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For an Anthropological Turn in Phenomenology

Zurück zum Heft: Phänomenologische Forschungen 2021-1
DOI: 10.28937/1000109078
EUR 16,90

Phenomenology, when it investigates life and living things, offers not one but two ways of doing so. It can be rooted in life and find its principle there; but it can also describe living things and exhibit their essential structure. These are two very different ways of practising phenomenology. The first one places us on the side of a first philosophy whose foundationalist ambition is clearly avowed: here, life is regarded as an ontological principle. For its part, animal phenomenology directs its interest to living beings that could be the object of an intentional description. Animality is not life; it is not a principle but a particular region of our experience, the title of an ontology that is not general but regional. I would like to propose a middle way. Indeed, I would like to start from the phenomenology of the animal in order to progressively raise it to philosophical reflection at its most general level. Animality, provided that it is amended in accordance with our animal origin, and without leaving its empirical or regional status, may be an opportunity for renewing philosophy in its fundamental categories, and not only in one of its special fields. If the path of “becoming human” uncovers empirical facts that may open a “space of reasons,” then it is up to phenomenology to rethink not only the animals and the humans but, starting from this “empirico-transcendental doubling,” also philosophy itself.