Submissions

The joint ESDiT / 4TU.Ethics international conference on “Rethinking Ethics – Reimagining Technology” will take place from October 2nd to October 4th at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. 

With the theme of “Rethinking Ethics – Reimagining Technology”, this conference aims to address the question what philosophy and ethics of technology mean today. It accordingly seeks to bring together scholars working on philosophy and ethics of technology, whether this work concerns conceptual analysis, reflections on methods for studying and evaluating technology, case-studies in the ethics of (disruptive) technologies, sustainable technology, praxis-oriented approaches geared towards design and social implications, or topics related to these. 

We invite submissions for individual papers, panel sessions, or roundtables. Less traditional types of sessions addressing philosophy and ethics of technology will be taken into consideration as well. 
 

Submission instructions

Besides a general track on philosophy and ethics of technology, the conference will be structured around 7 thematic tracks. You can find descriptions of the tracks by scrolling down and clicking on the track titles. 

All submissions are subject to blind peer-review, meaning that besides a name and contact details, biographies need not be submitted at this time. 

To submit an individual paper, please provide an abstract that is prepared for anonymous review of approximately 350 words and maximally 5 keywords.

To submit a panel proposal or roundtable, please provide a title, a brief (approx. 500 words) description of the topic, names of those participating, and titles for each paper/presentation. Abstracts of the papers included in the panel (approx. 300 words) are strongly encouraged. Besides mentioning the names of those participating, all materials should be anonymized for review. Participants should be confirmed as willing to attend if the session goes forward. 

For proposals for different types of sessions, please send us an email.

After submission, you will receive a confirmation email. If you do not receive such an email within a few hours, let us know at conference2024@ethicsandtechnology.eu


Deadlines 

The deadline for submissions is: 24-04-2024

Notification of acceptance is: 17-05-2024

Registration will open on 17-05-2024. The registration fee will be €200 (early bird) or €150 for students and scholars from developing nations. This fee includes drinks and bites (day 1), a conference dinner (day 2), as well as refreshments and lunches (all days). In exceptional cases, waivers or discounts can be made available. You can email us to be considereed for a waiver or discount. 

You can reach the organizers at conference2024@ethicsandtechnology.eu 

We look forward to receiving your submissions by 24-04-2024.

Tracks

This track concerns AI. On the one hand, we invite contributions focusing on fundamental and conceptual issues in AI, for instance pertaining to ‘trustworthiness’, ‘explanation’, ‘human-centered’, ‘responsible’ or ‘behavior, manipulation, and autonomy’. On the other hand, we welcome contributions focusing on practices and prospects, for instance regarding ELSA, RRI, and VSD in the context of AI, or the philosophical and socio-political implications of generative AI in brain-computer interfacing (BCI) and mind-reading. Perspectives include (but need not be limited to): Philosophy of Technology; Science and Technology Studies (STS); ethical theory; philosophy of science; philosophy of mind; social theory; as well as more heterodox perspectives from literary studies (e.g. science fiction) and critical media studies. 

Questions include (but need not be limited to): 

  • How to understand ‘human centric’ AI and how can it be analyzed in terms of power? 
  • How (not) to revisit and/or update methodologies from ESLA, RRI, and VSD to democratize AI? 
  • How to navigate the prospects of ‘mind reading’ by way of generative AI and BCIs, both philosophically and socially? 
  • How to understand manipulative technology in general, and in particular in relation to EU’s AI act? And how to evaluate in terms of an ethics of influence? 

This track will focus on the myriad relations between technology, embodiment, subjectivation, as well as issues related to cognition and philosophy of mind. It invites contributions concerning sexual technologies, datafication and embodiment, as well as cognition (e.g. embodied, distributed, 4E vs mechanistic explanations, and neurotechnologies). Besides philosophy of technology, perspectives may include (but need not be limited to) philosophical anthropology, posthumanism, disability studies, (post)structuralism, philosophy of mind, and phenomenology. 

Questions include (but need not be limited to):

  • How are (data) technologies informed and shaped by our environments, subjectivities, and vice-versa? 
  • How to understand the relation between embodiment, subjectivation, and power? 
  • What constitutes technology-induced vulnerability, and how can vulnerability be analyzed in the context of intimate (digital) technologies and embodiment?
  • How to understand objectification, (de)humanization, and (de)subjectivation in relation to new technologies and particularly sexual technologies and/or neurotechnologies?

This track focuses on conceptual issues in contemporary philosophy and ethics of technology. Besides contributions focusing on fundamental concepts, conceptualization as such, or conceptual issues within relevant sub-disciplines (e.g. related to concepts such as agency, accountability, or responsibility), we invite contributions that focus on conceptual development and change, for instance regarding the meaning of progress in technology, science, and morality and the way they intertwine. Contributions focusing on conceptual engineering and the relation between conceptual change and value change are also welcome. 

Questions may include (but need not be limited to) 

  • What are the fundamental concepts in philosophy and ethics of technology today, and why do they (not) suffice? 
  • How are concepts constituted and how do they influence the discourse of philosophy and ethics of technology? 
  • How to understand concepts like progress and regress, whether in terms of science, technology, morality? 
  • How to understand and elucidate processes of conceptual change, particularly in relation to value change? 

This track focuses on the relation between (disruptive) technology, health, and health-care. We welcome contributions that evaluate radical and disruptive technological innovations in the field of health care, e.g. regarding how novel possibilities of prediction, diagnosis, and treatment (re)shape how health is understood (e.g. in terms of therapy vs enhancement). We further welcome work on how deployment of digital health, increased reliance on big data and AI transform and co-shape health-care relations (e.g. physician-patient relationships) and practices. 

Questions include (but need not be limited to): 

  • What innovative anticipatory methods and approaches to medical ethics are needed in order to prepare for and respond to disruptions in the domain of health? 
  • What disruptive effects can we anticipate from digital technologies such as AI, ambient home care technologies, and robotics, and how can historical studies, theoretical models, or anticipatory methods aid in evaluating such anticipation? 
  • How might technologies such as human enhancement disrupt our concepts of health and health care? 
  • What are public health challenges arising from disruptive health technologies, and which methods and approaches are need in order to navigate these challenges? 

This track concerns the relation between technology and the (living) environment. On the one hand, we welcome contributions on climate ethics, environmental ethics, and energy transitions. Suggested topics include (but need not be limited to) geo-engineering, sustainable technologies, de-extinction, environmental justice, or the processes, embedded values, and temporalities of energy transitions. On the other hand, we invite contributions on the philosophy and ethics of biotechnology, for instance with regards to environmental philosophy (e.g. biomimicry, digitalization of nature) or concerning the manipulation of living bodies more broadly conceived (e.g. embodiment, artificial wombs and natality, digitalization and manipulation of genetic data, the artificial (re)design of life). Questions may include (but need not be limited to):

  • How to reconsider justice vis-à-vis non-human entities such as the environment or planet in light of technologies such as gene-drives or biomimetic technologies?
  • How to understand and evaluate the digitalization of nature in bio-tech practices? 
  • How to develop an ethics for the energy transition, and how to grapple with issues such as anthropocentrism, climate justice, distribution and differing temporalities? 
  • How may regenerative design contribute to shifting the meaning of sustainability? 
  • How do gene drives affect the notion of control of nature, and what kind and degree of control is desirable? 

This track focuses on methodological issues in contemporary philosophy and ethics of technology. We invite contributions that reflect on which methods or methodologies currently hold sway and how their possibilities and limits are to be evaluated. For instance, while much traditional ethics focuses on the individual, it remains questionable whether this translates to other agents (e.g. social groups, institutions, socio-technical systems), which becomes pertinent when considering the embedded values and moral properties of technological products and systems. We further welcome evaluations of how ethics, social sciences, and other disciplines (e.g. philosopohy of technology, STS, foresight analysis, critical social science, moral psychology, but also the design studies and the arts) can be fruitfully combined, for instance in analysis and assessment the societal impacts of technology. The latter may include reflections on transdisciplinary and collaborative methodologies and practices, for instance regarding forms of knowledge, ethical concerns, and ways of approaching these, both in terms of theoretical work and concrete case-studies. 

Questions include (but need not be limited to): 

  • Which philosophical and/or social-scientific methods or methodologies are relevant to the contemporary analysis of technology? 
  • How to consider ethics beyond the individual? Does a traditional conceptual focus on the individual seamlessly translate to groups, organizations, and institutions? 
  • What is an individual? How does it compare to supra-individual entities, both ontologically and in terms of moral standing? 
  • How (not) to engage ethics of technology in a transdisciplinary way, particularly in relation to controversial technologies? 

This track will focus on politics and technology. We invite contributions that relate (disruptive) technology and design to questions of democracy, deliberation, and security, as well as to issues in political economy like automated labor, alienation, and the meaning of work. Contributions focusing on legal and juridical aspects are also encouraged. Perspectives may include (but need not be limited to) political philosophy, critical theory (of technology); conflict studies, juridical theory, theories of justice, deliberative democracy, and design studies. 

Questions include (but need not be limited to):

  • How does disruptive (digital) technology help instigate or avoid socio-political tensions? 
  • How do disruptive technologies drive, mitigate, or change threats to national security? 
  • What kinds of (digitally mediated) deliberation and participation are more or less suitable to current technological issues such as climate change and (non)human enhancement?
  • How to understand the relation between disruptive (digital) technological systems and juridical systems? Do novel technologies (e.g. AI) offer solutions to flaws in juridical systems, or do they accentuate existing problems? 
  • (How) can disruptive technology such as initiatives in e-government and digital deliberation ameliorate and promote democratic principles and practices? 
  • Do new digital technologies call for alternative democratic theories (e.g. adversarial democracy, experimental democracy), and how to evaluate such theories?
  • Which ‘political’ design approaches foster “design for democracy” (e.g. critical, participatory, speculative, more-than-human design)? 
  • How to situate and understand the value and meaning of labor in light of automation on the one hand, and democratic principles on the other? 

If your abstract does not fit any of the other tracks, then choose this track.

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