The Emergence of Ethical Man

By Joseph B. Soloveitchik

Edited by Michael S. Berger

Format: Hardcover



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"Should we inquire of a modern historian of philosophy or of any educated person well acquainted with the history of ideas what he understands by the word 'man,' he would immediately advise us about a basic controversy concerning the destiny or essence of this being. By the sheer force of associative thinking, he would at once refer to three disparate anthropological-philosophical viewpoints: the Biblical (referred to by many as the Judeo-Christian view), the classical Greek, and the modern empirico-scientific. Pressed further, he would probably say that the discrepancy between the concepts of man dating back to antiquity - the Biblical and the classical Greek - is by far not as wide as the gap separating those two from the empirico-scientific one. As a matter of fact, he would say, we may speak of some degree of affinity, of commensurability between the Biblical and classical anthropologies. Both are united in opposition to the scientific approach to man: they set man apart from other forms of organic life."

~ Excerpted from The Emergence of Ethical Man