Technology, to [Heidegger], was a way of revealing the true nature of reality. Accordingly, modern technology reveals the world as a raw material, available for production and manipulation striving for production and efficiency.
This poses two problems. First, humans might view themselves as raw materials and therefore as expendable beings. Secondly, humans might become enslaved by technology because any new attempts to redefine our reality would be stopped by technological intervention.
This is bringing us to locate knowledge outside of our heads. We can only know what we know because we are deeply in league with alien tools of our own devising. Our mental stuff is not enough.
Philosophical pragmatism from one hundred years ago has helped to intellectually prepare us for this shift by limiting our ambitions: Knowledge is less a reflection of the world than a tool for operating in it. Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology provides a different sort of correction by pointing to the historical artificiality of the idea that knowledge is a mental representation of the world, an idea that arose thanks to a history of metaphysical errors.
David Krell, "Derrida, Heidegger, and the Magnetism of the Trakl House"
¶ 10:01 PM0 comments
Monday, November 12, 2018
by Les Gottesman
of the problem of being.
the problem in ancient inquiries
concerning being not being beings.
what is not sought
is not unfamiliar
though ungraspable, hot,
but after the first shot
"The sky is blue," "I am happy,"
statements like that.
A white ring marks a dark table.
The problem, the mug
An important part of my books is that they want to find out how a particular view of the world comes into being. For Heidegger, the mood or state of mind always came first, because that is what you think through—your mood is always there. No document states it, it’s in no archive, you can try to describe it, but the point is that we don’t think about it, it’s just there. In these books, by writing about so much that I don’t control, I hoped that all this would somehow become visible.
And then you’ve got Heidegger’s view on the birds, which is that they have a poor existence—they don’t really know anything. Two positions about being in the world. I mean, your baby is in the world. [Ed. note: He’s four months old.] He’s not aware of himself or who he is. It’s probably wonderful to be him! But would you go back there and renounce everything you know now? We’re not in the world—we’re looking at the world, longing for it.
Heidegger agrees with Carnap and the cheerleaders for science: the sciences tell us all about the things the world is made up of—and leave nothing out. What the sciences fail to uncover isn’t a something—there are no supernatural truths that scientific investigation is somehow unequipped to handle—but rather this “nothing” that allegedly nothings.
What on earth is Heidegger talking about here? Part of the trouble is that he’s trying to get behind the world of facts that Carnap’s logically respectable language describes. For the most part we just get on with the business of life, immersing ourselves in a world full of work to do, people to love, buses to miss, tweets to retweet. But occasionally, just for a brief moment, all this stuff can suddenly seem pointless and strange, the way a familiar word starts to sound like meaningless babble if you repeat it enough times. That people are people and trees are trees, that life has rules and goals and structure, all this comes to seem like an arbitrary mask spread over an existence that has no underlying significance. Behind our world full of somethings, we momentarily apprehend an underlying—nameless and unnameable—nothing.
The innovation with respect to the research, not with respect to the result, resides in this, that the ground upon which rests the question of the meaning of Being now becomes concrete. The task of the appropriation of the ground becomes more difficult but the result richer. This can be seen in the fact that even non-beings are acknowledged in their Being and in any case are put into question. In both instances, as in general, it is shown that something can be settled about beings with regard to their Being only insofar as the beings are present, or, as we say, insofar as beings can be encountered at all. It is simply a matter of adhering to the beings encountered, in their most immediate and most original way of being encountered, and, within this, of questioning how the beings show themselves. This is the one direction in which the question of the meaning of beings, the question of Being, is raised.