Between Life and Existence. Heidegger’s Aristotelianism and the Question of Animality

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This paper starts by investigating the Aristotelian roots of Heidegger’sstance toward animal life from 1924 lecture course “Basic concepts of Aristotelianphilosophy” to 1929/30 lecture course “The fundamental concepts of Metaphysics”.In following Aristotle, Heidegger displays the ontological transition from life toexistence as grounded to the peculiar linguistic ability of human beings. In doingthat, both Heidegger and Aristotle seem to establish a connection between an existentialfaculty (logos) and the apparently dominant position occupied by our species.On the other side, though, to be endowed with logos means for human beingsto be able to de-centre themselves in recognizing the essential connection to otherbeings in the whole of life. This insight will concur in leading Heidegger after the20’s to the rethinking of the role played by man in the new structure of Ereignis andto crucial notions as Lichtung, Open and Quaternity. But this peculiar functionseems also to specify Aristotle’s system of human (anthroposcopic) knowledge aspointing to the idea of a general continuity of life, from simplest living beings viathe sublunar world to the perfect life of stars and Deity. So apparently maintaining,despite Heidegger’s claim of going beyond metaphysics, the connection withAristotle strong even in the later stages of his thought.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHeidegger and Contemporary Philosophy. Technology, Living, Society & Science
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 2021

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