Neuro Science  
Neuroscience, Human Nature and Self-Understanding
image To what extent does knowledge from neuroscience and its appropriations in other discourses and practices shape our understanding of what it means to be a human being? This philosophical project starts from the assumption that humans are both self-interpreting and self-defining animals. Changes to knowledge, shared understandings, practices, and institutions affect the contours of human existence. While all this takes place under the conditions of first nature, that is, the fact that human beings are material and living organisms, the naturalistic quest for a fixed and stable – as it were, “hard wired” – human nature is problematic. Both the synchronous differences between individuals and groups and the historical evolution of human species persuasively indicate that any account of human nature has to explain dynamic instead of static traits.

A central aim of this philosophical project is to move the debate beyond the outworn nature/nurture alternative and to engage a constructive discourse within the framework of an “anthropology of possibility”. This approach aims at assessing the multiple spaces of possibility of human existence and practice while being informed by orientations from both sciences and humanities. It crucially aims at stake-holder participation across various domains: How do those most concerned by current developments conceptualize what goes on in neuroscience, mental health, education or social policy?