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Understandings of Philosophical Anthropology Essay

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Updated: Jun 30th, 2022

Introduction

Philosophy in itself is a broad-based discipline that explains knowledge. On the other hand, Christianity elucidates the nature of God as the Supreme Being. From any perspective, the two disciplines agree to some extent that human beings form the subject of the quest for knowledge. The study of philosophical anthropology helps in understanding the nature of humankind concerning the environment. Therefore, psychology and theology have to harmonize their goals in understanding mankind.

Christian Theological Understanding of Philosophical Anthropology

Religion bases the explanation of human conduct on God’s knowledge. Christianity asserts that human beings are the creatures of God, created in God’s image, and therefore ought to behave as per God Himself, if not for the sins which separated mankind from God (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Genesis 3:22-24; Isaiah 59:1-3). The Bible also says that no one is blameless before God (King James Bible, 1769/2017, 1 John 1:8). The Bible recognizes the innate weakness of humankind. Apostle Paul is addressing a character gap asserts that for what he wants to do he does not, but instead what he hates (King James Bible, 1769/2017, Romans 7:15). The perspectives of understanding personage behavior, therefore, emanate from different premises based on biblical teachings.

Psychological Understanding of Philosophical Anthropology

Modern philosophers agree that philosophical anthropology is a discipline within the study of knowledge that cannot stand independent of establishing humankind’s relationship with nature. In its simple definition, philosophical anthropology is the study of human character based on different assumptions of establishing the relationship between humankind with his environment and his values (Entwistle, 2015). Being a science, psychology acknowledges human nature to be controlled by some rules or natural laws that govern the structure of the universe in its totality, and it is these guidelines that determine individuals’ behavior (Entwistle, 2015). Psychology bases its understanding of human behavior on nature.

An analysis of psychological explanations for human behavior gives philosophical anthropology an in-depth meaning from a realistic point of view. Psychology uses the methodological naturalism law which argues that the world is an orderly place and scrutiny can lead one to recognize the constancies of experiences like anthropoid actions (Entwistle, 2015). In addition, psychology employs scientific explanations and metaphysical assumptions to study personage character (Entwistle, 2015). Besides, psychologists use reason and deductive logic to establish their theories about discerning mankind’s habits (Entwistle, 2015). Those who study phrenic habits also rely on statistical research and methodologies by collecting and evaluating quantifiable data to organize and predict their observations about individuals’ exploits (Entwistle, 2015). Notably, psychologists argue that people’s conduct as a result of multiplex, amazing, but sometimes overwhelmed biotic qualities. The models which are used by those who study the psyche differ from the theologians’ belief in the existence of God as the originator and planner of Earth, including man’s ways.

Depending on the models used for the analysis of human behavior, characteristically, this is a subject with divergent perspectives but reconcilable differences. Theologians and psychologists both agree that human behavior is a subject of investigation and scrutiny. Similarly, the collections of theological results are organized into systematic theologies that, similarly to psychological theories, aim to organize the observations of the theologian about different topics (Entwistle, 2015). Undoubtedly, human conduct is a broad topic the understanding of which cannot be fathomed from a single perspective only but requires a complementary approach of the psychological and Christian approaches.

In conclusion, the essence of human beings can be explained using the Christian approach and the theological perspective. The explanations that both disciplines of theology and psychology bring forward are not mutually exhaustive but are complementary to one another. As religion asserts itself as the tool to explain anthropoid deportment, so does psychology. Inarguably, to fully understand human behavior, no single theory should be employed without the other to delimit biases that may arise.

References

Entwistle, D. (2015). Integrative approaches to psychology and Christianity: An introduction to worldview issues, philosophical foundations, and models of integration (3rd ed). Wipf and Stock Publishers.

King James Bible. (2017). Cambridge University Press. (Original work published 1769).

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