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Regular version of the site

Planned sections

Ethics, Epistemology and Biopolitics of Medicine in the Era of Coronavirus

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to heated public debates on biosecurity, human dependence on nature, and the transformation of a pandemic into an "infodemic". Questions are raised about whether measures such as lockdown and mass mandatory vaccination are permissible, and how these measures relate to the rights and freedoms of the people. During 2020 and 2021, philosophers have made many public statements about the challenges that the pandemic poses to modern society, state and scientific knowledge.We propose to deepen this discussion by attracting the latest scientific data and placing the discussion in the context of topical problems of the analytical and continental traditions of philosophy, as well as cultural and critical problematization. The pandemic showed that it is difficult to talk about biomedical knowledge beyond the social, economic and political contexts of its application, which once again demonstrated the potential of epistemologies of the critical humanities (sociology of knowledge, STS, posthumanism). Both researchers in the field of medicine and biology and scholars in humanities studies of medicine and health care (philosophers, scholars in cultural studies, sociologists and socio-political theorists) are invited to participate in the section.
Proposals in English are welcomed.

Temporality and Topology of the Pandemic

Changes in isolation regimes, self-isolation, restrictions on movement and unpredictability / predictability of the future together add up to an invaluable experience that testifies to the time and space of the pandemic world. A year and a half later, we can talk about the place and time of the pandemic meeting, when delayed trips are reactualized, persistently referring to the topos of the Motherland. The redirection and restriction of tourist flows and the renewal of recreational practices on new and objectively forced grounds have led to a unique collective cultural experience, within which images of forgotten, abandoned and long-neglected places manifest themselves. Together, this semi-forced reception of impressions forms a new universe, within which the forgotten discourses of the native land, nostalgia, Homeland, guilt, presence and admiration for the landscape circulate. Here we can consider a range of issues related to the subject of the pandemic process itself and the boundaries of this subject, the dichotomy of continuality and discontinuity in the pandemic temporality, the languages of describing the encounter with the native land, nostalgic topos of travel, the intensification of existential experience in the pandemic and what is called the soundscape of quieted and sounded in a new urban spaces.

Coronavirus and Geopolitics

Among many other philosophical problems triggered by the pandemic, the normative problems of geopolitics loom large. Coronavirus necessitates the reconceptualization of many fundamental geopolitical values. This reconceptualization includes both the fundamental goals of international interaction and the normative means to be used. Coronavirus has made it evident that the current forms and scope of international collaboration do not correspond to the threat. At the same time Coronavirus has clearly indicated that the further global sustainable social development is only possible through open society, democratic legitimation and responsible governance. In terms of this section, we are about to discuss the following problems:
1. Global security. Its scope and limitations at the face of pandemic threat.
2. The threat stemming from production, research and proliferation of bacteriological weapons of mass destruction.
3. The threat of bacteriological terrorism. Its new imminence has to be taken more seriously into account.
4. The transformation of the threat of military conflict and the influence of the pandemic on the military conflict.
5. New forms of global social organization in the situation of the pandemic thereat.
6. The transformation of sovereignty and the emergence of new centers of power.
7. The influence of the pandemic on the world religions.
8. The emergence of new forms of soft power and new global systems of values.
9. The transformation of the normative meaning of international law.

Business Ethics: The Quarantine Test

Chair: Maxim Storchevoy
Proposal Submission Deadline:  August 15th, 2021
The section is devoted to ethical dilemmas in business under the pandemic: changing relations with employees, suppliers, consumers and other stakeholders. To what extent is the Russian legal system and practices of Russian companies ready for the new conditions?  How did business ethics change during the pandemic? How ethical was state regulation of business during the pandemic? What can the most affected industries (restaurants, hotels, beauty salons, etc.) tell philosophers? The outline of topics:
• The ethics of pricing in a crisis
• The ethics of telecommuting: the problem of trust and the limits of the personal
• Lockdown ethical dilemmas: what or whom to save?
• The pandemic and meeting contractual obligations
• Pandemic and sustainability issues
• Pandemic and competitor collaboration
• Ethical challenges to the pharmaceutical industry
• Ethics of government support in a pandemic
To participate in the section, please send the abstracts of your planned presentation to mstorchevoy@hse.ru Maxim Storchevoy - PhD, Associate Professor of HSE, Director of Russian Business Ethics Network, the author of books A Scientific Approach to Ethics (2018) and Business Ethics as a Science (2018)

Social-philosophical Futurology

One of the key characteristics of the concept of "modernity", in countless attempts to define and understand which can be lost not only the researcher, but also just a person trying to find their place in the world, is its fundamental incompleteness. The dynamics of social development, which we are unwitting witnesses and participants in, change the natural, economic and cultural landscape of our world, making irrelevant many theoretical schemes and constructions designed to describe and explain them. Nature is increasingly being replaced by culture, and the magic of irrationality and unpredictability is being replaced by irrational rationality. In general, the modality of the future, being an integral characteristic of modernity, and the dynamics of changes in social reality pose questions to social philosophy about the meaning, structure and appearance of what is happening to the world and to the person in it. In addition, there is a need to develop and analyze new theories that could make it possible to work productively with the changing subject of research, or to actualize classical conceptual schemes and paradigms. The section "Social-philosophical futurology" will cover both the most relevant and in many ways painful issues of human existence in the contemporary world, which does not slow down the pace of its development, and the theoretical possibilities of social philosophy and theory to describe and understand what is happening. In addition, the main trends of development and social transformations related to cultural transformations and the development of science and technology are proposed for discussion.

Inductive Methods in Ethics, Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Mind

Organizators and moderators: Danil Razeev, Maria Sekatskaya
The workshop will take place in person on October 1st 2021 at Higher School of Economics, Saint-Petersburg, Russia. Working language is English. The registration for attendance only. For registration, please write to Maria Sekatskaya, email: maria.sekatskaya@gmail.com
Abstract:
The inductive approach to metaphysics, ethics, and philosophy of mind combines classical methods of conceptual analysis and reliance on our moral and metaphysical intuitions with paying more attention to the empirical results of the relevant sciences. The ongoing research in psychology and neuroscience has uncovered many phenomena directly relevant to understanding the mechanisms underlying our mental acts and our moral judgments. Empirical studies have shown that a diverse range of subconscious factors, including implicit biases, influence our moral evaluations and conscious choices. Neuroimaging techniques are being used to discover the neural underpinnings of our conscious choices and predict the outcome of these choices before the subject is aware of them. This is often seen as a threat to free will and moral responsibility.
The workshop «Inductive Methods in Ethics, Metaphysics, and Philosophy of Mind» aims to bring together the empirical data from psychology, neuroscience, and social sciences, and the theoretical apparatus of philosophy of mind, ethics, and metaphysics. In particular, we will discuss the perspectives of reductive and non-reductive accounts of mind, the challenges and the potential benefits of naturalistic and scientifically informed accounts of free will and moral responsibility, and the ways that ethical and metaphysical concepts of agency, possibility, control and moral responsibility need to be modified in light of scientific progress.

Ethics and Philosophy of Law [Russian only]

Abstract: the session of the section will be devoted to the interaction of ethical and philosophical legal studies in the XX century in the context of various intellectual traditions. The participants of the section will discuss the following issues:
• Ethical and legal concepts: points of contact;
• The subject field of meta-ethics and its relationship with the philosophy of law;
• Neuroscientific conceptions and their impact on the perception of the subject of law and the subject of ethical action;
• Ethical grounds of law: can legal obligations arise from ethical prescriptions?
• The normativity of the language of ethics and the language of law;
• Moral and legal principles: the limits of universality;
• Can moral values receive legal protection? What are the limits of legal protection of moral values?
• Prospects for the formalization of ethical and legal discourses.