The Quarterly Journal of Philosophical Investigations

Document Type : Research Paper


Anthroopos Foundation Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands


The theoretical basis for the new philosophy was laid by the American philosopher James Joseph Dagenais (1923-1981), who came to the conclusion that philosophical anthropology is not a science, but a domain unto itself, and that a philosophy of man can only come about as a joint undertaking of all sciences, in which the object of study must be man himself. The final explanation of man lies outside all possible scientific views that have ever been formulated, because they lie within the origins of every branch of science, including the science of philosophy. It is the final ground on which the philosophies, of any nature whatsoever, can be practised implicitly or explicitly.  The methods of a post-modern philosophical anthropology will have to be based on reflection, on the claim that it is possible to debate differences and contrasts on reasonable grounds, and on the individual responsibility for the decisions we all make for ourselves in respect of changes in body and mind. A post-modern version of Sartre’s creed: man is and always will be what he makes of himself. I have given philosophical anthropology a new concrete substance on the basis of the definition of Jim Dagenais: “a consistent overall vision of man and his world”, so that it can serve as the basis for philosophy and thus as the foundation for human life.


-         Bakker R., (1984), Studia in honorem Reinout Bakker, presented by the Centrale Interfaculteit Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, ed. B. Delfgaauw, H. Hubbeling, W. Smith,
-         Roessler B., December (2005), Humanisme en Religie, Tijdschrift voor Humanistiek, Vol. 6, No. 24,
-         Frayn M., (2006), The Human Touch, Our Part in the Creation of a Universe, ISBN 978-0-571-23217-8 and ISBN 978-0-571-23217-5
-         Gasenbeek B., Brabers J., Kuijlman W., The intentions and draft policy plans expressed in Een huis voor humanisten: het Humanistisch Verbond (1946-2006)
-         Dagenais J.J., (1972), Models of Man, A Phenomenological Critique of Some Paradigms in the Human Sciences, Martinus Nijhoff/The Hague, ISBN 90 247 1290 4
-         Tallon A., Williams P., (1982),” Memorial Minutes James Joseph Dagenais “1923-1981, Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association, Vol. 56, No. 2, (Nov., 1982), pp. 253-255, Published by American Philosophical Association, Stable URL:
-         Van Praag J.P., (1965), Wat is humanistiek? Rede, uitgesproken bij de aanvaarding van het ambt van bijzonder hoogleraar vanwege de humanistische Stichting Socrates in de humanistiek en de antropologie van het humanisme bij de Rijksuniversiteit Leiden, 21 mei 1965 [Inaugural speech, 21 May 1965 (