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Bicol University

College of Social Sciences and Philosophy

Daraga, Albay

Philosophy of Human Person

Name:_____________________________________ Course/Block:________________ Date:__________

I. True or False:

1._________. According to Aquinas, all creatures are metaphysically made of essence and existence.
2._________. Neil doubts everything and he even questions facts, beliefs, knowledge, etc… His act of
extreme doubting follows the method of empiricism.
3._________. Aquinas sought to Christianize Plato.
4._________. Skepticism is a philosophical doctrine whose view is that what would normally be called
“external world” is created by the mind.
5._________. Empiricism is a philosophical doctrine that holds all knowledge are derived from
experience, whether of the mind or of the sense.
6._________. Syllogistic or Logical Method is attributed from Aristotle, the founder of logic.
7._________. Descartes rejected the notion that knowledge is innate.
8._________. Stoicism was founded by Zeno of Citium.
9._________. According to Sartre, essence precedes existence.
10.________. According to existentialists, human nature is chosen through life choices.
11.________. Aquinas believed that the principal purpose of man is to be virtuous.
12.________. According to soft determinists, the ideal life is sought upon struggles against our individual
13.________. Mark loves pleasure, and according to Pythagoras, a man who loves pleasure is second in
rank after those men who love wisdom.
14.________. Essence is acquisition of extrinsic properties upon our existence.
15.________. Cogito ergo sum is a popular maxim of Martin Heidegger.
16.________. Determinism is a doctrine that holds that knowledge may be sought and can be found.
17.________. Scientific experimentation is an example of rationalism.
18.________. Change is an illusion according to Heraclitus.
19.________. According to Heidegger, ‘dasein’ is also called ‘being here.’
20.________. The understanding of realities begins with an understanding of other beings.

II. Multiple Choices:

____1. Aristotle established his own school called

a. The Academy b. The Lycans c. The Lyceum d. The Academe
____2. Universal science is
a. a systematic search for beings b. a systematic study about the world
c. deals with the study of the universe d. unrestricted and boundless in search for answers
____3. Cause may be defined as
a. anything or being ‘that is a result of a preceding event’
b. anything or being ‘that which brings idea’
c. anything or being ‘that which brings about a result or effect’
d. all of the above
____4. Chemistry, Physics, Psychology, and Anthropology are examples of
a. Metaphysics b. Philosophical inquiry c. Departmental Science d. Universal science
____5. It refers to the thing or the field where the science works
a. being b. principle c. material object d. essence
____6. The method of philosophy in its search for the ultimate explanation of thing
a. empirical method b. rational inquiry c. skepticism d. none
____7. He believed in the rebirth if the soul in other bodies
a. Protagoras b. Pythias c. Socrates d. Pythagoras
____8. Axiology is
a. theory of knowledge b. theory of value c. theory of objectivity d.none of the above
____9. He expounded the four kinds of causes
a. Plato b. Aristotle c. Socrates d. Aquinas
____10. This rationality presupposes an active rationality; hence, this put forward an advanced activity
of one’s consciousness or mental state
a. Reflexive Rationality b. Reflective Rationality
c. Philosophical Rationality d. Superficial Rationality

III. Identification:

1. __________________Philosophical doctrine that questions our cognitive achievements,

challenging our ability to obtain reliable knowledge.
2. __________________A branch of philosophy that deals with the meanings of words and
especially with the development and change in their meanings.
3. __________________It is a branch of philosophy which often looks to stable reference points in
its own history, as well as calling on knowledge of the various arts and sensibility to wider
philosophical issues.
4. __________________Traditionally, a branch of metaphysics dealing with features of the world
as a whole, though the term can also be synonymous with speculative philosophy.
5. __________________It is the most abstract and in some views ‘high-falutin’ part of philosophy,
having to do with the features of ultimate reality, what really exists and what it is that
distinguishes that and makes it possible.
6. __________________Existential philosopher who provided us with the popular statement
‘existence precedes essence.’
7. __________________He presented the idea of mind as a principle philosophical explanation.
8. __________________A method where two interlocutors took turns in questioning and
9. __________________Any view which bases our knowledge, or the material’s from which it is
constructed, on experience through the senses.
10. __________________Basically the view that everything is made of matter.
11. __________________It may be thought so basic and general that all or most of knowledge, or
anyway of philosophical knowledge, can be derived.
12. __________________It is the material object of philosophy.
13. __________________The formal object of philosophy.
14. __________________A procedure that is widely accepted as a general philosophical definition
of knowledge.
15. __________________Ancient philosopher who held that air was the original matter of the
VI. Matching Type:

1. Essence a. Forms
2. Ontology b. A law of nature as formulated and
3. Principle accepted by the mind
4. Descartes c. Anaximander
5. Philosophical Psychology d. Dialectic method
6. Philosophy e. Father of existentialism
7. Cosmology f. Thomistic Method
8. Apeiron g. The most significant part of thing’s
9. Accidental modifications nature
10. Dasein h. Change is illusion
11. Socrates i. Heidegger
12. Thales j. Comes from the Greek psyche meaning
13. Parmenides soul
14. Heraclitus k. Branch of metaphysics which deals with
15. Plato the universe as a systematic order
16. Aristotle l. Branch of metaphysics concerned with
17. Soren Kierkegaard the essence of beings
18. Aquinas m. Qualities or attributes not belonging to
19. Immanuel Kant essence
20. Sartre n. Search for meaning
o. Methodic doubt
p. Critical Idealism
q. Water, water is everywhere
r. Rejected the idea of Plato
s. A field of philosophy which inquires into
human nature
t. Dialectic process
u. Constant flux or change
v. Existence precedes essence

V. Enumeration:

1-5. Hierarchy of being according to St. Aquinas

6-10. 5 ways/proofs of St. Thomas for God’s existence
11-13. The three sages of Greece
14-17. Four kinds of causes according to Aristotle
18-20. Formula of justified true belief

IV. Definition of terms:

1. Metaphysics 3. What is being human and human being?
2. Epistemology
3. Theodicy PRE-READING:
4. Logic
5. Ethics
6. Principle Interview
7. Essence
8. Cause In a small group, find out the difference between the
9. Rational Inquiry opinion of young and old people about the question “What
10. Material Object makes man truly human?” Ask them the elements or things that
make up for one to belong in the specie called man. What is the
essence of man? And how do you act as human?


The being of man is the being that continuously search

for truth and meaning in life. One can find truth but did not
achieve its full meaning while some able to find the meaning
but does not end with truth. A sick man might be able to find
the truth behind his illness but not able to discover why that
truth exist. A lost child may realize why he was lost but still not
able to find the right direction. A teacher may find the meaning
of his profession but lacks the awareness of the right method to
teach a child. This continuous searching of man for truth and
meaning allows him to discover many potentialities that are
inherent in him. These potentialities are not only embedded in
his soul. He is born with it and made for it. In seeking he
Module 1: makes himself ‘free’ as he opens himself to many possibilities.
Human The possibility of failure, success, truth, lie, pain, joy, betrayal,
trust, love and rejection. All these experiences are essential in
MOTIVATION: the making man to be truly human because when one finds the
1. As human, how do we recognize own limitations and truth and meaning of his ‘being’ he is now more closer to living
possibilities? a life fulfilled. (Rico D. Blando,
2. What does it mean to be human?
uman) strikes us as a puzzling paradox, revealing that
man is quite different from all other living species.
Every other living organism very quickly grows to
a state of full development. Very rarely do we
WHAT MAKES MAN TRULY encounter a plant or an animal that is such a
HUMAN? “monster” that it does not truly represent its
Michael D. Moga, S.J. species.
[From What Makes Man Truly Hunan? A Philosophy of Man and Society,
Makati City: St. Paul’s Press, 1995, pp. 3-10.]
Every acacia tree is necessarily an acacia tree and
every dog is necessarily a dog. Every tree grows to
Human beings are not necessarily human. Such a full size in a few years and is completely a tree,
statement may sound very puzzling but it is true taking nourishment from the soil and the air,
for two reasons. First of all, it takes much time and developing new branches and leaves, producing
effort for a human being to grow to the point seeds. Most dogs grow to full size and maturity
where his own nature has reached full realization. within a year. From the very beginning ever dog is
When born he acts like a little animal, not yet clearly a dog, breathing, barking and smelling like
being fully human. It will take many years of a dog.
training and education by his family and society,
many years of effort and struggle on his own part How strange it is that human life is so different
before the fullness of humanity can be achieved. from the lives of trees and dogs! The fullness of
Until that state of full humanness is attained we humanity not only takes a great deal of time to
cannot say that he is fully human. reach but often in a significant way it is not
reached at all. We are surrounded on this planet
Secondly, it is very possible that an individual earth with many human beings who sadly lack
human being will not reach full development at all. very important human traits.
We recognize that there are human beings which
fail to possess those basic qualities which are Such a truth challenges each one of us. Am I as an
required for full humanness. Sometimes we use the individual going to realize the full humanness that
word “inhuman” to describe such persons. They is possible for me? Will I play a role in helping
may be cruel, insensitive to others, irrational, or other human beings to grow into the humanness
robot-like in their lives and dealings with others. that they are capable of? For the task that confronts
At other times we use the word “animal” to me in my life is not only one of coping with the
describe persons who follow their lower instincts problems of survival but also one of achieving a
and ignore their consciences, their human dignity level of life that is truly human. I am challenged in
and the higher values of human life. We judge such life not only to survive and to be prosperous but
inhuman people, such “animals,” to be less than also to be human.
fully human.
But a question arises. What is this fullness of
That a human being can possibly not be human
human life which we human beings can attain?
What are those characteristics that we should strive Secondly, human beings have many mental
to develop? What makes man truly human? abilities that can be developed. They can expand
their capacities to imagine and to dream of new
This question is not a new one. In a hidden, possibilities. They can develop their human
implicit way it has confronted every human being sensitivity, becoming more aware of themselves, of
that has ever existed in the history of man. In the other people and of nature. They can learn to think
course of human history philosophers have given more logically and to bring rationality more
many different answers to this question, many completely into their lives. They can become
different ideals of being human. We call such expert in one of the many human sciences. They
ideals “humanisms.” As we study the history of can become more aware of the presence of beauty
human cultures we discover many different in nature and in the human arts. They can become
humanisms which have inspired and guided those more open to the realm of the mysterious and the
cultures. It is worthwhile to reflect on these sacred. In many different ways the human mind
various ideals since they open up to us many rich can be developed.
possibilities of human life.
Thirdly, human beings can develop
The Greek Ideal of Full Development communication skills, learning how to read and to
write and to talk. It may take years to develop
One very distinctive humanism that arose in the these skills but, once they are mastered,
past was that of the ancient Greeks. The Greeks individuals are better able to function as full
understood man as a being composed of many human beings. They can express their ideas clearly
natural potentialities, many possibilities for and forcefully. They can bring understanding, joy
growth. They sensed that nature actively guided and beauty to those who read what they write or
man to develop those potentialities, a development who listen to what they say.
that was meant to reach a state of fullness or
excellence. In such an understanding of life the Fourthly, human beings can develop their social
fully human person is one who lives a life of a skills in many different ways. They can become
completely developed human being. loyal friends, good mothers and fathers, active
members of society. They can become generals in
First of all, human beings have physical armies, religious leaders, effective leaders of
potentialities and it is possible for them to develop political communities. As individuals learn to play
their bodies and their bodily skills. Some of these their roles in society and make significant
skills are connected with sports and leisure as they contributions to society, they fulfil some of their
learn to run, to swim and to dance. Other skills are social potentialities.
practical: the ability to type, the ability to drive a
car or to fly a plane, the ability to master crafts The Greeks conceived of nature to be the guide
such as carpentry or masonry. and inspiration for the development of all of these
human possibilities. This development was pointed
toward an ideal, the fullness of human life, a life of Hinduism conceives the greater reality to be
excellence. divine and calls it Brahman or Atman. This divine
Brahman is the only thing which is truly real and
Although these examples give us an understanding everything else is only real to the extent that it is
of human fulfilment in terms of an individual part of Brahman. Brahman is like a great sea and
human being, this Greek ideal was also meant to all the other beings in the world are just drops of
be realized on a social level. A human community water in that sea. Such drops do not have their own
can achieve full development. This fullness of distinct individual existence but exist as drops of
social development would include many elements water in a great sea; they are elements of
such as peace, economic prosperity, the rule of law, something greater.
active community interaction as well as the full
development of education and the arts. Man’s life is thus conceived by Hinduism to be
rooted in a divine totality, drawing its ultimate
Thus, from the Greeks we have a clear ideal for truth and reality from this root. Of course, man can
human life, the development of all human ignore this truth and live superficially, absorbed by
potentialities to the level of excellence. It is a the happenings and ever-changing experiences of
humanism which has inspired and guided many his individual existence. But such a way of living
peoples over the ages. is foolish. A wise man lives in terms of the basic
divine reality of which he is a part. He draws
The Oriental View meaning from Brahman and seeks to lose himself
in it.
A distinctively different understanding of human
life is found in the classical writings of oriental In a similar way the Chinese tradition
religions, in Hinduism, Confucianism and Taoism. of Confucianism understands the life of man in
In these traditions human existence is understood terms of something greater. In this case the greater
not to be a matter of living a full life as a separate reality is human society. What is really important
individual but to be a matter of living as part of in human life is society as it is concretized in
something greater. In these traditions living wisely family and friendship and the state. Man’s major
as a human being means that an individual finds concern should be to act in such a way that these
his true place in that greater reality and conforms social units are preserved in a traditional and
himself to it. In a true sense the wise man seeks to correct form.
“lose” himself in that greater reality. From this
“oriental” viewpoint any understanding of human In this philosophy of Confucianism the individual
life is primarily an understanding of a greater human being is understood precisely as a part of
reality of which the individual man is a part. This family, friendship or state. The purpose of his life
sense of human life is expressed in different ways is found in his fulfilling of his assigned role in
in each of the various oriental traditions. these various social units. From family and state he
has certain clear obligations which he must
endeavor to fulfill. He lives wisely and his life is A third quite distinctive understanding of human
truly human to the extent that he fulfills these life is found in the Hebrew tradition. In this
obligations, and his family and state prosper. tradition human life is conceived to consist of a
situation where man constantly faces challenges
A third prominent tradition in oriental thought is and expectations and is called upon to respond. In
that of Taoism, a way of thinking that arose in this situation man lives in a truly human way to the
ancient China. In this tradition the emphasis is on extent that he is sensitive to these challenges and
Tao, a mysterious, all-encompassing reality. Tao is responds to them in a noble and worthy way.
the source of everything. It is an ultimate power
that actively guides everything that exists in the This Hebrew sense of human life is concretized in
heavens, in the earth and in human life. Tao is thus the story of the “father” of all the Jews, Abraham.
a “way” that directs all of these various levels of Abraham was called by Yahweh and told to take
nature. his family and possessions and to go into a far
country where Yahweh would bless him. Abraham
As an ultimate reality this Tao is conceived not was challenged to believe in this call from God
only to be all-powerful (guiding the existence of and to carry it out. He responded to Yahweh by
all beings) but also to be wise (guiding those trusting in His word and by fulfilling faithfully
beings to move in the best possible way). Because what was asked of him. He achieved greatness in
of this the individual human being is wise if he his life by the way that he was faithful, responding
trusts Tao, is sensitive to its guidance and follows to Yahweh’s call. All believers in the Hebrew
it in his life. He lets go of his own plans and his tradition understand their lives in terms of this
own efforts to control his own life and lives with model of Abraham. They see themselves
natural spontaneity. By doing so the wise man’s challenged and “called” by God in all of the
life becomes the expression of his own individual happenings of their lives.
desires but of Tao.
This Hebrew model for understanding human life
Each of these three ways of life (Hinduism, is not limited to a situation of religious faith but
Confucianism and Taoism) presents a picture of can be understood in a broader context. Every
human life as part of something greater. In each of human being can see his life as a matter of
them a human being is truly human when he loses challenges where the meaning of that life arises
himself in that greater reality. To ignore that from the way that he responds. It is evident in life
greater reality is to go astray and to live a life that every individual is constantly confronted by
which is foolish. Such understandings of life challenges arising from nature, his family, his
present deep wisdom that has guided the lives of friends, his community and his God. He
many millions of people for many centuries. experiences his life as something more than simply
“being alive,” occupying a place in a quiet
The Hebrew Understanding situation. Man’s situation is rather one of being
constantly challenged, of facing expectations at of living. His life is growing, full of surprises.
every moment. In life he is never left alone.
For such a humanism of creativity the idea is
The Hebrew tradition thus presents us with an embodied in an artist.
ideal of human life which is quite distinctive. The
ideal human being in this tradition is one who is There can be a religious humanism. Such a
first sensitive to the challenges of his situation and humanism would be based on the understanding
who then responds to those challenges with that a human being is basically the image of God.
courage, generosity and fidelity. Through this According to this understanding the ideal human
sensitivity and this responsiveness a person life is achieved when one becomes a full child of
becomes truly human. God, living fully one’s relationship to God. This
life would include many different things, including
Other Humanisms the fulfilling of God’s will in one’s life, setting
God as one’s primary goal, and emphasizing
Besides the three humanisms presented above prayer and worship in one’s life. According to this
there are many other ideals of human life which view a person is fully human when he lives fully as
have guided and inspired men and women through the image of God.
the ages. Let us briefly consider a few of them.
In such a religious humanism the ideal is the holy
There can be a type of moral humanism. Here the person, the saint.
ideal human life is a full living of morality. This
can be found in a life of correctness where an There can be a humanism of love. Human
individual follows exactly all the moral laws of his existence is understood here as basically a matter
religion and society. A slightly different version of of relating to other people. The ideal human life is
this ideal is found in a life where moral virtues are achieved when a person establishes deep human
lived in a full way, virtues such as love, courage, relationships with others and lives those
prudence, patient endurance and loyalty. relationships fully. One strives, for example, to be
loving friend or a loving mother or father. Included
In such a moral humanism the fully human person in this ideal life is a high level of compassion and
is one who is “good.” sensitivity. The ideal human being must be one
who understands what others are experiencing and
There can be a humanism which who is deeply sensitive to the needs and feelings of
emphasizes creativity. The ideal here is a person others.
who is creative on all levels of his life, in his
artistic productions, in his expression, in his
relationships, in his religion, in his personal
growth. Such a fully human person is always open GUIDE QUESTIONS:
to new life as he constantly moves into new ways 1. Does being born as a human necessarily make someone
human? and to gain money for the education of her
2. Is it possible for someone to attain the full development brothers and sisters. The welfare of her family is
of being human? more important for her than her own development.
In acting this way she lives in terms of a humanism
3. How does the Greek understood man? And what is their which gives priority to commitments and to a
ideal human? larger reality (a social group) and makes individual
4. What is the oriental view towards human? development secondary. (There is a similarity to
5. How does the concept of Hinduism, Confucianism and the Hebrew and Oriental humanisms here.)
Taoism differ in their conception of man as being part
of a greater reality? Another example of conflict between models is
6. How does the Hebrew conceive the understanding of found in the contemporary emphasis on
“involvement.” This emphasis urges young people
the human life? to go beyond their concern for their studies and
7. What is moral humanism? success in their careers and to commit themselves
8. What is the concept of the humanism that emphasizes to some form of social action. Those who stress
creativity? such “involvement” are guided by an ideal of
9. Is there such thing as religious humanism? human life which looks beyond human
10. What is the humanism of love? development and fulfillment. This ideal conceives
human life to be fully found in a life of response to
the needs of one’s community. (There is an echo of
the Hebrew humanism here.)
The Question

This question (What is the ideal way to live human Modern environmentalists urge us to cut back on
life?) is not a mere theoretical problem. In our our efforts for economic growth and to live in tune
lives in today’s world we make major decisions with nature, limiting our usage of natural
based on our preference for one or other of these resources. Such people are guided by a Taoist ideal
humanisms, one of these ideals of human life. An of human life where life is understood in terms of
example of this might be found in the ideas behind conformity with nature and economic growth is
“women’s liberation.” Many modern women feel secondary.
that their lives are somewhat empty when their
existence consists merely of being wives and Some people today choose to step aside from the
mothers. They want more in their lives than just world and to give their lives to God in religious or
the living out of such roles. They seek fulfillment contemplative life. These people conceive God to
in their lives, a fulfillment which they find in a be all important and they choose to live in terms of
career. In such a choice they are being guided by Him alone. Personal development and human
the Greek ideal for human life. relationships are conceived to be subordinated to
this greater reality. (There is something similar to
A student may set aside her career in order to work Oriental humanism here.)
These examples show us that our ideal of human
life has great influence over the choices that we
make in life. We began this chapter with a simple
question: What makes man truly human? It is clear
now that the answer we give to that question will
have a great effect on our lives.


From the respondents in your interview, pick one

person and analyse how he/she sees humanism through his/her
words and profession. The rubric for this should be as follows
 40% Content
 30% Organization
 20% Insights
 10% Language


Make a PowerPoint presentation of the group's

interview and share it to the class. Include in the presentation
the humanism of the person you analysed for the evaluation
Tao Tao lang
Loonie ft. Quest
1. 1.

2. 2.

3. 3.

4. 4

5. 5


The article is a part of the introduction to the book
MOTIVATION: Philosophy of Man: Selected Readings by Manuel Dy. Here he
1. Why is it that the dualistic definition of man as rational discussed the inadequacy of understanding man in a dual
animal is inadequate? thinking through his two significant faculty. This kind of
2. What is “kalooban” have to do with the definition of approach in philosophy is called Phenomenology.
3. How can we evaluate our own limitations and the
possibilities for transcendence? Man as Embodied Subjectivity
(Excerpt from the Introduction of Philosophy of Man)
by Manuel Dy
Phenomelogists reject as inadequate the definition of
Look for the songs Tao by and Tao lang by Loonie man as “rational animal” or as a “composite of body and soul”.
featuring Quest. Make five comparisons on how they look at The trouble with the definition is that they are dualistic; they
man through their lyrics. view man as made up of two parts: corporeal and spiritual,
animality and rationality even if we lay stress on “composite” Embodiment is simply to make incarnate a meaning which
or “unity”, we would still face the dilemma of how two comes from the inner core of man.
different realities, matter and spirit, can interact with each How does this holistic view of man then affect our
other. When pressed further on which reality is more philosophy of education?
important, no doubt we would say that rationality stands out as The subject of education is man. Education is the
the unique characteristic of man. And yet our basis for process of developing man, man the embodied subject.
understanding human nature is his animality, and 'rational' is Development now must be total development. Education
only a qualifier, an added dimension to man's animality, thus cannot be and should not be simply a conglomeration of
making man “isang pinakamagandang hayop sa balat ng lupa – discipline each minding its own task of cultivating a specific
pero hayop pa rin.” part of man. Neither must education look down upon material
This dualistic notion of man with its emphasis on development as merely stepping stone to the rational or the
rationality has led to the so-called two-lives theory and in spiritual. We can recall here the mystical insight of the Jesuit
moral education, the norms of good conduct in terms of ends philosopher-scientist,Teilhard de Chadin:
and means. Man lives in two separate worlds, the temporal and Consciouness manifests itself indubitably
the spiritual, but he must not make a mistake of making the in man and therefore, glimpsed in this one flash of
temporal his ultimate end. The earthly city is only a light, it reveals itselfas having a cosmis extension and
preparation for the eternal. Reason equips him the judgement consequently as being aureoled by limitless prolongations
of distinguishing ends and means. in space and time.
The phenomenologist, on the other hand, sees man as A corollary insight to embodiments the notion of
embodied subjectivity. This is not just a matter of language, for language as embodied thought or thinking, not as a replica or
the language does matter. Language does not just picture clothing of ideas. Language is the way of thinking of the
reality; it helps create reality's meaning. Man is foremost a people itself speaking that language. If our education is to be
subjectivity, a unique core or center, source, depth, well-spring relevant, it must be communicated in the language of the
of initiative and meaning. Our term “kalooban” (“kabubut- people to whom it is to be relevant.
on” in Visayan, “nakim” in Ilocano, “hsin” in Chinese) fits
the description. Note that the subjectivity is not limited to Man as Being-in-the-world
rationality but includes the affective, the emotional as well.
Man, however, is not a pure subjectivity but a As embodied subject, man is a being-in-the-world. The
subjectivity incarnating itself, “in flesh” so to say. Man's body human body is the link of man with a world. The
is not an object-body, a chunk of matter that is the lodging phenomenologist speaks of the world or worlds for man, rather
place of the spirit. The human body is a subject body, already a than environment. Environment refers to animals, but the
meaning-giving existence. In other words, human interiority things around man are not simply objects lying; they from a
always seeks to embody itself in a body structure or gesture. network of meanings, in and on and around which man
organizes his life. Thus, we speak of the world of a student, of
a teacher, of a farmer, a politician. Man is “in” the world not in 3. What are the two separate worlds where man is in?
the same sense as the carabao is “in” the field. Both may be in 4. How does the phenomenologists look at the notion of
the field but it is man who gives meaning to the field, the man? What is the Filipino term for it? What other
carabao, the sky, the plough. The world connotes then a faculties does it include to see the totality of man?
dialectic of meaning and structures. The things around man are 5. What does “in flesh” means?
structures that articulate a meaning proceeding from the 6. What does the embodiment make of man?
subjectivity of man. Some given structures reinforce a 7. Can this holistic view of man affect the philosophy of
meaning, others run counter to it. In any case, to speak of man education? How?
is to speak of his world, and vice versa. The phenomenologists
calls this the intentionality of consciousness: consciousness is
consciousness of something other than consciousness. In AFTER READING:
Visayan, it means “walay kalibutan (world) kung walay Look for Ze Frank: Are you human? in YouTube
kalibutan (consciousness)”. ( As a class,
Rather than define man as “rational animal” – to which participate by answering the questions in the video.
one of my students quipped, “so what?” – let us emphasize
man’s situatedness. This point is important when we speak of
social change. No genuine social change is effected without an EVALUATION:
internal change in meaning, and no internal meaning can last In a small group, make a song about being man. How is
without an external structure to reinforce it. The Scholastics it to be a man? What makes man different from any other
like to dwell on cumutative justice or injustice, but species? What makes you special to be a man? The rubric for
contemporary man is more aware, in a complex world he lives, the song shall be as follows:
of social justice or injustice, of unjust structures. This is what  40% Content
we educators should address ourselves to with our students –  30% Musicality
an awareness of unjust structures, of internal change that need  20% Arrangement
to be situated, of the need to humanize the world we live in by  10% Delivery
our work.

GUIDE QUESTIONS: Record the song you made and have it uploaded to
1. What is the definition for man that the Facebook. Invite your friends and relatives to watch and
phenomenologists consider as inadequate? comment on your song. Take note of the comments and
2. What are the two elements that make the notion of man suggestions.
as dual?
Man as Transcendental


1. What does transcendental means? How can man be

2. What are the limitations and possibilities of their
3. How can man recognize that the human body imposes
limits and possibilities for transcendence?
An Essay by Eduardo Jose Calasanz, Philosophy of Man,
PRE-READING: Selected Readings
Look for the Video entitled Philosophy – Montaigne
( Any philosophy of man is a systematic and holistic
wxNMb28XmpfEr2zNKQfU97eyEs70krSb&index=8). Take attempt to answer the question of “who am I?” IN our day-to-
note of the positive and negative views of Michel De day life, we may be so engrossed in our activities that we do
Montaigne on human. not bother anymore to question what seems clear and obvious
to us. The question of “Who am I?” is such a case. It is
Positive surprising to ask this ourselves. At first glance, isn’t this
question so simple? What could be clearer and obvious to us
than the reality of our “I”? But this is only at first glance, from
superficial and uncritical natural attitude. Certain events in our
life (like sickness, failures, death) can awaken us and bring us
to the limits of our ordinary experience. And then, the once-so-
simple question deepens, begins to complicate, and beckons on
us: Who am I?

An important aspect in answering this question is the

experience of my body. If I were asked about myself, my
answers inescapably have reference to my body. What are you?
Man, because I have a form, activities, and a body of man.
Who are you? I am Juan Santos, tall, mestizo-looking long-
haired, with small ears and a big belly due to beer drinking (isa
pa nga!). where am I? Here, where my body is; look at my
body. In these ways, I seem to say I am my body.

But there are times too that I know I am not just my

body. I am a man also because I have an understanding and
mind of man. When I say to my parents, “I love you,” this one
loving them is not just this tall-mestizo-looking-long-haired-
with-small-ears-fat-belly-etc.” body of mine but my whole
spirit and will. And it can happen that while my body is in
room B-109, listening to a boring lecture on the theories of
My Body
Lobachevski of the poems of Chairil Anwar, I am taking a walk being-in-the-world through my body. My body acts as the
at the beach, along with my sweetheart, watching the sunset. intermediary between the self or subject and the world.

On one hand, I recognize an intimate relation of myself When we use the term intermediary, we refer to one of
with my body, and thus truly say: I am my body. Yet, on the two conflicting meaning and Z,” I may mean that because X, Y
other hand, I also know that I cannot reduce my whole and Z encounter or become closer to each other or come to an
humanity to my body. I am also spirit and will: my body is only agreement. Let us take this example from the story if Macario
something I have: I have my body. What is the meaning of this Pineda titled, “Kung Baga sa Pamumulaklak.” A young famer
paradox? named Desto wants to win the hand of the illustrious young
lady named Tesang. However, he cannot just present himself
READING: directly to the lady of his affection to tell her of his feelings. He
The Life of Embodied Spirit first approaches his uncle Mang Tibo who is kumpare of
Eduardo Jose Calasanz, Philosophy of Man, Selected Readings Tesang’s parents so he can act as an intermediary between him
and Tesang’s parents. Only then do Tesang’s parents allow
We begin our reflection on the experience of my body Desto to court her. In this situation the intermediary serves as
by recognizing its paradoxical character. On one hand, I cannot the “bridge” for the union of the young man and the lady.
detach my body from myself; they are not two things that
happen by chance together. Rather, my self is absolute On the other hand, I can also mean the opposite. I can
embodied. Likewise, on the other hand, I cannot reduce my self say that because X, Y and Z are separated. Still with the
to my body: I also experience my self as an I–spirit and will example of courting, the parents if the girl stand between our
that can never be imprisoned in my flesh and bones. That is affection and prevent our being sweethearts. In the old films of
why we can say there are two faces shown in the experiences Virgo Productions, often Lolita Rodriguez plays the role of the
of my body: “I have my body” and “I am my body”. “other woman” who stands between the beautiful relationship
of the couple Eddie Rodriquez and Marlene Dauden. Here, the
It is very tempting for any erudite person, philosopher intermediary is not a bridge but an obstacle.
or scientist, to forget this paradox and fix his attention to only
one side of the experience. This precisely is the danger of the Now when I say my body is the intermediary between
primary reflection: our inquiry becomes clear and distinct but my self and the world, I refer to the two meaning of
we get farther away from real experience. The paradox is the intermediary. On one hand, because of my body, an encounter
experience itself, and this should be the one described by and agreement occurs between my self and the world. In
philosophy by means of secondary relfection. reality, the encounter of the experience of my self and the
experience if the world can only take place in the experience of
The body as intermediary. I experience myself as my body, I experience the world as my world and we are
familiar to each other. Because of my body, the chair I am Because of my body, we interrelate with each other in
sitting on is hard, the sunset is as red as a rose, the effect of the many ways–in our vision, actions, attitude, in our rituals, signs
lambanog on my empty stomach is strong, the smell of the and speech. We face each other in anger, tenderness, sadness
Pacwood factory in San Pedro, Laguna, is like hell. Because of etc., because we have a body to present. If the other shows
my body, I have an experience of “near” and “far,” and wrinkles in his forehead, he is indicating dissatisfaction,
“below” and “up” and “below” and many other relations in confusion or disapproval of what I am saying. The wry and red
space. The world of man is different from the “world” of the appearance of my face is my anger; my fixed-to-the-ground
fly because their bodies have different frameworks. My body is look at my sigh are my loneliness. The child does not have to
by nature intentional (directed to the world), and it creates and disobey parent, a look from the parent is enough to prevent
discovers meaning that I am conscious of in my existence. him. Every part and action of my body says something of
Thus, because of my body, the whole universe has and reveals myself and my world. As what the poet says of an alluring
a meaning for-me-and-for man. Through my body, my young woman:
subjectivity is openness to the world and the world is opened to
me; the world fills me and I fill the world. There’s language in her eye, her cheek, her lip,
Nay, her foot speaks; her wanton spirits look out
On the other hand, also because of my body, I At every joint and motive of her body.
experience the world as separate from me. I am “not-world”,
and the world in “not-I”. In the giving-of-meaning-to-the-world The language of my body has its own grammar and
of my body, I also experience the self as “outside” the world, I rhetoric in expressing my interiority. If I love Maria, I show
am the one who sees, and who gives-name to this or that. My this through my kisses, embrace, holding tenderly her hand,
body shows that I am not simply a thing among other things in etc., and through exchanges of rings, daily telephone
nature. The oneness and wholeness of my body is different conversations, weekly visits. I respect my parents in kissing
from the oneness and wholeness of the world. If I did not have their hands; I accept a new acquaintances in shaking his hand.
this kind of distance from the world, I would become only a Embodiment is not just an additional or external appearance; it
thing without an interiority; and clearly this view is not true to is the gesture and appearance of what I truly feel inside. I
our experience of life. My body participates in the world but cannot say I love my brothers and sisters if I do not show this
cannot be reduced to it. love to them. I cannot say I respect my parents if my speech to
them is not respectful. My faith is meaningless if I do not
The body in intersubjectivity. My body is not only an realize it in my daily actions in life. In social life too, the great
intermediary between me and the world but also between me aspirations of the citizenry need to be embodied in political,
and others. I show myself to the other and the other also shows economic, cultural (etc.) framework for these to have an
himself to me through my body. enduring realization. As the apostle James says, “Whoever
listens to this word but does not put it into practice is like a
man who looks in a mirror and sees himself as he is. He takes a GUIDE QUESTIONS
good look at himself and the goes away and at once forgets
what he looks like.” (James 1, 22-23). The spirit id fulfilled in 1. What are the paradoxical character of the embodied
the actions and deeds of the body. character?
2. What does the body as intermediary mean?
However, as we have seen there are two facts to the 3. How does the body become intersubjective?
body as intermediary. I cannot separate my intersubjectivity 4. Is there a language of the body? Give an example.
from its embodiment, but I cannot also reduce it to its 5. What is the value of the body?
embodiment. The spirit needs to be expressed and realized in
the body but my body cannot fully state all of my subjectivity. I
may truly love my family even if my body is far away from EVALUATION:
them. The fullness of my love for the beloved cannot be said in
exchange of rings or daily telephone conversations. My Look for the video Who am I? in YouTube
subjectivity transcends in expanse and depth its embodiment. ( .
Indeed my body shows myself, but it can also be a mask that In your journal, write an entry entitled Me and My Body. In
hides what I truly think or feel. I can smile in the company of your essay, answer the following questions:
my friends while suffer inside of frustration (as they say,  What are the strengths and weaknesses of being you?
“laughing in the outside but crying in the inside”). The paradox  What are the improvements you want to make in you?
of “I have my body” and “I am my body” but also applies to  If you will have a chance to be another who would you
my inter-relationship with others. be and why?
 How do you love your body?
The value of the body. As the appearance and
expression of my subjectivity, my body has a unique value and The rubrics for the essay would be as follows:
dignity. It directs me not only to the world and to others but
also to God. St. Paul says in the first letter to the Corinthians:  30% Insights
“You know that your bodies are parts of the body of Christ.  30% Realization
Don’t you know that your body is the temple of the Holy
 20% Coherence
Spirit, who live in you and who has given to you by God? You
 20% Presentation
do not belong to yourselves but to you God, he bought you for
a price. So use your bodies for God’s glory.” (1 Corinthians 6,