Intentionality and mentality as explanans and as explanandum
Michael Tomasello's research program from the perspective of philosophical anthropology
From the perspective of Philosophical Anthropology, one can only welcome the situation, when a grand and paradigmatic project is developed in the empirical sciences, which is capable of making contributions to both anthropological orders of comparison. The specification of the human requires not only the horizontal comparison of socio-cultures of Homo sapiens sapiens among one another, but also the vertical comparison of human with non-human life forms.1 Both orders of comparison can reinforce as well as correct one another, as we know from Helmuth Plessner's Philosophical Anthropology: the European self-conception of the human is ethnocentric and cannot be made its measure simply as a matter of course.2 Michael Tomasello's research program conceives important excerpts from both orders of comparison. It enables the comparison of language acquisition between human children in various socio-cultures as well as the comparison of the ontogenesis of preschool-age human children with that of other primates. Whoever can achieve such ambitious and from the outset transdisciplinary comparisons can neither heap up empiricisms that are different in kind nor lag behind in the autonomy of historically developed disciplines. He must display the new mode and manner of explanation theoretically and methodically, and even if this succeeds, he must reckon with much misunderstanding and opposition.3
Krüger, H.-P. (2016)., Intentionality and mentality as explanans and as explanandum: Michael Tomasello's research program from the perspective of philosophical anthropology, in P. Honenberger (ed.), Naturalism and philosophical anthropology, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 183-218.
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