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As Wide as the World Is WiseReinventing Philosophical Anthropology$
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Michael Jackson

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780231178280

Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.7312/columbia/9780231178280.001.0001

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Persons and Types

Persons and Types

(p.137) 7. Persons and Types
As Wide as the World Is Wise

Michael Jackson

Columbia University Press

Chapter seven considers the relationship of persons and types in both philosophical and anthropological discourse. My starting point is F. Scott Fitzgerald’s observation in his story, The Rich Boy, that “There are no types, no plurals,” only individuals, and his warning against the literary tendency to begin with individuals only to create types, for types offer us “nothing”. Although Fitzgerald has in mind the stereotypes with which the poor depict the rich and the illusions the rich have about themselves, his comments apply equally to the glib contrasts we draw between men and women, good and evil, old and young, and modern and premodern. Not only do we tend to believe that these category distinctions reflect empirical reality; we become convinced that one category is superior to the other, and that we who deploy these antinomies with greatest aplomb are more rational and clear-sighted than those who occupy the inferior positions in our equations.

Keywords:   Philosophy, Anthropology, Philosophical anthropology, subjectivity

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