Image of man

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Image of man is a term used in philosophical anthropology for the idea that someone has of the essence of man . Similarly, the word is used in religious studies and theology to represent the epitome of the conceptions that a religious community has of man.

Insofar as man is part of the world, the image of man is also part of the worldview . Image of man and the world are part of a comprehensive belief or teaching. There is, among other things, a Christian, a Buddhist or a humanistic view of man and the world .

Our own image of man is often so taken for granted that it is hardly ever questioned or compared with other points of view. The article therefore deals with the ideas of people in different cultures at different times and the implications that arise from them.

Western intellectual history

Prehistoric times

Little is known about the image of man and the self-understanding of man in ancient times, but there are artistic, probably religious testimonies such as images of people and gods. Proven funeral rites indicate ideas of the afterlife and concern for the deceased.

Origin of the world

In almost all advanced cultures of antiquity and the societies that followed them there are stories of creation ( myths ) that reflect people's worldview and self-image.

Man and deity

In ancient Greece and Rome, as well as in Mesopotamia, there were a multitude of gods that were superior to humans, but also resembled them. In contrast to the gods, humans are viewed as mortal, which is why “mortals” was used to describe humans. Humans and gods cultivate a multitude of loves or enmities with one another and with one another and are equally entangled in passions (see e.g. the legend of Odysseus ). Otherwise, the ancient image of man is also shaped by slavery and social inequalities. The philosophy flourished in ancient times, it will be made far-reaching reflections on the people and society, on the one part, refers to this day.

In monotheism , the separation between man and God is far more concise. The one god tolerates no other gods beside him; He ties his work to the conclusion of a covenant , by means of which he promises his people protection and blessings if they stick to their basic rules and instructions (especially the Ten Commandments ).

The difference between man and God (monotheism) / gods is seen in religious societies in the fact that a god is the supreme being that - itself subject to other, no or obscure rules - created man in the first place, that created him (e.g. B. in Christianity or Islam ) will one day judge, and which in the meantime has every power to influence human life. Man appears as dependent on God or on the gods. In Christianity, sin , for example in relation to free will , is of great importance.

In different cultures people could become gods and were worshiped as such. Secular rulers such as some of the pharaohs , or those in the Central American cultures of the Maya or Aztecs claimed to be gods as humans, rulers of heaven and earth.

In the Asian culture, in contrast to Judeo-Christian societies, a Buddhist- influenced view of people predominates . It is characterized by the fact that God and man fall into one. Creator and creature do not exist independently of one another. God expresses himself as the all-pervading life force in creation. For this reason, the term “God” has no meaning in Buddhism, since “God” essentially expresses a demarcation from humans. This view is of decisive importance for the image of man. It throws man back on himself and the creation around him. He is not accountable to any super being outside of himself, but has to answer his actions and omissions to himself alone. Every exercise of an effect on the environment is equivalent to an effect on one's own self, since the creative in man (God) and man as part of the world are not different from one another (cf. also pantheism ).

middle Ages

The European Middle Ages (approx. 600–1500) are shaped by faith and superstition , by accepting one's own fate from God's hand, by fear of hell , by passing on ancient knowledge and especially at the end of it by the rediscovery of ancient times. Trade with the Orient offers the opportunity to spread knowledge and inventions. The rule of the nobility is portrayed as willed by God, inequality between people is usually accepted (habeas corpus).

Humanism, Liberalism and Enlightenment

The humanism represents a break with the former ideas, the center is now the man, the individual . The philosophy of the Enlightenment achieves a synthesis of ancient and more recent ideas of man. The light of the Enlightenment should enable the rational person to shed old superstitions, to recognize himself, to regulate his own interests and those of society sensibly . Scientific and rational thinking is finding its way. As a result of the French Revolution, the bourgeoisie overcame the rule of the church and the nobility and developed a new self-image that was reflected in culture and politics.

In natural law of the early modern period, there was a tendency in many cases to derive state models and general constitutional principles from natural basic human characteristics. In this way, for. For example, Rousseau's democratic ideal was based on an optimistic view of man, while Hobbes's demand for a state monopoly on the use of force and the various demands (e.g. by Locke and Montesquieu ) for control of violence and the separation of powers were based on a more pessimistic view of man.


The industrialization leads into the modern age. The Moderne is characterized (in their self-perception) of technical inventions, cultural revolutions and progress, secularism , political of Marxism , the emancipation of women and the labor movement , liberalism , fascism and two world wars .

In The Protestant Ethics and the 'Spirit' of Capitalism, Max Weber analyzes the economic processes of industrial society, contemporary work ethics, their anchoring in Protestantism. In their famous work Dialectic of the Enlightenment , the philosophers Theodor W. Adorno and Horkheimer criticize the inhumanity of the Nazi regime and other systems as a result of the overemphasized rational thinking of the Enlightenment: the concentration camps functioned perfectly technically organized according to rational viewpoints that add to the value of people quantified its material value.

In the second half of the 20th century, modern capitalist western societies emerged on the basis of democracy and human rights . The individual appears as a citizen and consumer , as a voter and as an employee . Prosperity and further rationalization are arriving. In the competing Eastern bloc , dogmatic socialism is supposed to realize the teachings of Karl Marx . The persecution of so-called deviants from the party line , authoritarian regimes and lack of freedom are the result.


The existentialism as a popular school of thought of the avant-garde of the 1950s paints a picture of modern man who is thrown into a meaningless world, meaning must be donated by himself.

With the student movement of 1968, with upheavals such as the powerful pop culture , a new image of man was introduced. The 68ers protest against a supposedly frozen society in West and East, a technocracy that does not give the individual any space, but demands appropriate behavior. Irrational aspects of human beings such as imagination are opposed by the 68s , esotericism , utopias , but also art and culture are expressions of this attitude.

In philosophy, philosophers such as Gilles Deleuze or Jacques Derrida outline the basic features of a new philosophy of man. They turn against the apparently self-evident unambiguities, binary decisions, codifications that have shaped the way people think about people and the world so far.

The postmodernism is characterized by the coexistence of a variety of views on the people of divergent new and old lifestyles . What they usually have in common, however, is the will to pluralism and tolerance . In the 1970s and 1980s, the ecology movement developed a holistic view of man, in which the integration of man into nature is particularly emphasized. Youth movements such as punk or new wave propagate a melancholic to pessimistic- nihilistic view of people.

What makes a person?

Biological being and person

The question of what a person is and what is not is very fundamental, especially when it comes to whether it is a person in the sense of law or ethics. So the question is, when does life begin? B. a fertilized egg or an embryo is already a human, notoriously controversial in Western societies.

Distinctions have also been and are made within mankind, for example with regard to gender, age or race. Up until the 19th century there was a debate in theology , but also in science and politics, about whether women should be considered human or not and, if so, whether they were "full" people or just an inferior special form. The question of whether someone should be regarded as a human being also played an important role in the justification of slavery .

The differentiation between humans and animals is based on the assumption that humans have both instincts and the ability to reflect on themselves. This is how he differs (in his behavior ) from other living beings.

The image of man in the German constitution

The Basic Law's image of man is not that of an isolated sovereign individual; Rather, the Basic Law has decided the tension between the individual and the community in the sense of the person's relationship to and community, without affecting their intrinsic value. This results in particular from an overall view of Articles 1, 2, 12, 19 and 20 of the Basic Law . This means, however, that the individual must put up with those barriers to his freedom of action that the legislature draws for the maintenance and promotion of social coexistence within the limits of what is generally reasonable in the given circumstances, provided that the independence of the person is preserved. (BVerfGE 4, 7, 15 f.)

Legal capacity, beginning and end

His legal capacity generally begins with the completion of the birth. An exception can be found in inheritance law, since an unborn child can already function as an heir and thus receive rights.

However, this does not correspond to the general idea of ​​the beginning of human existence, but is only very practical for legal purposes, because it is usually easy to date. According to Roman Catholic and Buddhist teachings, humans begin with procreation, since the genetic makeup is already complete there and the spirit-soul works and gives them personal dignity including all human rights . Others start with the formation of several cells. Still others do not recognize a point in time of the incarnation, but a development in which the fetus becomes more and more human. This question is of practical importance especially in the case of abortion . The advocates of an early man therefore speak of murder, while others have no moral problem killing the fetus because they do not yet see it as a human.

It should be noted that the newborn was not always considered a full human being. Often the child was only counted as a person with the development of language. This discussion became very practical in the reflections on the speechless Kaspar Hauser . Abandoning a child used to be common. Foundlings were left to fate.

The question of the end of man is gaining in importance with increasing medical technology . Cardiac arrest must, however, B. do not mean final death. The onset of brain death is clearer, but more difficult to determine. The question becomes practical when - for example after an accident - a person is kept in a coma with the help of apparatus , but regaining full vital functions seems impossible. Very different ideas about it mean that elderly people are recommended a living will in which they can write down their own ideas about it and make it binding for the treating physician.

human and animal

In the European worldview there is a clear conceptual distinction between humans and animals . This clear demarcation does not exist in all cultures: In some Southeast Asian languages ​​the great apes are counted among humans; orang utan is the forest man and orang asli is a local - they are all quasi people. Conversely, people who differ significantly from their own group are occasionally not counted among the people: In Brazil, the indigenous people there are sometimes referred to as "forest animals".

In classical philosophy and in the Christian image of man, humans have a clearly prominent position vis-à-vis animals because of their spiritual soul ( spirit ). According to the beginning of the Tanakh (Genesis 1 and 2), this position of man and woman is not based on physical differences, because land animals arise there just like man from earth or, like man, on the 6th day of creation. There, humans are given special tasks: they should give the animals names - this requires complex language skills. He is also supposed to look after a garden - this is reminiscent of the systematic utilization of plants (such as in agriculture), and he should rule over nature (here one can also think of keeping pets and the use of fire - important for cooking, heating and metal processing). God breathes the breath of life into man, whereby he is (does not have) a living soul; he is created in his image. This corresponds to the almost universal spread of religiosity. These peculiarities of human beings are aware of them, so that there is an effort to anchor their exercise as fundamental rights: freedom of religion, expression of opinion, science and art. In the more recent scientific view, the “special position of humans” is based on their use of a symbolic language and writing, whereas animals only have approaches to learning and forming traditions.

In many cultures people adorn themselves with names of animals: eagle, lion, fox, wolf etc. are popular self-names, as can also be recognized from first names and titles. In contrast, there are derogatory terms, such as B. pig, sow, rat, dog, donkey. Some animals, such as B. Camel, are used appreciatively in some cultures and disparagingly in others. The terms human (literally: human) and bestial (literally: "animal") imply that humans are mild while animals are raw. Often, however, human actions are described as bestial that hardly or not at all occur in animals. Conversely, human is often used to describe a behavior that occurs in animals in an analogous form.


Definition of terms

Dehumanization or dehumanization is the perception or designation of people or groups of people as non-human, subhuman or in a negative way superhuman (such as monsters). People are thus denied their humanity (humanity) or their human quality.

Dehumanization happens in two ways:

  • The deprivation of traits that the person believes distinguish humans from animals (such as complex emotions such as morality or guilt, but also culture). Here people are devalued to animals or inadults . Even a child is not seen as a fully capable actor, but rather as a neuter compared to an adult ( the child).
  • The deprivation of characteristics that are typically human (warmth, openness, etc.). Here people are devalued to objects .

Dehumanization is often accompanied by emotions such as contempt , disgust or disgust as well as a lack of empathy and makes moral principles appear to be no longer valid towards the person (group). To this extent, it serves functions to stabilize the identity of a person (group), for example by reducing moral emotions, by generating feelings of superiority or justifying conflicts. Therefore, the dehumanization of minorities leads, among other things, to a lack of willingness to help, to tolerating violence and encouraging violence against the minority. Conversely, this behavior towards others leads to the dehumanization of the perpetrators themselves.

In everyday life, dehumanization is often reflected in stereotypes , patterns of interpretation , metaphors ( animal metaphors , object metaphors , etc.) or swear words ( dysphemisms ), through which certain characteristics are seen as typical for some people, while others are denied.

Scientific explanation

Dehumanization is scientifically explained in particular by theories of psychology and sociology . These include, for example, numerous power theories , such as the theory of established-outsider relationships ( Norbert Elias ).

Further description of examples

To this day, dehumanization is widespread in practically all societies and does not only affect social minorities, as the dehumanization of femininity shows , for example .

Dehumanization has z. B. in the National Socialist racial hygiene led to the concept of so - called life unworthy of life : In National Socialism , mentally ill and mentally and physically disabled people were murdered on this basis.

However, the systematic mass murders committed against the Jews as well as the Sinti and Roma are to be seen as the result of a similar dehumanization of the respective groups of victims.

The standard of value that was expressed was related to an alleged lack of benefit (i.e. work for the community) of the victims, but also to genetic material that was “to be exterminated” . This thinking was also culturally expressed in a different form than persecution of the swing youth or artists (see Degenerate Art ): Deviations from the “normal” were not tolerated; “Healthy”, “clean”, “tidy”, “healthy” were ideal - as is also reflected in the art of National Socialism .

The communists also knew the dehumanization of their opponents. During the Cold War , “the Western Europeans” and especially “the Americans” were considered “ decadent ”, “ bourgeois ” and “in decline”. The cover name Aktion Verziefer is used for a resettlement campaign of several thousand GDR citizens near the inner-German border .

Similar segregation is applied to felons. In a preliminary form one speaks of inhuman or of bestiality . One “becomes an animal” is a popular saying when one denies oneself or others characteristics in certain phases that one regards as “typically human”.

In wars, opponents were often demonized and demonized: They should be perceived as a collective threat, as a mass , as evil , not as human individuals, in order to disinhibit one's own soldiers and facilitate the use of military force. The danger of excesses and brutal derailments, such as in the Second World War or in the Iraqi prison Abu Ghraib, is growing .

In addition to all social groups, middle-class society is also familiar with exclusion as a result of prejudices (sometimes also discrimination ). This affects people who do not fit into their worldview, for example people with a criminal background, radicals , extremists or people who, due to their way of life, are met with little or no acceptance, such as the " bum ". See also: Heuschreckendebatte , From the dictionary of the monster

An explanation for the dehumanization, along with calculated propaganda, is provided by social psychology with the Benjamin Franklin effect . The techniques of neutralization and the Milgram and Stanford Prison experiments also offer explanatory approaches . The obedience towards higher powers or ideas, and their respective representatives, is an approach to it.

Legal philosophy also considers contrasting the idea of ​​humanity with the social reality of dehumanization.

Western civilization combined with the old idea of civil rights and the process of civilization are to be understood as an idea and a way to oppose “ barbarism ”.


Heritage and Environment, Determinism and Free Will

Which characteristics of a person are inherited and which are acquired through the environment has always been a matter of dispute. In addition to the extreme views that assume that humans are completely predetermined by their genetic make-up or that humans are fully educable (“ tabula rasa ”), there are many degrees of opinions that see humans more or less predetermined by their genetic makeup.

Both sides can provide sufficient examples of the inheritance and environmental impact of human characteristics, so that extreme views have become rare today. In addition to the two extremes, there is also the imprint , an irreversible environmental impact.

Philosophically and religiously , these questions are of great importance in the discussion about free will. If a free will is postulated, then there are areas that are neither determined by heritage nor by the environment. In contrast to this stands the view that humans are completely determined . Here, too, there are the mediating views that man is partly free and partly predetermined.

The great Western political ideas, such as human dignity , the creed of freedom , equality and solidarity and democracy , are based on the idea of, or at least on the assumption and commitment to the fundamental freedom and personal responsibility of the individual.

The prevailing Western image of man can therefore be roughly outlined with a corresponding methodical trinity ( triad (culture) ). After that, man has

  • a natural heritage,
  • a culture and
  • a free will.

The weighting is different, depending on which field of science one leans towards, natural sciences, cultural and educational sciences or political philosophy.

These questions are also very practical in everyday life:

Education is about the question of what education can actually achieve. If one assumes a very strong predetermination of abilities through inheritance (“ talents ”), then one has to determine this talent in order to promote it. The education to abilities that are not innate is then excluded or carried out only with great effort. In the past, the question of right-handedness was assumed to have an impact on the environment and attempts were made to raise all children to be right-handed. Today it is assumed that handedness is innate, and children are allowed to write with the hand that appears "right" for them.

Assuming strong environmental influences, state education tends to want to compensate for the differences between the influences of different parental homes. People are “born the same” and according to this view the inequalities are injustices that have to be compensated for in school as much as possible.

The image of man also has a considerable influence on criminal policy. People with the idea that criminals are "made" into criminals tend to give heavy weight to rehabilitation measures and reject the "locking up" of the perpetrators. Conversely, people with the idea that one is “born a criminal” tend to lock up criminals. According to her, rehabilitation efforts are not promising. There is also a widespread belief that both hereditary predisposition and environmental influences come together when a person becomes a criminal. This is where the intentions to lock up mix with those of rehabilitation.

Advertising is based on the idea that people can be influenced. This in turn presupposes that inherited laws governing the behavior of people who are addressed by advertising are assumed. The limits of this notion become visible in international corporations that occasionally adapt their advertising campaigns to the respective culture.

Equality or inequality?

The old controversial question of whether all people are the same or different is also determined by the image of man. Obviously, all people outwardly have something in common. People are also similar in their basic needs and their basic emotional structure.

Just as obviously there are also differences, so that we can identify individual people, which would not be possible if everyone were the same. Opinions are divided on the question of how equal people are. The ideas of whether people should be the same or different are even more different . Since the Enlightenment there has been a consensus in free social systems that all people should have the same basic rights.

Psychology of human images

In social psychology , a separate examination of the image of man takes place within the framework of the examination of attitudes . The image of man is specifically defined as a structure of attitudes.

The image of man is the totality of assumptions and beliefs about what man is by nature, how he lives in his social and material environment and what values ​​and goals his life has or should have. It includes the self-image and the image of other people or of people in general. This image of man is developed by each individual, but contains much that is also typical for the views of other people or larger groups and communities. It contains traditions of culture and society, value orientations and answers to basic questions of life. Many of the views are likely to be traced back to some fundamental beliefs. These beliefs differ from other attitudes through their systematic importance, mentally laying the groundwork and their personally perceived validity, through their certainty and importance. The assumptions about people have many and different contents and form an individual pattern with core and peripheral issues. From a psychological point of view, the image of man is a subjective theory that makes up an essential part of personal everyday theories and world views .

The basic beliefs often include religious belief, belief in God and a spiritual existence after biological death (immortality of the soul), spirituality , free will , principles of ethics , social responsibility and other values. Images of man accordingly contain convictions that have a high level of personal validity; they are personal constructions and interpretations of the world resulting from upbringing and individual life experience.

Image of man as a subjective theory

There are several similar or largely synonymous terms in psychology. Everyday theories or subjective theories are the perceptions that people have developed about their living environment. There are terms, attributions of properties ( attributions ), in particular of causes (causal interpretations) and other concepts of how people orient themselves in the world and understand relationships. Everyday psychology has the important function of making the behavior of other people understandable, subjectively predictable and controllable. In contrast to the explanatory hypotheses of scientists, personal constructs of a person denote schemes for capturing the world. People go in order to understand other people or what is happening in the world, like scientists do - this is also the basic claim of George A. Kelly . People interpret their perceptions, they develop assumptions and test them against their recurring experiences. The system of personal constructs is subject to continuous change through new experiences. Implicit anthropology contains the entire and therefore unique life experience gathered by the individual. It forms the frame of reference to orientate yourself, classify other people, solve problems and cope with life. Values ​​are based on typical values, e.g. B. characterized humanistic, Christian, democratic values. Self-concepts are all attitudes or assessments related to the person.

Research on such everyday theories (including Laucken) has long known how differentiated the “naive” behavioral theories can be. a. through traditional ideas and through learning from one's own experience. You are e.g. Sometimes with additional assumptions and with causal interpretations (in contrast to scientific, causal explanations) shaped similarly to the concepts originating from specialist science. However, they are often subliminal and not fully formulated, so that they first have to be explored using suitable methods.

Image of man vs personality theory

Images of man as subjective theories and scientific theories of personality differ in various ways. Personality theories give a generalized description of the structure and function of personality traits; H. Personality traits , motives , emotions , etc. The scientific program is to precisely describe the psychophysical individuality of the human being, to understand it as a personality and to explain it in terms of its genetically, familial and socio-cultural development. Numerous fields of research in psychology are bundled in these tasks, and there is an almost unmanageable variety of heterogeneous, more or less developed personality theories. These also include social attitudes, value orientations and beliefs, but usually exclude the basic philosophical and religious beliefs and questions of meaning.

Personality theories are usually much more differentiated, conceptually elaborated, formally structured and, in some cases, empirically verified, using certain research methods. Exist between the individual human images and the psychological personality and motivation theories so formal differences, and the structures have different intentions: orientation of the individual in the personal living environment or systematic, reliable knowledge.

Differential psychology of human images

The philosopher Alwin Diemer demonstrated with a series of characteristic quotations how opposing humans can be determined . Terms such as zoon politikon , homo rationale , homo faber , homo oeconomicus , or humans as the undetected animal, as a socially determined, working and productive living being or as a socially damaged reflective being are known. Such guiding principles were also shaped from a psychological point of view: the unconscious drive claims, learning from the model , the constant search for meaning, self-realization , etc. Psychological phenomena are traced back to an allegedly underlying functional principle or to a fundamental contradiction. In contrast to such simplifications or distorted images, differential psychology requires a much broader empirical view of the numerous facets of the human image.

The psychology of human images has several interlaced perspectives. What basic assumptions about people can be found in individuals or in the population? On the other hand, which images of people - in the sense of assumptions or preliminary decisions - do the authors of scientific personality theories reveal? What image of man does the author of a textbook document through the selection and special weighting of personality theories and methods? The distinction made earlier between the scientific theories of personality and the assumptions of everyday psychological theories cannot therefore be very sharp. Even in the scientific theories there are often very preliminary assumptions and in the everyday theories there are also psychological knowledge components from research, i. H. details popularized by the media. Many psychologists use questionnaires and interviews and use the answers they receive to import elements of everyday theories into their conceptions. In addition, the everyday theories of the population are in turn the subject of scientific psychology.

Research on images of human beings belongs to a border area of ​​personality and developmental psychology , social and cultural psychology and knowledge psychology. This opens up many perspectives: B. socio-psychologically with regard to stereotypes and prejudices and their consequences for intercultural understanding.

Research approaches

The individual image of man can be captured by the method of the interview and approximately also by questionnaires; More thorough insights, on the other hand, will only be found in psychological-biographical studies (and also in everyday behavior). The methodology of social psychological research on attitudes and values ​​is best developed; there are now numerous questionnaires and standardized scales for religious psychology as well . Also in some representative social science surveys was u. a. asked about convictions of values ​​and the meaning of life, about religiosity and spirituality. Other surveys showed the images of people of certain groups, e.g. B. from students of psychology or from psychotherapists. Finally, the autobiographies of psychologists, psychotherapists or philosophers can be evaluated in terms of content to determine whether they give any clues to the image of man.

The first task would be to empirically explore the diversity of images of man and to look for frequent patterns. Secondly, the historical, contemporary, religious, sociocultural and other conditions for the emergence and change of beliefs should be asked systematically. For example, it could be investigated how central assumptions of the image of man change as a result of a specialist degree, for example in psychology, education or medicine. The special contents of the textbooks give another perspective, because the authors will inevitably reveal their own convictions when they select and present certain theories. People images have the function of models in different areas of life and thus also in the fields of applied psychology , including industrial psychology , organizational psychology , industrial psychology , educational psychology , education, health psychology and psychotherapy .

The individual images of people will have an impact on everyday life. But do they also influence the professional practice of doctors, psychotherapists and judges if they take on responsibility for other people? Empirical studies on the differential psychology of human images could provide more information about these relationships.

Debate in Psychotherapy

The different images of man in the psychotherapy directions can be understood as models for therapeutic action. Since the debate about Sigmund Freud's atheistic and pessimistic view of man, there have been ongoing discussions about the understanding of man, about human values ​​and ethics in psychotherapy. The images of man existing in the various directions of psychotherapy cannot, however, simply be determined. The images of man of the important pioneers are seldom to be found in a systematic, elaborate way. Often there are striking and pointed quotes around which there are controversies, which should soon be put into perspective in the context of other statements. In the first place of the source interpretation are of course the biography and work of the founder of a certain psychotherapy direction.

While in the first phase the focus was on Freud's concept of man and psychoanalysis, the interest subsequently turned mainly to the behavioral therapist’s concept of man and the models of new currents, for example the “psychology of the good life”, the “ideology of the new spirituality”, on fundamentalist ideologies, dogmas and myths in the psycho scene. The extent to which certain models actually affect the therapy goals, the therapeutic process and the assessment of success has hardly been investigated empirically.

Klaus Holzkamp's “Critical Psychology” (about 1969–1985 widely received in the FRG) also emphasizes the concept of man and describes an active, consciously working person who appropriates nature with reference to the Marxist psychology of Alexei Nikolajewitsch Leontjew .

Management theory

Douglas McGregor developed the theories Theory X and Theory Y , two opposing views of man with regard to the relationship between people and their work.

McGregor's student Edgar Schein developed a typology with a distinction between four different images of people and derived consequences for the organization and managers. These four people pictures are: the rational economic man ( rational-economic one , even homo economicus ), social man ( social one ), the self-actualizing person ( self-actualizing one ) and the complex human being ( complex one ). According to Schein, managers make assumptions about their employees, at least implicitly, and their management decisions depend on this image of human beings.

See also


  • Jens Asendorpf : Psychology of Personality. Springer, Heidelberg 2003. (3rd edition) ISBN 978-3-540-71684-6 .
  • Axel W. Bauer : body image and body understanding. The view of sick and healthy people in the history of medicine - illustrated using selected examples. In: Evangelische Akademie Iserlohn (Ed.), Conference Protocol 82-1977: 'Cold Embryos' and 'Warm Corpses'. Body understanding and corporeality. Christian anthropology and medicine. Conference of the Evangelical Academy Iserlohn from August 29 to 31, 1997. Iserlohn 1998, pp. 21–38.
  • Charles S. Carver, Michael F. Scheier: Perspectives on personality. Allyn and Bacon, Boston MA 1996. (5th. Ed.) ISBN 0-205-37576-6 .
  • Alwin Diemer : Elementary Philosophy Course. Philosophical anthropology. Econ, Düsseldorf 1978, pp. 57-72, ISBN 3-430-12068-3 .
  • Jochen Fahrenberg: Assumptions about people. Images of people from a psychological, biological, religious and intercultural point of view. Asanger, Heidelberg 2004, ISBN 3-89334-416-0 .
  • Jochen Fahrenberg: What do psychology students think about the brain-consciousness problem, about free will, transcendence, and the influence of philosophical preliminary decisions on professional practice? Journal of Psychology, Vol. 14, 2006, pp. 302-330.
  • Jochen Fahrenberg: Psychological Anthropology - A questionnaire study on the image of man by 800 students of psychology, philosophy and natural sciences. e-Journal Philosophy of Psychology. No. 5, 2006, pp. 1-20 ( pdf , 199 kB).
  • Jochen Fahrenberg: Images of Man. Psychological, biological, intercultural and religious views. Psychological and interdisciplinary anthropology. ( PsyDok ).
  • Hermann-Josef Fisseni: Personality Psychology. An overview of theories. Hogrefe, Göttingen 2003. (5th edition), ISBN 3-430-12068-3 .
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  • George A. Kelly: The Psychology of Personal Constructs. Junfermann-Verlag, Paderborn 1986.
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  • Lawrence A. Pervin: Personality Theories . Reinhardt, Munich 1981. (4th edition), ISBN 3-8252-8035-7 .
  • Bodo Rollka, Friederike Schultz: Communication instrument image of man. On the use of images of man in social discourse. VS-Verlag, Wiesbaden 2011, ISBN 978-3-531-17297-2 .
  • René Thalmair: The human image of homo europaeus. Aspects of the image of man in the Treaty establishing a Constitution in Europe. Peter Land Verlag, Frankfurt a. M. 2007, ISBN 978-3-631-55731-0 .
  • Lawrence S. Wrightsman: Assumptions about human nature. Sage Publisher Newbury Park ca. 2nd. ed. 1992, ISBN 0-8039-2775-4 .

Web links

Wiktionary: Image of man  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

References and comments

  1. ↑ For more information, see Reinhold Zippelius , Rechtssphilosophie , 6th edition, § 17 II
  2. BVerfGE 4, 7, 15 f. on
  3. ^ Franz Graf-Stuhlhofer : Basis preach. Basics of the Christian faith in sermons, plus a didactic homiletics for advanced students. VTR, Nuremberg 2010, p. 74 f.
  4. Gereon Wolters : Article Evolution . In: Encyclopedia Philosophy and Philosophy of Science, ed. v. Jürgen Mittelstraß, Vol. 1, 1980, p. 612.
  5. See Jobst Paul: The> Animal <construct - and the birth of racism. On the cultural presence of a damning argument . Unrast, 2004. ISBN 3-89771-731-X .
  6. a b Markus Antonius Wirtz: Lexicon of Psychology. 17th ed. Bern 2015. Keyword: dehumanization
  7. Martin Weißmann: Organized dehumanization. On the production, function and substitutability of social and psychological dehumanization in genocides . In: Alexander Gruber; Stefan Kühl (ed.): Sociological analyzes of the Holocaust. Beyond the debate about “completely normal men” and “completely normal Germans” . Springer, Wiesbaden 2015, ISBN 978-3-658-06894-3 , pp. 79-128 .
  8. ^ Herbert C. Kelman: Violence without Moral Restraint . In: Journal of Social Issues . No. 29 , 1973, pp. 25-61 .
  9. ^ Axel Montenbruck : civil religion. A philosophy of law III. Superstructure: democratic humanism, socially real dehumanization, dissolution to the synthetic pragmatism of the “middle world”. University Library of the Free University of Berlin, 2010, a. a. P. 113 ff (open access) .
  10. ^ Axel Montenbruck: civilization. A legal anthropology. State and people, violence and law, culture and nature , 2nd edition 2010, 58 ff ( civilizing state and human model ), University Library of the Free University of Berlin (open access)