Volume 16, 1998
The Nature and Possibility of Philosophical Anthropology
Philosophers cannot avoid addressing the question of whether philosophical anthropology (that is, specifically philosophical inquiry about human nature and human phenomenon) is possible. Any answer must be articulated in the context of the nature and function of philosophy. In other words, philosophical anthropology must be defined as an account of the nature of the subject of philosophical thinking. I argue that if philosophical thinkers admit that they are beings in nature, culture, and history, then the possibility of a uniquely philosophical theory of human nature and human phenomenon should be discarded. Rather, philosophy's catalytic and integrative role in human cognition should be stressed.