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The Phenomenon of Man Paperback – 31 Mar 1975

3.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: HarperPerennial (31 Mar. 1975)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006090495X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060904951
  • Product Dimensions: 13.5 x 1.8 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 951,718 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Paperback
Teilhard’s "The Phenomenon of Man" remains one of the seminal works of the 20th Century. Written 50 years ago it is still scientifically far ahead of most modern evolutionary science, discerning an underlying pattern in evolution, beyond Darwinism, which few seem to be able to grasp. In particular, Teilhard traces the significance of the phenomenon of human consciousness as part of the cosmic order, and thus the rise of human civilisation as an integral aspect of nature.
It is curious that the perception of design and teleological order in nature should be such a challenge to science and to Christianity. Current evolutionary science generally resists any kind of shape to evolution beyond a certain level, while Christianity too often remains stuck in a dualism between Creator and the created order, and philosophy seems generally stuck in the area of Cartesian subjectivity. Even modern ecology can find no real place for humanity in the cosmos. It is because Teilhard probes far beyond these limited perspectives that his work is challenging and controversial.
It is often said that The Phenomenon of Man is a very difficult book to read, that it is abstruse or merely rhetorical. But it is difficult only because it is a larger and more comprehensive scientific vision than we are accustomed to. It challenges the limits that most scientific thinking unnecessarily imposes on reality, as well as the limits that sociology and religious dogma likewise impose upon human nature and the place of humanity within the scheme of nature. These limits arise because of the question of the nature of consciousness, which is either dismissed as an epiphenomena or else reduced to mere chemistry.
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Format: Paperback
The reading of this book is an experience in itself. I approached the Phenomenon of Man with some skepticism, as most people will, since it conforms to neither Darwinian or Creationist dogma. Its putative teleology within a spiritual framework is a dissent from both views. What you notice, though, is the immense intellect behind this work. The process of formal argument anticipates and answers the counter arguments as soon as they are posed. You feel as if you are on tracks led to an inevitable conclusion. The book itself becomes analogous to the process de Chardin is proposing. It is finally the homogeneity of the spirit rather than the heterogenous complexification of the natural world which is the ultimate subject of this book. A merging of consciousness in the image of Christ is the conlusion, hardly conforming to Church doctrine of the sovereignty of the individual or free will, which led to the authors problems with the Roman Curia.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not big on academia, and I hold no particular religious affiliations, so I approached this book from a 'Joe in the street' standpoint, (and this is off the top of my head so to speak), so please forgive any discrepancies - I just felt like giving some'input'!
As I recall, Chardin refers to (amongst many other aspects of the human condition, like Love!) something he calls the noosphere, a sphere of evolutionary consciousness around the earth if you like, where (and I'm paraphrasing here) 'man discovers he is nothing else than evolution become conscious of itself' - for me the www/net (and here's where my strapline comes in folks!) would seem to be a natural part of this 'noogenesis' as he puts it, man projecting his mind outward and (hopefully) inward, if you like...
If one takes the view that humankind's role is one of being the thinking part of this organism we call earth, a mechanism such as the net (in this context) would appear to be a vital cog in the process of humankind understanding himself and others (at an increased rate!) and so would be contributing to the evolutionary process
....cosmogenesis anyone? ..Ooh yes! and repercussions all round please!..
Seriously, (well as serious as I can get) I personally found Chardin's writing illuminating and thought provoking, and I would recommend this book to anyone interested in our place in the universe...
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am not going to argue points as the author can do that for him self. I will say, many people surpassingly arrive at the same conclusions independently of this work. Even with all of today's scientific discoveries the truth in his extrapolations still hold up.

However I would read "Dinosaur in a Haystack: Reflections in Natural History" Stephen Jay Gould, before reading Book 2, chapter 2, section 3 "THE TREE OF LIFE" it will enhance the experience..

This is a five star book no matter what side of the argument you are on. Listen to Teilhard de Chardin's timeless words coming from Oskar Werner as Fr. David Telemond in "Shoes of the Fisherman" (1968)
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Format: Paperback
In the most serious intent to transcend dualism Teilhard de Chardin not only put the bases for a new worldview but also made the most clear distintion between the without of things and the within of things. In this way he opened the doors to start thinking in a new concept of unity in which the qualitative aspect of reality is just as important as the quantitative. Another important Teilhard contribution is the concept of "The Perception of Space-time" not as a linear-mathematical framework but as a new sphere of reality he also called DURATION as Bergson did...In the last century...has been taking place in our minds: the definite access of consciouness to a scale of new dimensions; and in consequence the birth of an entirely new universe.
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