What is to be human or to become human? What is a human individual, a collective, a social formation or even a whole “culture”? What binds our various social and natural identities together into a single life-form which realizes its potential in different shapes at different times and places? How can we synthesize the self-knowledge of the human life-form into a coherent conception of who we are and who we ought to be? And how can we create a sustainable value-system for the 21st century?
In our era of multiple, nested crises, humanity is facing a series of existential challenges. These crises are not merely real threats and dangers to human well-being, flourishing and survival. They touch the core of human being and co-becoming on our planet and in our highly connected societies. In light of this, our foundational program tackles the problem of how to think of the human condition in the 21st century in order to transcend harmful forms of dualism, binaries, and contradictions.
Our goal is to re-couple human co-becoming and nature; individual and social freedom; moral and economic value; quantitative and qualitative growth; humans and animals; human nature and technology. In order to achieve a better understanding of how we both fit and do not neatly fit into nature as an environment we share with other life-forms, our foundational program investigates the social, historical, and natural complexity within which we are embedded. Thus, the human condition program asks the existential life-and-death-questions in order to explore the possibility of transforming humanistic, philosophical, and social-scientific insight into our vulnerable condition into actionable projects in tandem with our other two programs.