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JP8109/9109 The Human Person from Plato to John Paul II

The study of the human person responds to one of the key questions of human inquiry. This subject explores some of the main theories, thinkers and themes over the course of western intellectual history. Starting with Plato’s philosophy of the soul, it follows the fortunes of Greek philosophy (Aristotle, the Stoics, Neoplatonism) and considers the impact of early and medieval Christian thought on classical anthropology. With Descartes and Darwin we consider the shift towards dualism, materialism, and the ‘subjective turn.’ The subject then surveys the existentialist and personalist movements of the 20th century, seeking to evaluate their influence in the realms of ethics and human self-understanding. Students will be equipped with a body of this knowledge which will enable them to undertake professional work in the field and serve as a basis for further learning.