The starting-point of the cluster “Society and Reflection” is the observation that the concept of ‘Human Development in Landscapes’ is inherently Janus-faced and comprises above and beyond its physical aspects, with which various domains of the Natural Sciences will deal, aspects of how the human mind reflects upon the relation of individual, society and landscapes. In order to deal with pertinent questions, different levels of analysis (individual, social, cultural) have to be employed and a great variety of different types of evidence has to be scrutinised (e.g. historical data, artefacts, written sources, environmental data, experimental data, different types of analysis of qualitative data, subjective experiences). Our ways of reflecting upon human development in landscapes can, therefore, be understood only by articulating the perspectives of quite different disciplines, such as Classical Philology, Archaeology, History, Palaeo-Ecology, Art History, Social Psychology, and Cognitive Science.
We intend to make the dual character of ‘landscape’ as both a physical/geographical and a mental/social concept a topic of systematic inquiry to better understand how this duality influences our way of dealing with corresponding cultural and technological developments.