During the first decades of the 19th century, the question of human nature was discussed inside the general problem of organic nature. Living beings challenge us to tackle the difficulty of eliminating differences between organic processes and physical and chemical laws, as well as to explain phenomena such as cellular or connective tissues regeneration and reproduction in mechanistic and quantitative terms. This difficulty concerns above all the human being. Due to the influence of the Cartesian dualism (res cogitans / res extensa), the human being had been considered for centuries as made of a double substance or as sharing two principles and two dimensions (physical and spiritual). The most important representatives of German philosophical anthropology Max Scheler, Helmuth Plessner and Arnold Gehlen denied this kind of dualism very firmly and tried to find a new formulation to the questions concerning human nature. They set themselves the objective to reunify the essence of anthropological nature in such a way as to make it possible to clarify both physical and psychical manifestations on the basis of this new unity. Their theoretical enterprise was helped by a series of changes and achievements in the scientific panorama (for example the opposition to reductionism and rigid mechanism, new developments in neurosciences and physiology, etc.) and the establishment of new currents of thought such as historicism. For the anthropological philosophers that believe in natural sciences, the expression “psychophysical neutrality” represents a central concept. Max Scheler is its deviser and he enclosed its sense in the “behaviour” of the living being. Any living thing shows some kind of behaviour, and it is indifferent if it is caused by psychological or material reasons. Gehlen drew on this concept to develop the concept of “action” (human action). But it is Plessner who exploited it most. He made of the concept of “psychophysical neutrality” the basis of his investigations into the living beings; and “psychophysical neutrality” is integral to his concept of “positionality”, that leads to the specific and matchless human complexity.
Natura umana / Rasini, Vallori. - STAMPA. - (2013), pp. 59-73.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Titolo del libro:||Frontiere della biologia. Prospettive filosofiche sulle scienze della vita|
|Citazione:||Natura umana / Rasini, Vallori. - STAMPA. - (2013), pp. 59-73.|
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