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Dialogue and Universalism

Alicja Kuczyńska’s Conceptions, Ideas, Views

Volume 28
Art as a Philosophy

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Displaying: 1-10 of 67 documents

philosophical anthropology at the crossroads
1. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 4
Jagna Brudzińska “Catching Meteorytes": Philosophical Anthropology at the Crossroads
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2. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 4
Stanisław Czerniak Helmuth Plessner: Philosophical Anthropology as Social Critique
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The author goes out from Helmuth Plessner’s book Die Grenzen der Gemeinschaft to show how the basic categories of Plessner’s philosophical anthropology, especially the eccentric position conception, apply to his critique of community-oriented societies like communism and fascism. Plessner saw the alternative to a community-based society in a model where social bonds took place by association, and in which the anthropological a priori enjoyed the optimum conditions for self-expression (in such dimensions of the public sphere as ceremony, prestige, diplomacy and tact). This social model also allows the full establishment of social roles in the anthropological sense, something that is annihilated by community-type societies. The author also addresses the different ways in which the “social role” category is interpreted by Plessner (the anthropological approach) and Ralf Dahrendorf (a functionalistic approach drawing on Marxism and the concept of alienation, which Plessner felt unfamiliar with), and concludes with a few concrete and methodologically grounded objections to Plessner’s theory.
3. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 4
Stanisław Czerniak The Category of “Contingency” in Contemporary Anthropological Discourse: Odo Marquard, Richard Rorty, Jürgen Habermas
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This comparative paper analyses in detail the contexts in which the “contingency” category was used by the philosophers mentioned in its title. While Odo Marquard and Richard Rorty situated contingency within the antifundamentalist discourse, especially in the sphere of philosophical anthropology, epistemology and ethics, Jürgen Habermas drew his conception of the contingency of human birth from the “human nature”— related discourse against modern-day genetic engineering. Marquard’s and Rorty’s theories differ in their philosophical assumptions (scepticism vs. neopragmatism). Among others, the author shows that none of the mentioned thinkers accepted the radically relativistic consequences of the debate around the “contingency” conception. In his analyses, he also makes frequent use of Marquard’s distinction between “arbitrarily accidental” and “fatefully accidental.”
4. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 4
Stanisław Czerniak Max Scheler—Bernhard Waldenfels: Two Phenomenological Conceptions of Suffering
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This comparative study of Max Scheler’s and Bernhard Waldenfels’ conceptions shows how they differ in their philosophical assumptions. Whereas Scheler’s strove to define the essence of suffering, which he saw in the objective situation of being a victim (sacrificing the inferior for the superior good), Waldenfels emphasized the intentional aspect of suffering and its connections to activity (suffering was to be the necessary and passive “other side” of activity). In this context Waldenfels introduced the distinction between suffering as a) that what happens to us, and b) that what we subjectively feel as “brutally” imposed upon us, ignoring all eidetic questions related to suffering as well as the metaphysical threads which Scheler addressed. The author runs a detailed and critical analysis of Scheler’s position, to which he voices multiple objections, and concludes that it coincides conceptually with the axiological conception of tragedy he propounded in his work On the Tragic. In the section on Waldenfels the author reviews the polemical arguments against his views voiced by several contemporary German philosophers.
5. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 4
Stanisław Czerniak The Philosophical Anthropology of Arnold Gehlen as a Critique of the Age of Technology
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The author distinguishes three main interpretations of the concept, as well as the developmental trends in philosophical anthropology, and reflects on their relationship with critical social philosophy. Consequently, he follows up with an explication of the main assumptions of Arnold Gehlen’s philosophical anthropology and seeks to find out how they influenced the categorical particularity of his critique of postmodern society, labeled as “the crisis of institutions.” The author provides more detailed reflection in references to Gehlen’s Die Seele im technischen Zeitalter (published in English as Man in the Age of Technology), and its analysis of the so-called new subjectivism. The article ends with a critical conclusion, in which the author makes note of certain ideological incongruities in Gehlen’s philosophical standpoint.
6. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 4
Gernot Böhme Self-Cultivation according to Immanuel Kant
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The author reflects on the anthropological role of the “self-cultivation” category in the philosophical system of Immanuel Kant, for whom self-cultivation stood as the central idea of the Enlightenment. Kant believed that it was man alone who created himself to a rational being, that his rationality was not a granted good but something he had to mature to by way of multiple disciplinary (the reduction of animality in the humanum sphere), civilizing and moralizing (the latter patroned by the Kantian categorical imperative) measures. An interesting avenue in Gernot Böhme’s approach is his assumption that this conceptual perspective applied to all three Kantian Critiques, e.g., that Critique of Pure Reason propounds the disciplining of human cognition under the banner of subordinating the sphere of intuition (Anschauung) to the categories of intellect (Verstand). These categories are not inborn in the human mind, but are built by the willful disciplining of the perceptual elements of cognition anchored in the animal fundaments of the humanum. Towards the close of his essay Böhme attempts a critique of Kant’s philosophy, accusing it of reductionism and depreciating many anthropological powers.
7. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 4
Christoph Wulf Towards a Historical Cultural Anthropology
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In today’s globalized world anthropology is a transdisciplinary and trans-cultural field of research. In the here-proposed concept it encompasses five paradigms: 1) hominization/evolution, 2) philosophical anthropology, 3) historical anthropology/mentality research, 4) cultural anthropology, 5) historical cultural anthropology. Anthropology contributes to the understanding of the human being at the beginning of the 21st century. Anthropology is characterized by a double historicity and culturality; it encompasses a great variety of research questions, methods and approaches and includes philosophical thinking and self-criticism.
8. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 4
Paweł Dybel Man, Animal and Mirror: Origins of the Human “I” according to Helmuth Plessner and Jacques Lacan
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In the article I compare the concept of the human “I” of Helmuth Plessner that underlies his philosophical anthropology with the theory of “mirror stage” by Jacques Lacan. Both they have been inspired by the experiment of Wolfgang Köhler in which a child and chimpanzee reacted differently to their image in a mirror. Plessner and Lacan drew different conclusions from this experiment. Plessner maintained that the child who recognizes its image in the mirror as its own takes into account the possibility of its replacement by other “I” on the level of its social roles and functions. Yet, at the same time it knows very well that nobody will be able to replace its own individual “I.” While Lacan says that the ideal image of “I” has the status of the defence-symptom representing an alternative to the feeling of dismembered body that the child experiences in the early phase of its life. This image of “I” is not given forever but is always endangered by the possibility of destruction and regress on its early stage of the dismembered body. The telling testimony of this is the passage au acte by psychotics in which the ouburst of aggression is accompanied by the destruction of “I.” Or the cases in which the I assumes the pathologically exaggerated shape. This possibility of destruction of I that is inherently rooted in its structure has been misrecognized by Plessner.
9. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 4
Volker Schürmann What Is Sceptical Anthropology?
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The article compares the philosophies of Ernst Cassirer and Helmuth Plessner concerning the modes of modernity. Plessner is one of those thinkers, who are most consistent in accepting modernity, whereas Cassirer is not. The point that generates this different level is the explicit self-reflection of Plessner in contrast to a systematic silence of Cassirer. One can see this difference by analysing the role of scepticism within these two modes of anthropology.
10. Dialogue and Universalism: Volume > 28 > Issue: 4
Giorgio Derossi Beyond “Wesenschau”: The Merleau-Ponty “Ambiguity” between Sensation and Perception
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One of the basic reasons for Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s critique of Edmund Husserl’s Wesenschau is represented by what has been defined as the “ambiguity” of the perceiver-perceived relationship, which is the theme of the “phenomenology of perception” developed by the French philosopher. Such ambiguity is in effect constitutive of fundamental perceptive-cognitive relationships; and—in the mature thought of Merleau-Ponty—it also extends, from an ontological point of view, to the “chair du monde” in which being and non-being, visible and invisible, are but two sides of the same “reality.” In this contribution we try to highlight the ambiguous characteristics of corporeal intentionality which render it incompatible with visual perception. And we propose both the necessity and the possibility of eliminating this incompatibility with a new phenomenological approach, which is also consistent with scientific “visualisation.”