Antropologia / Anthropology: En Sentido Pragmatico / In by Immanuel Kant

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By Immanuel Kant

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Therefore, each part is preceded by an overview that summarizes the historical period, introduces the anthropologists, and helps explain the readings. These overviews are aimed at students who are already familiar with anthropology, and preferably also with Western history, but who at the same time will be learning a more detailed history of anthropological theory from their teachers or textbooks. Furthermore, each reading is preceded by an introduction that highlights what students can expect to learn from the reading, as well as by a list of 10 key words that students can use for testing their broader understanding of the reading’s main themes.

In the theological stage, phenomena were explained in terms of theological principles; in the metaphysical stage, in terms of abstract principles; and in the positive stage, in terms of the phenomena themselves. Throughout the Scientific Revolution, this progression had been completed in the natural sciences, where Newton’s law of universal gravitation represented attainment of the positive stage. In the social sciences, or sociology, however, the progression lagged behind. According to Comte, sociology in the Middle Ages had been in the theological stage because social phenomena were explained in terms of the principles of Christianity, and sociology in the Enlightenment had been in the metaphysical stage because social phenomena were explained in terms of the abstract principles of reason and progress.

The blending of Aristotelian and Platonic outlooks revitalized medieval Christianity and led to a new orthodoxy formulated by Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225–74). Contrasted with Augustinian Christianity, Thomistic Christianity, as the Christianity of Aquinas is called, encouraged human reasoning and observation. If God had created nature, then God could be known through nature, and studying nature would glorify God. Moreover, if God had created humanity, then humanity could, and should, use its God-given powers of reason to glorify God by studying nature.

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