Alice Pugliese

The Animal Subject. Explorations on the Edge of Subjectivity

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: Phenomenology, Drives, Ethics, Person, Practical Intentionality.

Despite their undeniable connection to the body and its physiological processes, the phenomenological account of drives differentiates them from both instinctual behaviour and merely biological forces. They design a characteristic dimension of the personal grasp of the world, necessary for our meaningful orientation in all given situations. My claim is that Husserl’s interpretation of drives presents them not as centrifugal forces, but as centripetal strivings, contributing to the unitary constitution of the person. The conflicting interaction of drives lets emerge the animal subjectivity whose unity is given by a unique style of wishing and striving. The final question is, therefore, how to connect the animal level of self-preservation with the higher levels of practical and moral identity, i.e. how to hold together the animal subject with the person as subject of practical potentialities, decisions, and finally freedom.

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