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Environmental Philosophy

Volume 11, Issue 1, Spring 2014

Broken Bonds? Questioning Anthropological Difference

Hans Rainer Sepp
Pages 93-107

Worldly-Being Out of World
Animality in Kafka’s The Metamorphosis

Is there an anthropological difference within the basic style by which human beings exist ‘in’ world? The central problem of Gregor Samsa’s metamorphosis and the specific status of his animality can be focused by this question. Perhaps this difference manifests itself only when the human being has become estranged from any normal relation to world: when it has been changed into a shape of subjectivity that no longer shares the common net of a world of sense, and remains only an ‘animal.’ The moment is tragic in that the attempt to live an alternative style of worldly being results in the ‘animalyzed’ subject’s condemnation to death.

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