Group Coordinator: Ricardo Mendoza-Canales



The mission of the Practical Philosophy Research Group (Praxis) is to carry out high quality research on philosophical issues with deep practical significance. Our objective is to address and provide philosophical foundations in order to rethink our contemporary societal challenges, both historically and thematically, through the reflection on human action and values.

Praxis brings together senior and young scholars working in the various fields of practical and social philosophy. With the notion of experience (broadly construed) in the foreground, its hallmark is the use of methodological and theoretical approaches that can be subsumed under the label of continental post-Kantian critical philosophy, which includes major strands such as Marxism, critical theory, French post-structuralism, phenomenology, and hermeneutics. This rich environment is ideal to build bridges between contemporary philosophy and the reflection on current social issues, and to foster inter- and transdisciplinary research by providing the philosophical foundations for the disciplines involved.



Three intertwined broad areas of research underpin the work of Praxis: Politics, Aesthetics and Culture. Thus, by focusing on the ethico-political, experiential and socio-cultural dimensions of human practical life, Praxis fosters research in the following areas:


(1) The origin, meaning and relevance of values in Modern Thought, the conceptual frame of axiology in Contemporary Philosophy, and the reflection on moral and ethical issues in the societal experience.


(2) The philosophical assessment of political phenomena in its historical sides, namely social contract theory, the rise of democracy, the idea of the modern State, ideological and political frameworks such as communism, liberalism and federalism; its conceptual meanings, among them, ideas of justice and the good in society, the nature of political interaction, theories of subjectivation, gender and feminism, biopolitics, decolonial reason and critical theory of society; and its legal concerns, such as questions regarding the validity of legal systems, the nature of norms, and the relationship between morality, law and obligation.


(3) The study of environment and landscape assessing their philosophical meaning; topics such as climate change and sustainable development are considered in its relation with ethical and aesthetic concerns, as well as the idea of nature and the link between technology and modern life, the natural world and humans’ place within it.


(4) The meaning of art within a philosophical frame; the study of subjective values in the aesthetic experience; and the critical reflection on the impact of art and culture in modern societies.


(5) The philosophical reflection on culture, technology and the social world, focusing on its ontological aspect, its material and imaginal constitution, and the interpretation of individual and collective deeds within the historical and cultural processes and interactions. In this regard, the philosophical examination of the nature of religion, its manifestations and the ensuing anthropological and metaphysical features, such as the idea of God, the sacred, rituals and beliefs, are also topics of interest.