October 13, 2005

Max Scheler

Max Scheler (1874-1928)’s philosophical anthropology seeks to account for the human being as at once a biological organism and species living in an environment yet also a person who experiences and acts in a world. He distinguishes and interrelates essential stages and modes of operations of living beings as centres of activity in interaction with their milieu: 1] vegetative, 2] instinctive, 3] behavioural-habitual, 4] practically intelligent, and 5] mental and spiritual. Human beings operate at all five stages, whereas plants and animals only operate at the lower stages.
However, according to Scheller’s re-conceptualization of “sublimation,” even the highest, spiritual stage is bound up with life, for spiritual activity depends on and directs the vital energy of, though is not accountable in terms of, the lower stages. Qua spiritual, human beings transcend and set themselves in opposition to their environment and instincts, experience a world of objects and values, have volition and cognition, are able to reflect on and objectify themselves, and are persons. [John C. Coker, Blackwell Companion, 1999~502]

No comments:

Post a Comment