JCU Welcomes New Professor of Philosophy and Bioethics Dr. Stefan Sorgner

Dr. Stefan Sorgner

Dr. Stefan Sorgner

John Cabot University is pleased to welcome new professor of philosophy and bioethics, Dr. Stefan Sorgner. Professor Sorgner is one of the world’s leading post- and transhumanist philosophers, and is joining John Cabot’s faculty after teaching at a number of universities across Germany and Austria. He is currently the director and co-founder of the Beyond Humanism Network and a Fellow at the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET).

Professor Sorgner’s work has been studied in both the English and German speaking worlds, and he has been a guest speaker at many high profile international events. He has been featured on German radio stations, a number of newspapers and magazines, has given a TED talk, and was recently a plenary speaker at the World Humanities Forum, hosted by UNESCO, the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea, and Daejeon Metropolitan City. The author of numerous books, articles, and essays in the fields of philosophy and bioethics, his work has been translated into Russian, Serbian, French, Korean, and English.

In Spring 2016, Professor Sorgner will be teaching two new courses through the Department of History and Humanities. His course on Posthuman Studies: Philosophy, Technology, Media (PH 320) will introduce students to some of the mostimportant ethical, philosophical, and artistic questions raised by the rapid technological, scientific, and cultural changes of our era. Students will tackle issues such as biological and genetic enhancement, artificial intelligence, the impacts of new media, and the future of employment in a technology-based society, and explore how these issues take us beyond the standard capacities and dualistic concepts of ‘human’ beings (as disembodied ‘minds’, for instance) into a ‘posthuman’ future. Students will examine the approaches that thinkers such as Kathrine Hayles and Julian Savulescu have proposed for grappling with these questions, and develop their capacity to discuss, reflect on, and defend their own views on these challenges to ‘human’ life.

Professor Sorgner’s course on Bioethics (PH 321) will examine some of the most important contemporary bioethical challenges, such as “Are there universal ethical principles that should govern the conduct of medicine and medical research worldwide?”, “Would human reproductive cloning be acceptable?”, “Is the deliberately induced abortion of a human pregnancy ethically justifiable?”, “Is it ethical to patent or copyright genes, embryos, or their parts?”, “Should a child have the right to refuse medical treatment to which the child’s parents have consented?”, “Is physician-assisted suicide ever ethical?”, “Should stem-cell research utilizing embryonic tissues be conducted?”, “Should we prohibit the use of chimpanzees and other great apes in biomedical research?”, “Is there a legitimate place for human genetic enhancement?”, “Can there be agreement as to what constitutes human death?”, and “Should in vitro fertilization be an option?”.

Learn more about Professor Sorgner.

Learn more about the Department of History and Humanities at John Cabot University.