Ontological Terror thinks with and against Heidegger, since I believe Heidegger’s destruction of metaphysics can assist black studies in the tremendous task of thinking Being and blackness, as Grant Farred has suggested. Heidegger’s Destruktion covers a wide range of philosophical issues, and it is not my objective to address all of these complexities; my interest is the relation between Heidegger’s critique of metaphysical violence, available equipment, and the task of remembering as it concerns blackness. What I hope to broach in this book, with all the aporias such as broaching encounters, is that the Negro is the missing element in Heidegger’s thinking (as well as in that of those postmetaphysicians indebted to Heidegger, such as Jean- Luc Nancy, Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, and Gianni Vattimo). If, as we learn in Being and Time, Dasein uses tools to experience its thrown- ness in the world (establishing its facticity) and to develop its unique project oriented toward the future (projectionality), the Negro — as commodity, object, slave, putative backdrop, prisoner, refugee, and corpse — is the quintessential tool Dasein uses. The use of the Negro metaphysically and ontologically, as a tool, is what black thinking is tasked with pursuing. Thus, black thinking (and postmetaphysics) must ask the unasked question “How is it going with black being?” Without broaching this question, all forms of destruction are just reconstitutions, since the world continues to use the Negro (as black and nothing) to forget Being and the sadistic pleasure of this forgetfulness.
Jason W. Alvis on Heidegger's phenomenology of the inapparent.
In a particular, yet limited sense, phenomenology under
Heidegger's watch becomes also an approach to uniquely look-past-things in their
ontic presence by way of one's becoming or being Dasein, which is accomplished by
being the open-being that fashions creatively a space (Raumlichkeit) of play for these
appearances. The sense data or hyle (ὕλη) are paradoxically the most immantently
present, yet they become inconspicuous in one's preference for what is putatively not
given in any ontic way, those categorial intuitions. One effectively can be situated,
however, (or bring one's thinking to this place) in a way that allows a variation of
access to the seemingly invisible movement from sensual to categorial intuitions.
This is called the "domain" or "the clearing of the appearing of the unapparent"
in which one performs "an exercise in a phenomenology of the inapparent." ...
[I]t is in the Zähringen seminar that
Heidegger sums up this aspect of his career that demonstrated how the nonappearing
and nonmanifesting of phenomena make it possible for one to be tuned-in to
the fundamental concealments of things as they appear. He indeed showed that the
thing itself does not appear on the grounds of the objectivity of consciousness but
rather according to the disclosedness and hiddenness of things.
The philosopher Martin Heidegger devoted much of his mental power to an analysis of how we exist in the world surrounded by things that we only fully encounter when we take them in hand and start using them. Unique among philosophers, he understood that things don’t just sit still and submit to our detached, unbiased analysis. On the contrary, we can only fully account for our experience if we also consider things as they exist while in use as equipment. This led him to theorize two “modes of encounter” with things.
First, there is “readiness-to-hand.” Something exists as ready-to-hand when our attention is directed not at it, but rather upon some job we are doing. The equipment doesn’t occur as an object in our minds at all, but rather joins up with our body to get a job done. This is a mode of being in which the equipment quietly recedes into the background of our experience — we can almost forget that it is there — and exists alongside us as something actively in use.
n a way, this sounds like the tool in question hides from our gaze when in use. But in another way, the tool is actually revealing a part of itself that otherwise goes unseen. A tool in use simultaneously reveals and conceals itself. As Heidegger put it, only “the hammering itself uncovers the specific ‘manipulability’ of the hammer” (Being and Time, I. 3:69).
Daniela Vallega-Neu on the changes from Contributions to Event.
In The Event [Heidegger] criticizes the notion of Da-sein in Contributions, and says, "Da-sein is
certainly thought essentially out of the event, and yet it is thought too one-sidely
with reference to the human being" (GA 71: 5). This and the fact that Dasein in
Being and Time designates primarily human being so much that it invited a
misinterpretation of Dasein as subject, are the reasons that I believe one ought to
translate Da-sein with "being-there" or "there-being." Being-there is the open site,
the time-space of the unconcealing concealment of being, of withdrawal and
eventuation of the event. All this does not occur without the human, without an
attuned, steadfastness (Inständigkeit) or ek-sistence, a "being" in the openness of
the "there" of beyng. To speak "of" the event is an effort to speak what gives
itself in a responsive listening to what addresses thinking. In this dimension of
creative thinking, there is no differentiation of thinking and what is thought, no
differentiation of subject and object but a turning event in which differencing
and encounter of various dimensions come to be. In Contributions, Heidegger
highlights in Da-sein sometimes the "Da-," that is, the disclosure of the truth of
being, and other times, the "-sein," the being of the there, which is how humans
are when they stand in the openness of the truth of being. But nowhere in Contributions
can we find Heidegger saying what he says in The Event: "Experienced in
terms of the historicality of being, 'Da-sein' is the name for beyng which is thought
out of the essential occurrence of its truth" (GA 71: 140). In this later volume
Heidegger thinks Da-sein more radically out of the truth of beyng and not
primarily in relation to human being.
Jason W. Alvis on Heidegger's phenomenology of the inconspicuous.
Whatever is inconspicuous has a distinctive unique "ability" (barkeit)
and understood in its "paradoxical" (as "contrary to appearances") provenance,
seeks to go beyond dichotomies that often hinder phenomenological thinking.
It refers to what is integrated within, yet holistically impacting the everyday, and
as the German adjective unscheinbar (traceable to the fifteenth century) refers,
it does not signify by being bright (leuchtend), manifested (offenbar), brilliant
(glänzend), or clear (klar). Yet it is distinguishable from what if nonvisible
and is not opposite of what does shine. The root scheinbar refers not to what is
obvious, but rather what seems or appears to be the case, and when the privative
un is paired up with this root, reference is made to how a thing's features are so
obscured that even a conjecture concerning its status is not made easily. As far as
any phenomenological exercise of the inconspicuous goes, it is taken for granted
here that some phenomenal experiences actively evade any attempt to grasp them
directly, and they indeed require a holistic vision for them to be experienced.
[P]rotesting that something is beyond the limits of reason hardly makes any sense, because it presupposes that one can transcend reason—or stand above it—to be able to say how far it will and can go. Heidegger had a very useful metaphor for this—holzwege, he called them: trails that led into the forest that went as far as one wanted them to go, that pushed on, rather than trod an already beaten path. Reason pushes on, as revelation makes available phenomena (saturated phenomena, Mario calls them) that challenge, allure, entice but also beguile. Only confident reason can go on; reason, uncertain of itself, stops dead in rationalist tracks. The posture of reason should not be “thus far, and thou shalt not pass,” but rather: “Let’s see how far this takes us,” which makes of reason more adventurous, more exciting, more faith-ful!