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Incarnality of Being, The

The Earth, Animals, and the Body in Heidegger's Thought

Frank Schalow

Publication Year: 2006

The Incarnality of Being addresses Martin Heidegger’s tendency to neglect the problem of the body, an omission that is further reflected in the field of Heidegger scholarship. By addressing the corporeal dimension of human existence, author Frank Schalow uncovers Heidegger’s concern for the materiality of the world. This allows for the ecological implications of Heidegger’s thought to emerge, specifically, the kinship between humans and animals and the mutual interest each has for preserving the environment and the earth. By advancing the theme of the “incarnality of being,” Schalow brings Heidegger’s thinking to bear on various provocative questions concerning contemporary philosophy: sexuality, the intersection of human and animal life, the precarious future of the earth we inhabit, and the significance that reclaiming our embodiment has upon ethics and politics.

Published by: State University of New York Press

Front Matter

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pp. vii


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pp. ix

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pp. 1-3

In recent years, contemporary continental philosophy has increasingly come to appreciate the importance of the problem of embodiment. And yet among those thinkers who have had the greatest influence on shaping this tradition, Martin Heidegger stands out as having neglected this problematic, even...

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Chapter 1. The Materiality of the World

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pp. 5-35

What do we mean by “embodiment,” by the “human body,” by “physicality?” Can the body become for Heidegger, as it was for Maurice Merleau-Ponty, a “cardinal ontological problem?”1 Could this question provide another avenue for raising a perennial question, which due to its historical forgottenness Heidegger...

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Chapter 2. The Erotic, Sexuality, and Diversity

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pp. 37-67

The double helix is the symbol of the structure and ancestry of life on this earth, but it may also signify a crossing, the division that separates, differentiates, and individualizes. In biology, we speak of male and female principles of reproduction. In Heidegger’s terminology, we seek the creative wellspring from which...

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Chapter 3. Ethos, Embodiment, and Future Generations

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pp. 69-90

In the Foundation for the Metaphysics of Morals, Kant distinguishes between a “holy will,” which is always pure, due to the necessity of its coincidence with the moral law, and a “good will,” which is pure when it conforms to the moral law by withdrawing self-interest.1 Only in the latter case, says Kant, can we...

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Chapter 4. Of Earth and Animals

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pp. 91-115

Is not a discussion of the earth a topic reserved to the science of geology, or perhaps in its relation to other celestial bodies, a concern for astronomy? And yet, surprisingly or not, a reference to the earth makes its way into philosophy, and, in Heidegger’s case, comes to occupy a central place. Far from ignoring...

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Chapter 5. The Body Politic: Terrestrial or Social?

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pp. 117-148

Human beings alone are free. This seems to be a self-evident statement provided, of course, that we assume that freedom belongs to human nature. But what if freedom were broader and more primordial than the set of faculties exercised by “man,” and, if exercised in the guise of what Heidegger describes...

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Chapter 6. The Return to the Earth and the Idiom of the Body

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pp. 149-184

Beginning with Plato, the body has held a dubious position in the history of philosophy. The inversion of Plato’s metaphysics through Nietzsche’s this worldly reaffirmation of sensuality,1 however, does not successfully bring into question the ontological importance of embodiment. As the last metaphysician...


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pp. 185-206


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pp. 207-212

E-ISBN-13: 9780791481868
Print-ISBN-13: 9780791467350
Print-ISBN-10: 079146735X

Page Count: 212
Publication Year: 2006