Philosophical Anthropology


Philosophical anthropology is a specialty belonging to philosophy, which deals with the philosophical study of man, specifically its origin or nature; in order to determine the purpose of his existence, as well as his relationship with other beings. In philosophical anthropology man is subject and object at the same time.

The topics that philosophical anthropology generally studies are linked to the value of freedom and its limits, as well as the spiritual part of the human being, its nature, taking man as a being different from all beings in the universe.

Some of the questions that arise within philosophical anthropology are: What is man? Where does he come from? Where is he going? What is death? Its object of study arises from the desire to learn more about the existence of the human being and the need to delve into oneself.

The basis of his approach is to apply the teachings of the natural sciences (biology, ethology, zoology, etc.) and the human sciences, in order to determine the inherent characteristics of the human species and its specific position in the world and the natural environment. .

This science seeks to distinguish the traits of the human being based on material, biological, economic, social, cultural, etc. aspects.

However, this science can be the reason for the emergence of various problems related to man; since he is experiencing an existential crisis, due to the lack of identity caused by indifference and lack of love towards others. This is why the need to reflect on the true meaning of being a man; and this must be done from the loss of the solitary and individual self; and begin to consider the person as a member of a whole. Hence the importance of coexistence in society.

The most important exponents of this discipline were:

Max Scheler (1874-1928), great German philosopher; being one of the first to point out how dangerous the arrival of Nazism was for Germany.

Helmuth Plessner (1892-1985), German philosopher and sociologist; considered one of the founders of philosophical anthropology. His thought lies not only in philosophy, but also in biology and zoology. His work covers a very wide field, since it ranges from the theoretical foundation of the concept of human life, to a philosophical reflection on the ways in which those are expressed historically and politically.

Arnold Gehlen (1904-1976) German philosopher and sociologist, member of the Nazi party; his theories served as a source of inspiration for the development of contemporary German neoconservatism.