Disembodied Ego and Non-human Dasein: The Question of Anthropological Difference


The aim of this paper is to discuss the question of anthropological difference from a phenomenological perspective, taking as the point of departure Heidegger’s view on this matter and his thesis that the relationship between man and animal is basically an abyss, a chasm that cannot be overcome in any sense, through any mediation, an “abysmal bodily kinship”. In order to carry out this analysis, it is necessary to take a brief look at the problem of embodiment. After examining this question, I will turn my attention to Heidegger’s first confrontations with Husserlian phenomenology and thus to the concept of life (Leben) developed by Heidegger in his first lectures held in Freiburg. In the course of these lectures he develops, step by step, the terminology employed in Being and Time and in later works, in order to raise the question of anthropological difference. To complete the overview of the analysis concerning anthropological difference as explained from Heidegger's perspective, I will try to argue, from a hermeneutical perspective indebted to Derrida that the difference between humanitas and animalitas cannot – and should not – be conceived of as absolute.

Keywords: anthropological difference, humanism, animality, embodiment, Dasein, ego, attunement (Befindlichkeit), being-in-the-world

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