ABSTRACT

The Phenomenon of Man stands square in the tradition of Naturphilosophie, a philosophical indoor pastime of German origin which does not seem even by accident to have contributed anything of permanent value to storehouse of human thought. French is not a language that lends itself naturally to the opaque and ponderous idiom of nature-philosophy, and Teilhard has accordingly resorted to the use of that tipsy, euphoric prose-poetry which is one of the more tiresome manifestations of the French spirit. The elemental ripple of life that emerges from each individual unit does not spread outwards in a monotonous circle formed of individual units exactly like itself. The direction of evolution must therefore be towards cerebralization, i.e. towards becoming brainier. Teilhard is widely believed to have rejected the modern Mendelian-Darwinian theory of evolution or to have demonstrated its inadequacy. Teilhard devotes some little thought to apparently insuperable problem of how to reconcile the persistence of individual consciousnesses with their assimilation to Omega.