livMatS as part of and reaction to the Anthropocene:

Ethical and philosophical implications of living materials systems

livMatS uses forms and structures of the living as an inspiration for the development of completely new technologies and materials systems. In doing so, it questions and re-aligns the traditional coordinate system of nature and technology. This makes it necessary to assess the ontological status of life-like materials systems and technologies, and to reconsider the concepts of life or the natural and of the artificial or technology.

This philosophical-ethical research project has two main objectives. Firstly, in cooperation with the other projects within Research Area D, it should provide a conceptual coordinate and evaluation system for livMatS. Secondly, it will assess how livMatS is connected to the current multi- and transdisciplinary discussion about the “Anthropocene”, and how it can provide answers to current environmental and ethical problems. This endeavor will build on investigating the history of the basic conceptual content of livMatS within the natural-philosophical discourse around 1800 that is mostly forgotten in recent debates.

The common task of the research on sustainability, psychology, and philosophy will be to fundamentally question the basic notions assumed by livMatS regarding their semantics and acceptability. These notions include, but are not limited to, nature, matter, system, organism, function, mimetic, life-like, animate, self-repairing, sustainable, durable, and adaptive.

Prof. Dr. Lore Hühn

Principal Investigators
Prof. Dr. Rainer Grießhammer, Prof. Dr. Lore Hühn, Prof. Dr. Andrea Kiesel

Responsible Investigators
Prof. Dr. Oliver Müller, Dr. phil. Michael Stumpf

Postdoctoral Researchers
Dr. Philipp Höfele