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Phenomenology 2005

Volume 4, Issue Part 1, 2007

Selected Essays from Northern Europe Part 1

Thomas Franz
Pages 239-268
DOI: 10.7761/9789738863361_9

Die Pluralität des Menschen
Die Anthropologien Eugen Finks und Heinrich Rombachs im Vergleich

Martin Heidegger was the famous reviver of philosophical anthropology based on the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl. In his critique of the European anthropological tradition he conceptualizes human being as “Existenz” and “Dasein.” Following Heidegger, Eugen Fink (1905-1975) and Heinrich Rombach (1923-2004) developped a pluralistic anthropology within the concept of basic phenomena. For Eugen Fink there are five existential and co-existential phenomena: death, love, work, power and play, which are dialectically connected. These five phenomena are the transhistorical and transcultural constant factors of human persons as individual and social beings. Despite Fink’s criticism of Heidegger’s anthropological formalism, his anthropological conception can be defined as existential-ontological anthropology. Heinrich Rombach deepens this conception. There is no fixed existence of the basic phenomena for each person. Rombach argues, that each person has to find his own basic phenomenon. These phenomena are different in each historical epoch and culture. For example, love in the Roman Empire is totally distinct from love in postmodernism. There is no fixation on five basic phenomena, though each phenomenon can have the function of a basic phenomenon for a human being. Finally, Rombach makes the distinction between basic individual and social phenomena. While Rombach’s philosophy is focussed on a functional and processual ontology, which he himself calls structure ontology, his anthropological conception can be characterised as a structure anthropology at all.