THE NATURE OF MAN: A Reader by Erich & Ramon Xirau--Eds. Fromm


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This is an addition, Volume V, to the Problems of Philosophy Series, of some seventy-odd selections dealing with the nature or essence of man. Each contributor is identified briefly by name, rank and serial number; there's a fleck of Feuerbach, a snatch of Bergson, an aphorism or two, etc. The nature of man wasn't questioned seriously until a hundred years ago when historical studies revealed that man differs from epoch to epoch--and cultural anthropology, evolution and physics raised further inquiries. Yet, without a human nature, there is no unity among men. Modern philosophers are caught between the reactionary view (a fixed and unalterable human nature) and the relativist (man shares only his anatomical and physiological attributes). To Fromm, man as a freak of nature, a being in nature while transcending it, creates a disequilibrium he must attempt to solve. Man's essence resides in the questioning. The readings, arranged chronologically from the Upanishads to David Riesman, reflect this along with problems of freedom, utilitarian philosophies, transcendence and the difficulty of human communication.

Pub Date: Oct. 28th, 1968
Publisher: Macmillan