Article/Publication Details

Adolf Portmann, Philosopher of Life Sciences

(Original title: Adolf Portman, filozof vedy o živom)
Filozofia, 2021, vol. 76, No 5, pp. 351 – 363.
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The article focuses on the work of a Swiss zoologist and professor of University of Basel Adolf Portmann (1897 – 1982) which became especially influential among Czech natural philosophers. Portmann was studying an aesthetical di-mension of living creatures, which he conceived not as an epiphenomenon of physiological and biological processes, but as a very subject of knowledge. He postulated that “self-expression of inwardness” (Selbstdarstellung der Inner-lichkeit) is the integral part of everything living and manifests itself through dis-play (eigentliche Erscheinung). This article aims to present a more complex pic-ture of the thinker and his significance in the Czech philosophical environment to a Slovak reader.


Adolf Portmann, Display, In/authetic phenomena, Inwardness, Life sciences