Philosophical Anthropology: Selected Chapters

by Jana Trajtelová (Author)
©2016 Others 102 Pages
Series: Uni Slovakia, Volume 9


This textbook discusses and systemises several selected topics of philosophical anthropology. The problem of man cannot be grasped through only one main principle or aspect (as the principle of his or her «humanity»). The chapters of this book rather outline several specific aspects which essentially characterize human beings (such as rationality, formation of culture, freedom, personality and interpersonality). The text is primarily intended for bachelor students of philosophy.

Table Of Contents

  • Cover
  • Title
  • Copyright
  • About the Author
  • About the Book
  • This eBook can be cited
  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • 1. What is Philosophical Anthropology?
  • 2. The Human Place in the Cosmos
  • 3. A Rational Animal?
  • 4. Culture
  • 5. The Issue of Freedom
  • 6. The Person and the Constitutive Dynamics of Interpersonal Relationships
  • 7. Appendix: Short Exercise Book and Closing Remarks
  • Bibliography


Emmerich Coreth, the Austrian philosopher, opened the question of man in terms of philosophical anthropology, by saying that no other known living creatures ask questions about their existence, their essence, or their place and meaning in the world: “Only man asks questions; he questions everything, even himself, his essence – exceeding the immediacy of what is given, heading to the very foundations” (Coreth, 1994, p. 10). In the 20th century, the philosophical question of man experienced a rebirth. While trying to consistently examine the ontological structure of a human being from a philosophical point of view, Max Scheler, the founder of modern philosophical anthropology, questioned specifically “man’s place in the universe”; Martin Buber raised the philosophical “problem of man”, and Emerich Coreth summarised the point of philosophical and anthropological research ← 7 | 8 → through Kant’s simple question: “What is man?”. Many other contemporary thinkers have declared their allegiance to philosophical inquiry known as philosophical anthropology. Many other authors with various scholarly concerns, such as E. Cassirer or K. Lorenz, have spoken directly of their contribution to the philosophical-anthropological issue. Since their very beginnings, philosophical as well as religious thinking have mused upon the origin and essence of man, his or her destiny, and the meaning of his or her existence. M. Landmann made an apt comment on the issue by saying that every anthropos is already an anthropologist (Landmann, 1982, p. 10). It seems that the lot of man really is to question and learn restlessly, first of all, about his own being.

What does the uniqueness of reflections in philosophical anthropology consist of? A person within a peculiar cultural and historical context directly or indirectly always already cognises and interprets himself or herself on the basis of various theological or philosophical traditions and today especially on the basis of ever increasing knowledge of natural and social sciences. What is the focused philosophical thematisation of the issue of man in philosophical anthropology good for? Philosophical anthropology seeks to provide the unifying philosophical perspective on the meaning of a human being as always and already an integrated whole and unity of his or her specific anthropological attributes, that is to say ← 8 | 9 → that absolutising only one of them may lead to reductions with serious existential consequences.


ISBN (Softcover)
Publication date
2016 (April)
Rationality Nature Culture Language
Frankfurt am Main, Berlin, Bern, Bruxelles, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2016. 102 pp.

Biographical notes

Jana Trajtelová (Author)

Jana Trajtelová teaches at the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy and Arts, Trnava University, Slovakia.


Title: Philosophical Anthropology: Selected Chapters
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104 pages