NEWS! Because of the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, the school has been cancelled and will be rescheduled in 2021. New dates will be announced soon!

Human Enhancement in the Individualized Society: Trends and Tendencies

Villa del Grumello, Como, May 25 -29, 2020


That we are individuals living in increasingly individualized societies is a well-established fact, as well as one may depict the contemporary subject as the human type who wants to be free in order to become an individual. No more some kind of a Comune at the foundation of our societies, but the Individuo and his freedom to act as a privato. No more “laws” for action, but “freedom” of action. No more the “political animal” but the “homo oeconomicus” as the subject of history, and, last but not least, no more “citizens” of the City (Polis), rather “consumers” in the global cities (cosmo-poleis), searching for self-improvement and self-realization but often coping with the delusions of authenticity and autonomy.

However, social sciences teach us that the process of individualization does not entail the end of the social, or the vanishing of relations; rather, it implies a deep reconfiguration of human relations in every life sphere: from love to family, from work to friendship, the individual is hovering between the longing for singularization and the need for community.

From this perspective, the issue of human enhancement is fundamental to understand contemporary changes of human relations. Through the contribution of renowned experts, the field will be examined by applying the best contributions in classical and contemporary social sciences theorizing to significant case-based empirical material. The program will offer a thorough and in-depth analysis of the structural dimensions of human enhancement while at the same time encouraging the student to think about its effects on social relations and processes of subjectivation, and in particular on the chances and constraints it poses for the formation of a mature personality and for the realization of a meaningful conduct of life within the individualized society.

Download the call for participation (pdf) of the school.