This essay is concerned with the central issue of philosophicalanthropology: the relation between nature and culture. Although Rousseau was the first thinker to introduce this topic within the modern discourse of philosophy and the cultural sciences, it has its origin in Diogenes the Cynic, who was a disciple of Socrates. In my essay I (1) historically introduce a few aspects of philosophicalanthropology, (2) deal with the nature–culture exchange, as introduced in Kant, then I (3) (...) relate this topic to the Ancient Cynic Diogenes. Surprisingly, although we usually identify Critical Theory and Freudian psychoanalysis as theories that have shown that cultural progress should not be comprehended as a development from nature to culture, and that instead it should be conceived as a development from culture against (external as well as internal) nature, I show that Cynicism can be conceived as a vivid example within the history of our culture that reveals a double sense of repression and alienation, which is part of human civilization and mankind. (shrink)
Philosophicalanthropology is the philosophical study of the conditions of human existence and the issues that confront people in the conduct of their everyday lives. This book surveys, from a contemplative, philosophical point of view, a wide variety of human-interest issues, including happiness, luck, aging, the meaning of life, optimism and pessimism, morality, and faith and belief. The author's deliberations blend historical, theoretical, and personal perspectives into philosophical appreciation of the human condition. The philosophers of (...) Greek antiquity took philosophy to center around just this issue of intelligent living - of determining the nature of life under the guidance of reason. Such a perspective puts philosophical agenda - a position it contested with the philosophy of nature throughout classical antiquity. In more recent times, however, its prominence has declined - no doubt, the author suggests, because modern man's achievements have been more notable in the natural than in the human science. (shrink)
Many authors have argued that all studies of socially specific modalities of human action and experience depend on some form of “philosophicalanthropology”, i.e. on a set of general assumptions about what human beings are like, assumptions without which the very diagnoses of the cultural and historical variability of concrete agents' practices would become impossible. Bourdieu was sensitive to that argument and, especially in the later phase of his career, attempted to make explicit how his historical-sociological investigations presupposed (...) and, at the same time, contributed to the elaboration of an “idea of the human being”. The article reconstructs Bourdieu's philosophicalanthropology, starting with his genetic sociology of symbolic power, conceived as a form of critical theory (latu sensu), and concluding with an account of the conditio humana in which recognition (“symbolic capital”) appears as both the fundamental existential goal through which human agents strive to confer meaning on their lives and the source of the endless symbolic competition that keeps society moving. The agonistic vision of the social universe that grounds his sociological studies returns in his philosophicalanthropology under the guise of a singular synthesis between Durkheim's thesis that “Society is God” and Sartre's idea that “hell is other people”. (shrink)
The Bakhtin Circle’s conception of language is very much still alive, still productive, in the language sciences today. My claim in this paper is that to understand the Bakhtin Circle’s continuing relevance to the language sciences, we have to look beyond the linguistic theory itself, to the philosophical groundwork laid for this project by Bakhtin in what he himself referred to as his philosophicalanthropology. This philosophicalanthropology, at the center of which stands an architectonics (...) of self—other relations, opens the door for a radical rethinking of what language is and how it works; a rethinking that in turn opens up and coincides with new directions being explored in the language sciences today. Within the context of Bakhtin scholarship, this paper also argues for taking Bakhtin’s early philosophical works more seriously when discussing the Bakhtin Circle’s conception of language. (shrink)
Kant's lectures on anthropology capture him at the height of his intellectual power. They are immensely important for advancing our understanding of Kant's conception of anthropology, its development, and the notoriously difficult relationship between it and the critical philosophy. This collection of new essays by some of the leading commentators on Kant offers the first systematic account of the philosophical importance of this material that should nevertheless prove of interest to historians of ideas and political theorists. There (...) are two broad approaches adopted: a number of the essays consider the systematic relations of the anthropology to critical philosophy, especially speculative knowledge and ethics. Other essays focus on the anthropology as a major source for the clarification of both the content and development of Kant's work. The volume will serve as an interpretative complement to a forthcoming translation on the lectures in the Cambridge Edition of the Works of Immanuel Kant. (shrink)
Anthropology is a discipline very conscious of its history. Alan Barnard has written a clear, detailed overview of anthropological theory that brings out the historical contexts of the great debates, tracing the genealogies of theories and schools of thought. His book covers the precursors of anthropology; evolutionism in all its guises; diffusionism and culture area theories, functionalism and structural-functionalism; action-centered theories; processual and Marxist perspectives; the many faces of relativism, structuralism and poststructuralism; and recent interpretive and postmodernist (...) viewpoints. This is a balanced and judicious survey, which also considers the problems involved in assessing anthropological theories. (shrink)
Contemporary caution against anachronism in intellectual history, and the currently momentous theoretical emphasis on subjectivity in the philosophy of mind, are two prevailing conditions that set puzzling constraints for studies in the history of philosophical psychology. The former urges against assuming ideas, motives, and concepts that are alien to the historical intellectual setting under study, and combined with the latter suggests caution in relying on our intuitions regarding subjectivity due to the historically contingent characterizations it has attained (...) in contemporary philosophy of mind. In the face of these conditions, our paper raises a question of what we call non-textual (as opposed to contextual) standards of interpretation of historical texts, and proceeds to explore subjectivity as such a standard. Non-textual standards are defined as (heuristic) postulations of features of the world or our experience of it that we must suppose to be immune to historical variation in order to understand a historical text. Although the postulation of such standards is often so obvious that the fact of our doing so is not noticed at all, we argue that the problems in certain special cases, such as that of subjectivity, force us to pay attention to the methodological questions involved. Taking into account both recent methodological discussion and the problems inherent in two de facto denials of the relevance of subjectivity for historical theories, we argue that there are good grounds for the adoption of subjectivity as a non-textual standard for historical work in philosophical psychology. (shrink)
In the advertising discourse of human genetic database projects, of genetic ancestry tracing companies, and in popular books on anthropological genetics, what I refer to as the anthropological gene and genome appear as documents of human history, by far surpassing the written record and oral history in scope and accuracy as archives of our past. How did macromolecules become "documents of human evolutionary history"? Historically, molecular anthropology, a term introduced by Emile Zuckerkandl in 1962 to characterize (...) the study of primate phylogeny and human evolution on the molecular level, asserted its claim to the privilege of interpretation regarding hominoid, hominid, and human phylogeny and evolution vis-à-vis other historical sciences such as evolutionary biology, physical anthropology, and paleoanthropology. This process will be discussed on the basis of three key conferences on primate classification and evolution that brought together exponents of the respective fields and that were held in approximately ten-years intervals between the early 1960s and the 1980s. I show how the anthropological gene and genome gained their status as the most fundamental, clean, and direct records of historical information, and how the prioritizing of these epistemic objects was part of a complex involving the objectivity of numbers, logic, and mathematics, the objectivity of machines and instruments, and the objectivity seen to reside in the epistemic objects themselves. (shrink)
From some of the great philosophers of the Western tradition: "The Devils gateway" --Tertullian "A misbegotten male" --Aquinas "Big children their whole life long" --Schopenhauer The roots of philosophical misogyny in the writings of thinkers from the ancient Greeks through the modern age are exposed and explored in this collection. Beverley Clack questions whether the wisdom of these philosophers can be separated from the misogyny, and whether feminists should seek an alternative to the Western philosophical canon. This collection (...) offers chronological evidence of how the great male thinkers debated the question of woman, provides and introduction of each thinker. The philosophers included are: Plato, Aristotle, Tertullian, Augustine, Aquinas, Kramer, Sprenger, Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Kant, Rousseau, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Freud, Weininger, Spengler and Lucas. (shrink)
Words have determinable sense only within a complex of unstated assumptions, and all interpretation must therefore go beyond the given material. This book addresses what is man's place in the Aristotelian world. It also describes man's abilities and prospects in managing his life, and considers how far Aristotle's treatment of time and history licenses the sort of dynamic interpretation of his doctrines that have been given. The ontological model that explains much of Aristotle's conclusions and methods is one of (...) life-worlds, in which the material universe of scientific myth is no more than an abstraction from lived reality, not its transcendent ground. (shrink)
The article opens (§ 1) with the paradoxical situation of philosophicalanthropology between a heralded destiny of decadence (W. Schulz) and the surge of its argumentations and notions in the present-day debate on ethical themes and on the very idea of “human nature,” as well as in the redefinition of social philosophy (J. Habermas and P. Sloterdijk). It seeks, then (§§ 2-5), to trace a sort of “metaphilosophy” of philosophicalanthropology, discussing the principal interpretations (H. Schnädelbach, (...) H. Paetzold, O. Marquard, W. Lepenies, etc.) that characterize it as reactive, open to a broader range of disciplines (the natural, human, social and cultural sciences) and installed in the clash between nature and history, intertwining empirical and theoretical elements and capable of providing a descriptive base for moral choices. It then takes up (§§ 6-8) the more recent perspectives of a philosophicalanthropology for the twenty-first century that oscillate between its reconstruction around a strong theoretical core – excentric positionality – as a current of unitary thought and the divergent interpretation that focuses on the biopolitical approach, in order to redefine the specifically human along the vertical axis of anthropogenesis and evolutionary comparison and the horizontal axis of the analysis of diverse cultures in search of the premises of human vital practice. It concludes (§ 9) by suggesting an exploration – through the articles that follow – of the role of stimulus that philosophicalanthropology and its authors play in the most disparate currents on the scene of contemporary German philosophy, such as critical theory, historical anthropology, neopragmatism, social philosophy, and the philosophy of culture. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to consider the vicissitudes of “area studies” from the Second World War to the present focusing eventually on the normative imperative to develop a new paradigm of “planetary thinking.” First an overview of the history of “area studies” will be given from the start in the U.S. during the Second World War in response to the geostrategic imperative for America to know its new geopolitical responsibilities in a world divided by war. This security (...) imperative morphed into the postwar requisite to develop a counterhegemonic strategy against soviet communism in the hot spot parts of Asia, Latin American, and later Africa. The latter military-oriented strategy was added to with research into development and modernization in the third-world through to the boundary displacement of areas studies at the end of the Cold War into the current era of globalization. At this very historical moment of transition a new rationale for area studies emerged in the form of a geoeconomic imperative – both in the U.S. and, with a different gloss, in South Korea in the late 1990s. Second, on the basis of this historical apercu, the argument will be proposed that, given the problem of global warming and the issue‐area of global inequality lurking behind the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, a pressing contemporary task for philosophy is to make a critical contribution to developing a new planetary perspective for area studies informed by a constitutive philosophicalanthropology attendant to the species being of human beings. (shrink)
If we take a bird’s-eye view of the history of philosophical ideas and try to assess the place the problems of modality hold in it, it is likely that we will gain the impression that they are not among the priorities of philosophical thinking of the essence of human being. A closer look at some classical theses, however, can provide us with different answers. In § 76 of Critique of Judgement, which is actually “just” a comment on (...) the basic text, Kant explains that “For human reason it is of absolute necessity to distinguish between the possibility and reality of things”. Kant helps us to include modality in the very metaphysical definition of the human being. That is why we can say: human being is a modal being before being “a rational being”, “a social animal” or “homo faber”. In my opinion that “before” should be understood in a strictly metaphysical sense and it should help us to discover a non-trivial basis and principle of philosophicalanthropology. It is my thesis that philosophicalanthropology should place modality in the very definition of human nature and consider human being as a possibilia entis. We could illustrate the fundamental character of modality by demonstrating that modality is at the basis of constituting time as temporality. In view of this position only the modal being has a time in the sense of temporality. Or, to put it in a different way, we can see in nature only changes, but not temporal phenomena in the strict sense of the concept of time perceived as temporality. (shrink)
The definition of the human -- Perceiving paintings as paintings I -- Perceiving paintings as paintings II -- "One and only one correct interpretation" -- Toward a phenomenology of painting and literature -- "Seeing-in," "make-believe," transfiguration" : the perception of pictorial representation -- Beauty and truth and the passing of transcendental philosophy.
How do people make sense of their experiences? How do they understand possibility? How do they limit possibility? These questions are central to all the human sciences. Here, Vincent Crapanzano offers a powerfully creative new way to think about human experience: the notion of imaginative horizons. For Crapanzano, imaginative horizons are the blurry boundaries that separate the here and now from what lies beyond, in time and space. These horizons, he argues, deeply influence both how we experience our lives and (...) how we interpret those experiences, and here sets himself the task of exploring the roles that creativity and imagination play in our experience of the world. (shrink)
The discovery that the DNA of chimpanzees and humans is incredibly similar, sharing 98% of the same code, suggests that there is very little different--or special--about the human animal. Likewise, advances in artificial intelligence mean that humans no longer have exclusive access to reason, consciousness and imagination. Indeed, the harder we cling to the concept of humanity, the more slippery it becomes. But if it breaks down altogether, what will this mean for human values, human rights, and the defense of (...) human dignity? In a book of breathtaking range, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto takes us on an enlightening journey through the history of humankind, a narrative tour de force that challenges our most fundamental belief--that we are, and have always been, human. Humankind confronts the problem from a historical perspective, showing how our current understanding of what it means to be human has been shaken by new discoveries from science and philosophy. The author shows how our concept of humankind has changed over time, tracing its faltering expansion to its present limits and arguing that these limits are neither fixed or scientifically verifiable. Controversially, he proposes that we have further to go in developing our concept of humankind and that we need to rethink it as a matter of urgency. One of the most imaginative historians writing today, Felipe Fernandez-Armesto here combines astonishing breadth with passionate and exciting storytelling. For the intellectually curious, for those interested in history, philosophy, science and culture, and for anyone who has ever wondered about what makes us human, Humankind offers an exhilarating new perspective. (shrink)
Machine generated contents note: Freedom and the Human Sciences * The Model of Biological Science and its Implications for the Human Sciences * The Answer to the Question What Is Man? * Pragmatic Anthropology * PhilosophicalHistory * Conclusion * Bibliography Freedom and the Human Sciences * The Model of Biological Science and its Implications for the Human Sciences * The Answer to the Question What Is Man? * Pragmatic Anthropology * PhilosophicalHistory * (...) Conclusion * Bibliography. (shrink)
In order to address the question of hope in the present, it behooves us to revisit Kant’s third and fourth questions: ‘What may we hope?’ and ‘What is the human being?’ I reexamine these questions through an analysis of Thomas McCarthy’s recent book Race, Empire, and the Idea of Human Development and several works by Hans Blumenberg. I agree with McCarthy that Kant’s anthropology is incomplete and that the postmodern rejection of macronarratives was premature, but I claim that he (...) requires a more complex philosophicalanthropology to guide a philosophy of history. In order to address the question about hope, I reconstruct the anthropology implied in Blumenberg’s writings. I claim that this answer to Kant’s fourth question supplies conceptual scaffolding missing from McCarthy’s book, provides resources necessary for making normative claims on behalf of all human beings, and can inform a multiversal history for grounding rational hope in the present. (shrink)
In this paper, I situate Hans Blumenberg historically and conceptually in relation to a subtheme in the famous debate between Martin Heidegger and Ernst Cassirer at Davos, Switzerland in 1929. The subtheme concerns Heidegger’s and Cassirer’s divergent attitudes toward philosophicalanthropology as it relates to the starting points and goals of philosophy. I then reconstruct Blumenberg’s anthropology, which involves reconceptualizing Cassirer’s philosophy of symbolic forms in relation to Heidegger’s objections to the philosophicalanthropology of his (...) day (e.g., Max Scheler, Helmuth Plessner, and Arnold Gehlen) as unduly anthropocentric. Blumenberg builds on anthropologist Gehlen’s assumption that human beings are biologically underdetermined and therefore world-open. With this starting point, symbolic forms, such as myth and language, make up a compensatory life-world that supports human existence. Action, or self-assertion, which is necessary given the lack of a seamless fit between human beings and the environment, is thus circumscribed and shaped by the historied, cultural constructs that constitute a life-world. Human beings can thus be characterized as a species that continually renegotiates the shape of its existence through its relation to biological limits on the one hand and cultural constants on the other. Because Blumenberg and philosophicalanthropology are relatively unexplored by Anglophone philosophers, and because philosophicalanthropology is central to Blumenberg’s methodology generally, this study provides an introduction to both. (shrink)
The study began with an introduction to Philosophy of Man. This Philosophical-Christological approach started with sense of self-awareness on this seemingly vain technological modern world. In the history of philosophy, there were three objects of study evolving by themselves, world, man and God in orderly fashion and repeating in interval phases. Self-experience shows three objects: first, existential unity (past), second, experiential unity (present) and third, transcendental unity (future). Western Philosophy banked on Aristotle’s notion of man as rational animal (...) that led to Dualism turned into Monism and finally into Pluralism making it harder to capsulate man’s unity. Thus, the universal question “what is man?” including his end remains unanswered. The problem with Western-Aristotelian Thought was its dependence on rationality as ultimate and highest faculty of man. The Greeks believed in immortality of soul but contradicted reality that human mind has no power over death (mortality). Faith transcends mortal-natural state of man however not in proud and arrogant manner but in utter surrender and subjection (Paschal). Faith turns truth from objective to personal. God’s and man’s identity was both revealed. Man as God’s image becomes definite in the revelation about Christ, the Son of God - the Perfect Man Eph. 4.13. KEYWORDS: Philosophy, Christ, Perfect Man, Philosophical-Christological approach,Christian anthropology, Qualitative Research Design, Philippines. (shrink)
Through extensive readings in philosophical, legal, medical, and imaginative writing, this book explores notions and experiences of being a person from European antiquity to Descartes. It offers quite new interpretations of what it was to be a person—to experience who-ness—in other times and places, involving new understandings of knowing, willing, and acting, as well as of political and material life, the play of public and private, passions and emotions. The trajectory the author reveals reaches from the ancient sense of (...) personhood as set in a totality of surroundings inseparable from the person, to an increasing sense of impermeability to the world, in which anger has replaced love in affirming a sense of self. The author develops his analysis through an impressive range of authors, languages, and texts: from Cicero, Seneca, and Galen; through Avicenna, Hildegard of Bingen, and Heloise and Abelard; to Petrarch, Montaigne, and Descartes. (shrink)
This study looks at the lives of the most famous "wild children" of eighteenth-century Europe, showing how they open a window onto European ideas about the potential and perfectibility of mankind. Julia V. Douthwaite recounts reports of feral children such as the wild girl of Champagne (captured in 1731 and baptized as Marie-Angelique Leblanc), offering a fascinating glimpse into beliefs about the difference between man and beast and the means once used to civilize the uncivilized. A variety of educational experiments (...) failed to tame these feral children by the standards of the day. After telling their stories, Douthwaite turns to literature that reflects on similar experiments to perfect human subjects. Her examples range from utopian schemes for progressive childrearing to philosophical tales of animated statues, from revolutionary theories of regenerated men to Gothic tales of scientists run amok. Encompassing thinkers such as Rousseau, Sade, Defoe, and Mary Shelley, Douthwaite shows how the Enlightenment conceived of mankind as an infinitely malleable entity, first with optimism, then with apprehension. Exposing the darker side of eighteenth-century thought, she demonstrates how advances in science gave rise to troubling ethical concerns, as parents, scientists, and politicians tried to perfect mankind with disastrous results. (shrink)
Drawing on natural history, theology and philosophy, this book retraces the shifting foundations of the order of things that characterizes the period between Descartes and Kant with respect to three questions: What is an animal?
The idea that the Renaissance witnessed the emergence of the modern individual remains a powerful myth. In this important new book Martin examines the Renaissance self with attention to both social history and literary theory and offers a new typology of Renaissance selfhood which was at once collective, performative and porous. At the same time, he stresses the layered qualities of the Renaissance self and the salient role of interiority and notions of inwardness in the shaping of identity.
Renaissance concepts of man: The Arensberg lectures: The dignity of man. The immortality of the soul. The unity of truth.--The Renaissance and Byzantine learning: Italian Humanism and Byzantium.--Byzantine and Western Platonism in the fifteenth century.--Wimmer lecture: Renaissance philosophy and the medieval tradition.--Appendix: History of Philosophy and history of ideas.
What is our nature? What is this enigma that we call human? Who are we? Since the dawn of human history, people have exhibited wildly contradictory qualities: good and evil, love and hate, strength and weakness, kindness and cruelty, aggressiveness and pacifism, generosity and greed, courage and cowardice. Experiencing a sense of eternity in our hearts--but at the same time confined to temporal and spatial constraints--we seek to understand ourselves, both individually and as a species. In Who Are We? (...) Theories of Human Nature, esteemed author Louis P. Pojman seeks to find answers to these questions by exploring major theories in Western philosophy and religion, along with several traditions in Eastern thought. The most comprehensive work of its kind, the volume opens with chapters on the Hebrew/Christian view of human nature and the contrasting classical Greek theories, outlining a dichotomy between faith and reason that loosely frames the rest of the book. The following chapters cover the medieval view, Hindu and Buddhist perspectives, conservative and liberal theories, Kant's Copernican revolution, Schopenhauer's pessimistic idealism, and Karl Marx's theory. Freud's psychoanalytic view, the existentialist perspective, the Darwinian view, and scientific materialism are also discussed. Pojman concludes with a discussion of the question of free will, ultimately asserting that each one of us must decide for ourselves who and what we are, and, based on that answer, how we shall live. (shrink)