The project Individuality and Interconnectedness will specifically investigate the interpersonal aspects of mental development. The starting point is again Enlightenment philosophy after Leibniz and Kant, this time with regard to the position of the human being in social and natural orders and to the underlying rational ideal of harmony. While Leibniz proposes a metaphysical account of this ideal, Kant conceives of this ideal in terms of normative principles that guide both the human pursuit of knowledge and social and moral action (that is, principles of systematicity and of universalisability). Both accounts were subject to sharp criticism in the 19th and 20th centuries (e.g. from empiricism and the Lebensphilosophie). The project aims to examine and evaluate the rational ideal of harmony in light of this criticism.

This project is related to the The Life of the Mind’ project. It is funded by a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities (January to December 2022).

National Endowment for the Humanities: