Naturalism in German Classical Philosophy: Nature, Recognition and Freedom in the Hegelian Theory of Social Interaction and Cooperation (HEGNAT)
Start date: 01 Sep 2016, End date: 31 Aug 2019 PROJECT  ONGOING 

Hegel's theory of social interaction, recognition and freedom supplies us with a very perspicuous conception of cooperation and social organization by which the individual is understood as freely embedded in an institutionalized context of cooperation and self-identification. Sociality is explained as emerging from natural prerequisites of human beings and as counterpart of nature. The main target of this research is to investigate Hegel's theory of society by considering the relation he establishes with the natural prerequisites of individual human beings. In fact, individual cognitive capacities and shared practices are the outcome of the unfolding of an interpersonal substance called spirit determining the role of the individual in the social space. The notion of spirit is introduced by Hegel as both emerging and different from nature. As the nature of an animal is characterized by its autonomous interaction with the environment, so the nature of a rational being is characterized from a peculiar form of interaction, i.e. the reflexion on its own natural substratum. This speculative attitude is the premise for defining the ideal of freedom, whose achievement is the final end for human beings. This programme aims to investigate the mutual dependence between nature and spirit by updating Hegelian readings and by promoting the interdisciplinary dialogue with other fields of knowledge investigating the human cognitive dispositions. In order to achieve these objectives the ER will undertake an outgoing phase in the US under the supervision of a leading Hegelian. During the fellowship he will be also seconded to the Max Planck institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. This secondment aims to improve the exchange and the dialogue between different disciplines and to enhance the ER’s capacities to manage intersectional projects of research. The ER will also organize two international conferences, edit a collection of essays and publish a book.

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