Interesting Conferences & Seminars

Symposium on The Mind-Technology Problem

October 21 & 22 2021

Organizers: Klaus Gärtner, Robert W. Clowes

Speakers: Catarina Dutilh Novaes, J. Adam Carter, Manuel Curado, Ron Chrisley, Steven Fuller, Vincent Müller, Paul Smart among others

We are living through a new phase in human development where much of everyday life – at least in the most technologically developed parts of the world – has come to depend upon our interaction with “smart” artefacts. Alongside this increasing adoption and ever-deepening reliance on intelligent machines, important changes have been taking place, often in the background, as to how we think of ourselves and how we conceptualize our relationship with technology. As we design, create and learn to live with a new order of artefacts which exhibit behavior that, were it to be carried out by human beings would be seen as intelligent, the ways in which we conceptualize intelligence, minds, reasoning and related notions such as self and agency are undergoing profound shifts. Indeed, it is possible to argue that the basic background assumptions informing, and the underlying conceptual scheme structuring our reasoning about minds has recently been transformed. This shift has changed the nature and quality of both our folk understanding of mind, our scientific psychology, and the philosophical problems that the interaction of these realms produce.
These new conceptualizations – sometimes implicit, sometimes explicit – about the nature of mind and its relationships to the artefacts we build has given rise to a new constellation of basic philosophical problems about the very nature of mind. This constellation we call, The Mind-Technology Problem. The mind-technology problem should be understood as the successor to the mind-body problem, engaging with the mind in a digital era. Distinctive questions include: What properties of mind may be enabled, transformed or extended by technology? What properties of mind may be diminished, outsourced or curtailed? Is human agency being primarily constrained or enabled by our encounter with 21st Century technology and especially by our interaction with AI? How might the nature of human agency, memory, knowledge, responsibility, and consciousness be changed through this interaction? These can all be viewed as problems of where our minds stop, and our artefacts begin. Deciding the limits of mind seem to recast the nature of the other philosophical problems around it.


21 de Outubro, Quinta-feira

09:30 – 10:00 Registration
10:00 – 10:20 Robert Clowes – Intro: Why the Mind Technology Problem? Why Now?
10:20 – 11:30 Steven Fuller – Humans 2.0 and tMTP (Final Title TBC)
11:30 – 11:50 COFFEE BREAK
11:50 – 13:00 Catarina Dutilh Novaes [online] – Attention and Trust in Online Argumention.
13:00 – 14:30 ALMOÇO
14.30 – 15:40 Manuel Curado – The Mind-Technology Problem in the Context of Evolutionary Psychology: The Challenge of on demand Mind Designs
15:40 – 16:00 COFFEE BREAK
16:00 – 17:10 Ron Chrisley – “I contain multitudes”: Can minds nest?

22 de Outubro, Sexta-feira

09:30 – 11:00 Vincent Müller – Epistemology, AI and Human Minds (Final Title TBC)
11:00 – 11:30 COFFEE BREAK
11:30 – 13:00 J. Adam Carter [online] – “Digital knowledge and the norms of AI delegation (or: leave it all to the machines?)” 
13:00 – 14:30 ALMOÇO
14:30 – 15:30 Steven Gouveia – Minds, Persons and the Mind-Uploading Hypothesis
15:30 – 16:00 COFFEE BREAK
16:00 – 17:00 Paul Smart [online] – Minding Society: Social Machines, Predictive Processing, and the Cognitive Incorporation of Humanity
17:00 – 17:30 Robert W. Clowes (chairing) – Closing discussion: The Future(s) of the tMTP

O simpósio será realizado em formato híbrido: presencialmente, no Anfiteatro da FCiências.ID, e online, via Zoom. A participação é gratúita, mas carece de incrição.


Morada do Anfiteatro da FCiências.ID
Faculdade de Ciências da Universidade de Lisboa
Edifício C1, Piso 3
Campo Grande, Lisboa

Contacto e

After Disenchantment: Science, Education, and la Vita Activa

(Aula inaugural CES – Universidade de Coimbra / PRESENCIAL)

October 22 2021

Speaker: Sheila Jasanoff (Harvard University)

Since the early twentieth century, philosophers and sociologists of technology have bemoaned the power of science and technology to empty our world of meaning: through devices such as rationalization, standardization, massification, and routine. Humans are seen as subjugated to machineries of production, and deprived of voice and agency, so that innovation suffers and democracy itself is in deficit. I will argue to the contrary that the turn of the twentieth century brought enormous gains in our capacity to reflect on what it means to be citizens of scientific and technological societies. Drawing on concepts such as co-production, constitutionalism, and sociotechnical imaginaries, I will show how this rise in social reflexivity has equipped us to rethink the politics of science and technology. I will use illustrations from work in science and technology studies (STS) on environment, biotechnology, and AI to show how advances in theories of science and technology in society open up new vistas for social creativity and political action.

Sheila Jasanoff is Pforzheimer Professor of Science and Technology Studies at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She is affiliated with the Department of the History of Science and Harvard Law School. Previously, she was Professor of Science Policy and Law at Cornell University and founding chair of Cornell’s Department of Science and Technology Studies. At Harvard, she founded and directs the Kennedy School’s Program on Science, Technology and Society (STS). In 2002, she founded the Science and Democracy Network, an international community of STS scholars dedicated to improving scholarly understanding of the relationships among science, technology, law, and political power.

Jasanoff has been a pioneer in building the field of Science and Technology studies (STS). Through her many administrative, pedagogical, and editorial roles, she has helped define the field for a generation of younger scholars in STS. Her works on law and science, risk management, the comparative politics of regulation, and science in environmental decisionmaking count as basic texts on those topics

Self-Consciousness and Social Interactions in Humans and Artificial Agents

October 26 2021

Speaker: Anna Ciaunica (CFCUL/GI2).

In this talk I will provide an overview of my previous work on the bodily roots of conscious experiences throughout the lifespan. I will then briefly look at alterations of self-awareness in depersonalisation, a condition that makes people feel detached from one’s self, body and the world. I will present some recent findings from our group regarding the relationship between depersonalisation and the bodily self. I will conclude by presenting my ongoing projects and experiments that will test these ideas empirically in humans and artificial agents.

Transmissão em direto via Zoom (password: 553547).

Cartaz do evento