ABOUT THIS BOOK
In Political Anthropology (originally published in 1931 as Macht und menschliche Natur), Helmuth Plessner considers whether politics—conceived as the struggle for power between groups, nations, and states—belongs to the essence of the human. Building on and complementing ideas from his Levels of the Organic and the Human (1928), Plessner proposes a genealogy of political life and outlines an anthropological foundation of the political. In critical dialogue with thinkers such as Carl Schmitt, Eric Voegelin, and Martin Heidegger, Plessner argues that the political relationships cultures entertain with one other, their struggle for acknowledgement and assertion, are expressions of certain possibilities of the openness and unfathomability of the human.
Translated into English for the first time, and accompanied by an introduction and an epilogue that situate Plessner's thinking both within the context of Weimar-era German political and social thought and within current debates, this succinct book should be of great interest to philosophers, political theorists, and sociologists interested in questions of power and the foundations of the political.