Appel à contribution : « From Automata to Transhumans. Debating Human Nature and its Limitations 1600-2000 », Pise, 21-22 avril 2022, date limite le 14 février 2022

The Conference is organised by Dr. Jil Muller (University of Paderborn) and Prof. Guido Giglioni (University of Macerata)

Keynote Speakers: Michael Stolberg (University of Würzburg) ; Sarah Carvallo (University of Besançon/ENS of Lyon) ; Thierry Hoquet (University of Paris/Nanterre) ; Sietske Fransen (Bibliotheca Hertziana) ; Charles Wolfe (University of Toulouse II) ; Ruth E. Hagengruber (University of Paderborn)

An important part of the contemporary debate on human nature was shaped by debates taking place in early modern Europe in the attempt to remove the animal part of the human mind by turning it into an abstract monad while converting the body into a machine. Humans gained the promise of certain and universal knowledge (mathesis universalis) but began thinking of themselves as automata, bereft of individuality and real agency. This edition of the Vivamente Conference in the History of Ideas intends to shed new light on the early modern origins of automata, to discuss the impact of their legacy throughout the seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, and, finally, to ask the fundamental question of how to update our knowledge – in both theoretical and moral terms – concerning automata and automation as we are confronted by a staggering and constantly evolving volume of information and innovations on the subject. Discussions will also address the field of post-human and trans-human speculations. The future is looming with the possibility of increasingly sophisticated mechanical minds in addition to the more familiar – both philosophically and technologically – mechanical bodies.

Thematically, the conference will address four major topics:

  • Mechanical philosophy and mechanistic thinking (origins, limits, perspectives, applications, ethical challenges);
  • Transcending the human in medicine, science, philosophy, art, literature, religion, etc.;
  • Normal, pathological and beyond: monsters, hybrid creatures and transhuman developments;
  • Images and metaphors of the above.

Conference Format: Hybrid Conference, with the possibility to partake remotely (Zoom).

Application Process: Proposals are invited in any of the above-mentioned areas from scholars working on any aspect of early modern medicine, philosophy, science, technology and literary studies, widely construed including the arts.

Applicants should send a 300-words abstract with a short bibliography, along with a one-page CV, affiliation, and contact information to, specifying the object VivaMente 2022. Application deadline: 14 February 2022

For further information, please visit the webpage:


Citer ce billet
Florence Larcher (2022, 28 janvier). Appel à contribution : « From Automata to Transhumans. Debating Human Nature and its Limitations 1600-2000 », Pise, 21-22 avril 2022, date limite le 14 février 2022. Centre d'Histoire de l'Art de la Renaissance. Consulté le 1 mars 2024, à l’adresse

Florence Larcher

Florence Larcher est doctorante à l'Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Ses recherches sur les images de saint Roch en Italie de 1350 à 1680 l'amènent à étudier la peinture murale, la sérialité et l'itinérance des peintres.

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