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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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Introduction

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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...

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