The self – University of Copenhagen

Challenges facing society

What is a human being? A cog in the machine that is society – from the economy to health policy to the school system? A citizen with attitudes, a voice and responsibilities? A product of genes and neurons? An individual or part of a community? Every day – in workplaces, organisations, schools, hospitals and in the political sphere – thousands of decisions are made about the way society and its institutions are organised, and every single one of these decisions involves our view of human nature. However, "man" cannot be studied in the same way as other themes. Views of human nature constitute, in effect, how human beings look at themselves. Discussions about the good life or the good society reflect how human beings view themselves. This also reflects the fact that being human implies having or being a self. It is a about the human being..

Major research results

Stakeholders in research

The University of Copenhagen is home to strong and specialised research environments that study what it is possible to know about the human being as a self. Researchers at these centres and departments link areas together so that insights gained by one academic discipline are complemented by knowledge gained in other areas. This collaboration also means that research at the University of Copenhagen does not level out conflicts between different methods and approaches, e.g. between philosophical and natural- or health-science studies, and instead makes it possible for the different approaches to challenge each other.

Ekstra information / Sidebar


Academic contact for the interdisciplinary strength The self
Associate professor Nils Holger Petersen
Faculty of Theology


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