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Philosophical anthropology and ethics

The starting point for the philosophy of man is data coming from the apprehension concomitant to the existential statement: "I am". Among these basic data, subjectivity and the human ability to cause things are very important. The conclusions of general metaphysics are helpful tools in the philosophical analysis of these data. In its fundamental dimension, philosophical anthropology is the metaphysics of man, and its purpose is to present the structure of human being, and to show and explain the basis of human transcendence. Man grasped in metaphysical terms appears to be a material and spiritual being that has the reason of its unity in the act of existence. As a substantial being (or subject) and a person by nature who expresses himself in free and conscious action (science, morality, religion, creativity), man is open to truth, good and beauty-and above all, to God. The main feature of man as such is his transcendence to the world of nature and to society. The person is a being that transcends the determinations of the world of nature, due to his capacity for intellectual cognition, his free will, and his ability for disinterested love. In turn, the person transcends society because of his power to be the subject of law and the cause of the completeness (the substantiality) of his possession of natural dignity, which means that man is an end and not a means. Krąpiec constructs the conception of ethics in the ground of general metaphysics and philosophical anthropology. In this approach, ethics is a philosophy of human acting and doing. Philosophical inquiry allows us to discover the goal of human life, which is to actualize the good of person. Human nature is equipped with specific inclinations that stir man to realize the goal of his life. These inclinations are perfected by virtues that can be developed with the help of upbringing and culture. On the base of these inclinations man makes free moral decisions. Decisions, leading to action in order to realize the good, perfect the human being in accordance with his nature as a human. Thus the decision of essential importance in Krąpiec's conception, for it appears to be "the very reason of rational and conscious human acting and doing". Morality is involved whenever man makes any decision about performing any particular action freely and knowingly; the very goal of morality is the good of person (conceived in accordance with the truth of being).

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