Philosophical Anthropology

The term ‘anthropology’ is derived from two Greek words: ἀνθωπος (anthrōpos) and λογος (logos). The former (anthrōpos) refers to ‘man’ in the generic sense, that is to say, it means ‘human being’; the latter (logos) signifies ‘discourse’ or ‘science. Philosophical anthropology is thus concerned with a philosophical account of the mystery of the human being. Naturally, the history of philosophy has produced a wealth of approaches and an abundance of profound insights concerning the human being. It has also given rise to numerous errors in this regard.

This course will engage the question of how we are to construe the relationship that obtains between body and soul/mind. Rather than adopting a purely historical approach, beginning with Aristotle,
the text begins with an exposition of three different contemporary treatments of this issue before proceeding to expound important aspects of Aristotle’s and St. Thomas Aquinas’s metaphysics of human nature.

Table of Content

1. Soul, Mind and Body

2. Aristotle

3. St Thomas Aquinas

4. What kind of being is the human embryo?

5. Conclusion