IN- Philosophy Festival 2024

September 19, 2024 - September 21, 2024
Università degli Studi di Palermo

Torre Guevara, Ischia
Ischia 80077

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This event is available both online and in-person


University of Freiburg (PhD)

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Artificial identities. Online or offline, that’s the question!

In its tenth edition, the theme proposed by the Festival is that of “Artificial Identities,” a particularly urgent question in the ethical-pedagogical field given the rise of artificial intelligence.   Throughout history, the concept of human identity has been the subject of debate and reflection. Human identities have always been complex and multifaceted, at once fueled and constrained by a range of different factors such as culture and society, family and personal experience. However, with the advent of social media and the digital world, the discussion around identities both real and imagined has only intensified, as identities of all sorts seem increasingly shaped by these new technological platforms, multiplying in infinite variations and declinations, at times simultaneously. Indeed, these platforms have created a wide array of new opportunities to express and define one’s identity. Through the sharing of photos, thoughts and interests, it’s now possible to create entirely new representations of oneself online, true “digital selves.”   If on the one hand this aspect of new media culture can be considered as a terrain on which to construct a new and more creative sense of self, a self that is freer to travel the frontiers of a society at times still constrained by the inherited moralisms of “real life,” on the other hand, it confronts us once again with an intractable dilemma: “being” yourself online or offline?   Avatars that represent us, artificial intelligences that assist us or become our influencers, partners, or colleagues: what will be the new worlds in which we will grow together with artificial identities? From the Delphic admonition to “know thyself” to the concept of the “I” and “Not-I” of German Idealism, and from theories of personality to the concept of the person with rights, what contribution does philosophy make to the digital world?   This question seems especially pressing to the extent that artificial identities are more present than we imagine, and the demand for authenticity now seems to succumb to the new digital order as often as it resists and combats it. The very concept of identity requires new formulations and parameters. But is this request a real necessity or the demand of a select few? How do we deal with our digital selves? Or with artificial intelligence and its products? How do we educate ourselves in the new world that now constitutes us? How do you become yourself online?

Since the advent of cinema at the beginning of the twentieth century, and then television a few decades later, philosophers have been critical of emergent media technologies precisely for the ways in which they might produce artificial identities. This is especially true of the moving image medias mentioned above. Unlike other forms of representational art, these media are often thought to hold a mirror to nature, and yet, even for the handful of philosophers who see fit to talk about these media at all, that mirror is understood not simply as a source of objective reflection on the world, but instead as a tool of that world’s management, such that what we see on screen is, at best, second nature. As second nature, what images are said to do is not only manage our understanding of lived space, but install a sense of self that is just as rationalized, and thus inauthentic, as the space in which the characters who model themselves onscreen appear in and then before us—as if in a mirror that shows us not who we are really, but who we would prefer to be. With the increasing ubiquity of artificial intelligence, and especially as AI moves into the realm of image production—and in a culture in which we largely accept the algorithm as an extension of our bodies and being—perhaps a dose of skepticism might once again be warranted. Or else, maybe it is time to ask anew whether an identity was only ever something artificial, insofar as who we are or become is often beyond our full control, in which case, any talk of artifice can be understood in relation to flexible norms.  

  These are just some of the questions we will ask of ourselves and each other in the next edition.   Fields and Areas of Intervention The festival opens the conference portion to all fields of knowledge, from philosophy to psychology, from art history to biology and physics. All interventions with a critical reflective contribution to make that are consistent with the call for papers will be taken into consideration for the conference sessions, which will be held in Ischia from 19-21 September 2024.   Below are the reference areas to which the participation proposal should be addressed, along with some possible starting points for the composition of proposals:

1.     Philosophies. What is artificial identity? From the “principle of non-contradiction” to the concept of self-awareness. From Parmenides to Fichte. The philosophical history of identity in the Western and Eastern tradition up to the present day. I and Not-I. West versus East: principles of philosophical identities compared. Truth and lies: identity in the making. What is intelligence without the human?

2.     Digital Humanities. Philosophy in the world of the Internet. Influencers, popularizers and intellectuals of our time. Metaphysics and Metaverse. The future of classic works in the world of the web. The production/reduction of knowledge and artificial intelligence. Big data and the pulverization of identity. Profiling practices as virtual reconstructions of the self and forms of policing and violence.

3.     Philosophy of the technique. Human identity as a prosthetic regime: from the pebble to the smartphone. Human technique as an original vector of identity. The narrative structure of the self in the new regimes of grammatization and externalization. An originarily technological being, as well as its mutations in time.  

4.     Aesthetics. Digital selves and artificial selves, the future of a new humanity. To be or to appear? How do you become yourself online? Immersive technologies and new worlds of experience. Avatars and fluid bodies. Mediated and overmediated interactions: from non-encounters to forms of online sexuality. Changes in desire and new regimes of perceptual acceleration.

5.     Philosopher-Influencers. Session dedicated to “influencer philosophers” who want to speak on the annual theme of the festival, through an interview or an online presentation.

6.     The classics of thought.Thematic and informative session dedicated to the most influential thinkers of philosophical and literary history and their classics. This session will include all the interventions that aim to disseminate “exemplary” works on the concept of artificial identities.

 7.     Political philosophy.Investigations of the historical-cultural differences in the canons that have defined and recognized the subject as a person. Man-woman: rights and identity. The struggles and revolts of the subject against the community. Artificial rights: what are the consequences of the world of AI? The new copyright regime and the loss of authorship. Who controls the new worlds? Digital divide and algorithmic neocolonialism.

 8.     Science and philosophy of science.Science and philosophy in dialogue. Multiverse and Multi-identity. Identity as an act of conservation amongst the species. Species, family, race, the domain of human identity. Test-tube beings and eugenics: the best possible species. Man vs machine: the cyber-revolt and the struggle for global power.

9.     Literature and art. Works and alterations of the subject. Art and literature as an original Metaverse. Character and person, constructive or destructive escapes from artificial identities. Artifice and creation: the world of comics and the visions of superheroes, anime and fiction. Computational creativity: who generates the content? The narrative structure of the self in the multiplication of digital environments.

10.  Psychology. Psychoanalysis and the structures of the Ego. The theory of personality, pathologies and personality disorders in the era of artificial life. Filters and behaviors: reactive pathologies from ghosting to banning. Fluid identities: escaping labels to find yourself. Am I my diagnosis? When the diagnosis is a limit and when it is something useful. Online therapies: a new identity of therapy, between challenges and opportunities.  

11.  Sociology and anthropology. Fluid identities. The new declinations of the Ego in social reality. Digital group theory. Hacking and the Dark Web: the new frontiers of freedom? Digital guerrillas: cultivating dissent online. The polarization of opinions, digital factions and new tribes. Bubbles and echo-chambers.

12.  Pedagogies.Digital education: how to communicate yourself through social media. School and social media as an imperfect alliance. The book as an anachronistic form of learning? Smartphones and Tablets, the new “pedagogical booths.” What is gained and what is lost in the transition to digitalized forms of education. Uses of AI in student writing: does original thinking matter? Towards a new idea of care. Digital anxieties: the “new” generational solitudes.

13.  Ecology, economics and ethics. Who governs the platforms? The “Digital Divide” and new energy regimes. Hyperconnection: costs and benefits. How to tax the virtual? The new decision-regimes in the era of data-driven decisions. How to reclaim a multiverse? Sell yourself and buy yourself online. The identity algorithm: I purchase therefore I am.  

14.  Architecture and design.Project disciplines and AI: opportunities and risks. Parametric architecture and design: current state and future prospects. The relationship between traditional spaces and digital spaces: the notions of “phygital” and “onlife.” Social media, extimacy and attention economies.

15.  Cinema and Visual Arts. Moving image media as prosthetic forms of consciousness, from cinema and television to digital video: what does it mean to see from the perspective of a camera? The spectator as cyborg, from spectatorial identification to alienation effects.Science fiction as a means to envision new forms of humanity. Algorithmic curation of consumer tastes on streaming platforms: perfection of the culture industry or something different? Connections between the worlds of cinema and philosophy.

16.  Technology, digital knowledge and social media. The new regimes of information and communication. Racialized data profiling and the mining of consumer data. AI as an engine for the reproduction of normative orders: biased data, stereotypes, predictive policing. Informing and disinforming online. The crisis of truth in the era of fact-checking. Infodemic. The new cults. Surviving online: post-mortem identities and digital memories. Digital legacies: virtual goods and assets



Languages: Italian, English

Proposals at a minimum length of 3,000 and a maximum length of 4,500 characters including spaces (12-point Times New Roman font, single-spaced), accompanied by a bibliography and a brief autobiographical note (specifying any current institutional affiliation, or in the absence of an academic position, the last place of research/study and degree completed), must be sent by 11:59 pm on 1 May 2024 to:

[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

Please send the short biographical statement in a separate file (max 1000 characters including spaces), and please send all files in *.doc, *.docx, or *.odt format, not in *.pdf format (12-point Times New Roman, single-spaced).

Please respect the formal specifications indicated above for the submission of all proposals.

Each presentation will be given 20 minutes, plus 10 minutes for discussion. Talks can be given in Italian or English. Panel proposals are also welcome.

Each panel proposed should consist of 3 or 4 papers on a common theme. The Chair of each panel, who may also be one of the panelists, is responsible for introducing and guiding the discussion. All panel proposals must include the abstracts of each presentation and an introduction of a maximum length of 1000 characters.

A registration fee will be paid by all speakers. Solutions will also be proposed for overnight stays on the island during the week of the conference.

SELECTIONThe ability to communicate ideas formed over a sustained period of research to a wider audience is essential for being selected. All proposals will be evaluated by the scientific committee. The most significant interventions will be published, to be selected by the session directors.  

For further information, please contact the organizing secretariat of the festival or the Director at any of the following addresses:

[email protected]

[email protected]

On the website below you will find all the info to send proposals, including to the Summer School of Humanities and the Young Thinkers Festival:  

Facebook: IN- Philosophy Festival 

Instagram: @inphilosophyfestival

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May 1, 2024, 9:00am CET

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