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ACM reseachers reflect on today’s human beings

02/23/2016

  • Aristos Campus Mundus and the Chair in Science, Technology and Religion at Comillas organised the international symposium entitled. “Human Nature 2.0″.

Opening sesionWhat is human nature? Are the human beings in our technology culture the same as ever?  Are they reducible to technology, computational sciences, biology or neurology? Where does the specifically human aspect lie? Different Spanish and international experts who took part in “Human Nature 2.0” intended to answer these questions and others. The event was organised by the Chair in Science, Technology and Religion of Comillas ICAI-ICADE and Aristos Campus Mundus, in collaboration with the Universities of Deusto and Ramon Llull. Pedro Linares, Vice Rector of Research and Internationalisation at Comillas; Jose Manuel Caamaño, the Chair, and Camino Cañón, Professor and Principal Investigator of the “Human Nature 2.0.”.project, attended the opening ceremony.  

Prof. Camino Cañon explained that the idea for the symposium was first discussed in 2010, within a working group that pursued dialogue on articles related to human nature. “At the present time, sciences are technosciences. We are more than just simple creatures and we cannot ignore technical progress. We should use philosophy to mediate in it.”

 A transdisciplinary project

 

José Manuel Caamaño reminded participants that the chair is interdisciplinary, “which shows that this symposium intends to overcome knowledge fragmentation and the inevitable specialisation by discussing the research of specialists from different fields.” Along the same lines, the Vice Rector of Research and Internationalisation highlighted that this transdisciplinary project is a good example of the collaboration that the university wants to promote, by offering rigorous, excellent and interdisciplinary research “in which several ways of understanding reality converge”. 

During the three-day event, well known specialists such as Giacomo Rizzolatti, who discovered mirror neurons, Luciano Floridi, the leading author on the philosophy of information, or Manuel Serrano Marugán, of the Spanish National Cancer Research Centre (CNIO) and who is a world authority on stem cells, were some of the experts who discussed computational sciences, technology, biology, neurology, medicine, anthropology and sociology. The entire dialogue focused on clarifying the big question about human nature, which was said to be a concept we may not have ever devoted attention to. The conclusion reached was as follows: “Stating these concepts, subjecting them to discussion, discovering if they can be held up through rational argumentation…. is not merely a problem that refers to possible theoretical arguments, but is, above all, a radical ethical requirement.”

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