Introduction

The project CARE OF THE SELF: ANCIENT PROBLEMATIZATIONS OF LIFE AND CONTEMPORARY THOUGHT is concerned with the fundamental question of ancient ethics, which got into the centre of attention of contemporary thinkers by the end of 20th century. It is the question of relationship to oneself, i.e. the ways of forming one’s self while establishing relationship to others. The care of the self associates all fields of moral thought, not only theoretical questions of ethics, but also practices of the self.

In modern thought, the theme of the care of the self covers a wide area of one’s self-creation and self-interest. Inquiry into the questions of the care of the self in context of the problem framework of philosophical anthropology proceeds from general observation of the state of crisis of contemporary culture. Philosophical anthropology focuses on an analysis of one’s possibilities to exceed the situation of conflict of value systems, and the contingency of conditions of life through the sustainable degree of openness to risk, creativity in solving conflicts, and developing an ability to transcend the existing state to fulfill the destiny of man as mankind. An endeavour to perform cultural diagnostics brings together a study of original results of human self-knowledge and fixed self-shaping practices, as well as ways of their re-establishing in culture, and their explication in contemporary philosophizing. The project aims at working out some more complex comprehension of sources and forms of subjectivity (or more precisely, it aims at uncovering its unknown and neglected sources), ways of integration in functional systems of society, (especially in symbolic systems of culture), and consequently at recognising the crucial axiological „attractors” (normative values) asserted in the formation of present conditio humana.

This project is supported by the Slovak Research and Development Agency (SRDA).

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