Juan Manuel Garrido

in On Time, Being, and Hunger

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2012 | ISBN: 9780823239351
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780823239399 | DOI:

Series: Forms of Living (FUP)


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This chapter analyzes the relation between life and being in Heidegger's Fundamental Concepts o Metaphysics. Life or “animality” are inaccessible to knowledge and understanding. There is no common world and common experience between the human and other living beings. There is no “being-with” with living beings. Heidegger deeply criticizes the traditional way of grasping the difference between animality and humanity. For him, the animal is no longer considered a potential aspect of the human (as a pre-linguistic sensitivity, for instance). He also criticizes the biologism and the possible knowledge of life through empathy. Life (animality) is inaccessible (life is the most difficult thing to think, as Heidegger says in Letter on Humanism). In the wake of this work, Derrida sees in animality the figure of an absolute otherness. Following these works of Heidegger and Derrida, it is possible to begin conceptualizing “life” beyond its traditional concept, therefore beyond being. “Life” (animality) thus becomes then an object with which to engage the deconstruction of ontology.

Keywords: Heidegger; animality; world; human existence; Derrida

Chapter.  3487 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Science

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