Monday, February 20, 2012
In NDPR, Daniel Dahlstrom reviews Thomas Kessel's Phänomenologie des Lebendigen.
Sorting through Heidegger's criticism of the idea of philosophical anthropology as well as his own suggestions of an existential anthropology and an ontic anthropology, Kessel trenchantly argues that Heidegger, far from rejecting a suitably understood psychology or anthropology, clearly recognized its potential. Crucial for this argument are, once again, the Zollikon Seminars where Heidegger speaks of an "ontic" anthropology, based upon the existential analysis of Dasein. Kessel is no doubt right to interpret Heidegger as endorsing the possibilities for psychology and anthropology, based upon rigorous existential or at least phenomenological analyses. However, the interpretation also reopens questions regarding the relation between the two tiers of Heidegger's analyses, already evident, not only in his early differentiation of ontic and ontological dimensions, but also in his insistence that the roots of the existential analysis are ultimately ontic (as he puts it in Section Five of Being and Time).
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