Corporeality and Organisms

  • Giampiero Arciero
  • Guido Bondolfi
  • Viridiana Mazzola


The core of this chapter consists in an engagement with theoretical biology. Touching upon Heidegger’s dialog with von Uexküll’s work, by developing a phenomenological reappraisal of facticity, it reaches a new understanding of the difference between human beings and animals.

On the one hand, this difference has to do with an unequal relation with the world, namely the ability to access the meaningfulness of the world that distinguishes the human being from all other life forms; on the other hand, this difference emerges from an original unity of life, understood in terms of motility. Man and animal (and, more generally, every living organism) are therefore different modes of enacting the motility of life. Indeed, the motility of life establishes again and again that relation which for each living creature takes shape as an act of individuation pertaining to the choice of life’s possibilities. Investigating the difference between human beings and animals, then, raises a methodological question insofar as it is the method adopted which must provide a route to gain access to the animal as such. The step which Heidegger takes is to extend the method of formal indication to living beings in general.


Corporeality Umwelt Factical life Canalization 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Giampiero Arciero
    • 1
    • 2
  • Guido Bondolfi
    • 2
  • Viridiana Mazzola
    • 3
  1. 1.IPRARomeItaly
  2. 2.Department of PsychiatryUniversity Hospital of Geneva, Department of PsychiatryGenèveSwitzerland
  3. 3.Liaison Psychiatry, Department of PsychiatryUniversity Hospital of Geneva, Department of PsychiatryGenèveSwitzerland

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