You are here:   Home  →  About  →  Our goals

Our goals

The research unit LabCom.IFP - COMMUNICATION, PHILOSOPHY, HUMANITIES results from the merge of two previous units based at the Faculty of Arts and Letters of the University of Beira Interior, namelly LabCom, which devoted itself to the study of online communication, and IFP, Institute of Practical Philosophy, which mainly developed research in ethics and political philosophy.

Beyond the existence of some common research objects and the increase of critical mass in regard to the interdisciplinary research, the union of the two units is justified by the desire to carry out a joint project whose motivation is rooted in the questioning about the humanities concept.

The humanities are a set of knowledge related to "human affairs", not only theoretical, but also practical, and therefore normative. They involve a reflection about the form of human beings' individual and collective life, that is, a reflection on ethics, society and politics. And since collective life cannot exist without communication, that reflection is also about communication theories and techniques.

The Labcom.IFP program is based on the concept of the humanities, which has a human ideal as a more or less explicit reference. This ideal, whose origin dates back to Greek antiquity, has evolved over the course of history, and with it the breadth of knowledge that makes up the humanities.

A first general objective of the unit is therefore to clarify certain dimensions of the human condition that are essential for the constitution of that ideal inherent to the concept of humanities, that is, more precisely, the ethical, political, communicational and aesthetic dimensions. We will analyse ethical, political, communicational and aesthetic features in regard to the context of contemporary culture and the state of the art in their respective theories.

A second general objective, complementary to the previous one, is the identification and study of malfunctions or problems that occur in the ethical, political or in the communicational sphere. The understanding of such crises needs an analysis of the cultural context, and hence the importance of artistic and cultural studies to be developed in one of the research unit's groups.

In a synthetic way, it can be said that the unit's most general objective is to verify to what extent the implicit ideal of humanities is feasible under the cultural, social, moral, political and communicational conditions of the modern world. 

Another general and complementary purpose is to respond to the question of the possible enlargement of the humanities, such as they were bequeathed by ancient and modern humanists, from Aristotle and Cicero to Humboldt, to the "new humanities".
Support:
Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia
União Europeia
Quadro de Referência Estratégico Nacional
Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade
Universidade da Beira Interior