Centre for Philosophical and Humanistic Studies (CEFH)

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    Praça da Faculdade

    4710-297 Braga


Organisation profile

Organisation profile

CEFH investigates, from an interdisciplinary perspective, the relationships between Nature, Person and Society, considering the new concepts of human being and of interpersonal relationships that emerge from cognitive science. The Unit integrates Philosophy, Linguistics, Communication Sciences, Literary Studies and Psychology and promotes the dialogue between philosophical traditions (e.g. phenomenology, philosophy of religion/nature) and the contemporary cognitive sciences.

CEFH explores three research topics of the person’s relationship with others and with the world: (1) causal processes, complex systems and emergence; (2) ecologies of the human: identity, otherness, happiness; and (3) cognition, intersubjectivity and human development. By assuming the experientialist principle of embodied cognition, these research topics are studied as symbolic expressions of the embodied-enactive brain/mind.

The first research topic focuses on the causal influence of the complex systems on their constituents. A special emphasis is placed on top-down causality and on physical systems (at micro and macro levels), as well as on the neurological and brain networks and their relationships with the physical and biological substrates, languages and the social relationships genesis. The emergent properties in complex systems, particularly thought, language and religion will also be explored.

The second research topic explores the notions of personal identity and community identity, seeking to determine and describe the factors, among which memory stands out, that contribute to its consolidation or to its erosion, in the contemporary context, marked by the (dis)encounter of cultures enhanced by migratory flows and by the possibilities of communication of the digital age. In this context, the implications for hospitality and human fulfillment will also be studied.

The third research topic explores the relationships between language, cognition and society, by analyzing the interplay between psychological and sociocultural factors of meaning construction. Also the knowledge about psychobiological, psychosocial, emotional and behavioral processes, by analyzing the role of sociodemographic, cultural and intersubjective factors on the promotion of healthy, and by exploring ways of promoting well-being and the person’s dignity.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. Our work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 1 - No Poverty
  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 4 - Quality Education
  • SDG 8 - Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • SDG 10 - Reduced Inequalities
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions


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