What is philosophical anthropology?


Questions of the type "What is a human being?" are gaining increasing significance in the various scientific and political discourses of our time. The Nordic Network for Philosophical Anthropology will establish a constructive dialogue among different and supplementary research environments from the Nordic countries, encompassing not only philosophers and anthropologists, but also sociologists, linguists, historians, and psychologists from various traditions.

Philosophical Anthropology in this sense comprises:

  • Philosophy of the human; i.e. critical reflection upon questions concerning the human being as such.
  • Philosophy of anthropology; i.e. critical reflection upon methods and theories  within anthropology and anthropological research.
  • Anthropological philosophy; i.e. critical reflection upon the impact of anthropological approaches and their findings on  philosophical conceptions of human affairs.

The special composition of the Nordic Network allows a unique collaboration between, on the one hand, philosophers with strengths in the analytical and continental traditions of philosophy, and on the other hand, anthropologists and other researchers who are interested in theoretical and methodological issues. It will thus promote a more systematic and timely approach to questions concerning the human being than have been achieved in social anthropology, analytical or continental philosophy, taken in isolation from one another.

Given the interdisciplinary structure of the Network, it will provide research training that enables Ph.D. scholars to design appropriate research projects that will meet the growing request for appropriate and profound interdisciplinary approaches. The Network will thus establish an environment that finds its focus in the question "What is the human being?" which may also be the most important question of the 21st century.

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