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The Political Body. Plessner and Foucault on Power and Human Nature

Annette Hilt


To scrutinize not only the power we have, but the one we are, the one we are able to due to our finitude, might become the task of a Philosophical Anthropology: This task takes into account our bodily and thus vulnerable being: Being vulnerable seems to be an universal category of conditio humana; yet, too often it counts bodies in categories of body politics. It is a long-time project of Helmuth Plessner to develop a political anthropology of regaining a space for counter-acting such immunization-strategies of power relations – a way before Michel Foucault started his own epistemological and political account of archeo-genealogical critique of power. The essay will discuss lines of thought of “Political Anthropology” and how philosophy, anthropology and politics as different disciplines might intertwine to open a reflective space.


Political Anthropology; Vulnerability; Immunization; Historical epistemology; Critique of power

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