The Philosophy of Human Nature

The Philosophy of Human Nature

The Philosophy of Human Nature

The Philosophy of Human Nature

Synopsis

"Are humans unique among animals - and if so, what makes humans human? Is human freedom a delusion? Do people possess paranormal powers? How do the sexes differ? Are personality traits and intelligence inherited? Can we expect to survive bodily death? Howard Kainz looks for the best available answers to these and other questions, drawing upon classical and recent philosophy as well as the current state of scientific knowledge. His approach is open-minded and adventurous, and yields some surprising insights."

Excerpt

My first inclination is to entitle this book [philosophical anthro- pology]—which will in any case be its library classification. But I hesitate to do this, since the term [philosophical anthropology,] is now used in a specialized sense. It has become largely synonymous with a group of philosophical efforts placed under the umbrella designation, [existential phenomenology]—works by Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Buber, Sartre, and others. These works, quite different from one another in approach, do have some features in common. In the midst of the spread of totalitarian ide- ologies in the twentieth century, they responded by focusing on individual existence in the world as the starting point and the cen- tral issue for philosophical analysis. The keynote of such efforts has been the emphasis on introspective experience, and reliance on pure phenomenological analysis as a self-sufficient methodology. In existentialism and phenomenology, one finds occasional refer- ences to scientific developments—such as references by Sartre to Freudian psychology, or the general discussions of modern tech- nology by Heidegger—but no major efforts to incorporate con- temporary scientific data on human nature in any systematic way.

In twentieth-century Scholastic philosophy, based largely on the work of St. Thomas Aquinas (1225–1274), the branch of phi- losophy called [philosophical psychology] offered a different and somewhat systematic approach to questions about human nature. Metaphysical issues regarding human nature were considered—the relation of essence to existence in humans, the differentiation of . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.