Advertisement

Place and Positionality – Anthropo(topo)logical Thinking with Helmuth Plessner

  • Annika SchlitteEmail author
Chapter
Part of the Contributions To Phenomenology book series (CTPH, volume 95)

Abstract

This paper explores a possible anthropological dimension of place by providing an interpretation of Helmuth Plessner’s philosophical approach which proposes to understand it as a twofold “implacement” of man – discussing both the place of man in the natural world and man’s specific relation to place that makes him take his place in the natural world. The interpretation follows Plessner’s idea of a natural set of stages, developed in his major work Die Stufen des Organischen und der Mensch, leading from inanimate objects to plants, animals, and humans. According to Plessner, each stage differs from the other by virtue of its respective spatial delineation toward, and its position in, the world. With the paradoxical concept of man’s “eccentric positionality”, Plessner accounts for the exceptional position of man without thereby neglecting, on the one hand, his being part of nature, and, without falling prey to naturalism, on the other. Thus, Plessner offers an interesting perspective on place that also points beyond mere anthropocentrism.

Keywords

Helmuth Plessner Philosophical anthropology Philosophy of nature Place Space Boundary Positionality 

References

  1. Brague, R. 2003. The Wisdom of the World. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  2. Casey, E. 2009. Getting Back into Place. 2nd ed. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  3. ———. 2017. The World on Edge. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. De Mul, J. 2014a. Artificial by Nature. An Introduction to Plessner’s Philosophical Anthropology. In de Mul (pp. 11–37).Google Scholar
  5. ———., ed. 2014b. Plessner’s Philosophical Anthropology. Perspectives and Prospects. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press.Google Scholar
  6. Heidegger, M. 1971. Building dwelling thinking. In: Poetry, Language, Thought. Trans. Albert Hofstadter (pp. 141–159). New York: Harper & Row.Google Scholar
  7. ———. 2001. The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, Solitude. Trans. William McNeill and Nicholas Walker. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  8. Köchy, K., and F. Michelini, eds. 2015. Zwischen den Kulturen. Plessners “Stufen des Organischen” im zeithistorischen Kontext. Freiburg: Alber.Google Scholar
  9. Lukács, G. 1971. The Theory of the Novel. A Historico-Philosophical Essay on the Forms of Great Epic Literature. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  10. Malpas, J. 1999. Place and Experience. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. ———. 2012. Heidegger and the Thinking of Place: Explorations in the Topology of Being. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  12. ———. 2006. Heidegger’s Topology. Being, Place, World. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  13. ———. 2015. Self, other, thing: Triangulation and topography in post-Kantian philosophy. Philosophy Today 59: 103–126.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Plessner, H. 1975. Die Stufen des Organischen und der Mensch. Berlin/New York: De Gruyter.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. ———. 1982. Der Mensch als Lebewesen. In Mit anderen Augen. Aspekte einer philosophischen Anthropologie, 9–62. Stuttgart: Reclam.Google Scholar
  16. Scheler, M. 2009. The Human’s Place in the Cosmos. Trans. Manfred S. Frings. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Schürmann, V. (ed.). 2016. Special Issue: Helmuth Plessner. Zeitschrift für Kulturphilosophie No. 2 (2016).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of PhilosophyJohannes-Gutenberg University MainzMainzGermany
  2. 2.Interdisciplinary Research Group on “Philosophy of Place”Catholic University of Eichstätt-IngolstadtEichstättGermany

Personalised recommendations