Unique Animals? Anthropological Concepts in Philosophy

Maynooth University

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Unique Animals? Anthropological Concepts in Philosophy

  • Host University

    Maynooth University

  • Location

    Dublin, Ireland

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    This module introduces students to the study of the human being in philosophy. It examines some major philosophical responses to the question "What is a human being and his place in the cosmos"? Different answers to this question, for instance, the human being is a rational animal, an image of God, a being that produces meaning ("homo symbolicus"), and as a being that lives in the state of "being-there" ("Dasein") and "Being-towards-death"("Sein-zum-Tode") will be covered. Also addressed in this module will be the issue of the human being's relation to being, the world, and culture. It will finish with addressing the question as to whether there is anything unique about the human way of existing. Key texts discussed will be from important and influential thinkers ranging from the early modern period (such as, e.g., Cusa or Pico della Mirandola) to the 20th century (such as, e.g., Cassirer, Scheler, Heidegger and Camus).

    Learning Outcomes:

    On successful completion of the module, students should be able to:
    -Describe and evaluate the different concepts of the human being and his relation to being and the world elaborated by the thinkers discussed in the module.
    -Assess the "project of philosophical anthropology", with particular reference to Scheler.
    -Identify the salient features of the concepts of "man" examined (e.g. intellect, care, the human being as cultural or loving being) and their implications for articulating different notions of self- understanding.
    -Recount the different responses of early 20th century thought (e.g. Scheler, Heidegger, and Cassirer) to the traditional concepts of the human being.
    -Evaluate the different responses to the question as to whether there is a unique human way of existence.
    -Demonstrate the ability to communicate complex ideas in both oral and written form.

    Teaching & Learning methods:
    24 lecture hours (12 weeks x 2 lecture hours per week); 3 tutorial hours (x 6 tutorial groups); directed reading, reflection, discussion and writing.

    Continuous Assessment detail(s): 5% = Attendance at Tutorials. 15% = Presentation 20% = Tutorial Essay-Assignment (c. 1,000 words) 60% = Final Essay-Assignment (c. 2,000 words).

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.