Modern Philosophies of Human Nature: Their Emergence from Christian Thought
ISBN/ASIN: 9789024733712,9789400944367,9024733707,9024733715 | 1986 | English | pdf | 272/269 pages | 9.79 Mb
Publisher: Springer Netherlands | Author: Peter Langford (auth.) | Edition: 1
General Argument My aim is to survey some of the most influential philosophical writers on human nature from the time that Augustine codified Christian belief to the present. During this period philosophical opinions about human nature underwent a transformation from the God-centered views of Augustine and the scholastics to the human-centered ideas of Nietzsche, Freud and Sartre. While one aim has simply been to provide a handy survey, I do have three polemical purposes. One is to oppose the notion that the modernism of more recent writers was produced by methodological innovations. According to both Freud and Sartre, as well as other key figures like Lacan and Heidegger, their views were the product of new methods of investigating human nature, namely those of psychoanalysis and the phenomenological reduction. Psych,oanalysis claimed to use the interpretation of both dreams and the relationship between analyst and patient to penetrate the unconscious. Phenomenology has claimed that trained philosophers are able to obtain a privilege;d view of consciousness by a special act of thought called the phenomenological reduction which enables them to view consciousness without preconceptions. On many issues my sympathies are with Nietzsche rather than with Freud or phenomenology. This is also the case regarding methodology. Nietzsche saw quite clearly that the possibility of popularising the views he himself held came from the decline of ChristianitY. My rejection of exclusive reliance upon the methodologies of psychoanalysis and phenomenology is based on two lines of argument.