8th International Congress on Human Sciences: "Axiological reflections on transhumanism"

2019-09-29

December 2-3, 2019, Madrid, Spain

Deadline for paper submission:  October 18, 2019 

Advances in science and in technology oblige we human beings to set new questions about what beinghuman means. Not only do we have to answer metaphysical questions about who we are, we must also ask ourselves who we want to be. As the possibility of using brain implants becomes increasingly nearer, competition and collaboration with artificial intelligence, the chances of extending life while ending many of the inconveniencies of old age, genetic editing, and the capacity to exist on other planets are all realities which require us to take a fresh and profound look at such issues.

Axiological concerns about humanity and its technical creations, as well as the hypothetical conceptual antagonism between the natural and the artificial, have accompanied western thought since at least ancient Greek times. Biology and technology force us to consider this matter in a more complex way, for example, to think about the relationship between humans and machines. Before Alan Turing (1954) conceived his famous test, which was theoretically capable of differentiating humans from computers, Descartes critically pointed out, in his celebrated Discourse on Method (1637), certain divergences between humans and machines, and made a first analytical attempt to differentiate between them.

More recently, the end of the 20th century saw the emergence of the concept of the extended mind (Clark & Chalmers, 1998). According to this thesis, some mental processes occur outside of the brain (and of the body) of the biological subject which triggers them. This view of the mental implies that cognitive processes would no longer be exclusive to living beings- in addition to being strongly conditioned by the natural, technological and social environment - to the extent that we should review the traditional separation between the mental and the physical.

Bearing in mind that current advances in various branches of technology may converge in the creation of new bridges between real and artificial life, we need to rethink the basic categories of understanding life, of humanity and of the most fundamental ethical and political issues: Are humans about to transcend their own humanity? Are we on Earth on the cusp of new evolutionary leap? Will the boundaries between the living and the artificial cease to exist? Can machines emulate and reproduce human consciousness and intelligence? Where are the political and ethical standpoints concerning these perspectives of transformation? Is it licit to do everything which at first sight seems doable? These questions still have no clear answers, which is precisely why they cannot be put off any longer.

The congress is a place of critical reflection, both for leading scholars in this field and for emerging researchers. The registration to the conference allows the participants, in addition to attending the event, to submit a paper, workshop or poster proposal. The best articles will be selected for publishing in a book or associated journal.

THEMES

Literature

  • Literary theory.
  • Literary criticism.
  • Traditional major authors and major works. Comparisons between novels.
  • Literary genres. Comparisons between genres.
  • Comparisons between characters.
  • Global literature.
  • Symbolisms in literature.
  • Literature of cultural diversity.
  • Oral tradition.
  • Historical background.
  • Politics, religion and values in literature.

Thought and History

  • History. History of art.
  • Philosophy. Anthropology. Ethnology.
  • Archaeology. Paleontology.
  • History, nature and evolution of language(s).
  • Philosophy of language. Philosophy of mind.
  • Linguistics. Semiotics.
  • Museology.
  • Musicology.

Humanities and Education

  • Teaching and learning the humanities.
  • Language acquisition.
  • Psychology of education.
  • Learning a foreign language.
  • Professional development.

Digital Humanities, Libraries, and Publishing

  • The book. Past and future. E-books. E-readers. Smartphones.
  • Publishing. From textuality to multimodality.
  • Intellectual property rights. Copyright.
  • Open data, open access, open licenses, free culture, open source, free software. Creative Commons.
  • Libraries, archives, and metrics. Bibliometrics. Webometrics.
  • The new role of librarians, publishers, booksellers, authors, and readers.
  • New editorial processes and models.
  • Digital humanities projects and methodologies. Self-publihing. Print on demand.

Social Humanities

  • Political science.
  • The human and the social: interdisciplinary studies.
  • Linguistic and cultural diversity.
  • Mediated human interactions.
  • New media and human behavior.
  • Role of race, ethnicity, education, class, age, and religion in defining social structures within a culture.
  • Aging.
  • Expansion and access of rights through concepts of justice and human rights.
  • Migration. International relations. Globalization.
  • Cultural heritage.

Humanities, Science, and Technology

  • Environmental humanities. Impact of human activities on the environment. Anthropocene. Deep ecology.
  • Digital humanities. Digital libraries. Hypertexts. Multimodality.
  • History and philosophy of science.
  • History and philosophy of technology.
  • Science, technology, and values.
  • Sciences, technology, and culture.
  • Transhumanism. Posthumanism.
  • Minds and machines. Philosophy of mind.
  • Neurophilosophy.
  • Artificial intelligence.
  • Mass media and human being.
  • Science fiction.


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