Metaphysical and Anthropological Principles of the Self-Made-Man Idea in Western Philosophy of the 17th Century
Keywords:Self-made-man idea, self-defined personality, worldview legitimation, philosophy of the 17th century
Purpose. The main purpose of this research is to comprehend the philosophical principles in the spread and legitimation of the Self-made-man idea in the worldview transformations of the 17th century. Theoretical basis. Historical and comparative methods became fundamental ones for the research. The research is based on the creative heritage of R. Descartes, T. Hobbes, J. Locke, as well as the works of modern researchers. Originality. The analysis shows that the Self-made-man idea, which originated in the ancient world and gradually spreads in the Christian Middle Ages, gained a powerful impetus in the philosophical and moral-legal metamorphoses of the 17th century. These metamorphoses theoretically substantiated and radically accelerated the transition from mystical to rational, from theocentric to the anthropocentric worldview, and, as a result, to the recognition of the intellectual autonomy of the individuals and the freedom of their own will, the emergence of the construct of natural human rights, the requirements of religious tolerance and freedom of conscience, ultimately, to the principle of reliance on one’s own strength and the individual’s personal responsibility for one’s own destiny. Exactly these ideas in interaction with the ideas of Puritanism became the theoretical basis for the formation of B. Franklin’s views and the corresponding cultural code. Conclusions. The philosophy of the 17th century, having laid the principles of a new – subject-centric – metaphysics, as well as the philosophical and legal foundations of liberal ideology, provided philosophical and moral-legal legitimation to the sporadic attempts of man to break out of the triple circle of fatalism, paternalism, and conformity to a rationally founded and the ever-growing orientation of the individual towards active self-determination and self-realization, self-reliance and personal responsibility for their own destiny as key principles of the Self-made-man concept.
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