Monday, October 03, 2005

The Pangrammaticon argues that the world in its worlding refers to "things":
My argument for this is that what the world does when it is being itself is "to world", but the phenomenological evidence for the world's worlding is constituted by what this doing "brings forth", and this can be nothing other than things. Thus, we catch the world "in its worlding" (in the act of worlding, i.e., in the act of being itself) whenever we encounter a thing.
To the world in its worlding themselves!
Always a thrill to be dug in this digest.
"and this can be nothing other than things"... And what about this nothing? To pun in lieu of "What is Metaphysics"
When words gets overloaded like Heidegger does, punning becomes too easy, just as it's easy to sound like him, and say nothing...but I digress.
I think I really ought to have been more explicit. I recognise that Heidegger and especially words like "nothing" are liable to misuse. Also, I wasn't simply punning for the sake of it, I did have a point.

I can't find my copy of "What is Metaphysics" to check and make sure that my memory hasn't deteorated but, what i was trying to bring out was this. In W.i.M. Heidegger talks about the sciences, which talk only and always about beings, indeed in such a way that being, which is of course, not a being is concealed. Heidegger brings "the Nothing" into his speach via the idiomatic expression "and nothing more" (e.g science tells us that X is the case and nothing more) whereupon, as I did, he said "what about this nothing?." My memory is that what is there called "the Nothing," is being, and that it is called "the Nothing" for two reasons, first, that being is not a being, and the second is that through the focus on beings as beings (or, only beings [as beings]) being is unthought and unthinkable (the best i can give you for this is p281 of Pathmarks, the chapter called "Introduction to what is metaphysics" [of which i have a photocopy] "Metaphysics gives and seems to confirm, the appearance that it asks and answers the question concerning Being... metaphysics does not ask this question because it thinks Being only by representing beings as beings. It means beings as a whole, although it speaks of Being. It names Being and means beings as beings... Due to the manner in which it thinks of beings, metaphysics almost seems to be, without knowing it, the barrier that refuses human beings the primordial relation of Being to the human essence").

I think that one may put this attitude together with thinking beings in their presence at hand, as one may also do with the "standing-reserve" of "The question concerning technology." And thus, technological thinking and the afforementioned scientific thinking do not think world as such, because they only think beings in their presence at hand, or their objective presence. Moreover, I think that using the word "things" instead of "the world in its worlding" is in danger of thinking only beings in the presence at hand. To be sure a hermeneutic may be under way (which of course, I haven't seen, since it hasn't fully happened yet), and if one thinks aletheia as a gathering of the ontollogical difference (that is, aletheia as being's giving beings unhiddenness, their showing, their standing in the lightening of being taken as the ontollogical possibility of truth in the greek sense or the sense of the "agreement of preception with realitas" etc.) then "things" has some legitimacy as a replacement.

My basic point was that the worlding of the world involves more than is immediately apparent in the word "thing." Part of what i was trying to gesture towards were elements of world like relevance, reference and and beings as readiness-to-hand etc.

Moreover though, I was thinking of something such as this...

"Being anxious discloses, primordially and directly, the world as world. It is not the case that initially we deliberately look away from innderworldly beings and think only of the world about which Angst arises, but Angst as a mode of attunement first discloses the World As World. However, that does not mean that the worldliness of the world is conceptualised in Angst.

"Angst is not only Anst about ..., but it is at the same time, as attunement, Angst for .... That for which Angst is anxious is not a Definite kind of being and possibility of Da-sein. The threat itself is, after all, indefinite and thus cannot penetrate threateningly to this of that factically concrete potentiallity of being. What Angst is anxious for is being-in-the-world itself. In Angst, the things at hand in the surrounding world sink away, and so do innerworldly beings in general...

"Angst individuates and thus discloses Da-sein as 'solus ipse.' This existential 'solipsism,' however is so far from transposing an isolated subject-thing into the harmelss vacuum of worldless occurrence that it brings Da-sein in an extreme sense precisely before its world as world, and thus itself before itself as being-in-the-world" B&T pp187-188 (that is pp187-188 by the german publication, though I'm quoting from Stambaugh's Translation)

In my opinion this means that the world is worlding in Angst (that is it is a mode of the worlds worlding, its disclosure, its truth, it's coming to presence etc.). Given that Angst is a mode of attunement, to change the nearing of "world in its worlding" to the nearing of "things" does not take proper account of the disclosure of world in anxiety. Thus, the other side of my reference was that anxiety, "bitter privation" and "being in the presence of the Da-sein that one loves, and not simply the person" and all the other examples which Heidegger brought up in "What is Metaphysics" are precisely what is cast aside when one says that the worlding of the world "can be nothing other than things."

I was not trying to be a nuisance, but in effect, I suppose my joke presupposed that others would presuppose that I knew what I was talking about. In the past I've done this, and found in the end that i didn't know what I was talking about, so its a silly habit. It's been a while since I really read Heidegger, if you think that my interpretation is lacking from the above, then, fair enough.
Nothing is the thing's other in lieu of a proper metaphysical determination?
Grant me that the worlding of the world also involves more than is immediately apparent in the words "the worlding of the world".
On the same logic, grant me also that to preserve the nearing of "world in its worlding" as the nearing of "world in its worlding" does not take proper account of the disclosure of world in anxiety.
Please note also that I am aware of the damage I am doing to "The Turning". What Heidegger is presenting as a prayer or act of metaphysical faith, I am restating in terms of (what a younger Heidegger would describe as) its "phenomenological evidence". That is, the evidence for world in its worlding is the presence of things. And, yes, the next step is: "May things be in hand..." (not merely at hand).

What I find marvelous is that none of this pedantry (mine or yours) affects the quality of the joke that my hermeneutic is, as you so rightly note, advancing toward, step by pedantico-ontological step. No matter how much I unpack it, (unload the baggage of its metaphysics), no matter how slowly I do it, how small the individual cases, I always chuckle as I work. That's a real testiment to Heidegger's genius, I think.
I can grant it (i know what you mean about hermeneutical struggles). I just wanted to say that with the "metaphysics" of the passage i quoted from "Introduction to what is metaphysics" metaphysics qua metaphyisics cannot give being a 'proper determination' and so perhaps one might say that nothing is the thing's other because of metaphysical detmination. in heidegger he used the word, I think, for the purpose of uncanniness, to speak about being. Though, I played with it a bit and the meaning attaining to it for the purpose of my joke was indeed rather closer to the one you conjectured.
When Heidegger says "being is not a thing", then it's a short step to "being is nothing". Suddenly we're a long way from Nietzsche's nothing, the dread-inducing nihilistic chasm between subject and object, and we appear to have stepped through the looking-glass into a tautology. Nothing nothings, much as being is, so what's the big angst? As that great ontologist Freddie Mercury crooned, "nothing really matters to me."

But seriously, Heidegger describes the nothing not merely as the being-that-is-no-thing, but as an abscence, and he links experiencing the nothing, as one of the ways we address our finitude. And to not confront it, to be inauthentic.

Currently I'm entertaining the notion that being = meaningfulness. If one says that beings stand out against the nothing, and that standing out is being, the meaningfulness to us of beings, then that nothing is what gives things meaning.

> I was not trying to be a nuisance,

Not in the least.

> but in effect, I suppose my joke presupposed that others would presuppose that I knew what I was talking about.

One can never strike the right balance between speaking to insiders, or being to explicit, with an audience as broad as the internet. One says what one wants to, or must say, and carries on. One is the "Solus Ipse", or one doesn't speak, and says naught. "Saying is the mode in which Enowning speaks" {The Way To Language, GA 12}.
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