The Urgency Of The Anthropological Question (6)

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Therefore, for God to be the end of this yearning, it is necessary to assert that the infinite yearning in man is only particularized to this world, so that God who is beyond space and time can be the satisfaction of this yearning in man.


The concept of soul crystallizes from our study of transcendence especially the study of self-transcendence. How does the study of transcendence lead us to the notion of the soul? Having studied the phenomenological aspect of man, it is observed that man cannot be explained exhaustively on in terms of his material component. Therefore, the soul is the spiritual substance, the principle of self-transcendence and the principle of life in man. it is the principle that cannot be satisfied with material things.

4.5.1 The human soul – the principle of self-transcendence in man.

The human soul is the metaphysical principle in man responsible for self -transcendence in man. it is that immaterial principle that causes man continuous yearning, which cannot be satisfied by anything material, thus the continuous self-projection of man.

4.5.2 The human soul – the spiritual substance in man

The soul (of man) is the spiritual substance in a man without which there cannot be a man or his actions. As a substance, the soul is an entity that has autonomy of being and can be conceived in its self without another substance. The soul is spiritual because, as the principle of life which itself is immaterial and metaphysical, as such, cannot be physical or material nor satisfied by the material.

4.5.3The human soul – the principle of life

The human soul is the vital principle in man. our previous discourse lays credence to this assertion, since the body can be completely present without life, as in the case of a dead person.

Therefore, since matter alone cannot give life, there is a metaphysical component in man that accounts for life in man. thus in this discourse, we chose to call this life-giving principle soul or spirit. The immaterial or metaphysical component of man.


          Arguments on the existence of the human soul

Going by all we have studied in this essay as regards the phenomenology of the human being and the metaphysics of the human being, a very important fact is revealed, and that is- All human actions involve the body, but the soma could still be present and action does not take place. This is an indication that human actions are not exhaustively explained only in terms of his material component. Thus it is not unwise to assume that there is an agent intellect that moves the body. Therefore, the above material aspects earlier mentioned informs the necessity of the study of the immaterial aspect of man, this led us to the metaphysics of man.

However, the mechanisms opined that life owes its reality solely to the specific and special arrangement of matter in living organisms and it is the quality of arrangement of matter that differentiates living and non-living thing. Thus, for them, life is material, reducible to matter, and is neither spiritual nor immaterial, by so doing they deny the existence of the human soul.

In response to the above, the vitalists posited that, regardless of any special or specific arrangement of the material components of man, it cannot have life, as in the case of a dead person who with all the body complete, still, remains lifeless. Thus for them matter is extraneous, something that is introduced into the matter. It is an originary phenomenon that is irreducible to matter or explainable in the term of life alone.

Man transcends-tend to go beyond- all points of his arrival in all that he does within the horizon of space and time. He transcends himself in that he is not satisfied with any level of self –achievement (egocentric solution) or social achievement (philanthropic solution) he attains. For if satisfied by the material things of this world there would be no need to suppose that he has a metaphysical component.

Therefore, since man has this unquenchable and insatiable desire, which is unsatisfied and unfulfilled by anything material or finite, it is a clear indication that man has a soul, an immaterial, spiritual and metaphysical component of man which constantly yearns, longs for and desires the infinite.

6.0                  CONCLUSION.

The whole of this discourse calls attention to the being of man and how we can have adequate knowledge of him. It sets to prove the point, that man cannot be exhaustibly explained only in terms of his material component. So in order to study man exhaustibly, we must study him, in the terms of his phenomenological dimension and his metaphysical dimension.

Although some scholars deny that man has a metaphysical component, philosophical anthropology, however, through the study of the observable activities of man (phenomenology) and having discovered the basic characteristics of all human activities (somatic, spirituality, emergence and self-transcendence) reveals that there is another dimension of man that evades the sphere of the material, thus it is immaterial, spiritual and metaphysical.

This metaphysical component is the soul. Therefore, two give an exhaustible explanation to the anthropological question- who is man- it is pertinent to take note of these two dimensions of man.

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