If man is a rational animal, it is surely odd that he so often debates questions whose answers must be presupposed before the debate can take place. (I use the term “man” here in its primary dictionary meaning, to denote the human species.) This oddity is particularly pronounced in discussions of human nature.
Consider two of the more perennial questions: Is man an autonomous or a conditioned being? If, or to the degree that, he is an autonomous being, is his reason the ser...
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