The Phenomenon of Man Paperback – 31 Mar 1975
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Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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...
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)
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Teilhard may be on to something but his florid and pretentious prose does nothing to illuminate his thesis and leaves him open to the criticism of Sir Peter Medawar referenced by... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Stephen Minto
Essential reading for all interested in acquiring a broad view of human development.Published 6 months ago by beatrice kennedy
I have still to discover what lies between the pages of this book, a pointless review to write then maybe and how on earth could I rate it 5 stars? Read morePublished 21 months ago by Ms. G. L. Iveson
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. Read morePublished on 18 July 2013 by bernie
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