9594 - Being Human - For many thinkers in contemporary continental philosophy the concept of the human remains central. What has shifted for these thinkers is the ways in which being human is problematized. For example, it is no longer sufficient to ask what it is that is particular to being human, although this is a question we shall address. However, following Agamben, we also need to ask why, in Western philosophy, this question has been posed over and over again. In this course we shall consider being human in light of embodied, sexuate and technical being. Primary to this task is the examination of what is meant by nature and culture. In the first section we explore what it means to be human, and what distinguishes humans from animals. In the second, the question of sexual difference guides our analysis of language and identity. How can sexuate nature be taken into account in a fundamental way that shapes our understanding of identity and otherness. In the final section, technical being, we consider the human as the one who reveals in particular with respect to art as techne.
I) Embodied Being
- Giorgio Agamben, The Open, Standford University Press, 2004
- Martin Heidegger, The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, Indiana University Press, 1995 (excerpts)
- Heidegger, "Letter on Humanism"
- Heidegger, The Principle of Reason, Indiana University Press, 1996 (excerpts)
- Maurice Merleau-Ponty, La Nature, Northwestern University Press, 2003 (excerpts)
II) Sexuate Being
- Luce Irigaray, An Ethics of Sexual Difference, Cornell University Press, 1993 (excerpts)
- Luce Irigaray, To be Two, Routledge, 2001 (excerpts)
- Luce Irigaray, The Forgetting of Air in Martin Heidegger, University of Texas Press, 1999 (excerpts)
- Martin Heidegger, On the Way to Language, Harper & Row, 1971 (excerpts)
- Martin Heidegger, Identity and Difference, University of Chicago Press, 1969
III) Technical Being
- Jean-Luc Nancy, The Muses, Stanford University Press, 1996 (excerpts)
Giorgio Agamben, Man without Content (excerpt), Stanford University Press, 1999
- Martin Heidegger, "…Poetically Man Dwells…," in Poetry, Language, Thought, Harper & Row, 1971
- Martin Heidegger, What is called Thinking? Harper & Row, 1968 (excerpt).
- Jacques Derrida, "Geschlecht II: Heidegger's Hand," In Deconstruction and Philosophy, University of Chicago Press, 1987
- Merleau-Ponty, "Eye and Mind," in The Primacy of Perception, Northwestern, 1964
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