What is man?

The field of philosophy in this cosmopolitan significance may, according to Kant, be marked off into the following questions. “1. What can I know? 2. What ought I to do? 3. What may I hope? 4. What is man? Metaphysics answers the first question, ethics the second, religion the third and anthropology the fourth.” And Kant adds: “Fundamentally all this could be reckoned as anthropology, since the first three questions are related to the last.” This formulation repeats the three questions of which Kant says, in the section of his Critique of Pure Reason entitled Of the ideal of the supreme good, that every interest of the reason, the speculative as well as the practical, is united in them. In distinction from the Critique of Pure Reason he here traces these questions back to a fourth question, that about the being of man, and assigns it to a discipline called anthropology…

Martin Buber,  Between Man and Man, p.149

So the key question is what is man? Answer this and the rest falls into place.

Tags: ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: