In NDPR, Dennis J. Schmidt reviews Dominique Janicaud's Heidegger in France, translated by François Raffoul and David Pettigrew .
It stands as a powerful reminder that philosophy does not happen in vacuums, but in cultures, journals, classrooms, and that it is forged in debates as well as face-to face discussions that can be creative even when they are full of misunderstanding or hidden agendas. It is also a reminder of the too often neglected role of translation in the transmission of ideas -- Heidegger here has a recognizably French accent.
The Canadian Society for Continental Philosophy's Adam Haaga reviews Timothy Secret's The Politics and Pedagogy of Mourning: On Responsibility in Eulogy.
A question in Heidegger’s fundamental ontology remains concerning if Dasein could have concern for another’s dying, given that another’s dying away is precisely what cannot be taken from them (BT, 284). The second point of contention concerns the well-known risk of ontic contamination that plagues Heidegger’s ontological investigation, which is not to insinuate that a complete delimitation of the sciences subordinated to an existential analytic is possible or even to be preferred. We can neither obtain clarification of death as such by first engaging in regional ontologies, scientific investigations of singular occurrences of death, nor could a universal existential analysis of death properly ground future discourses on death’s particular manifestations; no harmony can be realized between these two methods. Instead we are forced to contend with an aporetic structure. As Secret explains, we “enter a chaotic spiral in which a series of deepening mutual distortions leads us ever further from the truth.”
1. Everything is groundless and goalless; can a ground and a goal
be at all rightly expected and found?
2. We cannot turn back and certainly cannot help ourselves out
with snatched-up tatters and patches.
3. Are we moving forward—or are we merely being pushed down a
slope, because we do not even have enough weight to fall on our own?
4. Must we at all extricate ourselves from the previous back and
forth movement? Whereto?
5. Of what help is the unity of the people—supposing such unity
came to be out of the void and in this wasteland?
6. Is not all questioning becoming still more pressing and greater
and more multifarious for the people—is not the wasteland expanding
and the void becoming voider?
7. Can a change actually take place without a long preparation?
8. Must not this preparation be carried out radically, from the first
and broadest domains of decision?
9. Are not these domains to be opened up in advance as the first
and broadest ones and incorporated into the structure?
10. For that, must not thought—interrogative-poetic knowledge—
be affirmed as the highest?
11. Being = time as the presentiment of a preliminary stage of the
preparation. (Cf. Being and Time II.)
12. Contributions to philosophy. (cf. plan of 7-27-36.)
13. A confrontation with Being and Time.
14. The beginning of metaphysics. (Cf. p. 39f.)
Must not proceed on the path of doom, but also must not withdraw
into something earlier—instead, away from the whole path into a
second beginning—in the closedness of that path, its simplicity, and
Being is starting to become question-worthy.
We understand something of the well-worn, much-used “is”—or at least we understand
that there is here something to be grasped. This grasping has its own proper law and its
The law of philosophy—philosophy has its own law. How we situate
ourselves in relation to its rests with us alone. We can expose ourselves
to this law and thereby sustain it. We can also keep away from it. But as
What remains: the shocking greatness of this (so slight at the beginning)
labor. It is a labor that has been standing for two millennia—and
it will stand in the future. It will stand especially against all the
volumes full of the idle talk and pen pushing of everyone today.
Pop Matters reviews Emanuele Severino's The Essence of Nihilism.
In terms of style and content, Severino is closest to Heidegger, whose name comes up frequently. Both see technology and what Heidegger calls “calculative thinking” as preeminent threats. Critics have long pointed out that, at least semantically, Heidegger’s notion of Being is consistent with what philosophers have traditionally termed God, and Severino explicitly states as much about his own use of the word Being (albeit some 80 pages into the book). Yet, Severino’s text is an implicit challenge to Heidegger regarding, for instance, anxiety, which for Severino would be an emotional response to a spurious metaphysics founded on the belief that beings are nothing. Being, and therefore being-there, is eternal. “The body’s disintegration is not its annihilation, but is the way in which it stably leaves the horizon of the appearing of Being.”
What does Heidegger mean by Being? In an essay called “The Turning” Heidegger says that Being “is itself the placeless dwelling of all presencing,” In the Letter on Humanism Being “is It itself. The thinking that is to come must learn to experience that and to say it. ‘Being’—that is not God and not a cosmic ground. Being is farther than all beings and is yet nearer to man than every being, be it a rock, a beast, a work of art, a machine, be it an angel or God.” Of course, this is still not very clear. Being is neither an entity nor God. In fact, God or the gods are simply entities, different ways in which Being may or may not reveal itself. “Whether God lives or remains dead ….is determined from and within the constellation of Being.” In 1927 Heidegger wrote that “faith…is in its innermost core the mortal enemy of… philosophy ….Accordingly, there is no such thing as a Christian philosophy; that is an absolute “square circle’.” Yet Heidegger had his own faith in Being.
Being reveals itself poetically, not rationally. He once put this quite bluntly: “Thinking begins only when we have come to know that reason, glorified for centuries, is the most stiff-necked adversary of thought.” Poetry was the true language handed over to Da-sein from Being (“Language is the house of Being”). This is, for Heidegger a language liberated from grammar and filled with mystery rather than clarity.
In Philosophy Now, Roger Caldwell reviews S.M. Ewegen's Plato’s Cratylus: The Comedy of Language.
Ewegen’s direct references to Heidegger are few, but his text is imbued throughout with the language of the German master – not least in that ‘Being’ is never without its capital B. The problem is that Heidegger’s own readings of Greek thought (which by his own account are “violent”) are frequently forced, tendentious, and unpersuasive.
What's really cool about this issue of Philosophy Now is the seminar ad in the inside back cover.
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