Laboratory of
Culture and Value

The Culture and Value Laboratory (CultureLab) focuses on the multiple ways in which human values and the action of valuing are embedded in cultural life forms, which have a particular context and history. The laboratory’s researchers work on topics related to art, aesthetics, nihilism, Nietzsche, subjectivity, literature, ancient philosophy, the art of living and environmental humanities. While responding to the specific challenges and problems raised by our own time, these themes and the readings they entail stem from a comprehensive perspective on values and their relationship with culture. In this sense, they also have a strong meta-philosophical dimension, given that the culture within which we value and reflect upon value is always co-determined and shaped by the historical and philosophical construction of values. The laboratory’s research is developed through three methodological axes that intersect in various ways:

  • A combination of interpretative rigour, the re-reading of key authors and currents in the history of philosophy and their implications for contemporary themes;
  • Reflexive analysis of cultural manifestations and their interconnection with aesthetics, particularly in the field of literature and other arts;
  • A critical approach to the relationship between philosophy and culture, taking into account the historicity of this relationship, its relation to life and the challenges of the present.

The work of the laboratory is reflected in the various projects funded in recent years, in the numerous and relevant publications and activities developed, in the scientific dissemination within and outside the academic sphere, as well as in the interdisciplinary focus and the collaboration with other laboratories of IFILNOVA.

CultureLab has five research groups:

1) Forms of Life and Practices of Philosophy: dedicated to the study of the relationship between philosophy and the creation of values, forms of life and transformative practices, both at an individual and a collective level.

2) Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art: dedicated to the study of aesthetic values and their relationship with artistic practices, especially to the aesthetic experience of the city in the intersection between art and philosophy.

3) Lisbon Nietzsche Group: dedicated to the study of the works and thought of Friedrich Nietzsche and the relevance of his legacy for our own time, especially the problem of nihilism and facing and analysing the contemporary crisis of values.

4) Philosophy and Literature Working Group: dedicated to the development and deepening of the connection, raised by the very history of philosophy itself, between two areas that traditionally have a tense but intimate relationship with each other.

5) Research Group on Ancient Philosophy: dedicated to the questioning of values (such as the good, the beautiful and the true) in ancient philosophical thought and the way in which the reflection on values throughout Western civilisation and history was carried out through a constant reading of ancient texts.

CultureLab • books
James Joyce: The Unfolding Art of Flourishing and Decay
James Joyce: The Unfolding Art of Flourishing and Decay
Bartholomew Ryan
Oxford: Oxford University Press (forthcoming).
CultureLab • books
Fernando Pessoa: Critical Lives
Fernando Pessoa: Critical Lives
Bartholomew Ryan
Londres: Reaktion Press (forthcoming).