Salvatore Giammusso
University of Naples Federico II
In the following paper, I would like to reconsider the paradigm of “classical” philosophical anthropology in the perspective of postmodernity. I plead in favor of an anthropological project continuing the tradition of Lebensphilosophie, especially Otto Friedrich Bollnow’s claim for an anthropology without images. In fact, I present here a few considerations about a hermeneutic approach to anthropology. I try to make plausible that anthropology should not investigate the nature of the human being and his place in the cosmos, but rather describe identities in a practical sense. Its task is dual: it has to give a critical understanding of the unconscious images that form identities, both at a social and personal level; at the same time, it has to make appeal to a sense of responsibility for others and for the shaping of one’s personal way of life. The mythological figure of Hermes, guide of souls and protector of transitions, is perfectly suited to this dual role of a hermeneutic anthropology, which not only makes theory, but also creates awareness and new opportunities for human advancement.
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