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Philosophical Anthropology: Selected Chapters

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Jana Trajtelová

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.
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6. The Person and the Constitutive Dynamics of Interpersonal Relationships

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the person – interpersonality – dynamic orientation – love – values

The term person was defined by E. Coreth as an “individual being of spiritual, thus conscious and free being experienced as myself” (Coreth, 1994, p. 153), specifically constituted through spiritual cognition, volition and action. The essence of a person is constituted by personal relations; thus, “to be a person means to be existentially oriented to the personal being of another” (Coreth, p. 155). M. Buber qualified a person simply as an accomplishment of a personal relationship You – I11 (Buber, 1997); J. Sokol just mentions that a “person is established and maintained where there are personal relationships” (Sokol, 2002, p. 15). On the same basis of a substance-relational model of a person, S. Gálik formulates this integral definition: A human person is an “individual ‘I’ ← 75 | 76 → accomplished in conscious self-possessing and free self-disposing within relations with other persons” (Gálik, 2008, p. 124).

Perhaps the most important phenomenologist of the person, M. Scheler, defined the person as the centre of spiritual acts (Scheler, 1968, p. 66), while “spirit” is manifested as these acts and through them (spiritual love, cognition, compassion, etc.). “Person exists in and through spiritual acts” (Scheler, 1968, p. 74). M. Benköová notes that a person is, according to Scheler, inevitably “characterised as unaccomplished” as it is a “dynamic becoming, constant self-realisation” (Benköová, 2015, p. 61). Also in Scheler’s opinion, the constitution of a person has always been taking place already within...

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