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Title: The withdrawal of being and the discursive creation of the modern subject : an examination of the movement form being to non-being through a consideration of Heideggerean and Arsitotelian notions of being
Author: Roberts, Susan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2694 267X
Awarding Body: University of Kent
Current Institution: University of Kent
Date of Award: 2010
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This work considers what it means to 'be' human and seeks to show that it is in the activity of 'being' human that our individual identity lies, because this is the activity that determines what we are and what we will become. Aristotle asked the fundamental metaphysical question, "is a human being idle by nature?" and concluded, from his realisations concerning the dynamic nature of reality, that he is not. Accordingly, the metaphysical vision of 'beinghuman' that Aristotle articulated, which is considered and applied in this work, in contrast to the static notions of being presented by Heidegger and Christian scholasticism, presents an understanding of man as a potentially dynamic and internally active being, capable of maintaining himself by bein~ attuned to reality and thereby contemplating God. It seems most timely to explore Aristotle's understanding of 'being-human' because much postmodern thought seems to be concerned with locating the 'self, or explicating its disappearance in terms of an emancipation from form, or as the exposure of some form of illusion that has kept us all living the lie of selfhood. However, the 'absent' postmodern self finds a place in Aristotle's metaphysical vision, because not only did Aristotle recognise the significance of actively 'being' human, he also recognised that through deprivation and incapacity some forms of being can go out of existence or become something else. And it appears that our postmodern form of unconscious existence constitutes such an altered form, determined according to a deprivation of actively 'being', i.e., by 'non-being.' The determining movement of 'non-being', which emerges from the ontological gap created by failing to 'be', is considered throughout this work, particularly with regard to developments in language and technology, because it is through our single-minded engagement in external productive activities, which are incidental to 'being-human', that we have avoided the inner contemplative activity that inheres in human 'thinghood'.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: B Philosophy (General)