The transcultural perspective of FIND Research and Intellectual Dialogue requires a permanent openness to otherness, an interest in transition zones of experience and thinking, and a critical awareness of an ever-changing world.
Working on these three elements results in a permanent learning process aiming at a solid and creative dialogue. It also implies moving away from dogmatic positions and questioning universal or exclusivist claims in order to bridge the gap between different cultures without leveling off differences.
The project of Western modernity consisted to a great extent in objectifying Nature to render it scientifically intelligible and technically exploitable. As a result of this, a hiatus has been established between (human) culture and (non-human) nature leading to an alienation of human life from its environment as well as increasing domination and destruction of nature. For Alain Daniélou, only a specific modality of being in the world and relating oneself to Nature (which classical anthropology termed “animism”) can retrieve and preserve a non-alienated field of relations between humans and non-humans. In spite of the undeniable changes of Western modernity, some of which provoked a real break with the past, this attitude or modality of being in the world has not died, since it is the very substrate that relates humans to their own source of life and keeps them alive.
FIND’s ecosophical perspective intends to do justice to Daniélou’s animistic intuition and the philosophical consequences of it in present time. Ecosophy is therefore to be taken as a practice of wisdom, or a way of life consisting of theoretical and practical work retreaving and preserving an animistic attitude to Nature and Life, working critically on the relation between humans and their field of experience and openness towards non-human agency.