Philosophy for contemporary challenges



The purpose of this project is to develop theoretical and practical research on the relationship between philosophy and contemporary forms of imagination in the field of cultural action and social innovation. To do this, the project starts from a central concept that it intends to develop: the concept of ecologies of the imagination. Thus, we understand that imagination is not an individual faculty, but a social practice. This project, then, will address the need to think of the imagination as an ethical, political and social faculty.

This research addresses one of the challenges of our present: at a time of great social change, affected by various crises (health, environmental, economic, etc.), the imagination also enters a crisis. If imagining is making the absent present, we can affirm that this cancellation of the imagination has to do with the difficulty that our societies have to relate confidently with otherness, with the new and with the future. More specifically, what can become of the imagination, as a practice of social transformation, in conditions of crisis and isolation such as those produced by the current pandemic situation? Any form of indeterminacy is experienced today as the threat of the uncertain or the unknown. This has the consequence that social and institutional practices tend to function defensively and not very proactively. The pandemic situation has only accentuated this trend: how to reverse it and make possible the activation of an imagination capable of establishing creative and trusting relationships with the unknown?

To address this challenge, this project aims to develop theoretical and practical research.

The theoretical research will carry out a conceptual work from three dimensions of the problem:

Imagination, ethics and culture. Ethics requires a certain element of projection, of imagination to recognize forms of life endowed with their own dignity. If imagining is making the absent present, what cultural practices facilitate it in contexts of loss, mourning and uncertainty?

Imagination and technoscience. The contemporary imaginary about technology is dominated by fatalism and the imperative to innovation. Is it possible to articulate alternative imaginaries of technology, beyond fatalism, the imperative to innovation or technological solutionism?

Imagination and education. Education is not only a formal system of instruction, but the set of learning with which we rehearse the possible forms of coexistence. It is the mirror of a society and, at the same time, the workshop in which its expectations are disputed and transformed.How to contribute to a pedagogy that activates an ecology of imagination both in the field of science and technology, as well as in science and technology, the humanities and social sciences?

The practical research will start from case studies with cultural, educational and social entities with which processes of interaction and mutual learning have already been established.The practical axis of the project is thus proposed as a transversal dimension that will take into account community practices of the imagination. When studying different cultural and educational experiences, a perspective that prioritizes informal interaction and peripheral participation of learners, characteristic of studies on “communities of practice”, understood as experiential learning and located in educational, professional settings, will be adopted.

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