Formation of the "Self-Made-Man" Idea in the Context of the Christian Middle Ages




self-determined personality, "Self-made-man", philosophical legitimization, philosophy of the Middle Ages


The purpose of this article is to analyze the variability of the "Self-made-man" idea in the context of the Christian Middle Ages in its primarily historical and philosophical presentation. Research is based on the historical and philosophical analysis of the medieval philosophy presented foremost by the works of Aurelius Augustine, P. Abelard, Thomas Aquinas, and also by the modern researches of this epoch. Theoretical basis. Historical, comparative, and hermeneutic methods became fundamental for this research. Originality. The conducted analysis allowed to draw a conclusion that, despite the still existing view of the Middle Ages as a kind of an ideological gap in the formation of the self-determination idea, the Christian philosophy of this period not only does not reject but also gives essentially the universal character of the ancient intention to recognize the individual’s right to self-determination and self-government, makes it not only religiously acceptable but also obligatory. Conclusions. Despite to general theocentrism, providentialism and fatalism of Christian medieval philosophy and culture in general, at its epicenter there is a man of a special type, focused on preserving spiritual autonomy and identity in the social dimensions of their existence, and at the same time, on personal responsibility for their own destiny. Such focus became a logical and somewhat unexpected result of the complex interaction of numerous factors of medieval culture, as well as the ideas and intentions inherited from Antiquity. In particular, the idea that a person who does not act freely cannot be morally responsible for what he does, as well as the intentions of the ancient sage to autonomy, autarky, and apoliticism. In the Middle Ages, this intention became essentially universal, as it became a right, even an obligation of every Christian to be free, at least from the worldly, in determining and realizing his own destiny. The gradual compromise recognition that personal salvation is possible only as a result of synergy, i.e. the co-participation of God’s grace and human freedom, legitimizes and strengthens its focus on active personal efforts and personal responsibility for one’s own salvation, in fact for one’s own destiny. All this in historical perspective was found in its radicalized and purified from all sorts of mystical and religious layers of expression in the idea of "Self-made-man".


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How to Cite

Antonova, V. Y., & Korkh, O. M. (2021). Formation of the "Self-Made-Man" Idea in the Context of the Christian Middle Ages. Anthropological Measurements of Philosophical Research, (19), 117–126.