Embodiment and Animality

Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 50 (2):87-103 (2018)
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The aim of this article is to examine the problematic frontier that separates the phenomenology of the body and the phenomenology of animality. The main difficulty is to differentiate phenomenologically not only between embodiment and animality, but also between specifically human embodied experience and what is accessible to us through empathy in relation to the corporeality of the animal. I will tackle these questions by considering relevant textual material from the writings of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. On the one hand, I will show that although embodiment and animality are convergent on the level of the naturalistic attitude in Husserl’s Ideas II, they are divergent as soon as we place ourselves in the personalistic attitude, where the body enters into a different conjunction—namely, with the idea of person and of the spiritual world. On the other hand, Heidegger claims that, in spite of the abysmal bodily kinship with the animal, there is an essential difference between the human body and the animal organism, thus opposing the tendencies to humanize the animal and to animalize the human.

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Cristian Ciocan
University of Bucharest


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