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24.03.2020 12:04 Alter: 8 days

Philosophies of Technology in Intercultural Perspective

Call for Applications

Theme: Philosophies of Technology in Intercultural Perspective
Type: A summer school beyond disciplinary boundaries
Institution: Forum Scientiarum, University of Tübingen
  Society for Intercultural Philosophy (GIP)
Location: Tübingen (Germany)
Date: 27.–31.7.2020
Deadline: 15.4.2020

From Fernando GIP <>

The University of Tübingen in collaboration with the Society for
Intercultural Philosophy (GIP: is
organizing an international summer school on Philosophies of
Technologies at the University of Tübingen, Germany. The summer
school is open to doctoral students in philosophy, sociology, social
anthropology, history, art history, literature, but also technical
studies and other related subjects. Applications are welcome from all
over the world.


“Philosophies of Technology in Intercultural Perspective”
In Western philosophy, technology is understood in such a way that
humans make use of the laws of nature for creating cultural
artefacts, i.e. that humans copy the functionality of nature. In this
way, humans have gained a set of instruments that enables them to
decouple their cultural development from biological evolution. At the
same time, this has led to an instrumental understanding of nature
that has recently come under increasing criticism.

There has been a trend within different disciplines like anthropology,
ethnology and archeology that acknowledges this point and seeks to
rehabilitate non-Western cosmologies. Authors worth mentioning here
are Bernard Stiegler, Philippe Descola, Bruno Latour, Donna Haraway
and Eduardo Batalha Viveiros de Castro.  One author who particularly
works in this direction is Yuk Hui. In his book The Question
Concerning Technology in China (2017), he proposes to break with the
functional Western concept of technology using the idea of
‘cosmotechnics’, which he preliminary outlines as “the unification
between the cosmic order and the moral order through technical
activities” (2017, 19). Is it possible to think of a notion of
technology able to overcome the discontinuities between nature and
culture? Departing from the aforementioned definition, Hui points out
that in Chinese philosophy (at least until the 19th century), the
notion of a ‘technical object’ (qi, 器) is always subordinate to the
cosmological and moral order of Dao (道). In this way Chinese thought
understands nature as being primarily moral. By carefully
reconstructing Chinese sources and its different schools Hui is able
to deliver an alternative genealogy of technology and, in doing so,
an alternative concept for it.

Far from arguing in favour of cultural particularism, this strategy
rather encourages further research about the discursive practices
through which problems regarding technology become manifest. In this
sense, as Hui writes, “cosmotechnics proposes that we reapproach the
question of modernity by reinventing the self and technology at the
same time, giving priority to the moral and the ethical” (2017, 290).
This should not mean that there are no cosmotechnics in the West at
all. On the contrary, what this concept implies is that the Western
understanding of technology should be seized as one of multiple
cosmotechnics and that we should rehabilitate the moral dimension of
ontology. Therefore, Hui’s goal does not consist in returning to
ancient and more authentic forms of mediation, but to destigmatize
the role of cultural pluralism within philosophical debates. His
focus on technology seems to provide fruitful ground for an
intercultural dialogue.


The purpose of this summer school adheres to the above and promotes a
dialogue among PhD candidates interested in the task of thinking
philosophies of technology beyond the Western tradition,
transgressing and problematizing at the same time the categories of
nature and culture themselves. In doing so, this summer school will
explore new theoretical and practical approaches to address
challenges posed by the Anthropocene. Morning sessions will be given
by Professor Dr. Yuk Hui. Participants must present a 15-minute paper
during afternoon sessions that critically discusses one of the themes
and/or questions of the summer school. Engagement with current
research questions and issues are particularly welcome as well as
connections with current PhD projects. There will be additional
keynotes at the evening.

Organizer: Dr. Niels Weidtmann, University of Tübingen, Germany


This summer school is open to doctoral students from all disciplines
(applications of master students will be considered in exceptional
cases). Applicants should supply the following documents:

- Application form (available here:
- CV (2 pages max)
- 300-word expression of interest
- paper title and 300-word abstract

Applications should be sent until April 15th the latest to:

Or to our postal address:

Forum Scientiarum
Doblerstr. 33
D-72074 Tübingen

A letter of admission will reach successful applicants by the end of
April. There is a registration fee of 50 EUR for non-members of GIP
which has to be paid upon admission.

About the lecturer

Yuk Hui is associate professor of philosophy of technology and media
at the School of Creative Media, City University of Hong Kong.
Previous to that, he taught at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and
at the institute of philosophy of the Leuphana University Lüneburg
where he also wrote his habilitation thesis. Since 2015 he has been a
visiting professor of philosophy and technology (with qualification
of PhD supervision) at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, where he
co-teaches a master class with Bernard Stiegler every year. He is
initiator of the Research Network for Philosophy and Technology, an
international network which facilitates researches and collaborations
on philosophy and technology; and jury member of the Berggruen Prize
for Philosophy and Culture. Hui is author of On the Existence of
Digital Objects (2016), The Question Concerning Technology in China.
An Essay in Cosmotechnics (Urbanomic, 2017), and Recursivity and
Contingency (2019), and forthcoming Art and Cosmotechnics.