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DemCP colloquium - FABRIZIA ABBARE (University of Molise, Campobasso): "Can Robots Save Us from Reification? New Responsibilities for Autonomy, Replacement and Resemblance"

When:We 08-12-2021 16:00 - 18:00
Where:Collaboratory A, Harmonie Building

Research colloquium of the Centre for the Study of Democratic Cultures and Politics

Fabrizia Abbate, Università degli Studi del Molise, Campobasso, Can Robots Save Us from Reification? New Responsibilities for Autonomy, Replacement and Resemblance


The real and the virtual maintain ambiguous relations in the contemporary context of artificial intelligence. From the social phenomenon of self-representation in digital identities to the robotic phenomenon of replication of human beings, cultural models of identity are closely linked to the concept of resemblance and metamorphosis . The focus of this talk will be on the link between self-portraits in painting , the doppelgänger in literature , the Ovid’s Metamorphoses in poetry, and the robotic process automation in geminoid androids. Ethics provides us an old and always valid vocabulary to explain moral arguments on identity, consciousness, decision, capabilities and, like a synthesis of all that, autonomy and responsibility for actions. But nowadays we must be ready to deal with new kinds of metamorphoses: prosthetics, smart machines, robots. Will the real challenge for humans ultimately remain to use their imagination living side by side with robots?

About the speaker

Fabrizia Abbate, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Moral Philosophy at the University of Molise (Italy), in the Department of Medicine and Health Sciences; she is member of the Scientific Technical Committee of the University Master in Digital Transformation: Technology, Law and Ethics, and of the Interdisciplinary Research Center on Governance and Public Policies (University of Molise). She has been a member of the Italian Society of Moral Philosophy from 2017 and a member of the Italian Society of Aesthetics since 2013. She was previously a contracted Lecturer in Aesthetics at Roma Tre University in Rome, Researcher in Ethics and Education at Ca’Foscari University of Venice, and Visiting Scholar at the University of Chicago (US) with a research project supported by Martha C. Nussbaum. Her work focuses specifically on European hermeneutics, with a particular  attention to the questions of subjectivity, identity and social capabilities. Her main publications concern Martha Nussbaum’s studies on political emotions (the key role of literary imagination in public debate) and Paul Ricoeur’s moral philosophy (the concept of narrative identity and social imagination). She is currently working on these topics linked to robotic issues and medical artificial intelligence.