Natality ‒ Philosophical Rudiments concerning a Generative Phenomenology

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In light of the dominant role mortality and death have played in the history of philosophy, I give a few examples of the metaphorical appropriation and (dis-)regard of natality from Plato to the Enlightenment and Heidegger’s phenomenology of being-there. In the second part of the paper, I enfold the meaning of birth as transition and disruption, its meaning for intentionality, and its structural importance for understanding the relationality and generativity of human existence. The three basic questions of ‘Where do I come from?’ ‘From whom am I born?’ and ‘With whom am I born?’ and the incapability of remembering one’s own birth are fundamental to the co-constitution of personal identity and recognizing the centrality of human relations. Understanding natality as a human and worldly condition means putting human relations at the centre of our concerns.
Original languageEnglish
JournalThaumàzein - Rivista di Filosofia
Issue number4-5
Pages (from-to)9-36
Number of pages28
Publication statusPublished - 2017

    Research areas

  • Philosophy - Birth, Human Condition, Relationship, Constitution, Generaltivity, History of Philosophy, Phenomenology