The metaphysical standing of the human: A future for the history of the human sciences

History of the Human Sciences 32 (1):23-40 (2019)
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I reconstruct my own journey into the history of the human sciences, which I show to have been a process of discovering the metaphysical standing of the human. I begin with Alexandre Koyré’s encounter with Edmund Husserl in the 1930s, which I use to throw light on the legacy of Kant’s ‘anthropological’ understanding of the human, which dominated and limited 19th-century science. As I show, those who broke from Kant’s strictures and set the stage for the 20th-century revolutions in science - from Hegel, to John McTaggart, to Max Weber - typically were pursuing crypto-theological questions about how a finite being can comprehend an infinite universe. This journey is about the ‘common measure’ of being human, which is what links Plato to Kuhn, but has been most consistently taken up by law. I suggest that in seeking this ‘measure of man’, we may discover that to be human is not necessarily to be Homo sapiens, which would suggest a radical reorientation of the history of the human sciences.



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Steve Fuller
University of Warwick

Citations of this work

Extending Introspection.Lukas Schwengerer - 2021 - In Robert William Clowes, Klaus Gärtner & Inês Hipólito (eds.), The Mind-Technology Problem - Investigating Minds, Selves and 21st Century Artifacts. Springer. pp. 231-251.
Resisting neurosciences and sustaining history.Roger Smith - 2019 - History of the Human Sciences 32 (1):9-22.

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