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Publication Details

Notes on the Anthropology of Modern Revolution

(Original title: Poznámky k antropológii modernej revolúcie)
Filozofia, 23 (1968), 4, 345-358.
Type of work: Papers and Discussions
Publication language: Slovak
It is always given how to live; but how to live freely, must be determined by people themselves. To live and determine, at the same time, the way of life, those are the limits which delimitate the content of human being and history. There are two tendencies in the relation between men and history; they lead into a double possible relation: a) life and history are being identified in the activity of people who thus form their history in the relation to themselves; b) both parts coalesce in an uncontrolled process to which men are subject while life is being formed by history as an external power and unfolded by means of the relation of men to it. The first case refers to the future, the other concerns the development until now. It is a speciality of our time that it represents a dividing line between them. Circumstances existing on us, and we who exist on them, that is the world of material determination in which man lives as a „being of practice“. Thus, civilization existing until now is correctly described; existential aims in it absorbe the whole life, turn life into the condition of life and turn man into means. Therefore, objective being itself is presented to man as an external necessity towards which he is accidental. In fact, determination is no realization, at least in man. The human world presupposes man the Same as man presupposes his world, with the difference, of course, that man creates this presupposition because he creates his reality, while the world has its human reality from man. Therefore, the deep-rooted notion of determination by circumstances and conditions is of limited validity. If development is to make substantial progress, activity must advance from mediating practice and work to the self-determining activity. Inevitability will then be freed for liberty, the world for man, society for the individual,, the natural determinism for human self-determination, substance for subject etc. The content of modern revolution in its most general features lies in that people will free their human substance and that they themselves will relax towards it: activity is to attain self-activity and the latter must acquit itself well in autodetermination which includes the historical progression and social structure. Thus, activity acquires the meaning of the process of subject’s self-creation and subject geins the character of free totality and elevates human being to self-existence.
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