"The position of man in space"; M. Shelera - Psychology and Pedagogy

"The position of man in space" M. Scheler

The problem of personality becomes one of the most important and significant in the philosophy of the XX century. The great interest of philosophers, shown by them to human issues, contributed to the creation of a new direction of philosophy - philosophical anthropology, although the idea of ​​distinguishing anthropological research from philosophy itself was expressed by Kant. In the twentieth century, or more precisely, in the 1920s, philosophical anthropology began to be called a special philosophical trend, represented by such thinkers as M. Scheler, A. Gehlen, G. Plesner, and others.

M. Scheler created a relatively complete system of views on man by the end of the 1920s. He proceeded from the premise that philosophers still do not have the universal holistic idea of ​​man. In order to combine all the developments about a person in religious, natural-scientific and other fields of knowledge, it is necessary to create a common direction in philosophy that would deal with the problem of "what is a person". This mission could be fulfilled by philosophical anthropology as a comprehensive science of man, his essence and his position in the world.

M. Scheler wrote in his book, "The Position of Man in Space": "In a sense, all the central problems of philosophy can be reduced to the question of what a person is and what metaphysical place and position he occupies within the general structure of being, the world and God." At the same time, another famous philosopher, Heidegger, rightfully considered the founder of existentialism, also touched on the subject of man in his work and formulated the question of what a person is, even more definitely. "Not a single epoch," writes Heidegger, "did not have as much diverse knowledge about man as the present one. No era could not so quickly and easily obtain this knowledge, as the current one. But not a single epoch knew so little about what a person is like today. Never was a man to such an extent a problem as in our era. "

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M. Scheler, like many of his followers, connects the need for the emergence of philosophical and anthropological study of man primarily with the seemingly negative impact that modern humanities and natural sciences have had on the former image of man. In this regard, philosophical anthropologists emphasize that the interpretation and understanding of the new scientific knowledge of man will help restore the integral philosophical image of man. "However," writes B. G. Grigoryan, "as evidenced by the current state of philosophical and anthropological research, their theoretical results, the various concepts of man formed on their basis, and this problem have not found their satisfactory solution. They embody not so much the new philosophical image of man, prompted by modern scientific knowledge of him, but rather various versions of the justification of some a priori given philosophical understanding of man with the help of facts of science. "

However, the need for a new knowledge of man and the creation of a new image of man were associated not only with the development of biology, sociology, psychology, socio-political needs experienced by society in the West during the First World War. The moral crisis of man, caused by the world war and engulfing all spheres of society and its spiritual culture, forces philosophical and pedagogical anthropologists to search for ways out of it, to create for its overcoming various concepts of the formation and education of the individual. In other words, we need new values, and also effective forms and means of their introduction into the consciousness and behavior of people with the purpose of changing and improving the person.

However, only practice determines how much these or other ideas, concepts are realistic or utopian. Philosophical anthropology originated, on the one hand, on the basis of the philosophy of life (I. Herder, F. Nietzsche, L. Klages), and on the other hand in its cultural and philosophical variants, it adjoins the transcendental-idealistic traditions from Kant, through Husserl, before Heidegger. However, the philosophy of life was, first and foremost, the determining and predominant ideological source for philosophical anthropology. In the latest philosophical anthropology, those principles and positions were found on the basis of which the possibility of creating a new anthropological type of man appeared.

For philosophical anthropology, the ideas of the philosophy of life that man in real life is guided not by rational impulses but by instincts became fundamental. Not consciousness, spirit and mind determine the nature of man, but unconscious and creative life, overflowing power, a dark and chaotic excess of instincts. The man "not yet established animal", biologically flawed, not adapted to animal existence, and therefore open to any other possibilities. These provisions of the philosophy of life have been further developed and further specified in philosophical anthropology, which deals not with questions of comprehending the nature of being, but above all with questions of comprehension of human existence.

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An ideological source for philosophical anthropology has also become existentialism. Modern philosophical anthropology and existentialism arose almost simultaneously, under the same social conditions, and proved to be very close in spirit. From their common features can be identified as the most important two of the following: the thesis of the powerlessness of reason and the assertion of the a priori of experiences. M. Scheler came to the conclusion that the spirit (and its essential area - the mind) is absolutely powerless, and through the whole philosophy of existentialism also passes the basic idea of ​​the impotence of the human consciousness, its inability to cognise and guide the course of events in the real world. Both Scheler and existentialists consider feelings of fear, sadness, loneliness, alienation, etc. - the basic, from the point of view of the state of human existence, the primordial, not dependent on anything. These feelings are not caused by any events, they are inherent in the "person as such", constitute the essence of our self and can not be eliminated by social transformations.

The basic theses of Scheler's anthropology confirm the relationship of his theory of man with existentialism. The founder of modern philosophical anthropology writes: "... it can be shown with what inner necessity a person at the very moment when he thanks to the consciousness of the world and himself and the definition also his psychophysical nature - specific distinct signs of the spirit - has become a man, he must to comprehend and the most formal idea of ​​a worldly, infinite and absolute being. If a man - and this belongs to his essence, is the act of the very formation of man - separated from nature and made it his "object," he looks around with fear and asks: "Where am I myself? What is my place? "He actually can no longer say:" I am a part of the world, surrounded by him, "for the actual existence of his spirit and his personality rises even over the forms of the existence of this world in space and in time.

And now, as if looking around, he looks at nothing. " This statement summarizes many basic ideas of the theory of the human Scheler, whose task is formulated in general terms as follows: "If there is a philosophical problem whose solution requires our time with unequivocal persistence, then this is the task of creating philosophical anthropology." Scheler treats philosophical anthropology as the fundamental philosophical science of the essence of man, "about his relation to the kingdoms of nature (inorganic, plant and animal) and to the basis of all things: this is the science of the metaphysical essential origin of man, his physical, mental and spiritual principles in the world, about the forces and potentials that are driven by him and which he sets in motion; this is the science of the main directions and laws of its biological, psychological spiritual, historical and social development, as well as their essential capabilities and their realities. The psychophysical problem of the body and soul and the noetic-vital problem are also included in it. Only such anthropology could recreate the philosophical foundations for all sciences dealing with the subject of "man" - natural, medical, prehistoric, ethnological, historical and social, as well as for normal psychology, developmental psychology, characterology, and establish definite and lasting goals their research. "

The central problem of the philosophy of Scheler is the problem of the individual, its spiritual nature. "Questions: what is a person and what is the situation in being," Scheler wrote, "with the awakening of my philosophical consciousness, have become for me the most essential, central among all other philosophical questions." The subject of man in the works of Scheler is interpreted in various aspects in the form of cognitive-theoretic, theistic-personalistic and other constructs. In Scheler, man is a spiritual being, the "ascetic of life," his ability for "pure contemplation of things that stands out from all living things."

To understand the views of Scheler it is necessary to consider his concept of man. In his work "The position of man in space" he revealed some aspects of the essence of man in connection with his attitude to the world of animals and plants. This approach can be called the biological-anthropological initial stage in the formation of a more holistic understanding of man. However, as a result, according to BT Grigoryan, for example, this approach turned out to be narrow for philosophical-anthropological thinking. M. Scheler singles out in the organic world, at the very beginning of his development, a so-called sensory impulse, by which he understands an anonymous pure aspiration from the outside, the movement of the organic body from himself, to the side, to something vague (for example, insects and plants). In the sensual impulse, he fixes the simplest manifestation of life, an unconscious need, a nonobjective aspiration and a no-objective suffering. Making up the essence of vegetative, vegetative life, the sensual impulse, according to Scheler, permeates the whole area of ​​the organic up to the person. At the heart of even the simplest sensation in a human, Scheler notes the presence of a sensory impulse, some instinctive attention and aspiration to the perceived. It is not just a reaction to external stimulation, its result, but an undivided initial movement outward. "Any behavior," Scheler writes, "is always also an expression of the internal state of & quot ;. So, the organic existence of nature at the first stage of its essential psychological form identifies a sensory impulse. A sensory impulse is also present because it includes, or accumulates, in itself all the essential stages of being, that is, and the stage of living nature. In man, nature all appears in a certain concentrated unity of its being. There is not one sensory act, not even the simplest perception and representation, beyond which a dark, sensual impulse would not be hidden. "

The next stage in the organic existence of nature in its essential psychological form is instinct. The behavior caused by the instinct must be expressed in expedient, useful for the living being actions. In instincts, sensory impulses seem to take the form of expedient actions of a human being. Instincts of behavior Scheler divides into behavior, determined by habit, and intellectual behavior.

The first stands out as the next mental form of a life impulse. In this kind of behavior, the ability of a living being manifests itself, which is called associative memory; the ability necessary for orientation in the living space. The basis of associative memory is a conditioned reflex. Another, the highest essential form of mental life, Scheler considers practical intelligence. The ability of choice and action based on choice is closely associated with it.

Focusing on the experiments of science conducted with anthropoid apes, Scheler recognizes the simplest forms of intellectual activity in higher animals, i.e. so-called practical-technical thinking. In this regard, he concludes that the difference between a man and an animal is not a qualitative but a quantitative one. "Between a smart chimpanzee and Edison, if the latter is meant only as a technique," Scheler writes, "there is a very big difference, but only in the degree of development."

But what determines the essence of man; if this is not intelligence, so what is it? "The new principle that characterizes the essence of man," Scheler argues, "is beyond all that we can in a broad sense call life: what alone makes a man a man is not some new stage of life, especially not is only a stage of one of the forms of the manifestation of life - the psyche, and this is the principle of all life in general, including the life of man, a certain truly essential fact, which as such can not be reduced to the natural evolution of life, and if we reduce it to something, either, then to the highest basis of things, that one second base, one of the great forms of expression which is also life itself .

In Scheler, the essence of a person is defined by the concept "spirit", which in its content is related to the concept "mind" introduced into the usage of philosophical science by the ancient Greeks, but it is more capacious and meaningful than the concept "mind", since along with the human ability to think in ideas, the spirit can contemplate the absolute and eternal essences and values. In Scheler's philosophy, the concept of "spirit" it includes such high emotional manifestations of a person as kindness, love, bliss, repentance, despair, surprise, etc. All these manifestations can not exist outside of a person, therefore in a person the spirit manifests itself, speaking in finite spheres of being.

How does Scheler characterize human spirituality? Its characteristics are existential looseness, emancipation of man, freedom. All these characteristics refer to a person who is not free from coercion, pressure, dependence on the organic, on life and all that is connected with life, hence, on his own intellect. Such a spiritual being is not attached to the environment, it is free to carry and soars in the world, being open to it. The spirit is able to know the objects of the world around it, not for the sake of instinctual needs, but for the sake of the things themselves. This ability of the spirit of Scheler calls "objectivity," which acts as an indisputable interest in the world.

Thus, Scheler sees a person as if torn, divided into two completely independent and alienated sides: "rush" and spirit & quot ;. A rush is the animal's beginning in man: sensations, instincts, memory, mind; all these qualities are the same in man and animal and are determined by an impulse. The latter is a chaotic, unconscious beginning, which is not directed and has no purpose. What makes a person a person is a completely different principle, - "spirit". He manifests himself in such acts as meditation, contemplation, achievement of a priori truths, self-awareness, and moral or spiritual feelings, such as disinterested sympathy for another person. Scheler explains the concept of "spirit" in the following words: "The basic definition of the" spiritual "being is its existential independence, freedom, independence from coercion, pressure, connection with the organic, with" life "and everything that relates to life ... Such a spiritual being is no longer bound by instincts and the surrounding world, but free of the outside world. " Further, he writes that a person, when making spiritual acts, is removed from reality, from her power pressure.

Such a position of Scheler reveals, in our opinion, some abuse of the activity of consciousness, which encourages undue emphasis on the idea of ​​separating consciousness from objective reality.

The purpose and the task of the doctrine of the human Scheler is to achieve the harmony of the "life impulse" and spirit with the determining role of the spiritual principle. Such unity, according to Shelera, must be embodied in the "all-human" - the image of a person of clear spirit and inexhaustible sensitivity, i.e. ideal image. In fact, it will never be created and will not be achieved in full. Each period of time adds to this image its own characteristics. An image of all-human only indicates the direction in which the real person should change and act.

Critics of Scheler's conception of man point to the following contradictions of his concept: extreme dualism, the forced separation of man into two completely independent sides, and the thesis of powerlessness. According to Scheler, the spirit should direct, order the impulse aspiration, but as an independent part of the human spirit the spirit is absolutely powerless, it has no power, and only the unconscious impulse has the creative power and ability of action. Speaking of the spirit, the spiritual act, Scheler has in mind a separate human personality, which is the personification of the spirit. Scheler's personality concept asserts an absolute, unchanging personality, whatever it is, what contribution it has made to the development of society.

A. Gehlen - a well-known German anthropologist wrote that, comparing an animal and a human, Scheler formulated the problem of man not as a problem of zoology or physical anthropology, but as a philosophical problem, that Scheler interpreted the biological, bodily nature of man in direct connection with his soul -a spiritual and rational beginning. However, by his conception of the nadvital and anti-vital nature of the spirit as some kind of otherworldly for the real world and concrete human being, he actually denies science.

Analysis of individual trends in philosophical anthropology confirms that, on the whole, they could not create a new philosophical image of man, but only confirmed the old knowledge about him. "Philosophical anthropology," BT Grigorian writes, "despite some scientific and theoretical findings, could not become a holistic doctrine of man." Moreover, it has evolved into separate philosophically meaningful regional anthropologies - biological, psychological, religious, cultural, etc., which, with a certain fundamental community uniting them within the framework of a single philosophical trend, have revealed significant differences both in methods of research and in understanding the nature and the appointment of the most philosophical anthropology. The claims of philosophical anthropology to the position of special science, along with other disciplines in general, remained unfulfilled. Here one can agree with O.F. Bolnov, a famous "positive existentialist", that "philosophical anthropology, despite the continued growth in the number of its followers, did not come up with such a methodological approach to the problem of a man who would allow her to realize her claim."

Philosophical anthropology in the depiction of man, undoubtedly, has an educational implication. If philosophical anthropology raises the question of "what is a person", then pedagogical anthropology, as a branch of knowledge that has separated from it, is not limited to this question and goes further, serves as a new stage in revealing the image of a person, raises questions about what makes a person man and how the formation of the human in man is actually taking place. Trying to answer the questions posed, philosophical and pedagogical anthropology together seek to create a new philosophical image of a person who is formed under the direct influence of upbringing.

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