The Human Condition, Nature, Power and Creativity. Philosophical Anthropology and Eco-Phenomenology in the Context of Biopolitics

  • Massimo Mezzanzanica
Part of the Analecta Husserliana book series (ANHU, volume CXXI)


The vision of an eco-phenomenology that Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka sketches in her Bergen interview and which is based on the concept of the ontopoiesis of life has some significant parallel outlooks of twentieth-century German philosophical anthropology. I will try to show here the value of the outlooks of Arnold Gehlen, Helmuth Plessner, and Adolf Portmann and of the idea of a philosophy of nature, biology, and the body which they imply, and that against the background of today’s reflections on science, life, and politics. In a situation where politics touches more and more on the human body and life (as pointed out by Michel Foucault, Giorgio Agamben, and Roberto Esposito), and where the development of the life and computer sciences and of medical and information technologies makes possible radical transformations of the human being—which developments seem to override the traditional distinctions between man, animal, and machine—philosophical anthropology can still be for us an important heuristic instrument. Its conceiving of man as an open and undetermined being, one who is at the same time natural and artficial and who builds and conducts his life through the power of imagination, can interact with the perspective of eco-phenomenology in its considering the human being to be a relational or, in Tymieniecka’s words, “as a human condition within the unity of everything there is alive.”


Philosophical Anthropology Foucault Biopower Gehlen Handlung Plessner Homo absconditus Tymieniecka Ontopoiesis Adolf Portmann Grenzcharakter of living being 



I would like to thank my friend Dr. Claudio Muti (Milan) for his help in the correction of my English text.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Massimo Mezzanzanica
    • 1
  1. 1.Università degli Studi di MilanoMilanItaly

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