The Second Civilizations Forum

Mountain View


In the last decades, the thrust of scientific and technological change has increasingly suggested that humans should doubt and even abandon their central and distinct place and role in the world. The ability to alter essential parts of the human body and/or the natural environment has become a core component of contemporary imagination. Artificial  Intelligence will govern future societies, and the emerging legal debates on the status of robots as persons -or even citizens- indicate a radical change in the nature of personal and social relations, work environment and labor policies, security sectors and even the nature of war. Parallel to that scholars are suggesting that animals are co-citizens, and that our ‘animality’ functions as an integral part of our Self. Between the beast and the machine our new world is being shaped.

This post-anthropocentric scene is shaped by  post-enlightenment and post-modern elements. in the sense that it replaces the focus of rational argumentation with the mere acceptance of any technological and scientific progress. Whatever is possible is acceptable; hence ideas of ‘post-truth’ prevail. In this posthuman world technology becomes an ideology, and experimentation has no clear ethical boundaries. The distinctions between humans, animals, robots, as well as nature, are willfully  eliminated.

The philosophical questions that arise from the posthuman condition range from the cosmic to the ontological. Philosophy in the posthuman age would need to readdress many of its core questions on reason, space, time, free will, language and aesthetics.

As to the socio-political dimension of posthuman condition, political regimes are acquiring new technologies to control the public debate and silence voices of dissent. Artificial Intelligence is used in war and in diverse security sectors, while other socio-economic sectors are lagging behind. The immanent problem is no more a problem of ideology or totalitarianism, but the factual re-creation of human bodies and minds that are prone to submit to machines, in an age of “liquid surveillance”. The Panopticon is getting larger, and the state apparatus is more brutal.

At the economic level, one can question the meaning of the new capitalism of science and technology and its implications for the global South, which merely consumes technology. How will societies face the emerging new economic modes of production if they over-depend on robots and artificial intelligence? Will millions of people turn into redundant and basically “useless” organisms, a burden on the power that manipulates technology and benefits from it? How will that affect social justice and stability? Should we anticipate massive violence by or against the “useless masses”? How will this threaten the struggle for national and global peace?

As to the social level, how can technology be an obstacle to human development and interaction? How would biotechnology reshape the human body beyond gender? What implications does this have for the self, family structures, and social dynamics?

There is also a secular-religious divide in these debates, in which religion is quite marginalized. Religious responses largely address the dangers of technology. They are either part of a religious critique of modernity, or a quest for conservatism. They address partial questions related to technology as a medium and question its moral consequences and boundaries. At the institutional level between the statements of the pope and the fatwas of the sheikhs, various substantial issues are neglected. Obviously, a more comprehensive vision that can transcend that can transcend that divide is required.

Suggested Topics

Proposed papers and panels  should include the philosophical, ethical, legal, political, economic, sociological, anthropological, psychological dimensions, or the  literary and artistic expressions of the aforementioned issues. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of the subject we strongly encourage early career scholars as  from the various related fields to apply. Submissions on the following non-exhaustive topics are of particular interest to the board:



Philosophies of Posthumanism

  • The philosophical framework  for a posthuman age

  • The need for a new philosophy of science?

  • Social media: the death of reason?

  • Artificial and intelligent: the future of the robot as a “person.

  • Virtual and augmented realities

  • Perceiving the masses: from the “savage” to the “useless”

  • Beyond male and female: the posthuman invented self

(Bio)Ethics & Posthumanism

  • Bio-mechanically enhanced bodies

  • Technology, the environment and sustainability

  • The moral limits of cognitive enhancement

  • Synthetic biology and its impact on humanity

  • The moral consequences of Cryonics

  • Mind reading technologies & privacy

Challenges of Posthumanism for World Religions

  • Futuristic studies and religious visions for the coming age

  • Religious philosophy in the light of the posthuman Age

  • Re-reading the religious Subject in the posthuman age

  • The role of religion in the posthuman age

  • Developing a fiqh for the posthuman age

Aesthetics & Posthumanism

  • Dystopia and the future of humanity: literary and cinematic approaches

  • Nano-technology: Is small always beautiful?

The Politics of Posthumanism

  • Information technology and politics: surveillance and the end of free will?

  • From global wars to mini-drones: technology and war

Civilization Studies & Posthumanism

  • The city and techne: the rise and fall of civility

  • The Virtual City and its effects on urban life



Important Dates

Last day for abstract submission

15 October 2019

Announcement of accepted submissions

10 November 2019

Submission of first draft (min. 3.000 words)

10 January 2020

Announcement of accepted papers

10 February 2020

Forum date

18-19 April 2020

Conference Languages

English, Turkish, Arabic

Accomodation and Travel Expenses

Accommodation in Istanbul will be provided.  We will also be able to cover travel costs for selected papers, but please try to obtain funding for travel from your home institution in the first instance.

Panel Proposals

We welcome proposals for whole panels curated around certain topics or areas. Panels will ideally include three to  four individual paper.

The panel should be submitted online  by the panel Chair through whom all communication will occur.

We will require contact details, paper titles and abstracts for all papers submitted as part of the panel.

for further inquiries please contact


Mountain View

(If this is the first time you are applying to an Ibn Haldun University conference you will be asked to create a username first)


Ibn Haldun University
Ulubatlı Hasan Caddesi, No:2
34494 - Başakşehir, İstanbul, Turkey
Tel. +90 212 692 0 212