2nd International Colloquium on the Philosophy of Technics

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Andrés Vaccari
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2nd International Colloquium on the Philosophy of Technics

“Artefacts, Intentions and Technical Agency”

The philosophy of technics encompasses a range of objects and problems spanning metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and philosophical anthropology, as well as culture and society. Some recent debates in the philosophy of technology have focused on the notion of “artefact” and its relation to human agency and intentionality. On the one hand, the analytical tradition has shown a growing interest in the ontology of artefacts, parting from the central axiom that binds them constitutively to the intentions of designers and users. On the other hand, other trends in the philosophy of technics, history, sociology and anthropology have stressed the autonomous nature of technology, its independence from human intentions and designs. The notions of control, design and intention also involve important ethical dimensions concerning the relationship between humans and their, often unfaithful, creations. Can we conceive of an ontology of artefacts? What should be its basis? Should “technical” actions be considered analytically distinct from other types of human action? What is the metaphysics of technical mediation? How can we think human agency and action in the context of a densely technified world?

The Second International Colloquium on the Philosophy of Technology aims to address these and other issues, and to establish itself as a meeting area between two philosophical traditions, analytic and Continental, that for various reasons remain distant. Under the theme of this meeting, "Artefacts, intentions and technical agency," we aim to bring together works that examine the key topics of contemporary debates in the philosophy of technics, as well as open new avenues of inquiry within the discipline.

We call for papers of 30 minutes. Papers will be accepted on the following topics, although any proposal within the philosophy of technics will be considered.

- The ontology of artifacts
- Symbolic artifacts
- “Material agency” and the ontological proposals of actor-network theory.
- Human agency in a technical context
- Phenomenology and metaphysics of technical action
- Agency, responsibility and the ethical dimensions of technical action.
- The metaphysics of technics.

Proposals for papers should be sent to coloquiofdt@gmail.com in two attachments (doc., pdf. or rtf.) containing:

(1) An extended abstract of about 2000 words presenting the title of the paper and clearly indicating the argumentative scheme of work (this should include a specification of the problem addressed, the thesis and a bibliography).
(2) Details of the author: name, institutional affiliation, and email address.

* The name and institutional affiliation of the author must appear only in the second document. The abstracts received will be subject to blind peer reviewed by experts appointed by the organizing committee. The latter reserves the right to request the full paper if necessary.

Deadline for receipt of abstracts: 1st September, 2011.

Date of notification of acceptance / rejection: 30th September, 2011.

Academic and Organizing Committee:
Diego Lawler (CONICET-REDES, Argentina), Jesús Vega Encabo (Univ. Autónoma de Madrid, España), Diego Parente (CONICET-UNMdP, Argentina), Andrés Vaccari (Macquarie University, Australia /Fundación Bariloche, Argentina)

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