In the current philosophical -anthropological discourse we encounter many different definitions of man. In the present project we view man primarily as “animal symbolicum” (E. Cassirer). We are concerned with how man creates, interprets and changes symbolic s tructures and how they affect him. The understanding of man’s relation to symbolic structures is the key to understanding both the changes in man’s self -conception, his modes of decision-making and the means by which he encodes and solves problems.
The philosophical reflection, which builds upon the Kantian and Herderian line of thinking about human nature, shows that our relations to Being are realized in the form of differentiated symbolic forms (E. Cassirer), orders of life (M. Weber), or regimes of trut h (M. Foucault) such as science, art, politics and religion. These structures form the framework with which man defines reality. They help man to express himself and control his relations to others and reality. An essential component of all our relations i s reflexivity, which means that in his relation to the world, others and himself man constitutes himself as a subject.
The present age is characterized by a number of interrelated crises of symbolic structures. These crises provoke crucial changes in man’s relations to himself, others and Being. They are not merely manifestations of dysfunctions, but also complex processes of transformation which provide new opportunities. It is our aim to examine chosen crises of symbolic structures, determine their mutual relations, and demonstrate how they affect man and change the anthropological framework of research. The composition of the research team guarantees a multiperspectival approach and consequent anchoring of the research in both the international and the do mestic milieu. The results of the research will provide relevant answers to fundamental questions and will represent an original contribution to the current debates in philosophical anthropology.