What does Doppelgaenger say about human nature?

Preliminary remark

The present compendium of philosophical anthropology gives the main features of a lecture that the author gave several times at the University of Düsseldorf, for example in the 1979 summer semester, 1983 summer semester and 1985/86 winter semester.

Philosophical anthropology, along with metaphysics, logic and epistemology, ontology and philosophy of practice, is one of the basic philosophical disciplines that are offered at the University of Düsseldorf in philosophy in the basic course and can be studied in the main course for recapitulation and in-depth study.

In accordance with the architectural relationship between the philosophical disciplines and with the individual sciences, anthropological prerequisites are incorporated into the foundations of the field disciplines of philosophy and the individual sciences. They are not always easily recognizable there. According to a widespread opinion about the alleged "lack of presuppositions in the sciences", which is only reinforced by the persistent tendency to over-specialize, the actual thought models and heuristic models of traditional human images in research and teaching are all too easily overlooked, treated as "taken for granted" or even with tedious work Effort reformulated so that what was required appears as the result. This is particularly likely to apply to the human sciences themselves, some of which have only recently broken away from philosophy. In them, the supposed autonomy has all too often been bought at a high price through a lack of education in the history of philosophy, which makes the numerous special anthropologies such as pedagogical, sociological, political, economic, and others no longer recognizable as offshoots from the same philosophical lineage.

To counteract this tendency a little, one of the weights of the present presentation of Philosophical Anthropology lies in the presentation of the main moments of its history. Like the history of the disciplines in general, the history of philosophical anthropology also offers a silver bullet to facts, forms of thought, models, main theories and perennial problems in this field. It is a heuristic that is far too little noticed and used for teaching and study.

In addition to the historical aspect, special emphasis was placed on illuminating in the second part of the presentation the metaphysical preconditions for the formation of anthropological theories. This may serve as an example of the attempt that we also undertake in the compendia of the other basic disciplines to present metaphysics as a discipline from the first (or last) prerequisites of all disciplines and sciences and to assign the schematism of its basic positions for the constitution of basic disciplinary starting arguments to use. The observation of these metaphysical presuppositions leads to a classification of possible anthropological theoretical approaches, which both understand historically executed theories better and draw attention to more or less unexplored gaps in the formation of theories.

In a third part, some problems of philosophical anthropology that are currently in the foreground of public interest are dealt with - admittedly in a more apercous way.

For the further study we add a list of selected literature from different genres at the end.


Düsseldorf, February 1986

Lutz Money Setter




§ 1. Determination of the discipline Philosophical Anthropology

The subject of philosophical anthropology is a fundamental part of occidental philosophy. It was developed in several "turns to the subject" (Socratic, Augustinian, Cartesian, existential philosophy). It is about the creation and transmission of "philosophical images of man" in theories about man. Their importance for the other basic and area disciplines as well as all human sciences is obvious. The classic images of human beings are the basis of self-image and heuristic guidelines for research on human beings. In particular, they prejudice the forms of thought in which the subject (epistemological, praxeological and metaphysical) is articulated.

As a discipline, it owes itself to the encyclopedic architectonics of the 16th century: Magnus Hundt, Anthropologium, 1501, and Otto Casmann, Psychologia anthropologica et fabrica humani corporis, 2 vols. 1594-96. The latter defines: "Anthropologia est doctrina humanae naturae. Humana natura est geminae naturae mundanae, spiritualis et carpareae, in unum hyphistamenon unitae particeps essentia" (A. is the doctrine of human nature. Nature, the spiritual and the physical, which are united in a basic stock, participates.). This is still true today, so that we can define: anthropology is the discipline of the essence of man, his faculties (mental and physical abilities) and his position in reality.

Nevertheless, it is also controversial as a discipline. Two extreme attitudes deny their existence: 1. "Naturalistic" attitudes tend to assign their subject matter to the positive individual sciences of humans (primate biology, psychology, sociology). 2. Existential thinking turns it into metaphysics.


Part I: On the history of philosophical anthropology

Chapter 1: Philosophical Anthropology in Antiquity

It shows the development of classic human images and their variations. The basic types are the Platonic, the Aristotelian and the Stoic image of man. These are repristined in manifold variations to this day. Let us first consider antiquity:

§ 2. The Platonic image of man

The Platonic image of man depicts man as an individual, immortal spiritual being that is (by chance) enclosed in an (animal) body. As the "soul", this spiritual being is "that which rules the body". It rules him and his parts through the "soul parts". All so-called psychological property doctrines are based on their distinction. The picture of the "charioteer" (Phaedrus 246 a3) is used as a model: The rational part, as the team-driver, sets the strength of the obedient horse, which symbolizes the "courageous" (will), against the strength of the unruly horse, which drives urges and desires represents, one and thus directs the whole thing to its goal. The execution in the "state" (Book IX, 581 c ff.) Shows the connection of the soul parts with virtues, body parts as well as with the structure of the state, its classes and their virtues. We give them as a scheme:

HUMANSoul part
1st head Reasonablewisdom loving Wisdom (Sophia) u.
 (Logistikón, Nous)(philomathés, philosophón)Justice (diakýosyne)
 "Brave",fighting and honor-lovingManliness, courage (andreía) u.
2nd chest
Upper abdomen
Will (thymoeidés)(philonikón, philotimón)justice
3. abdomenDrive-like, desiresfactual, material(righteous obedient
("between breast and navel")(Epithymetics)(philochrematón, philokerdés)versus reason)


COUNTRYtaskVirtueFolk type
1. Rulers (Archons)Consultation
Wisdom & justiceGreeks
2. Guardians, officials, soldiers,
Police (Phýlakes)
Assistance, help
Bravery, courage (Andreía),
& justice
Thracians and Scythians
3. Farmers, craftsmen and tradesmen (Georgói, Demiourgói)Benefits in kind, material basis (Chrematikón)righteous obedience
Phoenicians a.


1. Man is a spirit being. 2. The human being as a spiritual being is determined by the distinction and dominance of the soul's faculties. That is, the predominance of a certain part of the soul makes the individual person a certain character. 3. The physical aspect of human beings is accidental and unimportant, thus also the gender difference: "The natural dispositions are distributed in a similar way in both men (man and woman), and by their nature women can participate in all business like men in everything; but in all things the woman is weaker than the man "(State 454c). 4. There is a hierarchy or order of values ​​with reason at the top, instincts at the base in such a way that reason guides, instincts are to be subjugated (suppressed!). 5. The structure of the state or society is based on the same anthropological conditions: the property hierarchy is the class hierarchy. The same types of characters are gathered in each of the stalls and are carefully selected (depending on whether they have "gold", "silver" or "iron" in their souls). This disposition also determines their work-sharing task and virtue. 6. Harmony, agreement of the parts of the soul under the guidance of reason is justice (dikaiosýne) and creates a happy life; Justice in the state gives it invincible strength and constancy.

The Platonic image of man becomes the basis of the Western Christian image of man, which emphasizes the individuality, immortality and spirituality of the fundamental human nature, puts physicality - the "flesh" - (sarx) aside or even discriminates it. The Neoplatonism of late antiquity emphasizes precisely these features. The Aristotelian image of man, on the other hand, essentially brings about the rehabilitation of the physical.


§ 3. The Aristotelian image of man

It basically depicts people as spirit-body beings. The body is essentially assigned to the spirit, it is the "tool" (organon) of the soul, which controls and moves it and which is "in a certain way everything" (De anima III, 8, 431 b 21). The Platonic doctrine of the faculties of the soul is adopted in principle, but modified and legitimized from the physical point of view: it corresponds to the embedding of man in the natural kingdom.


Soul fortuneBody part ("soul seat")functionReality area
1a. Creative reason
(nous poetikós)
(Blood, breath, whole body, into which it enters "from outside")Thinking, theorythe divine
1b. Passive reason
(nous pathetikós)
Feeling, memory,
what is actually human
2. Sensory (perceptual)
and ability to move
(aisthetikón and kinetikón)
Sensory organs (skin and head), musculoskeletal system
Perception and movement
the animal, "animal"
3. Nutritional and driving abilities
(threptikón and orektikón)
Lean, bowel and reproductive organs
Nutrition and reproduction

the vegetable, "vegetative"
4. Body matter(Corpse)Customizationinorganic matter


The "organic" conception and the embedding in the natural kingdom determine the classic definition of humans as "rational or linguistically gifted animals" (zóon lógon echón, animal rationale), ie they belong to the animal species and have a specific distinguishing feature in relation to them of reasonableness (possession of language).

The question of individuality and immortality remains controversial. According to the Aristotelian theory of substance, matter - here the body - determines the individuality of a substance, the form is general and determines the character of the species. For Aristotle, however, only the divine is considered immortal. The historical reception and fusion with the Christian (basically Platonic) image of man leads to the dogma of the "resurrection of the flesh" (since the body is individualized) and to the "Alexandrian" interpretation of the "individual" immortality of the nous poetikós. In contrast, the "averroistic" Aristotelianism claims the loss of the individuality of the nous when it leaves the body and its merging with the divine all-soul.

The essential attention to the physical leads Aristotle to the discovery and determination of many somatic peculiarities of man in contrast to animals.

Physical characteristics of the human being (cf. De generatione animalum, De partibus animalum, De anima): 1. Language possession, 2. handedness, in particular asymmetry of the performance of the right and left hands and the halves of the body, 3. upright gait, 4. brain size (the brain counts as a cooling organ for the blood), 5. Sensitivity of the sense of touch over the whole skin, nudity, 6. Lifespan (counts as fears next to elephants).

The essential connection between the divine (spirit) and nature (body) in man results in his determination in life: "What is inherent in everyone is naturally the highest and most pleasurable for him. For man, however, it is life according to the spirit. For the spirit is most of all man. Hence this life is also the happiest "(Nik. Ethik X, 7, 1177 b 26). In this way, the distinction of "theoretical life" (bios theoretikós, vita contemplativa, "tranquility"), which was already applied by Plato, and the discrimination of "active" life (as banausal) are anthropologically underpinned.

The difference between the sexes is just as important, as is the organic state of development of man according to age: only the adult man capable of procreation is considered to be full; the woman, the child, the old man (including the cripple, the sick) are only "potentially". This is followed by the Western privilege of the former and discrimination against the latter!

We summarize the features of the Aristotelian image of man: 1. Man is a physical-spiritual being ("organic conception"). His spiritual part connects him with the divine (Platonism), his physical part with nature. 2. The body is "assigned" to the spirit (not accidentally its "prison" as in Plato); the spirit "rules" the body as soul or "entelechy". 3. The faculties of the soul form a hierarchy in accordance with the hierarchy of nature: thinking, sensuality and instinctual structure represent the divine, animal and vegetable in man and integrate him into reality. 4. The structure of reason and its culture determine the fate of humanity as a species; the physical-organic structure determines the fate of the individual concrete person in life.


§ 4. The stoic image of man

It is a synthesis of the Platonic and Aristotelian image of man, the features of which it intensifies in various ways. Since it goes back to different authors and has been developed in discussions over centuries, some things have remained controversial. The Aristotelian embedding in nature is strengthened and all nature is teleologically related to man. She is there for him. Conversely, "natural life" (te phýsei zen) becomes the highest ideal. The materialistic ontology of the Stoa also depicts the soul (and the divine) as the finest fiery matter. But as with Plato and Aristotle, it is of divine origin, even if it arises through conception at the same time as the rest of the body. The usual designation as "Pneuma" (air, cf. Latin spiritus) underlines the fundamentally materialistic conception. Pervading and governing the whole body, it is centered in the heart from which the warm blood flows and the voice emanate. However, after the discovery of the nervous system and brain functions by the Alexandrian doctor Herophilos, later Stoics also vote for the head as the "seat of the soul". The Platonic distinction between parts of the soul is expanded to eight (5 senses, procreation pneuma, speech pneuma and central leadership pneuma = hegemonikón), on the other hand, under the hegemonikón, it is unified and dynamized again. "Just as the spider sits in the middle of the web and notices with the help of the threads when a fly gets into it, so the hegemonikón sits in the heart and hears what the senses transmit" (Chrysipp). The tendency towards unity no longer allows a real opposition between instinct and hegemonikón to arise; rather, instincts and the other parts of the soul usually and naturally conform to the guiding spirit, also called nous or logos. If they do not, it is abnormal, a sign of illness. So the "reasonable" person is also the normal, healthy and general one, but the one who cannot cope with his drives and affects is sick and "his own". The "idiot" (idiótes = individual) or "private man" (from whom Epicurus made an ideal) appears as the one who is "deprived" of common reason and participation in the general and public. He is like an animal that only has a tendency to reason (instincts), and this also applies to immature people up to about puberty. The materialization of world reason in the "seeds of reason" (lógoi spermatikói) and the determinism of the course of the world according to fate (Anángke) also guarantees the equality of content of thought and reasonable will of people: by the world reason pulling roots in every soul (emphytoi logoi, hence the doctrine of "ingrained ideas", which goes hand in hand with the Platonic theory of anamnesis), it generates a "common opinion" (opinio communis) about the essential things, at the same time the basis of all truth and its knowledge.The ideal image of man is the wise man (the philosopher) who lives "unshakably" (ataraxia) through external fate entirely according to reason - the slave Epictetus and the emperor Marcus Aurelius are the classic examples! -, knows his place in the world (oikeiosis), keeps body and soul healthy through "naturalness" (see above: te phýsei zen) and is on good terms with his peers and the other creatures, in "solidarity".

Death means the separation of the pneuma from the rest of the body. It returns to the sublunar airspace, where, according to some, it lingers until the end of the world (Ekpyrosis) and a new "rebirth", after others it mixes with the universe.

In summary one can say: 1. The stoic image of man is fundamentally materialistic. 2. The human being is embedded as a small cosmos (microcosm) in the total cosmos (macrocosm) and reflects it in knowledge and being. 3. Its structure of reason makes it a species, the instincts become independent as a disease to the isolated, to the animal. This is the starting point for the particular suitability and use of stoicism in Western legal ideology.


Chapter 2: The Philosophical Anthropology of Patristic and Scholasticism

The ancient images of man remain alive in this epoch. Initially, the Platonic-Neoplatonic dominated in Augustine. In Thomas Aquinas' reception of Aristotelianism, the Aristotelian comes to the fore. In the transition to the Renaissance there is an amalgamation with the neo-Platonic and stoic, which the work of Nikolaus von Kues stands for.

§ 5. Augustine's Neoplatonic image of man (353-430)

The "second turn to the subject" introduced by Augustine ("Noli foras ire. In te ipsum reddi. In interiori homine habitat veritas." - Do not go outside. Return to yourself. Truth dwells in the inner man) Soul life and consciousness of the human being to the actual reality. As with Plato, the soul is immortal and individual, created by God "in his image" and is itself divine. The Platonic doctrine of the parts of the soul is even more "dynamized" (Greek dynamis = power, ability, Latin potentia), but the will comes to the fore as a unitary moment (cf. the stoic hegemonikón). With Augustine's image of man and God, voluntarism (connected with ontological indeterminism and the doctrine of freedom) begins its triumphal march. The Platonic ideas become "ideas in the spirit of God" and plans of creation in which man participates through contemplation in himself (cf. Malebranches (1638-1715) "See all things in God" and Berkeley's (1685-1753) spiritualism). The biblical image of God of the "trinity of divine persons" thus receives its scientific-psychological basis here: Just as the soul embraces its three basic forces: memory, power of thought and will in their unity and separation, so are also "father" (memory as the place of ideas ), "Son" (power of thought, intellectus) and "Holy Spirit" (will, voluntas) at the same time one in the Trinity. The characteristics of being - knowing - love are ascribed to this trinity. Transferring the microcosm idea of ​​the Stoa here, makes man a "little god" who has evidently been getting bigger and bigger since the Renaissance. And like St. Spirit interweaves everything, as does its human counterpart: the will: "Voluntas est quippe in omnibus, immo omnes nihil aliud quam voluntates sunt" (The will is in a sense in everything, therefore everything is nothing but will.).

With Descartes it will - despite his alleged rationalism - extend to everything, because in will man is "godlike", but in ratio it is fallible.

Since Augustine has, as it were, absorbed the instincts in the will, he must occasionally take this into account by speaking of two wills, indeed a self-tearing of the will (this is what the Böhme-Schelling theory of the self-alienation of the absolute in creation gives!) : "It is one and the same soul, just not with all will to one or the other, and so it tensions itself to its severe pain ... And that is why there are two wills, because one is not the whole will and that, what one lacks, the other has "(Confessiones VIII). God and devil, good and bad will in the human soul, wrestle, and the outcome of the battle determines the one to eternal bliss, the other to eternal damnation. Augustine's Neoplatonism transfers all reality into the soul. As a memory (memoria) it becomes a space in which being unfolds in time: the past, present and future become internal dimensions in which memory, sensual knowledge and volition occur, as - theologically speaking - also the Son and St. . Spirit are with the Father. Its reason, however, cannot be fathomed: "In the memory also the forgetting (e) remains". Recollection (Plato's anamnesis): Completion of the part from the knowledge of the whole. In Augustine's theory of the soul one has the basic model of all modern idealisms.

In summary: August 1 st Augustine's image of man is Neoplatonic: man is essentially soul. 2. The will (absorbing Plato's instincts) comes to the fore: the human being essentially becomes a will. 3. The (platonic) parts of the soul become soul forces that create reality in its temporal ecstasies. 4. The parallelism of the concept of God and soul is at the same time a "scientific" explanation of the occidental-Christian Trinity God and theological consecration of the Augustinian image of man, which gives it dominant effectiveness to this day. It becomes the "Protestant" image of man par excellence.


§ 6. The Aristotelian image of man by Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

It again emphasizes the "organic" character of the human being, composed of body and soul. He is "animal rationale", a living being distinguished by his reason compared to other animals. The body is the "organon" (tool) of reason, like the hands, in turn, are the "tool of tools". Beyond Aristotle, reason becomes a unified faculty (intellectus), within which the discursive faculty of knowledge (ratio) nevertheless remains something lower (inferior intellectus). "It contains the rational soul potentially (virtute) everything that the sensual soul of animals and the nourishing plant has" (Summa theologica I q.76 a 3c). Aristotelian and stoic at the same time is the idea of ​​embedding man in the kingdoms of nature and the alignment of all creation towards man: "The highest level of all creation is the human soul, and matter strives towards it as in its outermost form. .. Man is the goal of all creation. " As the highest physical being, the human being is at the same time the lowest spirit being among the angels and separated souls, to whom he enters after death. He stands at the intersection of the physical and the spiritual world. It is "quasi horizon et confinium spiritualis et corporalis naturae, ut quasi medium inter utrasque bonitates participet et corporales et spirituales" (at the same time the horizon and common boundary of the spiritual and physical nature, so that it can be seen as the middle between both of the two goods, the physical and the spiritual, participating; prol. in III. sententiarum). Will and instincts follow the dominant reason, which prescribes the goals for them through the knowledge of the true and the good. Sin and evil are only deceptions about truth and deprivation of good. Since the Thomistic concept of God also corresponds to this, we have in Thomas doctrine the most effective type of Western rationalism. God, man and nature as rational beings are basically also recognizable, calculable, even manageable. God is only "relatively" (per analogiam) higher being and higher reason than man, who is deified accordingly through the development of his reason and "theoretical" life. Here we have the "catholic" image of man kat ‘exochen.


§ 7. Nikolaus von Kues's image of man (1401-1464)

This in turn is a synthesis of the Neoplatonic-Augustinian and the Aristotelian-Thomistic. From the former comes the trait: "Man is God, even if not absolute, since he is man. So he is a human God ... God in a human way. He can be a human angel, a human animal, a human lion or Bear or whatever else. For in the power of the human everything exists in its own way "(De coniecturis II, 14). From the latter it assumes the intermediate position between the spiritual and the physical world. Man is a citizen of two worlds, he stands "in horizonte duorum mundorum" and is, as it were, the bond of the totality of beings ("quasi nexus universitatis entium", de mente). But the strict opposition between the spiritual and the physical world is abolished and, in the sense of the Neoplatonic hierarchy of being, stretched into a triadic periodic of the stages of being: "Understand the essence of man from the unity of the lights of human nature and from the otherness of physical darkness ... You You will clearly perceive three spheres in it: a lower, a middle and an upper, and these in turn three times triple graded, base parts of the body, which are in constant flux, more firmly joined and formed and very noble you will gradually recognize. These you take in the same ascent more spiritual organs of the body perceive which perceptual faculties are inherent; these also divide gradually in order to get from the duller to the more sensitive "(De coniecturis II, 14). In addition, there is the stoic idea of ​​the micro-macro-cosmos relationship between man and the world. Just as man represents all spheres of being in his physical-spiritual constitution, he is also able to recreate this being himself with his divine, i.e., rational part. As a "human God", however, he remains in the finite. The infinite is the limit of his capacity for insight, which he can only approach in the passage through knowledge, in "knowing ignorance" (docta ignorantia). The strictest cognitive methodology, the mathematical-geometric, demonstrates these limits in the coincidence of everything discrete in infinity (coincidentia oppositorum): the infinite polygon becomes a circle, the infinite circle becomes a line, etc. And like the triangle in the border crossing to the infinite model for unity and indistinguishability is of line, circle and sphere, it also applies to the coincidence of the three divine persons in God or "for everything that exists in three ways" (De docta ignorantia I, 20). By (re) constructing the world with the highest (mathematical) science and at the same time experiencing the absolute limit of knowledge in relation to the infinite, i.e. the divine, in knowledge, he is only a "creating mirror" (De Beryllo 6), which points to the remains dependent on divine light.

In the Kusan's image of man, we are dealing with a formula of concord, which itself unites the dominant Western images of man like a "creating mirror".



Chapter 3: The Philosophical Anthropology of Modern Times


The modern age breaks this image of man apart again. With an arrogant awareness of modernity, she begins the analysis of man all over again and yet moves along the path of the classical conception of man that has been foreseen. Unconnected, the tendencies go, on the one hand, towards exhaustive research into the physical nature of man, from which his "spiritual" side should also be explained - we call this naturalism; on the other hand, on the illumination of his spiritual being, in which all materiality is first constituted - we call this spiritualism. In the "third turn to the subject" from the Cartesian Cogito philosophy to the culmination point in German idealism, the naturalistic paradigm dominates, which today almost without exception asserts the field in academic philosophy and science of man. As it were, only fragments of the spiritualistic image of man become the idol of Neoplatonic cults of non-academic sects and sectarians everywhere. A new formula of the Agreement is not in sight.

The common starting point of both tendencies is (in addition to the Kusan image of man) the sophisticated Neo-Platonism of the Renaissance. In Pico della Mirandola's famous speech "De dignitate hominis" (On the dignity of man, 1486) man becomes "his own master craftsman and sculptor" (arbitrarius plastes et fictor), who - almost in Cusanian words it is praised - is free, to make oneself an animal like "to rise to the highest spheres of divinity", yes, "one spirit becomes one with God himself, and he is lifted up into the solitary height in which the father is enthroned above everything, even above everything, what is to establish his throne ". Naturalism makes God something human, ultimately a metaphor (see Feuerbach); spiritualism takes speech literally.


§ 8. The naturalistic conception of man

It explains people from their physical and physical nature. The development and specialization of the natural sciences and positive sciences of the human being brings more and more new and more points of view which allow him to be integrated into the various ranks of the natural beings and to be compared with them. Let's give examples:

1. Anatomy and physiology: From Harvey's discovery of the blood circulation (De motu cordis et sanguinis, 1628; De circulatione sanguinis ad Riolanum, 1649) to Lamettrie's machine and plant people (L'homme machine, 1748; L'homme plante, 1748), the scientific materialism of a Büchner and Moleschott and the energetism of a Wilh. Ostwald and Felix Auerbach, the line from the mechanical view of humans extends to modern gene manipulation and spare parts surgery. The prospect of the complete replacement of the physical human by his "cloned" double or the technical robot opens up.

2. Biology: While Hobbes the wolf, B. de Mandeville the bee state to demonstrate the true "nature" of man, C. v. Linné in the "natural system" of animals (Systema naturae, sive regna tria naturae systematice proposita, 1735) under the "primates" (great apes), Ch. R. Darwin ties it evolutionarily to the family tree of living things (The descent of man and on selection in relation to sex, 1871). From here the line goes on to L. Bolk's "infantile ape" and Portmann's "physiological premature birth" and "secondary nestling". H. Plessner's theory of eccentricity in humans and A. Gehlen's view of animals that compensate for organ deficiency are also fundamentally on this ground. This also applies to comparative behavioral research, based on I. P. Pavlov's discovery of the "conditioned reflex" in dogs (Nobel Prize 1904) to J. v. Uexküll, F. J. Buytendijk and K. Lorenz, who teach us to understand people as "animal", still true to F. Bacon's research question: "si anima humana gradu potius quam specie discriminata esset ab anima brutorum".

3. Ethnology (English "cultural anthropology"): In it the old myths of the "original" and "pre-social" human being are transformed into the ideal of the "natural man", whom it tracks down in the gaps of the civilized world. From Lafiteau's "Moeurs des sauvages ameriquains comparées aux moeurs des premiers temps" (1724), Voltaire's noble Hurons, Rousseau's Karaiben, Robinson Crusoes (Daniel Defoes) "Friday", the line goes via Herder's "primitive peoples" to F. Boas' research, Br. Malinowskis, M. Meads and R. Benedicts as well as on the "structural anthropology" by C. Lévi-Strauss, which - following the example of Tacitus - reveal the real man in the primitive to the late civilization.

4. Pedagogy has drawn its conclusions from these developments. In the 18th century, children were discovered as "natural" people (J. J. Rousseau) and immediately banished to the "educational province" in order to preserve their naturalness in the midst of perverse society. For Rousseau a "man who thinks was a degenerate animal". Fortunately, it wasn't taken that seriously at the time. But today the educational natural ideals of being childish and mindless come to full fruition.

As the examples show, anything can be explained as "human nature". And yet this leaves us unsatisfied. This fact itself is significant. Pascal already knew it: "The true nature of man is lost, so everything becomes nature for him" - even second-hand.


§ 9. The spiritualistic conception of man

The spiritualistic conception of man is the form in which Neoplatonism exists in modern times. Here the spirit is the unquestionable reality, which also includes and explains the physical - as a phenomenon, appearance, appearance. But we only find it in its pure form in Leibniz's doctrine of monads, in Berkeley's so-called spiritualism, and in the post-Kantian idealistic systems, which for their part contributed significantly to the modernization of the Neoplatonic Christian conceptions of man in theologies. He then migrated to non-academic ideologies such as various "secret doctrines" (Blavatsky, Reichenbach's teaching on Od), religious currents (especially Rudolf Steiner's "Anthroposophy"), in order to begin a new triumphal march in the academic fringe scene in our day (Scientology , Para- and psi-psychology, depth psychology Freud and Jung).Under the impression of the positive natural sciences and their concept of reality, the spiritualisms (they are metaphysical forms of idealism) tend to compromise with realism, which are represented in breaks and contradictions in idealistic thinking: matter, physical, "real reason" hardly ever emerges from the spiritual Principle deduced, but left as it were in alleged "facticity". The history of the "primary qualities" since Locke, of the "thing in itself" in Kant and since Kant, the problem of corporeality in Schelling and, last but not least, the tragedy of the "criterion of meaning" in modern empiricism (which here its idealistic-sensualistic approach, ie denied his Berkeleyanism) bear eloquent testimony of it.

And yet it was the ideological basis for the development of the "humanities". We claim that even now her name is more than a faded label. They were and are - as people prefer and correctly say in other countries - "human sciences" (sciences humaines, humanities, etc.). Its main science is psychology; in addition to it, it is philology (linguistics, literature and cultural studies) and history that form its core in its disciplinary development (cf. § 28). In her research there is therefore the "humanities anthropology", which basically understands the human being as spiritual beings, sensory beings, carriers and executors of the "objective spirit" (with a bad conscience one also says "objectified spirit" with Nicolai Hartmann). Let us outline the contributions of these disciplines:

1. Psychology

Through the Cartesian turn to the subject, it is placed on Neoplatonic-Augustinian foundations. All reality is constituted in the acts of the Cogito: the I, God, the extended matter (corporeality). The Augustinian trait of this theory shows itself in the unproven coherence of the "ego" (which in the consciousness is by no means primal phenomenal, as Hume and Kant have rightly shown) as well as in voluntarism (especially the doctrine of judgment: Meditations IV). The equality of extensive corporeal substance with thinking substance is a contradiction in the system, as it were the fall into sin of the progenitor of all modern philosophy of consciousness. In the elaboration of his image of man (Les passions de l'âme, 1649) he leads Descartes back to the dualistic Aristotelian image of man. The relationship between soul and body (mediated mechanically through movements of the pineal gland) cannot be explained on this basis, as the history of occasionalism shows. The Spinozist (monistic) solution did not come to fruition historically and is still waiting to be updated today.

Lockean and Humean epistemological analysis enriches psychology with essential and correct empirical insights. We see this particularly in the "sensualistic" reductionism of all given consciousness to sensory performances. Through Condillacs in France they become the basis of the psychology of "ideology" at the Institut de France, from where they gain influence on the whole of the "sciences humaines". In Germany their influence is combined with that of Leibniz in the creation of a widespread "German school psychology". Leibniz draws - just like Berkeley, who however did not develop anthropology or psychology and therefore remained ineffective for this discipline - the consequences of Descartes' Neoplatonic approach. He avoids its mistakes and contradictions by making the physical, the whole so-called external world, a phenomenon of consciousness. His Augustinism turns out to be in the axiomatic assumption of the ego for the monad (connected with this the pluralism of the monad world as the totality of immortal souls). The voluntaristic motif is transformed into the defining characteristic "force being" of the monad. The "windowlessness" characteristic of the monad underlines the spiritualistic trait of this monad anthropology; However, it contradicts monad pluralism and proves to be a heavy burden on this approach (which all later solipisms and intersubjectivity theories have not erased either). Leibniz's discovery (or invention) of the unconscious turned out to be highly momentous. It arises as a logical construct from the definition of the monad as an "always active force being" and the principle of continuity ("lex continui"), but remains contradictory: The cogitatio of the monad is an uninterrupted "act of strength" that also occurs in sleep, in Forgetting takes place in death. As an "unobservable parameter" (the modern form of the "occult qualities") it enters the definition of consciousness as a contradictio in adiecto. Consciousness is consciousness and non- (un-) consciousness at the same time! According to the "degree of consciousness": starting from clear and distinct ideas about sensory impressions down to the unconscious impulses of the soul, Leibniz divides into a scale continuum: 1. the "apperceptions" as conscious perceptions or "consciousness" in the proper sense ( the German word is the new translation of the Latin apperceptio); 2. the perceptions as simple sensory perceptions (without special attention); 3. the "small perceptions" (petits perceptions) as "unconscious perceptions" for example during sleep (whereby the contradictio in adiecto comes to light here again!); 4. Among them there are the "strivings" (appetitions), which accordingly work entirely in the unconscious.

It is of the utmost importance for understanding modern developments to be clear about the transformation of the Neoplatonic model of the soul in Leibniz: the anthropological hierarchy of soul faculties is in inverse proportionality to the ontological hierarchy of beings, while it was previously directly proportional. Reason and thinking were regarded as the divine in humans, instinct and (volitional) currents as the lowest form of life (vegetative). But the divine was considered "invisible", "hidden"; plant life as well as nature as that which is perceptible to the senses. In Leibniz, conversely, the unconscious (including the invisible, unknowable) as the place of instincts is placed in the ontological position of the divine, while thinking and sensuality are assigned to the organ of knowledge of the world and thus to nature. This is the only way to understand the ascendancy of the unconscious in modern philosophy (Schelling, Fries, Herbart, Ed. V. Hartmann, Freud): It is the secularized theology of a secularized Neoplatonism.

This model of the soul is disseminated through Christian Wolff's "empirical" and "theoretical" psychology (Psychologia empirica, 1732; Psychologia rationalis, 1734). The continuity of consciousness is given up again in favor of the distinction between lower sensuality, which is supposed to produce "indistinct ideas", and higher thought activity or actual "consciousness", from which "clear ideas" are supposed to arise. Book titles like that of an anonymous: "New system of the forces of the human understanding according to the difference between the lower and upper cognitive forces" (Berlin 1770) are numerous. Towards the end of the 18th century, the division of the soul into three was replaced by a division into three parts. Moses Mendelssohn comes back to Platonism with the threefold division of thinking - willing - feeling or the capacity for knowledge, approval and desire (morning hours or about the existence of God, 1785). Johann Nikolaus Tetens turns "feeling" into a medium capacity (Philosophical experiments on human nature and its development, 2 vol. 1776/77, Neudr. 1913) and thus gives romantic "feeling" its philosophical basis.

Kant tries to differentiate his transcendental philosophy from all psychology, but in fact he only develops Wolff's rational psychology into a theory of "transcendental consciousness" ("transcendental apperception"), alongside which his "pragmatic anthropology" is a "naturalistic-ethnological" foreign body forms. His three "criticisms", namely the "pure reason" (1781, 2nd edition 1787), the "practical reason" (1788) (actually a criticism of willpower) and the "judgment" (1790, 2nd edition 1793 ) (actually a criticism of the creative imagination) demonstrate the Neoplatonic constitution of the world and reality from these forces of the soul. The totalization of psychic reality into the only reality in general then remains the hallmark of German idealism: with Fichte, the hypostatization of the ego, which unfolds in primal acts (basis of the entire science of science, 1794, etc.); in Schelling's absolute reason, which has absorbed the vital instinct and urge (Von der Weltseele, 1798; System des transcendental idealism, 1800); in Hegel the absolute spirit, which evolves its faculties - still sensuality, understanding, reason, but transformed into memory (his philosophy can be referred to as "memorialism") - and thus releases the historical and ontic spheres of being from itself ( The Phenomenology of Mind, 1807); with Schopenhauer, finally, the world will, which generates the intelligence in the human species, through which he can recognize the nullity of his dull striving and urge (Die Welt als Wille und Concept, 1819). And it corresponds to such metaphysical psychologism and spiritualism that none of these authors has also submitted a disciplinary psychology for which there is no longer any place in their systems.

In addition, the "realistic" Kant followers and interpreters are even the actual founders of modern individual scientific psychology and anthropology in Germany. This is especially true for Jakob Friedrich Fries and Johann Friedrich Herbart. Although they cannot be called spiritualists, they move so much in the milieu of idealistic ideas that the supposed reality of the physical outside world remains problematic for them. They both take up Leibniz's theory of the unconscious again and draw serious conclusions from it for the mechanism and dynamism of consciousness, without, however, eliminating the fundamental contradiction in this theory. In his "Handbuch der Psychischen Anthropologie" (Handbook of Psychic Anthropology) (2 vols. 1820/21), on the one hand, Fries gives a much-noticed theory of the "lower train of thought" in which he anticipates essential insights into later psychiatry about mental illnesses, on the other hand he "deduces" all metaphysical truths from the unconscious where they shimmer in the "punishment". Herbart strives for a mathematical-dynamic theory of association, repression and complex formation of ideas in the unconscious (psychology as science, newly founded on experience, metaphysics and mathematics, 2 vols. 1824/25). From these modern founders of a psychology of the unconscious, the line leads to G. Theodor Fechner (1801-1887), the founder of psychophysics (Elements of Psychophysics, 1860, 3rd ed. 1907; About the soul question. A walk through the visible world, to find the invisible one, 1861, 2nd ed. 1907) and Eduard v. Hartmann's (1842-1906) Philosophy of the Unconscious (1869, 12th edition 1923) on psychoanalysis Sigmund Freuds (1856-1939) (Lectures for the introduction to psychoanalysis, 4th edition 1922) and Carl Gustav Jungs (1875-1961) (The unconscious in normal and sick soul life, 1916, etc.) Doctrine of the collective unconscious. Here, modern Neoplatonism opens up a wide romping ground for arbitrary speculations and constructions of alleged instinctual dynamisms which, as unobservable parameters, are supposed to produce and explain manifest phenomena of consciousness, just as in classical Neoplatonism of late antiquity all visible natural occurrences are traced back to the secret effects of spirits, angels and demons would have.

In addition, the so-called humanities psychology endeavors and endeavors to empirically research the individual faculties - or in holistic psychology - to the "personal" human being in the totality of all his aspects. However, it is between the fashionable imperialist claims of psychological naturalism (especially behaviorism of Skinner's provenance) and depth psychology in a desperate defensive position.

2. The philological-historical sciences (cultural studies)

The philological movements of the Renaissance and the historiography that accompanied them demanded from the outset for a concept of a bearer of all the testimonies and documents of linguistic and material culture discussed here. The individualism of the Renaissance was content with the "authors" themselves, whom it furnished with classical "authority" and stylized into models of human existence that are still effective today. The thinker, the poet, the statesman, the artist embody the great role models of "professional" life in the "great men" (rarely in great women) of their genre. The creation of the work in the "critical-historical complete edition" and the biographical tracing of all, even the most intimate expressions of life, is still devoted to the devotional scholarly work of entire generations. Such a learned personality cult, which evidently gives the human-all-too-human the halo of medieval saints' legends, has certainly contributed more to the self-understanding of modern man than has ever been able to psychological insight and anthropological theory formation.

But since not all literary-historical document material can be assigned to such stars of the first order, one immediately had to look around for other carriers. That was then the school and party spirit, to which the stars of the second order were gathered around the first-rate. From there one went over to the fog formations of the folk and national spirits, which could be melted down again into large-scale cultural spirits. Over time, the whole thing was then divided into currents, styles, epochs and various "isms". In several "humanistic" waves, classical philology first stylized the image of man from proud Romans, then that of subtle Greek, which, with the help of the Humboldt grammar school and the German grammar school professor, shaped entire generations until the modern-language philologies were just as epoch-making as the Christian-Germanic Gaulish, Anglo-Saxon or Slavic type of people discovered.

The first to start exploring the national characters was probably John Barclay with his Icon animorum (picture of the souls, 1614, finally Frankfurt 1774), in which work he wanted to explore the "own spirit" (proprium spiritum) of the ages. Montesquieu then constructed the "spirit of laws" (De l‘esprit des lois, 1748) as the bearer of entire legal and state systems, entirely in the sense of the later "objectified spirit". Voltaire went over to the "spirit of the nations" from a historical-philosophical perspective (Essai sur les moeurs et l'esprit des nations, 1756), D. Tiedemann described the "spirit of speculative philosophy" (1791-97) in 6 volumes, and J. Neeb acted "On the spirit generally ruling in various epochs of science and its influence on them" (1795). These still hesitant enlightenment hypostases of the spirit coagulate in German idealism to form the "objective spirit", whose all-round manifestations deal with the philologies of words and subjects and the historiography of the 19th and 20th centuries. The Schleiermacherianer Heinrich Ritter formulates the program of modern literary and intellectual history: "Not only the spirit of the individual philosopher should be recognized, also the spirit of his school, the spirit of his time, the spirit of his people, by assuming that in all these Form a peculiar way in which the power of mankind expresses itself. The highest task for history would be, if it were attainable, to represent the spirit of mankind itself "(On the formation of the philosopher through the history of philosophy, 1817). These tendencies merge with the romantic, philosophical conception of the spirit as "higher life" and "organism" (Fr. Ast, 1807), which is made up of "Spiritual History", "Spiritual Chemistry" and "Spiritual Physics" (Fr. Schlegel, PIV Troxler) - in short : the romantic "Spiritual Science" (Fr. Schlegel) - have to dedicate. They also merge with Herder-Humboldt's theory of the people's spirit, which Moritz Lazarus (1824-1903) and H. Steinthal (1823-1899) later expanded into a peoples psychology and general comparative linguistics (cf. their ed. "Zeitschrift für Völkerpsychologie and Linguistics "1860-1890 in 20 vols.). Her basic philosophical theory, however, was the Hegelian "Phenomenology of Spirit" (1807) with its doctrine of the "objective spirit", which manifests itself in the various cultural forms: "The essential category is the unity of all these various forms, that one spirit is only which manifests and interprets itself in different moments "(Hegel, lectures on the history of philosophy).

For philosophical anthropology it was of the utmost importance that cultural, national and historical-epochal types of humanity were established in such work in the philosophy of language, culture and history, which in turn became no less effective models for the self-understanding of modern man in his orientation crises than the classic "authorities" of professional images of man.The fact that participation in language, literary tradition and the historical fate of one's community has a significant impact on people and makes them what they are in each case emerged as an inalienable result of all these studies as early as the 19th century.

W. Dilthey (1833-1911) and his school brought this legacy to the 20th century. He expressed the maxim that all research in the humanities is ultimately anthropological research: "What a person is can only be learned through history."

Critically, it must be noted that the ongoing historical analysis of man only shows that man was and is different at all times and in all situations and also again the same, so that historical research alone does not provide any argument about the essence of man results. Rather, history as factual science provides arguments for everything and nothing. There was no way out of this historical dilemma that existential philosophy, with reference to Dilthey, wanted to explain people from their "historicity" and made historicity their essential characteristic. In order to make sense of this, it all depends on the ontological analysis of history itself.