The philosophical study of human nature is as old as philosophy itself; nevertheless, a distinct field known as “philosophical anthropology” was explicitly delineated in the early twentieth century, above all in the work of Max Scheler. One of the hallmarks of the thought of John Paul II, himself influenced by Scheler, was the central significance he gave to anthropology in his approach to problems in both philosophy and theology. The first half of this course will be a careful study of the classical interpretation of human nature, above all the understanding of the relation between the body and the soul and the various powers of the soul, through a reading of Plato, Aristotle, and the “Treatise on Man” in Aquinas’s Summa theologiae. The second half will be a development of the classical view of man in light of more recent philosophical insights regarding the relational, embodied, and cultural dimensions of human existence. Here, we will touch on such things as the heart, imagination, love, memory, language, and tradition.
Josef Pieper, Abuse of Language, Abuse of Power.
Josef Pieper, Tradition: Concept and Claim.
Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae I, I-II.
Wendell Berry, The Unsettling of America.
Martin Heidegger, Basic Writings.
Professor of Metaphysics and Anthropology
Ph.D. Program Advisor
Dr. Schindler’s work is concerned above all with shedding light on contemporary cultural challenges and philosophical questions by drawing on the resources of the classical Christian tradition. His principal thematic focus is metaphysics and philosophical anthropology.Learn More