Philosophical Anthropology


Being able to accurately define the term philosophical anthropology is a bit complex because the term is quite new. It is an area of philosophy that is responsible for studying different issues related to all the problems that man presents throughout his life, an explanation of what it means to be an individual, seen from the beginning of conception until the end of his life. existence .


What is philosophical anthropology?

Philosophical anthropology is a science that focuses on the study of the human being seen from a completely philosophical point of view . It is an area of philosophy that studies the individual as a project of being .

  • Object of study
  • History of philosophical anthropology
  • features
  • Questions answered by philosophical anthropology
  • Types
  • Representatives
  • Importance of philosophical anthropology
  • Examples

Object of study

The philosophical anthropology has several objects or subjects of study which, despite seeming lack coherence, are united in a profound way. Study issues related to the origin of life , the violence that occurs in individuals, the feeling of love , the existence or not of God , animals , stars such as the moon and the sun, creation and others.


Study the man or the human being within the universe and how it can help the world to develop. Man is seen as a being within the world in which he lives as well as the beliefs they have within different cultures. The civilized man and the one who belongs to mythical beliefs stands out among the objects of study because he makes an analysis of humanity giving importance to the theory of creation.

This science is also responsible for studying the relationship that exists with the will and this includes the freedom of man , free will , ethics and issues related to the soul and the human body . It analyzes death , the immortality of the soul and spirit, and the spiritual nature .

History of philosophical anthropology

Its history begins in the Ancient Age , at which time different authors began to make different philosophical reflections related to the existence of the human being. Great thinkers such as Socrates and Plato , held theories related to the union of the body and the soul . During the Middle Ages , the period that occurred was essentially theocentric and everything was related to God, for this reason, the human being was considered a union of body and soul, with a nature of a spiritual , immortal and free nature..

Later during the Modern Age , several philosophers, for example, Descartes , established the certainty of knowledge and consciousness, with this, he referred to reason , to the human being who had in addition to a thinking consciousness , an extensive corporeal world . During the Contemporary stage , the views regarding the definition of man were expanded and most of them focused on the positions that had already been born during the Modern Age.


Among the main characteristics of philosophical anthropology the following are mentioned:

  • Its main basis of approach is the application of the teaching of natural and human sciences to find and determine the different characteristics of the human being and the position he occupies in the world.
  • It is based on material , biological , social , cultural and economic aspects .
  • Man is seen as the subject and at the same time as the object in time.
  • Its themes are related to the value that has the freedom but the same time limits.
  • See man as a being completely different from the rest.

Questions answered by philosophical anthropology

Philosophical anthropology raises and answers a series of different questions which are related to the human being, the body and the soul. These questions are as follows:

  • What is the human being?
  • Where do we come from?
  • Where are we headed?
  • What is death?


The main types are the following:

  • Biological anthropology : this type of anthropology seeks to understand the way in which human beings adapt to different environments , studies the causes that cause diseases and the way in which man has managed to evolve differently from others species.
  • Cultural anthropology : studies the way in which individuals understand the world depending on where they live. It analyzes all the points of view of human beings that make possible a better perception of values and social organization .
  • Linguistic anthropology : they analyze the different ways in which communication between men can be established , the way in which language is linked to the way of understanding the world. Also observe the way in which language can be manifested and how it can be modified.
  • Archeology : study human cultures through the analysis of found objects.


The main representatives of philosophical anthropology were the following:

  • Max Scheler – A German-born philosopher who pointed out the imminent danger to Germany from Nazism.
  • Helmuth Plessner : German sociologist and philosopher who is considered one of the creators of philosophical anthropology. His way of thinking also focused on biology and zoology and included theoretical aspects related to the concept of life.
  • Arnold Gehlen : His theories were commissioned to help develop contemporary German neo-conservatism.

Importance of philosophical anthropology

Its importance lies in the possibility that science offers to be able to study both the human body and the soul , identifying a series of characteristics of individuals based on biological , economic , cultural and society- related aspects . It helps to understand the environment of man and how he can give better answers to the why of things. It is important because it helps the individual to understand the differences of others, thus overcoming misunderstanding.


Some examples of philosophical anthropology in everyday life are as follows:

  • When you travel to a new place, you can understand the difference between the cultures that exist between two places.
  • It is used to explain why man was created by God.

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