Matthias Wunsch: »The Concept of a Person in Philosophical Anthropology«
Philosophical anthropology offers two ways of structuring the concept of person, either by locating the essence of man in his being a person or by providing a bio- philosophy of personhood. Building on the work of Helmuth Plessner, this essay aims at conciliating both structurings. It argues for the thesis that personhood is the life-form of man and discusses the main structural features of human life-form.
Hans-Peter Krüger: »Life Sciences and Globalization: The Coming Historioricity of Helmut Plessner's Philosophical Anthropology«
Helmuth Plessner’s Philosophical Anthropology presents a threefold challenge to contemporary scientific endeavours. Plessner’s philosophy of nature could integ- rate the biological life sciences into a qualitative understanding of nature. Since the public and private roles of persons are threatened by monopolies, Plessner’s philosophy of history can help to elucidate how the results of Western modernity are stripped off their origins by global capitalism.
Joachim Fischer: »Plessner‘s theory of human behaviour: action and dance; role and performance; politics and fight; laughing, crying and smiling«
Behaviour is a key term in Plessner’s philosophical biology and anthropology.
»Eccentric positionality« means the embeddedness of all human modes of be- haviour in the spectrum of animal behaviour (centric positionality) and at the same time the evoulutionary emergence of original patterns of human behaviour (via eccentricity). This paper aims at showing that if one considers Plessners main oeuvres rather systematically than chronologically they can be seen as exemplary realisations of Plessner’s theory of behaviour.
Thomas Dworschak: »Approaching the Sense of the Senses«
According to Cassirer, humanity is defined by the activity of the spirit. In other places, he attempts to explain the transition from ›life‹ to ›spirit‹, but this proj- ect seems hampered by his taking spirit to be a phenomenon of consciousness. Plessner’s »aesthesiology« opens up an alternative route. He discloses the mean- ing of ›spirit‹ or ›understanding‹ by an inquiry concerning the work of the senses in the context of behavior. This paper shows that for Plessner behavior is closely related to its environment while at the same time not restricted to a biological programme.
Christian Bermes: »›A completely ungrounded tragification‹? Plessner’s conception of death and Heidegger’s ›Schwarze Hefte‹«
The philosophical parting of the ways between Heidegger’s Fundamental ontology and the Philosophical anthropology of Plessner is well known. Today, however, after the publication of the »Schwarze Hefte«, new aspects of their differences come to light. Accordingly, this article focusses on the purpose of death discussed in »Die Stufen des Organischen« as a genuine thought Plessner inscribed into 20th century philosophy. It argues that the most peculiar difference is to be found in Plessner’s view on death not as a simple element of life but as an external phe- nomenon. In contrast to Plessner, Heidegger’s »Schwarze Hefte« seem to present more of an eschatology than a systematical approach to human self and world.
Marie-Cécile Bertau: »Language and linguistic expression«
In this article, main tenets of Bühler’s theory of language are compared with Plessner’s view on the position of language. Language crystallizes into an in- termediary position highlighting its crucial importance for both philosophy of culture and philosophical anthropology. On the assumption that a sensuously and commonly experienced reality is the basis for speaking and understanding subjects, Plessner and Bühler conceive of language as the crucial medium of »ec- centric beings«. Eccentric positionality and language prove to be co-constitutive.