PHILOSOPHY of MAN
A. Definition of Philosophy
Before defining Philosophy define first what is
definition. The term “Definition” is derived from the
Latin word de-fenire meaning “to state the limits of”
“to enclose within the limits of” or “to enclose
within limits”. A thing can be limited by unfolding its
nature, or by getting its meaning or by laying hold of
what includes and extends.
Two classifications of Definition:
• A. Nominal: (Nominales –latin) meaning “having
reference to a name”. A nominal definition is
defined or limited according to its term or
name. So both etymological and vernacular
nominal definitions limit a thing from the
standpoint of its name or term. thinking.)
Two kinds of Nominal Definition:
• 1. Etymological nominal definition limits a
thing or term by taking its derivation( e.g. Latin
• 2. Vernacular nominal definition limits a thing
or term by taking into account its exclusive
meaning (e.g. Logic is the science of correct
thinking and reasoning)
B. Real Definition- (from the Latin word realis
meaning “having reference to a thing or reality.”)
• Real Definition- defines a thing by considering
the thing per se.
Classification of Real Definition:
1. Intrinsic real definition-limit a thing according
to its essence and contingency or accident. If it
limits a thing according to its accidents (those
characteristics or parts that may belong to a
thing but are not necessary to the essence of a
things) it is called descriptive definition.
An essential Definition- limits a thing or term
according to its genus, i.e. “Man is an animal.” In
this case man is defined or limited in the context of
his animality., i.e. Man is not a plant but an animal.
Besides an essential definition can also limit a thing in
terms of its species, i.e. “Man is a rational animal.”
Here, rationality or rational animal is exclusive to
A Descriptive Definition limits a thing according to its
attributes or properties (those natural necessities of
a thing that are not part of its essence) e.g. “Man is
a smiling being.”
• Extrinsic definition- limits a thing according to its
origin, or cause or finality( purpose), i.e.”Death
(cause) is the separation of the soul from the
body,” or “God(origin) is the creator of man.”, or “A
ballpen is an instrument for writing (purpose).”
• Different Nominal Definition
• Greek words – Philein meaning “love” or “friendship”
and sophia meaning “wisdom”. Literally , Philosophy
means “Love of wisdom. But what is love and what is
wisdom. As a drive, love always seeks unity with the
object, it desires to possess its object. On the other
hand, wisdom means the good exercise or application of
knowledge. Truth is the ultimate object of knowledge.
Hence truth is being shown and practice by a man of
wisdom. To philosophize, therefore, is to be in a quest,
or to have the desire towards living the truth.
• Chinese- Philosophy means Zhe-xue or che shueh
known as Zhe-means wisdom; Xue- means study. For the
Chinese. Philosophy is the translation of words into
action or the application of theory into practice
• Thus, Chinese Philosophy-is the translation of words into
action or the application of theory into practice.
• Hindus Philosophy is Darsana. Darsana- means seeing,
seeing not only through the eyes, but through the whole
being of the one that sees. In other words the
Philosophy of the Hindus- means seeing the whole of
reality through a total advertence and involvement of
Vernacular definition of Philosophy.
• Philosophy-is the science that investigates all things in
their ultimate causes, reasons, and principles through
• Philosophy is the “love of wisdom” or “the quest for
truth”. It is the truth that explains that which is referred
to as philosophy.
• Real Definition of Philosophy
• Philosophy- is the science that investigates all things in
their ultimate causes, reasons, ad principles through
human reason alone.
• Critical thinking- founded on reason, experience,
reflection, intuition, meditation, imagination and
speculation which also embraces questioning, analyzing,
criticizing, synthesizing, evaluating and judging.
The Origin of Philosophy
• Miletus – where Philosophy originated
• Thales – the first acclaimed philosopher. He wondered
earlier than Pythagoras also a philosopher in 6th century.
The origin of Philosophy is wonder. Philosophy starts
with wonder that is why it is the cause of philosophy.
• Thales- was the first man who questioned or wondered.
Wonder is expressed in a question. When question arise,
reasoning through experience, intuition, meditation,
imagination and speculation start to work. This is why
philosophizing always involves questioning, analyzing,
criticizing, synthesizing, evaluating, and judging. The
spark of wonder is the dynamic force that leads to the
progressive motion of the act of philosophizing.
Purpose of Philosophy:
•Enables us to understand ourselves better.
•Helps us understand others, our fellowmen
•Helps us understand other ways of thinking
•Helps us understand the world and our place and role in
•Helps us understand the significance, meaning, value, and
finality of human life.
•Helps us know and undertsand God in his nature, essence
activities and attributes.
Division of Philosophy
General - Ontology
Four Disciplines of Philosophy
1. Metaphysics- science that studies all beings in so far as
they are beings.
a. General - Ontology- a metaphysical study of all
realities in so far as they exist.
i. Cosmology – metaphysical science which studies the
nature of the world.
ii. Theodicy – studies the nature, operations and
attributes of God.
iii. Psychology –studies of man’s nature as being
endowed with reason and intellect.
2.Epistemology- investigates knowledge and truth,
3. Logic- the study of correct thinking and reasoning
4. Ethics- the study on the morality of human actions or
Philosophy of Man- a course that delves into the origin
of human life, the nature of human life, and the reality
of human existence.
Philosophy of man is one’s desire to know who and what
man is. Thus, Philosophy of man , asks a crucial
question about himself and gradually answers the
In general the Philosophy of man is a course that deals
with man, man is the superstar in Philosophy of man
II. MAN IN THE CONTEXT OF HIS NATURE
Man is a being, a creature, whose destiny is to live
in two worlds, viz. the spiritual and physical or
material world. Man is destined to live in the
spiritual world because he summoned by God to
live with Him in His kingdom; and man is
destined to live I n the physical world since he is
part of the world and, besides, he lives among
entities in the world, viz, plants minerals,
• Man is basically a being, a creature, whose destiny is to live in two
world., viz. : the spiritual and the physical or material world.
• Man is destined to live in spiritual world because he is summoned
by God to live with Him in his Kingdom; and man is destined to live
in the world since he is a part of the world and besides, he lives
among entities in this world., viz. plant. Animals, minerals ,etc.
• Man is the only recipients of a substantial unity of a material body
and spiritual soul.
• Human = refers to anything exclusively pertinent to man.
• Nature = from Latin word “natus” means “born ‘ or “nature” which
means “to be born” or “being born”. Nature- is the ultimate
operation of reality.
• Human Nature – refers to anything exclusively human which man
intrinsically possesses right at his birth. Human can be
characterized as universal and static. Universal pertains to all born
humans and static because it remains as it is in every man from
birth(womb) to death (tomb).
Three fold-level of Human Nature”
1. Somatic level – refers to the body substance, constitution, or stuff of
man and secondarily to the bodily structure and color of man
which are conditioned by man’s culture and environment.
2. Behavioral level – refers to the mode of acting of every man.
3. Attitudinal Level – refers to the mental reaction of man to a given
stimulus. Attitudes can grow or stunted. Lies at the heart of every
man’s uniqueness, this level caters to individual attitudes toward
Human nature changes only in terms of its accidental constituents, i.e.
the growth of the human body, the change or development of one’s
attitude, and the change of behavior which appropriate to the human
Philosophy of Man
Human nature: an overview
People may differ in many aspects. They may differ
In size, color of skin, race, socioeconomic status, and
many more. Despite these differences, they are all
beings with divergent concepts and views about
PRE-SOCRATIC VIEWS OF MAN
Thales- “ Man has 80% water in his brain and 70% water in his
body , or a “man has a water stuff”.
• Anaximenes- “Man is a human body with a condensed air and a
rarefied human soul”.
• Heraclitus- “Man has fire stuff in him in the form of heat.”
• Anaximander – “Man is a human being that has evolved from
animals of another species which are lower than his.”
Philosophy of Man
• Pythagoras- “Man is a dipartite of body and soul .” That a soul is
immortal, divine, and is subjected to metempsychosis.
• Protagoras or the sophists- “ Man is the measure of all things, of all
things, that they are, and of things that are not that they are not.”
1. Socrates- the acclaimed greatest philosopher in the Western
civilization. He defined “ Man is a being who thinks and wills”. He put
more emphasis on the attitudinal level of human nature since he give
more value to the human soul rather then the body. He agued that
human soul be nurtured properly through the acquisition of
knowledge, wisdom, and virtue. He emphasizes the moral sphere of
the attitudinal level of human nature. Man for him should discover
truth , truth about good life, for it is in knowing the good life that
man can act correctly. That man’s attitude towards life should be
oriented towards knowledge. For it is in knowledge that man can
properly translate such knowledge into really living a good life.
If man contends himself with knowledge and virtue he is a man of
wisdom or considered a wise man. He who is a wise man who has
disciplined his soul to know what is right and does what he knows to be
right in the actual situation. Knowledge is the ultimate criterion of
action in man. The dictum of Socrates is “Knowing- what- is- rightmeans- doing- what- is- right”. Socrates tells more the ignorance of the
knowledge of the right and good life enable man to do evil deeds. Man
does evil deeds due to ignorance.
2. PLATO- define “ Man is a soul using a body.” because the nature of
man is seen in the metaphysical dichotomy between body and soul.
For Plato the body is material, it cannot live and move apart from
the soul; it is mutable and destructible. The soul is immaterial, it
can exist apart from the body. The soul is a substance because it
exists and can exists independently . Plato has a conviction that the
soul exists prior to the body.
In Plato’s view there are three parts of soul:
Levels of Human Soul
The Rational Part is located in the head , especially in the brain. It is in this part
where the soul enable to think, to reflect, to draw conclusions. This is the most
important and the highest part of the soul. This distinguishes man from the brutes.
2. The Spiritual part is in the chest. It is here that the soul experience abomination
3. The Appetitive part in the abdomen where man drives to experience hunger,
thirst, and other physical aspects.
Man can control his appetite and self-assertion of spirit through reason.
Plato believes that Reason controls both Spirit and Appetitie. When this happens man
will have a well-balanced personality. He declares that the appetitive and spiritual parts
are subjected to death; they are mortals. Only the rational part is immortal. This gives
birth to the conception that idea is eternal and immortal since it is rooted in reason.
The emphasis of Plato on human nature in the light of reason.
Aristotle maintains that there is no dichotomy between man’s body and
man’s soul. Body and soul are in a state of unity. In this unity the soul acts as the
perfect realization of the body while the body is the material entity which has a
potentiality of life. The body has no life. It can only possess life when it is united with
Aristotle speaks of Man as a single essence composed of body and soul.
Man’s body matter and man’s soul form. That is why he speaks of soul as the body’s
perfect realization because form for him is the perfect realization of matter.
Soul is the principle in life; it causes the body to live. The body is matter to the soul
and the soul form to the body.. Body and soul , therefore are inseparable. They
constitute man as a whole.
According to Aristotle there are three Kinds of soul:
Grades of being
Kinds of Soul
Vegetative – the lowest type of soul which is found in all living things, Plants,
specifically possess this type of soul. It is capable of following functions: It feeds
itself, it grows and it reproduces.
2. Sensitive –soul exists in animals. It feeds, it grows, and it reproduces, and it has
feelings(particularly pain and pleasure because it has developed a nervous
3. Rational- it exists only in man. It ranks highest than vegetative and sensitive
because because it assumes the functions of them and it is capable of thinking,
reasoning and willing. Man is higher than the brutes, animals and plants. Man is
capable of thinking and judging aside from sensing and growing.
Aristotle’s view of human nature is seen in the argument of matter and the form of
man. Man is essentially body and soul. Aristotle rejects the idea of Plato on the
dichotomy of the soul and the body and the preexistence of the soul prior to the
body. No won der the Christian doctrines are patterned after Thomistic lines of
thinking are more Aristotelian than Platonic. But Aristotle , like Plato advocates
Reason as man’s highest faculty because Reason distinguishes man from other form
of life-possessing like plants and brutes.