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Philosophy 4 Pages

The Place Of The Human Being



1. John of Salisbury describes society as a body. The cover image of Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan shows the body of the sovereign as comprised of members of society. Discuss the difference. 

2. Discuss the difference between the place of the human being in the great chain of being and in Pico della Mirandola’s “The Dignity of Man.” 

3. Revenge and suicide were two common practices in ancient and medieval honour codes. As Hamlet is dying, Horatio says, “I am more an antique Roman than a Dane” (V.ii.343). How does this line and Hamlet’s response to it help to make sense of Hamlet’s response to revenge in the play?


Title: The Place Of The Human Being
Length: 4 pages (1106 Words)
Style: MLA


The Place of the Human Being

In the “Great Chain of Being”, the author describes all existing beings, objects, and creatures on the face of the earth as having their specific place which has been divinely planned in a hierarchical order. This hierarchy which extends vertically places all existing creatures and objects on various levels based on power and other specifications. In grading the objects, spirit, and matter were greatly considered in that the less spirit and the more matter the object contained, the lower that specific object stood in the hierarchy. In this hierarchy, the lowest of them all were objects such as stones and metals as well as the four elements which include water, fire, earth and air. Vegetation in this hierarchy was higher up than such stone and metal objects. Animals followed after the higher classes of vegetation and then came the humans. After the humans came the angels and then God, who is the sovereign being and topmost with regards to power.

In the "Oration on the Dignity of Man" by Pico Della Mirandola, Humans are depicted as being the most fortunate of all creatures and objects on earth and as being worth of all the admiration given to him on the Chain of Being. Della Mirandola concurs with the general notion that human beings are the intermediaries between all creatures, closest to the gods, master of all the lower beings and creatures, and with his intelligence and reasoning, the interpreter of nature. Generally, the author in the "Oration on the Dignity of Man," tries to show why he believes that human beings deserve to be placed third in the hierarchy of the Great Chain of Being.


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