Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies


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Technoprogressive? BioConservative? Huh?
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Bradshaw @ Cognitive Enhancement and Other Technologies of the Mind

January 9-10, 2013
Bristol, UK

Organising Committee: Darian Meacham (UWE), Sylvie Allouche (UoB), Alex McKeown (UoB), Ruud ter Meulen (UoB), Heather Bradshaw (UoB).

Confirmed guest speakers: Jean-Michel Besnier (Paris), Jerome Goffette (Lyon), Michael Hauskeller (Exeter), Robin Mackenzie (Canterbury), David Roden (Bristol). More to follow.

The aim of the Anphicon (Anthropotech + Philosophy) conferences is to explore the fundamental philosophical and ethical issues that are at stake in the debates surrounding technological alteration of the human body for the purposes of augmenting existing capacities, introducing new ones, or aesthetically improving the body - anthropotech.

Anphicon 1 approaches these questions through the lens of ‘cognitive enhancement and other technologies of the mind’. The goal is to take a critical perspective towards both the concepts of enhancement and cognition, asking questions such as:

  • Is cognition too narrow a frame to think about the technological alteration of the mind?
  • How value-loaded is the term ‘enhancement’?
  • What are we talking about enhancing when we talk about ‘cognitive enhancement’ and for what purposes?
  • What methodology serves to best investigate technological intervention into the body that results in alteration of conscious experience?
  • What are the relations between cognition, emotion, memory and will? And how do these relations impact on the debate over ‘cognitive enhancement’?

The conference also aims to address questions concerning:

  • Justice and fairness in the technological alteration of intellectual and affective capacities
  • The importance of neurodiversity and whether it is threatened by ‘cognitive enhancement’
  • The concept of neuro-ecology or ecology of the mind

These and others are the questions that we hope to address at Anphicon 1.

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