Self-Understanding and Self-Alienation – University of Copenhagen

Vilhelm Hammershøi, Portrait of Ida, the Artist's Wife, 1898, National Gallery of Denmark, ©SMK Foto


The project offers an empirical and philosophical investigation into self-understanding and identity. Self-understanding is part of being human, yet it also seems susceptible to fundamental disruption. The project seeks to clarify in what sense radical forms of self-alienation characterize schizophrenia, Borderline Personality Disorder, Anorexia Nervosa and traumatic conditions following torture.

Concurrently, the project philosophically analyses the relation between self-understanding and self-alienation through themes which will be tested as key interpretative categories in the empirical investigations.

The project entails collaboration between The University of Copenhagen, Psychiatric Center Hvidovre, and DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture. The project will be hosted by the Section for Systematic Theology, Faculty of Theology, and the Center for Subjectivity Research, Faculty of Humanities.

It will run from 2014 to 2017. In addition to the generous grant from the VELUX FOUNDATION, the project is co-financed by the Faculty of Theology and Psychiatric Center Hvidovre. 

Read more about the project.