Philosophical Work Supported by Berggruen Fellowship Program


The Berggruen Institute has a fellowship program to support academics and others across a range of disciplines, and among its most recent class of fellows are some philosophy professors and others working on philosophical subjects.

The fellowship program supports work on topics related to several themes concerning “great transformations”: the Future of Capitalism, Globalization and Geopolitics, Transformations of the Human, and the Future of Democracy.

[M.C. Escher, “Metamorphosis II” (detail)]

The following are fellows from departments of philosophy, along with brief descriptions of what they’ll be working on during their fellowships:

Weiwan Duan (Department of Philosophy of Science and Technology in the Institute of Philosophy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences) —  ethical issues around facial recognition technology development and implementation.

Yuk Hui (City University of Hong Kong) — issues in philosophy of technology.

Qiaoying Lu (Peking University) — how to understand “minimal cognition” in light of evolution, and how to extend our understanding of human cognition and AI cognition.

Sebastian Sunday Grève (Peking University) — philosophy of intelligence of Alan Turing.

Some of the fellows from other disciplines with philosophical projects include:

Nina Beguš (Harvard, comparative literature) — the philosophical stakes and the human implications of microbiome research.

Margaret Liu Clinton (Hunter, art history) —  development of a philosophy and art R&D platform that will bring together philosophy and technology in concrete art projects with the aim of building a new practice where philosophy and art and technology coincide.

Jeanne Dreskin (independent, art history) — how questions of truth, evidence, and creativity evolve alongside emerging technologies and how their ethical stakes can be renegotiated through machine learning processes.

Claire Webb (Berkeley, history and anthropology of science) — How is the development of AI technology in tension with researchers’ purported desires to model, enfold, and predict biological processes? How do computational processes equip AI systems with ethical and moral parameters?

The fellowships range in duration from three months to two years, involve placing the fellows with research positions at partner institutions in the United States and China, and provide funding commensurate with qualifications and current salary. Fellows are selected by Berggruen Institute staff and some faculty from the University of Southern California.

You can see the full list of new and current fellows here.

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