Etica E Politica 12 (2):61-81 (2010)

Guido Cusinato
Università degli Studi di Verona
Searching for the origins of 20th century Philosophical Anthropology, it is quite common to follow the suggestions of A. Gehlen who points to Herder as such an origin. In this study, however, I propose a rather different, until now scarcely considered hypothesis: the origin of Philosophical Anthropology can be brought back to Schelling’s reflections concerning Kant’s Critique of Judgement and the problem of self-organization of nature. Starting from his critical observations on Kant, Schelling works out the concept of a succession of levels in the organic, and that of the ex-centricity that defines human beings. Exactly these two concepts will be discussed by Scheler in The Human Place in the Cosmos and by Plessner in The Stages of the Organic and Man. It is commonly assumed that Schelling did not exert any direct influence upon Philosophical Anthropology; one usually allows only for an indirect influence on Scheler, intermediated by Eduard von Hartmann. This paper shows, however, that a documentable, direct influence of Schelling on Scheler can be demonstrated, and that it was decisive for the birth of Philosophical Anthropology
Keywords Schelling  Scheler  Philosophical anthropology
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