BSP Podcast: Pablo Andreu – Death as an “Ontological Infidelity”

podcast update

Season Four of the BSP Podcast continues with a presentation from our 2019 annual conference held in Manchester last summer.

Season 4 episode 85: 8 August 2020

Season four of the BSP Podcast continues with a paper from Pablo Andreu, University of Zaragoza, Spain, and University College Dublin (UCD), Ireland. The recording is taken from our 2019 Annual Conference, ‘The Theory and Practice of Phenomenology’.

Pablo Andreu: ‘Death as an “Ontological Infidelity”

You can listen to this episode on the BSP’s Podbean site, and you can also find it on iTunes and all good podcasting apps by searching ‘BSP Podcast’.

ABSTRACT: The following paper aims to open the reader to a comprehension of death from a phenomenological and hermeneutical point of view. Set against the background work of Max Scheler and Martini Heidegger’s analysis of the phenomenon, we adopt Paul Louis Landsberg’s interpretation of death as an “ontological infidelity”. Such definition of death deals with a fundamental and original predisposition to believe, which we recognize as faith. This faith, which stand as a complete openness to the other, is an essential constituent of human existence, without which we cannot understand Heidegger’s Angst. As such, we postulate that this faith is ontologically prior to Heidegger’s anxiety. As Landsberg says, “the anguish of death, and not only the pain of dying, would be incomprehensible of the fundamental structure of our being did not include the existential postulate of something beyond” (Landsberg, 2009, p. 25). We defend that by the braking of the connections entangled through this essential openness, the person is striped from the meaning of her existence and therefore thrown to a state of dead. This implies that there is no possible understanding of the phenomenon of death without a comprehension of our relation with and to the other. As a result, first, we aim to give a specific reading on the phenomenon of death, that is not to be confused with our mortal condition – so in Scheler and Heidegger – and, second, shed some light unto the actual medical debate concerning the state of being of patients in situations that cannot be clearly determined neither as alive nor dead.

BIO: Pablo Ilian Toso Andreu is a PhD Student at the University of Zaragoza, Spain, currently staying at University College Dublin (UCD) in Ireland. Mainly focused on phenomenology, and specifically the phenomenology of death, Mr. Andreu has also approached analytic philosophy through the Master’s program offered by the University of Barcelona.

The ‘British Society for Phenomenology Annual Conference 2019 – the Theory and Practice of Phenomenology’ was held at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Manchester, UK, 5 – 7 September, 2019.

Registration is now open for our 2020 annual conference: ‘Engaged Phenomenology’’ – the BSP Annual Conference, with the University of Exeter, co-sponsored by Egenis and the Wellcome Centre for Cultures and Environments of Health. Thursday 3 – Saturday 5 September 2020 (post-event access open until 13 Sept). Free to members of the BSP. Membership £40 waged and £20 unwaged / student / emeritus. When you become a member, you receive paper copies of the Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology (four issues a year), plus access to over 50 years of the JBSP Online. Find out more.

The British Society for Phenomenology is a not-for-profit organisation set up with the intention of promoting research and awareness in the field of Phenomenology and other cognate arms of philosophical thought. Currently, the society accomplishes these aims through its journal, events, and podcast. Why not find out more, join the society, and subscribe to our journal the JBSP?