A critical intervention in the humanist debate on the Anthropocene from a Daoist perspective. On recognizing an imbedded anthropocentrism in humanism by bridging Daoist criticism on Confucian’s concept of humanity following a, by humanistic canon unrecognized, Daoist influence on Martin Heidegger’s thought of Being.

  • W. Ko

Student thesis: Master's Thesis: Humanistic Studies


The Anthropocene is the era in which humans have made an impact on the environment. As consequence, a philosophical debate on the anthropocentrism of Mankind, and of humanism, has developed. This study implies that the current humanist ecocentric answers are anthropocentrically motivated. To horizontalize the supraposition Mankind has with nature and other life forms, we may have to think more radical than Kunneman’s proposed Radical Humanism and his discrimination between humanity and humanness. Western thinkers like Martin Heidegger, Peter Sloterdijk and Meister Eckhart have attempted to think deeper on what humanity itself is, but were blackguarded by hyper moral critics. Nowadays, Heidegger is considered a core humanism critic in Humanistic Canon. Via a, by Humanistic Canon unknown, undeniable link between Heidegger and Daoism, an opportunity arises to explore Daoist influence on Heidegger’s thinking. Originating 350 BCE, Daoism has been an antagonistic critic to the Confucian idea of humanity. In the interlocutions in Eastern thought, I explore potent insights that may enrich the anthropocentrism debate and humanism itself. Also, these findings may interest humanists to explore Chinese traditions like Daoist and Confucian thought in their opinions on humanity.
Date of Award1 Jan 2018
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorM. Schreurs (Supervisor) & W. Seekles (Supervisor)

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