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Dialogue and Universalism

Volume 28, Issue 4, 2018

Philosophical Anthropology at the Crossroads

Rafał Michalski
Pages 177-193

Arnold Gehlen’s Anthropological Theory of Institution

The article reconstructs main assumptions and the theoretical context of Arnold Gehlen’s conception of institution. I argue that this conception is mainly a theory of action. At its centre Gehlen sets not so much specific institutions but rather specific forms of human activity that bring to life the over-individual normative structures. He describes them by means of a series of categories which, in his opinion, have a universal character. We do not find any genealogical analyzes here, but only a constellation of concepts deduced a priori, referring to empirical facts.

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