Enhancement, Emerging Technologies, and Social Challenges
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Major topics include: bioenhancement, technology and ethics, transhumanism, posthumanism, and social responsibilities.
The University of Zagreb, The New York Institute of Technology, University Erlangen-Nürnberg and Dublin City University are pleased to announce the 4th Conference on Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism. The 1st Conference took place in April 2009 at the University of Belgrade (Humanism and Posthumanism), the 2nd Conference in September 2010 at the University of the Aegeans (Audiovisual Posthumanism), and the 3rd Conference in October 2011 at Dublin City University (Transforming Human Nature).
The specific focus of the event “Enhancement, Emerging Technologies, and Social Challenges” are the social challenges which we have to face due to the rapid development of emerging technologies. In order to guarantee a systematic treatment of the topic we will particularly focus on the following five topics:
- Enhancement as social challenge: As part of this topic, we will be concerned with the social challenges related to moral enhancement; genetic enhancement; neuroenhancement; cyborg enhancement.
- Enhancing Evolution. As part of this topic both historical as well as systematic treatments are being dealt with. Hence, we will be concerned both with the historical debate between Aldous and Julian Huxley which lead to the publication of the influential books "Brave New World" and "New Bottles for New Wine". The relationship between Nietzsche, Transhumanism and the contemporary eugenics debates will also be covered as part of this course. However, contemporary systematic topics like the social challenges related to the Movie "Gattaca" or the John Harris monograph "Enhancing Evolution" will not be neglected, either.
- Bioarts, Body Art and Performance Art. Questions such as the following will be tackled: Which social challenges are related to Kac's works of art? Does Orlan's Carnal Art raise significant questions concerning the challenges of plastic surgery? How does Nyman's opera "Facing Goya" address central questions concerning eugenics? Are his worries plausible?; Does Jaime del Val's performance convince of the need to move beyond a duality of sexes towards a plurality of sexes?
- Human Dignity. Several questions need to be considered in this context. Is it possible to accept the theory of evolution and to also affirm the special status of human beings as categorically separate from other natural beings? Which characteristics are necessary for distinguishing the dignity of humans, metahumans, transhumans and posthumans? Do posthumanists, and transhumanists put forward plausible challenges concerning human dignity? Is the concept of the embodied mind compatible to that of human dignity? Will there be the need to introduce the concept of post-persons, whereby post-persons have a higher moral status as persons?
- Enhancement and Health Insurance Companies. In this context the following questions will be addressed: Are vaccination a type of enhancement? What is a disease and what ought to be referred to as merely a special trait?; Is it possible to introduce regulations concerning health insurances such that the issue of global justice is being considered? Does a liberal state necessarily lead to structures which neglect social justice? The aim of this multidisciplinary conference is to bring together voices and perspectives from a variety of academic disciplines as well as fields of public practice and application concerning the development and transformation of our understanding of ‘the human’ and the related social challenges. We invite papers from across the disciplines that will shed light on the state of affairs, especially the consequences of enhancement and transhumanist and posthumanist accounts of ‘the human.’
Fees and registration: A reduced registration fee of €50 (65USD) will apply to all participants.
Location: The conference will take place at the Inter-University Center, Dubrovnik, Croatia: http://www.iuc.hr/
For further information:
Please see our conference website: www.transformingthehuman.org and, if you have any questions, please do not hesitate to email one of the organizers. There is also an book series connected to the conference series:
“Beyond Humanism: Trans- and Posthumanism”, Peter Lang Publisher
If you have an unpublished manuscript which falls into the range of topics listed above or on the following website and if you are looking for an appropriate publishing house, you can consider getting in contact with Dr. Stefan Lorenz Sorgner (www.sorgner.de):
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