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Foto Heidelberg: Thaddäus Zech
 
       

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At the Cosmopolitan Institute Heidelberg we focus on the relationship between worldviews and consciousness. A particular emphasis is on issues relating to social justice and integration on the one hand, and individual freedom and existential power on the other. In this context the cosmopolitan vision has much to offer.

The institute is agency/praxis-oriented: we attend not only to theories and concepts but, more specifically and importantly, to the latter’s impact on human experience and individual life-worlds. Next to interdisciplinary research the institute therefore also engages with the development and teaching of meta-cognitive skills - the conscious awareness and discernment of one’s own cognitive processes. If the aim is not to transcend our socio-cultural conditioning, which is indeed rather difficult, so it is at least to become more explicitly aware of it and move towards greater individual freedom. Contemplative and scientific ways of knowing – first and third person perspectives – are combined and integrated in order to gain understanding of the mechanism of the human mind in both theory and practice.

The vision of the Cosmopolitan Institute is to contribute to what in ancient Greece was called eudaimonia – ‘human flourishing’. This state was not considered to be based on some mysterious potential or fate. It was based on the practice of self-reflexivity and the cultivation of one’s own discerning awareness. We aspire to contribute to this through research and education exploring the nature and potential of human consciousness. We are working towards an integration of research and practice, seeking to extend its benefits to the wider public.

 

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Landmark Media / interTOPICS