Technology and coexistence. Phenomenological and anthropological perspectives

September 8, 2021 - September 10, 2021
Department of Humanistic Studies, University of Naples Federico II

Via Porta di Massa 1


University of Naples Federico II

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From 8th to 10th September 2021, The “Mechane Lab” (The Philosophy of Technology Laboratory) of the University of Naples “Federico II” will organize the international conference Technology and Coexistence: Phenomenological and Anthropological Perspectives.

The relationship between technology and coexistence has become one of the paramount philosophical concerns of our time. The question of technology and its primary function in the evolution and existence of man, and its role in structuring the social, cultural, and political world, has become a crucial topic for theoretical and moral philosophy.

Technology has been described by many philosophers throughout history (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Pico della Mirandola, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger) as a common heritage of humankind, a fundamental anthropological trait, such that it is impossible to conceive the human being without it.

In the contemporary age, the reflection on technology has become a sort of meeting point for many thinkers who come from different scientific fields: philosophers, anthropologists, biologists, ethologists, engineers and, architects as well, and question the nature of technology and the challenges and risks of technological progress that characterizes hypermodernity. 

The debate on technology has yielded significant philosophical development throughout the 20th century, but nowadays, given the extraordinary development of new technologies such as AI, ambient intelligence, and digital ICTs, there is a particular urgency that motivates the current debate more than ever before. The abovementioned recent technological developments are introducing a cultural revolution that is changing our Weltanschauung, our interactions, our social world, and the modality of our coexistence, therefore introducing new ontological and ethical issues. The contemporary world is increasingly a “Technosystem”, quoting A. Feenberg, and our era, defined by some as “Anthropocene”, appears to be the time in which technology even modifies the biology of living beings along with the territorial and climatic elements of the world.   In such contest, philosophy is required to provide a new hermeneutical and conceptual effort that involves empirical sciences as well. 

This conference seeks to develop and examine these developments, further interrogating the relationship of technology and coexistence in the light of digital technological innovation. In addition to the presentations by the keynote speakers, we welcome submissions of abstracts suitable for a short presentation (20 minutes + 15 minutes for discussion) on the question of technology. Abstracts are accepted on many topics including: 

  • The relationship between technology and coexistence from a general philosophical perspective or from a scientific perspective (anthropology, ethology, psychology, engineering…).
  • Artificial intelligence, ICTs and digital technology, along with their impact on subjectivity and our social world.
  • New political and ethical issues concerning contemporary digital technologies and how they are changing our coexistence.
  • New theoretical perspectives on the technological dimension and the interpersonal sphere.

Abstracts are welcomed in English, Italian, and German, should be prepared for blind peer-review and should be at least 200 words and not exceed 500 words.

Please send the abstract at: [email protected]

The conference will be in-person at the University of Naples “Federico II”, if allowed, otherwise an online virtual format will be arranged.

The deadline for submission is July 20, 2021. Expected date of notification to the authors is July 30, 2021.

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