahikainen, L. (2019) Negative expertise in the conditions of manufactured ignorance: Epistemic strategies, virtues, and skills. Synthese, pp. 1–19.

Latest publications