2015-16 Schedule & Readings

Remember to check out our Slack forum, where you can chat about the readings.

Friday, June 19, 11:30-2:00, E255

Opening Institute: Meet 2014-15 cohort, introductions, schedule, and format.

Read: A History of Transhumanist Thought, Nick Bostrom
Natural Born Cyborgs, chapter 1, Andy Clark

Thursday, September 24, 3:30-5:30, M401A

Reactions to readings, plotting our course

Read: Superintelligence, Nick Bostrom
Read: Techno-Human Condition, Allenby & Sarewitz
Optional: “The Singularity: A Philosophical Analysis”, David Chalmers
Optional: Video on Simulation and Singularity, David Chalmers

Thursday, October 15, 3:30-5:30, E255

Theme 1: Law (led by Evelyn Burg)
Preparing for Allenby

(Re-)read: Chapters 7 and 8, and the epilogue, Techno-Human Condition
Read: “An Overview of the Impact of Neuroscience Evidence in Criminal Law” (Neuroethics, Farah 5.1)
Read: “For the Law, Neuroscience Changes Nothing and Everything,” Joshua Greene and Jonathan Cohen (Neuroethics, Farah 5.2)
Optional: “The Neurobiology of Addiction: Implications for the Voluntary Control of Behavior,” Steven E. Hyman (Neuroethics, Farah 5.3); Evelyn Burg, “John Locke in the Twenty-First Century”

Friday, November 13, 10-1, Little Theatre (lunch in E103)

Visiting speaker: Braden Allenby

Thursday, December 10, 3:30-5:30, E255

Theme 2: Memory (led by Rebekah Johnson and Shannon Proctor)

Read: “Memory Blunting: Ethical Analysis President’s Council on Bioethics” (Neuroethics, Farah 3.1)
Read: “Ethical Implications of Memory Dampening,” Adam J. Kolber (Neuroethics, Farah 3.2)

Theme 3: Singularity (led by Bethany Holmstrom)

Watch: “Be Right Back,” episode from Black Mirror. Available on Netflix, & via YouTube.
Read:  The Singularity is Near: When Humans Transcend Biology, Chapter 7, Ray Kurzweil
Read: Our Final Invention: Artificial Intelligence and the End of the Human Era, Chapters 1 & 10, James Barrat  
Optional: “Singularity and the Anthropocentric Basis,” Željko Švedić

Optional: Aubry DeGray video: Defeating Aging
Optional: Biohackers: A Journey into Cyborg America
Optional: Tim Cannon on Potential Benefits of Sensory Augmentation

Friday, February 19, 10-1, E501

Mid-year Institute

Thursday, March 17, 3:30-5:30pm, E255

Theme 5: Medicine and Body (led by Christine Marks)

Read: Genes, Cells and Brains: The Promethean Promises of the New Biology,excerpts from Chapter 8, Hilary Rose & Steven Rose
Read: Brainwashed: The Seductive Appeal of Mindless Neuroscience, Introduction, Sally Satel and Scott O. Lilienfeld
Read: “Neuroimaging of Emotion and Personality: Ethical Considerations,” Turhan Canli and Zenab Amin (Neuroethics, Farah 4.1)
Focus on: Kaku, “Unlocking the Mind,” Chapter 1

Preparing for Kaku (led by Ana Maria Hernandez)

Read: “From Subatomic to Immense: On the Influence of the Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics on the Fantastic,” Raúl Molina Gil
Focus on: Kaku, “Concluding Remarks,” Chapter 15 & “Quantum Consciousness,” Appendix
Optional: “The Night Face-Up,” Julio Cortázar

Read: The Future of the Mind, Michio Kaku

Tuesday, March 23, 10:30-11:30am, E-500 (reception after)

Visiting speaker: David Chalmers

Optional reading: “The Matrix as Metaphysics,” David Chalmers
Optional viewing: “Spatial Experience & Virtual Reality,” David Chalmers

Tuesday, March 29, 2-4:30pm, Mainstage Theatre (reception after)

Visiting speaker: Michio Kaku

Thursday, May 19, 3:30-5:30, E103

Theme 6: Eugenics (led by Phyllis van Slyck)

Read: “Liberal Eugenics,” Michael J. Sandel; “The Enhancement Enterprise,” Alan Buchanan; Phyllis’s cheat sheet/notes on the two authors; “The Forgotten Lessons of the American Eugenics Movement,” Andrea Denhoed

Theme 7: Preserving the Weirdness: Ann Lee and Friends (led by Dominique Zino, Priscilla Stadler, and Vera Albrecht)

Read: “Witness and Presence in the Work of Pierre Huyghe,” Sjoukje van der Meulen; “Inside Tino Sehgal’s New Performance Piece, ‘Ann Lee,’ at Marian Goodman’s Frieze Booth,” Eileen Kinsella; “Anlee Through Relationship Aesthetics,” Matthew Nevin

Watch: “Anywhere Out of the World,” Philippe Parreno (below).


Thursday, June 9, 3:30-5:30, E255

Feedback, deposits, reflection, presentations

Feedback link: http://goo.gl/forms/alVB2ps6oS8w5RXf2