Call for Papers (2/2019)
Special Issue: “Humanity Enhanced, Transformed, Abolished: Christian Anthropology Encounters the Transhumanist Hope of Artificial Intelligence”

Information note
Date of online publication: 17 June 2019

1Forum Philosophicum, an international philosophical journal, invites submissions to a Special Issue entitled “Humanity Enhanced, Transformed, Abolished: Christian Anthropology Encounters the Transhumanist Hope of Artificial Intelligence,” to be published in open-access form by the Jesuit University Ignatianum in Cracow at the end of December 2019.

2As Artificial Intelligence leaves its childhood and enters adolescence, what used to be viewed merely as a fiction is turning into what is at least a possible future. It is a future of humans living with AI, transformed by AI, enhanced by AI. In this way, the idea that intelligence and rationality are what distinguishes a certain kind of mortal animal from the rest of the realm of being is coming to be challenged. Because of this, Christian philosophers face a serious dilemma. For centuries, they have relied on the Ancient idea of the exceptionality of human nature in proposing anthropologies through which at least the possibility of eternal life, visio beatifica, or theosis, could be regarded as admissible. Now, if they wish to preserve the notion that humans are not complete in who they are without “seeing God face-to-face,” they must either (i) abandon the view that the defining feature of humanity is rationality, and propose an account of spirituality that dissociates it from reason, or (ii) find a way to invalidate the growing faith in a transhuman future shaped by the enhancements of AI.

3We think that the questions worth considering (and in some cases reconsidering) in this context could include the following:

  • Can we still define human exceptionality through rationality?

  • Is spirituality inextricably linked with human intelligence? Can the Greek terms nous and logos still be used to refer to a human spiritual faculty?

  • What does the capacity for non-rational action tell us about human beings?

  • How will a non-rational human being survive in a world ruled by (narrowly) rational algorithms?

  • Will human ethical self-cognition have to be re-imagined in a reality in which the partner of the Socratic dialogue may be a machine?

  • Will AI-based enhancements undermine or redefine the finality of rational mortal being?

  • What does it mean to be a knowing and intelligent subject that not only knows things about the world, but also knows herself to be that subject?

4While most articles we publish originate from philosophical debates taking place within the context of Christianity, we are also open to explorations that locate themselves in a non-Christian or post-Christian context.

5The submission deadline for manuscripts is August 30th, 2019. Forum Philosophicum only accepts submissions in English. We are interested in both short papers and longer essays (up to 20,000 words).