Kleine Kulturgeschichte des Menschenbildes. Ein Essay

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This essay delineates the 40 000 year-old history of the human image, as re-flected through phi-losophical anthropology. It begins with the earliest depictions of women and men (›Swabian Venus‹ and ›Lion Man‹), and ends with today’s icons: Madonna, Michael Jackson, Schwarzenegger. History demonstrates that images which humans made of their own kind used to be images of masks: during the Stone Age, we find masked shamans; in ancient civilizations, there are masked Gods and idols; in the Middle Ages, masked saints and icons. In the modern era, finally, man himself becomes an icon, and hence, is masked. The unveiling of the human image in modernity appears ambiguous, as the scientific human image turns anthropology into entropology: the flood of human images is accompanied by the loss of a co-hesive idea of man. By an irony of fate, it is precisely biology and life sciences, which carry the destruction of the human image to the extreme. Now that the natural sciences have failed to depict man adequately, as did religion, we face the question anew: which human image do we want, and how can we reframe it.

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Rauer, Constantin: Kleine Kulturgeschichte des Menschenbildes. Ein Essay. In: IMAGE. Zeitschrift für interdisziplinäre Bildwissenschaft, Jg. 7 (2011), Nr. 2, S. 19-27. DOI:
 author = {Rauer, Constantin},
 title = {Kleine Kulturgeschichte des Menschenbildes. Ein Essay},
 year = 2011,
 doi = "\url{}",
 volume = 7,
 address = {Köln},
 journal = {IMAGE. Zeitschrift für interdisziplinäre Bildwissenschaft},
 number = 2,
 pages = {19--27},
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The item has been published with the following license: Unter Urheberrechtsschutz