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Heidegger's Metaphysical Abyss – Between the Human and the Animal - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Heidegger's Metaphysical Abyss: Between the Human and the Animal

Elizabeth Cykowski


This book provides a critical study of Heidegger’s reflections on animality, which are presented most extensively in his 1929–30 lecture course The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics. In these lectures Heidegger poses two provocative metaphysical theses: the human, he claims, is ‘world-forming’, whereas the animal is ‘poor in world’. Contemporary secondary literature has emphatically criticised these theses on account of the objection that they forge an ‘abyss of essence’ between human and non-human organisms. The theses undermine scientific developments by breaking apart the biological conti ... More

Keywords: Heidegger, metaphysics, animality, philosophical anthropology, biology

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2021 Print ISBN-13: 9780198865407
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2021 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198865407.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Elizabeth Cykowski, author
Independent scholar