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Title: Exzentrische Positionalität – Weltraumfahrt im Blick der modernen Philosophischen Anthropologie
Authors: Fischer, Joachim
Keywords: SpaceflightPhilosophical anthropologyPlessnerGehlenScheler
Issue Date: 2012
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Joachim Fischer, "Exzentrische Positionalität – Weltraumfahrt im Blick der modernen Philosophischen Anthropologie", in: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics, XIV (2012) 1, pp. 55-70
Series/Report no.: Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics
XIV (2012) 1
Spaceflight is one of the most original and important phenomena of modern society, but
it’s not in the centre of modern intellectual reflection. Neither the technical and natural
sciences (which offer of course the real condition of the ballistic flight into and through
outer space) nor the cultural and social sciences can explain this human event as a human
phenomenon by their means: Naturalism (or Darwinism) on the one hand cannot explain
why some sort of life leaves the environment of living, and Culturalism – always occupied
with the symbolic mediated life-world of human beings – develops no systematic sense for
vertical leaving the earth. The paper introduces modern Philosophical Anthropology as
an adequate theory to understand spaceflight as a possible result of the condito humana.
The thought of Max Scheler, Helmuth Plessner and Arnold Gehlen since the twenties of
the twenty century devoleped a theory of man co-variant to the breakthrough of
spaceflight in Germany (and other countries) and mirrors in its concepts of human being –
for instance ‘excentric positionality’ – the human possibility of this epoch-making event.
“Excentric positionality” (Plessner) exposes man as a special living being characterized
by the power of imagination (rather then rationality), by overflowing driving forces
(“Antriebsüberschüssigkeit” (Gehlen)) and by “worldopenness” (Scheler) to the cosmos.
So this living being is able to anticipate the attainment of places beyond the earth and its
biosphere (by imagination), it is willing and able to invent rocket launches, which
provides the initial thrust to overcome the force of gravity (by overflowing drive power),
and it is ready to encounter unfamiliar kinds of extraterrestrial life and intelligence (by its
worldopenness). Having explained spaceflight in this way as a serious human enterprise it
is expectable that in former centuries the invention of spaceflight with and without
humans on board will be remembered as the key event in the 20th century.
Type: Article
ISSN: 1825-5167
Appears in Collections:Etica & Politica / Ethics & Politics (2012) XIV/1

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