Category Archives: Notices

Bio-Hackers, Home Made Cyborgs and Body Modifications: A New Frontier for Ethics and Policy

echnologies are increasingly being incorporated into the body. ‘Grinder’ and biohacking movements are gaining momentum as more and more individuals are beginning to practice increasingly extreme body modifications;using technology to enhance, extend and modify the capabilities of the human body. Amal Graafstra has incorporated Near Field Communication Chips (NFC) and Radio Frequency Identification Chips (RDIF) into his hands in order to enable him to access his home, office and car without the use of keys and access password protected websites and hardware in a secure manner. Tim Cannon implanted a prototype (Circadia) that collected and transmitted biometric data wirelessly to a smartphone under his skin, enabling him to closely monitor his body temperature. A consumer friendly version of Circadia is being developed that will allow measurement of blood glucose and blood oxygen levels as well as blood pressure and temperature. Other biohackers have implanted magnets in their fingertips to sense magnetic fields (giving them a form of sixth sense) and into their tragi to transmit sound directly into the ears. Naltrexone (an opioid receptor antagonist) implants can be inserted into the lower abdomen in order to aid recovery in opioid addicts by precluding individuals from experiencing the effects of drugs like heroin and morphine. Developments such as these offer tantalising possibilities in terms of convenience, privacy, our relationship to and experience of the natural world, and increased health; but also bring with them significant ethical questions concerning our relationship to our bodies, the limits of consent, and the role of doctors (and other professionals working in clinical and periclinical scenarios).

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CFP: Assessing the Relevance of Ideal Theory (MANCEPT 2017)

Here’s a call for papers for a worskshop a colleague of mine and I are organizing at MANCEPT later this year:

A natural way to theorize about social institutions and rules is to focus on first identifying what the perfect model of such arrangements looks like. After all, if we are interested in determining what justice in our specific situation requires, then it seems sensible to first figure out what justice requires in general. We might label a theory that takes up such an approach ideal theory. Rawls took the function of ideal theory to be the generation of guiding principles for how actual societies and political institutions should be arranged. On his view, ideal theory was to be supplemented with a nonideal theory, which is tasked at least partly with determining the morally justifiable and politically feasible means of moving actual societies closer to the ideal one. Of course, Rawls’s usage of the term “ideal theory” is narrower than how it is employed by contemporary writers on the subject. For Rawls, the term referred to a theory that imagines realistic utopia in which individuals are assumed to be fully compliant and possess an effective sense of justice. More generally, we can take ideal theory to also refer simply to any theory that advances a vision of a perfect society that fully embodies a normative political or moral value such as justice. Such an approach to theorizing is to be contrasted with any other that merely aims to solve moral or justice-related problems in our actual, imperfect world, without reference to a perfect society.

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NEW PUBLICATION: THE YOUNG HEGEL AND RELIGION (ED. E. SEMBOU)

I would like to draw your attention to a new publication, entitled “The Young Hegel and Religion”. This consists of a collection of essays on Hegel’s “Early Theological Writings”. A book of public ethics, of interest to political theorists and historians of political thought alike.

https://www.peterlang.com/view/product/80993

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Two Postdoctoral Fellowships in Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Virginia Tech

The Program in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) at Virginia Tech, housed in the Department of Philosophy, seeks two Postdoctoral Fellows in any area of PPE, however with a strong preference for the philosophy of the social sciences (in particular the philosophy of economics) and/or the history of moral, political, and economic thought.

The successful candidates will have a promising interdisciplinary research agenda that allows collaboration with the program’s core faculty. The Fellows are expected to teach one course per semester and participate actively in the PPE Program. A Ph.D. in Philosophy (or closely related fields) is required at the time of appointment. The initial appointments are made for one year, but the positions are renewable for up to three years (depending on funding and satisfactory performance). The starting date for the positions is August 10, 2017, pending final budgetary approval.

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Cambridge University Press Graduate Essay Prize

The Britain and Ireland Association for Political Thought invites graduate students registered for a doctoral degree at any university in the UK or the Republic of Ireland, engaged in research in any area of the fields of political thought and theory, to submit a paper which will form the basis for presentation at the Political Thought Conference 2018, to be held in Oxford January 4-6 2018). The academic convenors for the conference (Iseult Honohan and Humeira Iqtidar) will select one paper to be included in the conference programme. The winning candidate will be given free conference registration, accommodation, meals and travel expenses.

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Call for Poster Presentations: Oxford APT Conference

Proposals are invited from PhD and early postdoctoral students for a newly introduced poster presentation session at the APT Oxford Political Thought conference at St Catherine’s College 4-6 January 2018.

Posters are invited in three broad thematic areas:
Climate change
Religion
Social justice [these are provisional]

A limited number of proposals will be selected for presentation. Invited speakers at the conference will be available at the poster session to comment on the presentations and to discuss your research.
The APT is one of the longest established meeting of political theorists in Britain. Consisting mainly of plenary sessions at which all papers are invited, it is strikingly and unusually pluralist. It attracts an international range of researchers from all the sub-fields of political theory: normative and critical; analytic and interpretive; historical and contemporary; anglo-american and continental european.

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