The Urgency Of The Anthropological Question (3)

Language is a means of communication, which involves both man and animals. But man beats animals hand down here, in that he transcends the natural means of communication and the minimal language provided by nature and develops conventional ones:  mathematical language, religious language etc. He develops his language into different tongues (French, Italian), and creates systematic ways of studying them–linguistics.

Man has through the ages created signs and symbols that would help him in communicating his thoughts. Thus human language is a conventional means of communication. Given that human thoughts are expressed through language and that language is inseparable from thoughts, language is immaterial. Furthermore, spoken words involve bodily organs (tongue, teeth, vocal cord, etc.) in order to be naturally produced.

From this, we observe that man is always transcending his points of arrivals and meteorically arises above animals in his use of language owing to his intellectual superiority. He also tends to go beyond any point of his arrival in the creation and use of language. This informs his interest in the creating of a spiritual language, a religious language.


Not from the point of view of epistemology. But of philosophical anthropology, we adopt the valid findings of Oxford Advanced learners’ dictionary, that knowledge can be considered as the information or understanding or skill gained through education or experience (physical, or spiritual, metaphysical).

Sequel to this, we have two main types of knowledge a) sensitive knowledge and, b) intellective knowledge.

Sensitive knowledge: it is a knowledge acquired through the senses: vision, sight, common sense, fantasy, etc. man has all the senses which enables him to acquire sensitive knowledge through these aforementioned external senses; we acquire knowledge of objects in their singularities. While through the internal senses (common sense, memory, instinct and fantasy) we gather, unify, repose, conserve and reassemble differently and judge data received from the senses, in terms of utility, harm or risk.

Sensitive knowledge is not specific to man alone, for some animals are equally gifted with sensitive knowledge only that animals work primarily with the instrumentality of their instincts alone, but man rises beyond this instinctual mode of animals in perceiving sensible objects by means of a coalition of ideas-cognitive power.

Again, in a more varied and more intense activity than in animals, the faculty of fantasy expresses itself in man as a creative faculty; it is this internal sense, that propels the continual tension of man to go beyond all the finite horizon that he had already reached, is made evident in sensitive knowledge in man. Thus emerging superior to animals given the imaginative power of fantasy-virtues imaginative.

Intellective knowledge: Intellective knowledge is that knowledge acquired through the intellect. It goes beyond the singularity of the things (matter) presented by the sensitive knowledge in its particularity and concreteness to the universal or abstract. Although some argue that animals, to a certain level, have knowledge of abstract and universals, close observation reveals that they cannot be regarded as having intellective knowledge because they do not have the capacity to synthesize reason based on rational principle (logic) by man.

The brain is the organic apparatus that allows man to have a distinctly superior life, which is made up of matter, thus it is called grey matter. The brain is the seat but not the source of knowledge (for even if we cut the brain we cannot find knowledge). Both animals and man are gifted with brains, man surpasses them in that he is gifted with the intellect, the capacity to ascertain the universal, the abstract, to judge and reason, to coordinate his knowledge in systematic form; possessing the properties (universality, necessity, immutability, intentionality, perceptivity, personalness and historicity) such that it is called intellective knowledge.


And of the three levels of intellective knowledge (ordinary, scientific, and philosophical), with the ordinary level is regarded as the least and lest sophisticated of the three (though with good sense of it, common people succeed in acquiring clearer and more secure ideas than scientists), man still emerges superior to animals. Yet, in all the levels of intellective knowledge man tends to go beyond any point of his arrival in acquiring knowledge; he transcends knowledge of finite things, being unsatisfied by them, as he contemplates spiritual and metaphysical matters.


Self-consciousness is the consciousness of the self. There are two types of consciousness: direct (immediate or concomitant)self-consciousness and reflexive consciousness. Animals are limited only to the former, whereas man, is encompasses the both self-consciousness, thus there is a difference of degree.

Concomitant self-consciousness-here the subject concentrates on something external to it, it is the immediate and impersonal knowledge of the subject relative to the object, and whereas reflexive consciousness is that moment of knowledge which man concentrates his attention on himself, on his own being, diverting his attention from the world of things. He emerges superior over animalS.

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