What is Man? Let’s Look at Science and Philosophy
Another answer we might give to the question of “What is Man?” is the scientific answer, “A complicated animal.”
The scientific answer is much too complicated to discuss here, because as science has become more precise, it has become more specialized. The biologist, the physicist, the chemist, the social scientist each has a rather narrow view of his section of man. But each scientist will agree that in his field, man is still a complicated animal.
Another answer to our question might be given by the philosophers. Their answer would be that “man is a sample of the universe.”
Where the scientist tries to deal with a restricted portion of man in order to specialize, philosophy tries to see man with the whole world as a background. One philosophy sees man as a body-mind dualism — one physical and the other mental. Each of these has a store of energy and can bring about changes in other.
Another philosophy sees man as material and holds that the body alone is real, and that mind is either a world without meaning or a name for certain bodily functions. But the opposite of the materialistic philosophy is the idealistic philosophy which holds that only the mind and its rational processes are real — the body is just the outward appearance of what is really the mind.