Homo Sapiens, A Problematic Species: An Essay in Philosophical Anthropology

Homo Sapiens, A Problematic Species: An Essay in Philosophical Anthropology

Language: English

Pages: 274

ISBN: 0761865195

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Homo Sapiens, A Problematic Species examines how Western culture has understood and continues to understand what it is to be human. This book features reflections on mythical thought and its logic and contrasts it to the Western conception of man as expressed in philosophy from antiquity to the twentieth century, its main sources being Christianity and the idealistic tenet in antique Greek philosophy. The author stresses the necessity to break away from a religious and metaphysical perception of man that is inevitably anthropocentric in order to construct a more scientifically based anthropology appropriate to tackle the threats our species poses to the vast ecological system on Earth.

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has an emotional value, negative or positive, good or bad. We distinguish sharply between efficient causes, which to us are most important, and final causes, i.e., the intentions of living beings, which are only in a secondary sense to be considered as causes. Though it was once believed that primitive men had no real conception of causality, this is wrong; it is only a different one from ours, being more equivocal. Central myth In primitive thought the objective and subjective approaches can be

following strict religious rules. They have a cupboard for crockery, pots and pans, knives, and other utensils that come into contact with milk products and with farinaceous products cooked with milk, while another cupboard contains the same utensils, but coming into contact with blood, such as meat, etc. The reason is that in the Old Testament it is said that “the lamb shall not be cooked in its mother’s milk.” Though orthodox Jews apply the rules of the Torah with rigour, they simply use the

binary relations; in the domain of music the number of terms of the relations was determined by the number of possible chords.20 Whereas Christian religion and Platonism have been successfully combined, religion and Aristotelian logic have from early on clashed. Thus the Apostle Paul, when preaching in Athens, had no impact upon his listeners, i.a. because the well-to-do citizens forming his audience were educated in philosophy and had at least some training in Aristotelian logic. How could a God

image, it is on the soul that the debate is centred. Specialists agree that Ockham’s views remain as Christian as those of any other Christian thinker of the Middle Ages. What is different is that he explicitly separates the articles of faith that cannot be proven, and arguments that he draws from experience and logic. Thus he does not try to establish the truth he accepts on religious grounds on a metaphysical basis, but only by referring to what we know as facts and what we know by logical

the enemies of an “open society” (a society of which the members are free to criticise politicians and policies, a society that can democratically be changed). If history contains a teleological principle the ideal model of society is determined beforehand. Moreover, indi- Idealism and Marxism 171 viduals are more or less unimportant. In Hegel’s philosophy, the individual has egoistic motives; the citizen has a sense of civilian duty, and this thesis and antithesis lead to reconciliation in

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