The institute is a research institute in Hanover, Germany. Its field of activity is philosophy. It is sponsored by the Roman Catholic Diocese of Hildesheim. It was founded by Josef Homeyer in 1988, and its first director was Peter Koslowski. The current director is Jürgen Manemann. Vittorio Hösle is an example of the philosophers who have been active at the institute, and research fellows are also accepted. The institute deals with philosophical questions concerning democracy and human society, further fields are economic anthropology and environmental ethics. Questions of medical ethics and humanism are addressed as well.
The institute awards fellowships and scholarships. It offers fellows and scholarship holders the opportunity to research in an intellectually challenging and inspiring environment. The institute deals with central problems of the present and refers to fundamental philosophical questions. The focus is on ethical issues.
The main research focus of the institute is interdisciplinary and is understood as a contribution to philosophical orientation and understanding processes. The research areas are developed multiperspectively and develop solutions that are based on responsibility for justice. The research program employs people in their specific experience. For this reason, the complex, often broken cultural and religious traditions in research are also taken into account, which positively and negatively influence these connections. The institute ethical standard of work is the inviolability of human dignity. The institute is to bring the results of its research into the political, social, economic and ecclesial public. Main focus is on a new human ecology Human Ecology, Anthropocene, The good life, Nuclear energy and final storage.