Volume 28, Issue 4, 2018
Philosophical Anthropology at the Crossroads
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.