Publication 4245

Vörös S. & Gaitsch P. (2016) Desire and/or need for life? Towards a phenomenological dialectic of the organism. In: Tønnessen M., Armstrong K. & Rattasepp S. (eds.) Thinking about animals in anthropocene. Lexington Books, Lanham MD: 89–106. Fulltext at https://cepa.info/4245
Excerpt: In a sense, modern biology is back to square one, for if there is, indeed, to be a “welcome return of the organism”, theoretical biologists and philosophers of biology need to “go back to the roots” and confront a vast array of intricate philosophical questions that have lain dormant for more than half a century, questions about the nature of organism, living beings, and life as such. The current paper purports to provide a small contribution to this overarching agenda by shedding light on these issues from a phenomenologically-inspired perspective. In other words, it tries to approach the phenomena of “life” and “organism” by drawing from, and reflecting upon, some of the most important phenomenological approaches to biology. But this immediately raises a delicate question: What, if anything, can phenomenology, especially if construed in the Husserlian sense as the study of experience, say about “life” or “organism”? In what sense, and to what degree, these questions fall under its aegis? Are they not, as matters pertaining to matter (however broadly construed), something that needs to be resolved by natural sciences, and not by reflection on the nature of experience?

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