Keynote speakers 2018

Garrath Williams (Lancaster University, UK)

Taking responsibility

We are all familiar with the backward-looking aspects of responsibility, such as guilt, apology, blame, restitution and punishment. Philosophers have often feared that some or all of these aspects might prove unjustifi able insofar as a person ‘could not have done otherwise’. I will propose that we can make good sense of the backward-looking aspects of responsibility if we focus on a less‚ troubling claim: the person should have done otherwise. Whether or not the person ‘could have done otherwise’, it is certainly true that no one can change the past. What we can do, however, is take responsibility for the ‘should’ that the person failed to act on. I will give an outline account of the backwardlooking aspects of responsibility as practices by which we take responsibility for our moral agency and the morality we hope to share with one another.


Meinard Kuhlmann (Johannes-Gutenberg Universität Mainz)

How markets work and where they fail

It is a widespread idea that not only economic, but also social matters are organized in the most eff ective and also fairest way by establishing a market. In my talk I want to show that this attitude is not even fully convincing in its core domain, financial markets. When it comes to markets for waiting times, adoptions and organ transplants, it may break down completely.


Lars Schmeink (HafenCity Universität Hamburg)

The Future We Live In - Media, Technology, Visuality

In his novel Pattern Recognition, William Gibson talks about our contemporary moment in history and surmises that speculations about the future are lost to us, that we have no future due to the nature of our present: „For us things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures have insufficient ‚now‘ to stand on“. Nonetheless his novels still employ science fictional motives and styles, just not as a predictor of technological progress and social changes, but rather as reflection of our technologically saturated society, as a comment on the mediated worlds and posthuman realities we live in. The future is now, and it is already science fictional. In this talk, I want to explore what the conference calls the Bounds of Humanity in regard to three factors of influence on our everyday life: the media that surround us, the technologies that fuse with us, and the visuality that dominates our perceptions. Taking science fictional visuals as a guideline, I want to challenge the hegemony of surveillance, explore posthuman categories of subjectivity, and reflect on the relation of global finance and the hacker punk resistance.