In this doctoral thesis, I set out the hypothesis that the respective definition and understanding of human nature to a significant extent determine the law at meta-, macro- and micro-phenomenon, and thus determine respective reflection on the law (or the philosophy of law), the basic concepts of general and abstract law (which are the subject of the theory of law), and the way of applying the law (individual and concrete legal decision-making); therefore, I argue that the study of respective conception of human nature is one of the tasks of the philosophy of law. The concept of human nature is studied by philosophical anthropology; therefore, I propose its introduction into the field of the study of law, in a contemporary personalistic version, which does not discuss human nature in an unambiguous and absolutely definite way, but is aware of the difficulty of defining the human essence and the danger of predominance of one single idea of man. Such philosophical anthropology contributes to the overall treatment of man in law, as the law is a reflection of the diverse characteristics of man, or a reflection of various anthropological assumptions, which each in themselves do not fully embrace the possibility of a substantive definition of human nature.
The core text of this thesis is divided in two parts. In the first part, I ask myself whether and how the conception of human nature contributes to determining the philosophy of the law in respect of some of the most important authors and within its central fields; furthermore, I am interested in whether and how the conception of human nature contributes to the definition of some basic concepts of general and abstract law (studied by the theory of law); finally, I examine whether and how the conception of human nature marks the application of the law in concrete and individual legal decision-making. In the second core part of the doctoral thesis, in which I upgrade the findings from the first core part, I answer the question of whether one can rightly speak of a single and isolated conception of human nature at the various levels of the legal phenomenon, or whether there are many anthropological assumptions of the law (both synchronous and diachronic) and the possibility of their coexistence; I review and evaluate the implications of a jurisprudence knowledge type, which bases on a substantially unilateral anthropological assumption, and compare such treatment of human nature with the method of treatment offered by contemporary personalistically-oriented philosophical anthropology; I am interested in whether contemporary (personalistically-oriented) philosophical anthropology approaches the treatment of human nature and in its points of contact with the integrative study of the law; when and because I determine the contact points, I finally wonder whether and why philosophical anthropology can be important for the philosophy of law (and more broadly: to the study of law).
I place the doctoral thesis into the field of the philosophy of law; my approach to the study of law is interdisciplinary; the understanding of the law requires the knowledge of not only legal norms, but also the facts and values and the genesis of the creation of a contemporary law, by which I approach integrative jurisprudence. I devote the main attention to contemporary law as the (post) modern law of the Roman-Germanic and (partially) Anglo-American cultural circle. The interdisciplinary study of law involves linking knowledge of law with philosophical anthropology. I fail to understand “human nature”, the central subject of philosophical anthropology, as a fact which requires a certain nature, form, and subject-matter of the law, but as a normative category, which is often “disguised” in a (natural) fact, which can cause dangerous ideological forms in the field of the law and the wider area. The task of contemporary personalistically-oriented philosophical anthropology is to recognise the development and implications of such patterns and determine under which conditions it is possible (non-ideologically or the least apodictically) to speak of “human nature” in the field of law and its study. This is an important and far-reaching contribution of philosophical anthropology, which is why I propose its introduction into the field of the study of law.
The possibility of the ideologisation of “human nature” should not blur the fundamental belief that the law is entirely a human phenomenon or phenomenon, for which we cannot provable say that it can be recognised and used by anyone other than man. Whence the task of the philosophy of law and jurisprudence to approach, with the selection of the right method, to the treatment of “human nature” as to one of the assumptions for the emergence of law. The philosophy of law and jurisprudence can deal with the concept of human nature in two basic ways: (1) they can treat the respective (dominant) anthropological assumption as a factor, which relevantly determines the law at different levels of its phenomenon, and (2) (in the context of teachings on the nature of things) they can consider human characteristics and features as a reality which co-determines (in particular) the content at the abstract and concrete level of the law. The treatment of “the image of the man in the law” and human features using the theory of the nature of things are contributions to the humanistic philosophy of law. Neo-and anti-ideological treatment of the concept of human nature is humanistic for two reasons: (1) it is aware that the man with individual and collective, more or less universal, but always contingent characteristics, which (not even one of them) should not be disregarded (if they are related to the subject of legal regulation) is in the centre of the law, and because of this awareness (2) fails to exclude anything that is or could be human, thereby consolidating the human dimension of law and defending the supreme value of human dignity.