Cover of Balkan Journal of Philosophy

Balkan Journal of Philosophy


SPECIAL ISSUE of the Balkan Journal of Philosophy for 2024


The issue of personal identity gains new strength in today’s philosophical debates due to the current challenges humans face, namely, some mutually related challenges regarding personal-enacted identity gaps (Amado 2020) and global identity crisis (Korotkevich et al. 2019). These challenges put in question the understanding of personal identity as a homogenous philosophical concept, as well as necessitating the critical revision of its historical accounts. That is why the problem of personal identity has grown beyond the field of philosophy of mind. However, it remains genealogically connected to the methods of the latter, when applied to different fields such as neuroscience, environmental humanities, AI ethics etc.

For instance, the classical mind/brain identity theory (See its early versions in Place 1956; Feigl 1958; Smart 1959) and some of its objections (specifically, that of multiple realizability) (Fodor 1974; Putnam 1967, 1975) are critically ‘reincarnated’ in an embodied identity conception. The latter “retains the main ontological insight of its parent theory” (Myin and Zahnoun 2018), but with a special focus upon organism-environment interactions. In turn, the revision of the type-identity theory is recognized as contributing to the analysis of the correlation between brain states and mental states in neuroscience (Towl 2012; Bickle 2012; Barrett 2020). Consequently, the attempts at rebuilding new types of “Cartesian people” and “Lockean persons” (Meijsing 2022) vary from the comparison of Descartes’ evil demon with brain-in-a-vat (BIV) thought-experiment to the revision of Locke’s notions of personhood and identity through the lens of “virtual identity crisis” (Deckard and Williamson 2021). In this context, today’s debates about the moral and social implications of the Unimportance of Identity theory such as these regarding population ethics (Parfit 1984) have far-reaching consequences to the improvement of human well-being (Cf. Greaves 2017; Thomas 2018; Arrhenius et al. 2022).

This call for papers is an invitation of a critical reflection upon different philosophical challenges to the building of identities in times of global crisis.

Topics include, but are not limited to, the following

  • Self-perceived identity: some general challenges in the field of philosophy of personhood
    - theoretical perspectives: philosophy of non-personhood
    - challenges to the process of pre-identification and the criteria of personhood (self-consciousness, sentience, emotionality, motivation etc.)
    - practical perspectives: infrahumanism (with special focus upon nonhuman rights and duties)

  • Unimportance of Identity theories
    - challenges to population ethics: intergenerational justice and future well-being in time of poverty and over-population

  • Relational identity
    - threats to relational identity in global emergencies such as COVID-19 pandemic, global economic crisis, urban disasters etc.

  • Technology identity and identity technology
    - risks and benefits of trustworthy AI
    - technological reliability in the context of human-enhancement technologies

  • Digital identity
    - digital identity ecosystems and potential concerns about trusted communication and operational effectiveness

  • Moral identity
    - changes of personal identity in the process of moral neuroenhancement
    - threats to moral identity in the process of Deep Brain Stimulation (DBS)

  • Aesthetic identity
    - aesthetic creation of mind and the right to beauty as a right to well-being
    - aesthetic self-forgetfulness and the sense of agency

  • Environmental identity
    - the role of balanced identity theory for environmental identity (with special focus upon pro-environmental motivation and behavior)
    - (new) identities of climate migrants

  • Cultural identity
    - emergence of new cultural identities and intercultural communication
    - cultural erosion/enhancement of indigenous peoples’ identity

  • Narrative identity
    - reconstructed past and imagined future: challenges to the development of sense of belonging

Submitted papers should not exceed 8,000 words (including references, an abstract of about 150 words, and a short list of keywords). Papers should be sent to the journal’s email address at: [email protected].

SUBMISSION DEADLINE: December 30, 2023.

This special issue will appear in 2024.