Husserl and the Question of Animality

in Research in Phenomenology
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Abstract

Is it possible to speak of a Husserlian phenomenology of the animal? In his phenomenological analyses, Husserl thematizes animals as a case of “abnormality” in order to investigate the subjectivity that constitutes the human world as a normal world. With respect to other perspectives—such as the Heideggerian one—which imply a drastic separation from animality, Husserl’s standpoint has the advantage of keeping a path of communication open between the phenomenological and the scientific investigation of the problem, in the multifarious forms taken on today by the latter. However, what is the original contribution of phenomenology on this issue, in comparison with that of the empirical sciences? Phenomenology addresses the experience of lifeworld as its own field of activity and as the implicit ground for every scientific observation and reconstruction. Phenomenology, thus, provides a new approach to animal life, avoiding naive ontological assumptions about it.

Husserl and the Question of Animality

in Research in Phenomenology

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References

  • 2

    E. HusserlAufsätze und Vorträge (1922–1937), ed. T. Nenon and H. R. Sepp, vol. 27 of Husserliana (Dordrecht: Kluwer1989) 3–94; henceforth Husserliana volumes will be cited as Hua followed by volume number then page number. Translation for vol. 27 is mine.

  • 5

    M. TomaselloThe Cultural Origins of Human Cognition (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press2000) 5–6.

  • 7

    With regard to this see A. Staiti“Different Worlds and Tendency to Concordance. Towards a New Perspective on Husserl’s Phenomenology of Culture,” New Yearbook for Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy 10 (2010): 127–43.

  • 8

    With regard to this see A. StaitiGeistigkeit Leben und geschichtliche Welt in der Transzendentalphänomenologie Husserls (Würzburg: Ergon Verlag2010) 216–21.

  • 17

    M. HeideggerDie Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik. Welt—Endlichkeit—Einsamkeit (Frankfurt a. M.: Klostermann1983).

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