The Status of the Humanities

(especially the Philosophies of Man)

The above considerations could perhaps be generalized -- only as a preliminary quest, not answered in full on this website, because it is beyond its scope -- with respect to a large part of the domain of the Humanities.
The investigations of Natural Science, concerning the structure and function of the brain, especially by means of computer simulations, and the association of these (investigations) with psychic deviations and deficiencies caused by brain damage, more and more penetrate into the domain of the "spirit".
Although it is uncertain whether such investigations will finally face fundamental limits, it seems that a scientific (versus philosophical) approach keeps a lot in store. It might turn out that more and more problems initially belonging to the Humanities can be reformulated within a scientific framework. In this way Natural Science gains more and more authorization to speak and judge about the content of fields initially belonging to the Humanities. And this should be beneficial for them, they will be able to deepen their insights still further.

But if Philosophy (and as such including the relevant sections of the Humanities) is -- concerning content -- susceptible to ( relevant results of) Natural Science, then it would not be strictly autonomous (just like Biology is not strictly autonomous). According to me Philosophy is autonomous, and the mentioned discrepancy is perhaps related to the impurity of the Humanities as Philosophy, if such an impurity exists. Such a status of being not homogeneous should not be seen as a blame on the Humanities, because of the very complex matters in which they are involved. Perhaps it later turns out that a large part of their field does not belong to it, but to Natural Science, when the latter is ready to deal with the relevant problems adequately. Today it is far from that.

Nevertheless I would like to express the conjecture that the only genuine Philosophy -- which is with respect to its content clearly and strictly distinguished from Natural Science -- is :
The Metaphysics of Being, largely along the lines of Aristotle and St Thomas Aquinas (Another good candidate, which does not exclude that Metaphysics, is the Ontology of Nicolai HARTMANN, developed in the 30's and 40's of the 20th century).
And insofar as the Humanities are a metaphysics of Being, they are genuine philosophy, which means they are that forever. All the other elements within them can and should only live on as 'philosophy' as long as the very complex problems pervading them are not yet ready to be formulated within a scientific framework. So the Metaphysics of Being acquires a very special status indeed, and this is sufficient reason to delve (deeply) into it.
All this does not in any way reduce the value of the Humanities, on the contrary it underlines their diversity and their possibilities for development. They keep on playing an important role for the evaluation of for instance social and personal relations.
It also does not in any way reduce human dignity, because this dignity itself demands that the human investigator describes himself correctly and honestly, as well as he possibly can.
Further it should be borne in mind that all what has been said, concerning the status of the Humanities, is no more than ' a play with ideas', and I assume this to be a legitimate activity within Philosophy, especially because it will give reason for pondering and dialogue, and it will prevent Philosophy from getting stuck into a sterile 'fundamentalism'.
If I would be forced to state a position (of mine) concerning the Mind-Body Problem, then this would read as follows :
As far as we know, we hold that man does not exist outside Nature.