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AISB event Bulletin Item

CFP: Workshop: Who Am I Online?


Workshop: Who Am I Online?
University of Aarhus, Kalovig Centre, Denmark
10-11 May 2010

Charles Ess (Drury/Aarhus)
Luciano Floridi (Hertfordshire/Oxford)

1st Call For Papers (Deadline: 31 March 2010)

As time and technology progress, how we interact with the world and each 
other becomes increasingly complex and articulated. The quantity and 
diversity of information in our environment, and the ease with which we can 
access that information and integrate it into our daily lives, have 
increased exponentially over the past decade. For many of us, the 
environment with which we interact has changed to make possible entirely 
new ways of working with information and being with others. Interest in 
these topics has recently been amplified by the advent of the so-called 
"Web 2.0", a (continuing) expansion of interactive venues such as social 
networking, blogging and microblogging such as Twitter, and "pro/sumer" 
activities in which consumers of media content such as music and videos are 
simultaneously its producers.

Psychologists, sociologists and anthropologists - including those whose 
research is gathered under the general domain of computer-mediated 
communication (CMC) - have for some time been interested in the ways in 
which such changes in our informational environment might affect us and our 
self-conceptions. The relevance of new technologies to our lives has 
attracted academic attention in large part because it appears to raise 
questions about how new kinds of interactions with others and our 
environment might alter, shape or otherwise affect our self-conceptions, 
our thoughts and other aspects of our cognitive, emotional and moral lives. 
And the project of ascertaining which properties of ourselves and our 
activities make essential contributions to our moral and mental lives and 
personhood is one in which philosophers are traditionally engaged. Yet 
these topics have, thus far, been relatively neglected by philosophers.

This is especially strange when considered alongside the emphasis in recent 
philosophy of mind on the essential contributions that the embedding 
environment and our modes of interaction with it can make to our mental 
lives. If it's possible that our informational environment and our 
capacities for interaction with it can constitutively shape our mentality 
and our moral conduct, we should consider whether radical changes in that 
environment and its interactive affordances may have implications for the 
character of our mental and moral lives, and perhaps for the sorts of 
persons we are.

There is already significant evidence that such changes are upon us in both 
what we used to call the Western and Eastern worlds - most obviously, as 
apparent changes in self-conception are affiliated with dramatically 
changing understandings and expectations of 'privacy,' especially 
informational or online privacy. So, what implications do new informational 
environments and affordances have for philosophical and ethical views of 
personal identity? And what light, if any, can existing philosophical work 
on personal identity shine on the conceptual issues that arise when talking 
and thinking about agents, environments and interactions that span or blur 
the real/virtual and online/offline divides? The workshop will address 
these issues.

We welcome proposals for papers dealing with the construction of personal 
identities online. Please submit extended abstracts (between 1000 and 1500 
words all included, preferably in MS Word format) for papers suitable for 
40-minute presentations to Dave Ward ( by 31 March 

Bursaries: a number of bursaries for graduate students presenting papers 
will be available, on a competitive basis, to contribute to travel and 
accommodation expenses.

Publication: successful submissions will be selected for publication.

Series: the workshop is part of a series of meetings organized as part of 
the AHRC-funded project "The Construction of Personal Identities Online". 
More information about the project is available here: