Director of the Centre for Social Ontology, Professor Ismael Al-Amoudi, recently appeared on Xerfi Canal to discuss the ethical challenges presented by artificial intelligence. The video can be viewed here (in French):
The International Association for Critical Realism (IACR) are now accepting abstract submissions for their annual conference, which this year focuses on the topic of ‘post-truth’. The deadline for submitting abstracts for the conference has been extended to May 1st 2019.
The International Association for Critical Realism (IACR) are now accepting abstract submissions for their annual conference, which this year focuses on the topic of ‘post-truth’. The organisers explain that the conference will “explore, from a Critical Realist perspective, the challenges ‘post-truth’ politics pose for society, the need for value-based research, and the role, representation and dissemination of academic knowledge in the public sphere.”
Proposals for paper sessions on the following themes are especially invited:
- The role and representation of scientific knowledge, evidence and expertise in the public domain
- The value base and emancipatory potential of academic knowledge and its scope to inform policy and practice
- The application of Critical Realism to real-world problems and issues
- Climate change/ denial of climate change and environmental protection
- The complementarities and tensions between postmodernism and neoliberal political discourse and politics
- International politics in a ‘post-truth’ environment
- The relationship between Critical Discourse Analysis/Studies and Critical Realism
- Education, including higher education, in the context of post-truth politics
- Health and well-being in the context of neoliberal politics
The conference will take place at the University of Southampton, between the 31st of July and the 2nd of August, 2019. It will include a roundtable on the work of Andrew Collier. Further information about the conference can be accessed at https://iacrsoton.wordpress.com, and enquiries can be sent to Erin Forward: E.M.Forward@soton.ac.uk
The eighth annual Centre for Social Ontology workshop will take place at the Grenoble Ecole de Management from January 7th to January 10th, 2019. It will be followed by an open seminar on Friday the 11th of January, in room C241, from 9am to 5pm. The seminar is convened by Prof. Ismael Al-Amoudi (GEM, social and organisational studies) and will feature professors Margaret Archer (Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, social theory), Pierpaolo Donati (Bologna, sociology), Jamie Morgan (Leeds-Beckett, philosophy and economics), Doug Porpora (Drexel, media studies) and Colin Wight (Sydney, international relations).
The open seminar will feature a morning roundtable session regarding the CSO’s current project on post-human society, followed by an afternoon general discussion around the question ‘Towards post-human society?’ to generate informed dialogue with attendees. Finally, between 3pm and 5pm, the five guest speakers will be available for individual 30 minutes discussions. Do not hesitate to discuss with them either a research project of yours for which you would like their input, or questions you may have about their own research, about realist approaches to social science, etc.
Those interested in attending can register here. Given that places are limited to a maximum of 35 participants, please register early. Please use the first sheet of the Google Doc to register for the open seminar, and the second page to register for the individual sessions should you wish to do so.
This volume is the first of a trilogy which investigates, from a broadly realist perspective, the place, and challenges, of the human in contemporary social orders. The authors, all members of the Centre for Social Ontology, ask what is specific about humanity’s nature and worth, and what are their main challenges in contemporary societies?
Examining the ways in which recent advances in technology threaten to blur and displace the boundaries constitutive of our shared humanity, Realist Responses to Post-Human Society: Ex Machina explores the philosophical and ethical questions raised by these developments, and discusses the dangers posed by the combination of transhumanism with post-humanist social theories and antihumanist practices, institutions and ideologies.
Find out more on the publisher’s website here.
We are delighted that our book Morphogenesis and Human Flourishing was awarded the Cheryl Frank Memorial Prize for 2017. This is what the prize committee said about the book:
This is an edited collection on the nature of morphogenic society, the ethics of flourishing, and the relationship between social change and ethics. It is a rich dialogue which can stimulate further debate about flourishing under modern social conditions. While there is some unevenness in the 13 chapters, the book is worthy of the Cheryl Frank prize for how it pulls together and focuses a strong group of critical realists writing about ethical issues. Its approach differs from other critical realist work in the field by Christian Smith and Andrew Sayer. It is the final volume in a series of five that includes volumes on social morphogenesis, late modernity, generative mechanisms, and the crisis of normativity. Recognised as the culmination of this broader achievement, Morphogenesis and Human Flourishing is nonetheless judged on its own merits for the prize.
The seventh annual Centre for Social Ontology workshop took place at the University of Tromsø from January 9th to January 11th. It was followed by a workshop with colleagues from UiT Tromsø which can be viewed online here.
Doug Porpora, ‘What the Media are Saying’
Pierpaolo Donati, ‘ Human Enhancement and the Technological Matrices: the Hybridization of Identities, Social Relations and Organizations.
Mark Carrigan, The Human Ghost in the Machine that Learns
Margaret Archer, Considering AI Personhood
Andrea Maccarini, Transhuman social forms, cognitive advantages, post-human Sociability and feedback mechanisms.
Emmanuel Lazega, Fire and Forget Swarms; A.I. and the new wave of militarily driven Bureaucratization of Society.
Ismael Al-Amoudi, Public Policy, Artificial Intelligence and Ethical Problems