No Exit takes place in Sartre’s conception of Hell, a setting which reflects many existentialist ideas including Dasein, Facticity, freedom, and subjectivity. In the opening act of the play, the Valet’s enigmatic answers to Garcin’s questions about the world outside the room imply that Hell is in a void. This is confirmed later when Garcin manages to force the door open, only to find a dark, silent expanse beyond the doorway. The room’s location echoes Heidegger’s description of Dasein, which he defines as “being held out into the nothing”. “The nothing” which Heidegger discusses and Sartre chooses as his play’s setting is not just “the counterconcept of beings” in the same way that up is the opposite of down and light is the opposite of dark. Instead, the nothing is more like a force which acts on all beings, including humans; it cannot be seen or manipulated, but its effects can be felt. The nothing is at the base of everything, and we confront this when we realize how meaningless our ideals and social mores really are. Most importantly, the nothing “originally belongs to [beings’] essential unfolding” and development, serving as the base of our subjectivity.
Hartshorne's “My Eclectic Approach to Phenomenology” articulates a phenomenological method which is a “descriptive science” – one that, in Whiteheadian terms, “gets its basic concepts from the most general aspects of experience” and which does not specifically reference the observer but experience itself”. Hartshorne articulates how his phenomenology is different from Husserl’s and Heidegger’s - he met and briefly studied with both philosophers during his travels in Europe as a Sheldon Fellow in 1924-1925 (Hartshorne published the first English review of Sein und Zeit in 1929). If some argue that phenomenology may never truly be a “realist” method of metaphysics due to the “human-centeredness” of its methodology (the charge is that the phenomenological method espoused by Husserl is “correlationist” because it refers its results to a human standpoint, that is, always to an observer), then Hartshorne’s version of phenomenology easily dodges the correlationist bullet.
Christian Madsbjerg from ReD associates responds to Gregory Fried's article in Foreign Affairs.
All the notebooks provide is further evidence that Heidegger was a flawed person with dangerous political views. His work, like that of other philosophers with problematic biographies, will continue to stand on its own. Marx’s ideas have survived despite his xenophobia; Nietzsche’s, despite his madness. Students still read these thinkers at seminar tables around the world, just as they should Heidegger. However abhorrent Heidegger’s politics, his ideas are more relevant than ever. They tackle today’s most important philosophical question: How can humans find meaning in modern lives?
I've added a People table, for editors and translators, which allows me to link books in useful ways, and added data on the books and papers published by those people.
Looking at my schedule, the next update will probably be in the spring.
¶ 9:31 PM0 comments
Friday, December 12, 2014
In NDPR, Sacha Golob reviews Lee Braver's Heidegger: Thinking of Being.
Braver provides a superb summary of Heidegger's conception of technology and modernity. Whilst never less than charitable, Braver expertly highlights some of the idiosyncrasies and vulnerabilities of that conception. For example, as he notes, for Heidegger, in contrast with the modern environmentalists who appeal to him, "Pollution isn't the problem with technology; our distorted relation to being is what we should be concerned about."
In some long ago world when I was a barely 20, I found myself flying back to Houston from a visit to New York. I was reading that perfect beach volume Being and Time by Martin Heidegger, because I was a pretentious little sod of a creature. The attractive stewardess (as we called them that back then) was friendly, and I was drawn to her immediately. I stared at her through the flight, made sure I asked for various items (soft drinks, peanuts, etc.) so that she would come to my seat. As the flight settled onto the tarmac at Houston Intercontinental, I hastily scrawled my name and phone number on Heidegger's title page and waited for the aircraft to come to a full stop at the terminal. As I went out the back door, the lovely stewardess touched my wrist and wished me well, and I handed her the great philosopher's most important work, showing her my name and phone on the title page. This is a wonderful book, I said. So interesting. You could call me when you finish and we could meet up and talk about it. She accepted the book and smiled her thanks. I am still waiting for the call.