CFP: Humanity and its Tools: Utopia or Apocalypse?

Submission deadline: January 31, 2022

Conference date(s):
April 4, 2022 - April 6, 2022

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Conference Venue:

Department of Philosophy, York University
Toronto, Canada

Topic areas


The Department of Philosophy at York University is pleased to announce the 12th Annual Philosophy Graduate Conference, to be held in April 2022 in Toronto. Our title this year is Humanity and its Tools: Utopia or Apocalypse? We invite abstract submissions from graduate students working in all areas and traditions of philosophy related to our main theme.

Conference Description:

Technology, for all its promise, seems as if it is always accompanied by a dark side. The foray into nuclear energy brought with it the Cold War and the first possibility, narrowly avoided, of self-extinction. Our ancestors surely never anticipated that the mastery of fire would one day lead to industry at a planetary scale, capable of altering the global climate perhaps to the point of making it unlivable. Computers, the internet and the explosion of the information age is the most recent technological revolution whose shadow side we are only now beginning to grapple with. Our broad interest for this conference is to examine the evolving relationship of humanity with its tools. Do we remain masters of our technology, capable of directing it by our own agency in positive, sustainable directions? Or have we already lost control of it – or perhaps even come under its control? Are there further technological solutions to the problems raised by technology, or is a more radical mindset shift required? Is it our fate as technological creatures to wipe ourselves out by uncovering tools whose power we are not equipped to wield, or do we have it in us to survive our own discoveries? We hope to explore both the promise and dangers which our technology in all its forms carries with it. We hope to generate conversation, practical solutions and perhaps wisdom about our technological destiny.

Submissions from all areas and traditions of philosophy that are related to this theme are welcomed. We especially welcome submissions from underrepresented groups and areas. Possible topics include (but are not limited to):

Algorithms and social media

Data privacy and security

Artificial intelligence and politics

Social epistemology and the internet

Technology and the environment

Algorithmic biases

AI and the manipulation of behaviour

Automation and employment

Human-Robot interaction

Autonomous systems

Singularity and Superintelligence

AI and moral agency

Please submit your abstract (500-800 words) to [email protected], by January 31st, 2022. Abstracts should be prepared for blind review. Please in the body of your email include your name, the title of the paper, and affiliation. Papers should be suitable for a 20-minute presentation, followed by a commentary. 

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Custom tags:

#technology, #AI, #Toronto