Anthropomorphism and the Meaning of Life

Main Article Content

William Christian Hackett


The perennial task of philosophy is to speak the truth of human life, yet the human truth as such is fundamentally theological. The "theological" task of philosophy, then, is the critique of the "idolatries" of reason in its "anthropomorphic" descriptions of the divine. Yet, if philosophy critiques theology for its tendency toward the "over-realization" of its concept of truth, then theology offers a more fundamental "metacritique" of philosophical concepts, which find themselves fundamentally refigured in the shadow of revelation. The answer is found in the transpositon of an "inaugurated eschatology" onto the philosophical plane, for which the following dictum applies: the symbol sanctifies thought. Hence it is St. Isidore of Seville's description of the philosopher's task in his Etymologies that remains after all: "The philosopher is the one who has knowledge of divine and human matters and follows every path of living well."  

Article Details

Special Section on Life
Author Biography

William Christian Hackett, Australian Catholic University

Research Fellow/Lecturer in Philosophy, Australian Catholic University