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Call for Applications

In association with the Udo Keller Stiftung Forum Humanum, the TRA 4 – Individuals, Institutions and Societies (University of Bonn) is offering 10 Forum Humanum fellowships, to qualified doctoral students and postdoctoral researchers from any department in the social sciences or humanities at the University of Bonn to participate in an event to be held at the newly founded Institute for Philosophy and the New Humanities at the New School for Social Research (NYC).

Researchers within the TRA 4 – Individuals, Institutions and Societies investigate how institutions mediate complex relationships between individuals and society and from there develop a new view of micro-phenomena (development of personality, agency, individualization) as well as macro-phenomena (world society, globalization). Sharing this research objective, the Institute for Philosophy and the New Humanities is founded on the premise that the various phenomena grouped under ‘AI’ cannot be regarded purely as developments within computer science and engineering, but demand to be understood within their broader social, political and intellectual context. They therefore have to be approached from a truly interdisciplinary perspective. The Institute thus aims to bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines, in order to draw on the resources of the social sciences, philosophy, and the humanities more generally, to explore the possibilities for a collaborative understanding both of AI across its various dimensions and of the challenges faced by the humanities in light of the increasing prevalence of intellectual models imported from other disciplines.

The event will take place on October 19-23, 2020 and will consist in a week-long series of seminars and workshops on the topic of “Artificial Intelligence and the Human(ities)”. Topics include the nature and validity of the claims raised in the social sciences and humanities vis-à-vis those raised in the technical sciences; the metaphysics of artificial intelligence; the impact of developments of artificial intelligence on our image of the human, specifically as regards the notions of thought, creativity, self-consciousness, objectivity and moral and aesthetic value. The seminars will be led by Prof. Dr. Markus Gabriel (Bonn), Prof. Dr. Zed Adams (New School) and Prof. Dr. Paul Kottmann (New School), and will be supplemented by various keynotes by external speakers (Jessica Riskin, Stanford; Stuart Russell, Berkeley; Brian Cantwell Smith, Toronto). The Forum Humanum scholarship will cover travel and accommodation costs, as well as provide a stipend for daily expenses. We are hoping that the workshops can still take place in New York. However, in light of the current uncertainty generated by the viral pandemic, there is a possibility that the event this year will take place online, in which case no scholarship would be disbursed. If it is possible to hold the event in New York City, participation will require participants to travel to New York City.

To submit an application, please send a) an up-to-date CV and b) a brief statement outlining your interest in the event in light of your current research projects (max. 1 page), combined into a single document, by 02.06.2020 to Dr. Alex Englander (E-Mail: [Email protection active, please enable JavaScript.]).