Institution as the Model of Meaning: Gehlen and Merleau-Ponty on the Question of Anthropology

Filosoficky Casopis 66 (6):869-888 (2018)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

[This paper is written in Czech language.] The aim of the article is to re-evaluate the still-surviving anthropological trope which, in reaction to an inquiry into the essence of man, compares humans with animals and points to culture as the means by which humans complete their “deficient” nature. This motif contrasting humans with animals has been extended by A. Gehlen who characterises humans as “beings of deficiencies”. In his view, the morphological-instinctive insufficiency of the human being must be stabilised by cultural institutions, i.e. complexes of habitual actions. Merleau-Ponty, however, demonstrates that bodily beings always relate to their environment in an indirect way, on the basis of certain “standards” and “norms” of interaction, which exist by way of institution. The anthropological trope confronting humans and animals thus cannot produce, as in Gehlen, a contrast between an allegedly “direct” relationship to the world in animals, and a supposedly “indirect” relationship to the world in humans. It can be meaningfully retained only if it is interpreted in a Merleau-Pontyan way, that is, as an invitation to understand the transformation of the norms of indirect interaction with the world found in animals into those found in people, that is, if viewed as a comparison of their respective institutions.

Links

PhilArchive

External links

  • This entry has no external links. Add one.
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Corps animal et corps humain.Anne Gléonec - 2012 - Studia Phaenomenologica 12:109-132.
Institution, Expression, and the Temporality of Meaning in Merleau-Ponty.Morris David - 2017 - In Kirsten Jacobson & John Russon (eds.), Perception and its Development in Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology. Toronto, ON, Canada: University of Toronto Press. pp. 193-220.
Strange Kinship: Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty on Animals.Kelly Oliver - 2008 - Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy 13 (1):101-120.
Arnold Gehlen’s Anthropological Theory of Institution.Rafał Michalski - 2018 - Dialogue and Universalism 28 (4):177-193.
Das anthropologische Argument in der praktischen Philosophie und die Logik des Vergleichs.Andreas Dorschel - 1995 - Logos. Anales Del Seminario de Metafísica [Universidad Complutense de Madrid, España] 2 (1):19-40.

Analytics

Added to PP
2019-10-25

Downloads
116 (#106,333)

6 months
24 (#44,732)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Author's Profile

Jan Halák
Palacky University

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations

References found in this work

No references found.

Add more references