Sweet Pea and the Bumblebee, by author Jason Akley, uses a simple and sweet background to explore life’s intriguing philosophical concepts as set forth by such well-known philosophers as Aristotle, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Sartre.
Geworfenheit, the blog, on the Heideggereanisms of glossolalics.
I believe the problem lies not so much on the new terms themselves because anyway Heidegger still uses human languages despite his efforts to find the originary meanings of the words. He digs up some ancient Greek words and creates new German words. The thing is he hardly gives clear, distinct definitions of the words. Even if he does, the meaning often changes or being redefined throughout his scattered essays or writings.
Heidegger says that the will to power is Nietzsche's attempt at metaphysics, but after reading the book and other articles, and knowing that perspectivism dominates his philosophy, I can pretty much say that Heidegger was mistaken. Nietzsche doesn't go for 'truth for its own sake'. He knows that truths are instruments of our physiology.
"We once had a girl with a very unique name, Heidegger. As a big fan of German philosophy, I thought her name was great! Looked forward to discussing being and nothingness with her. But she changed it to Honey, even though we had two other Honeys here."
Keeping natural names will also help strengthen family ties, he adds.
We interviewed the former Heidegger who says: "I didn’t want to deal with the social stigma of having an intimidating and individualistic name.
"Once inside here, I wanted to be the same as all the other girls. Plus, if a customer can’t pronounce your name, he will be less likely to tip you."
[T]o be resolute, to one's own self, is not a matter of finding one's true self and insisting upon it, at least not in any conventional sense of those terms. After all, whoever one might take one's "true self" to be can be overtaken by the world. What is more, and perhaps worse, one can die to that self by slipping into a depression that wrenches it away from one. To have found oneself and won oneself is in some cases to stick with who one has been heretofore and do so in the face of daunting social pressure, while in some cases it is to adapt flexibly to a new world or new dispositions. To win oneself is, in and of itself, neither to stick with who one has been nor to "wear the world's clothes lightly." Rather, to find oneself and win oneself is to see what is factically possible and important and to carry through with it, whatever its relation to who one has been heretofore might be. We can put this point by saying that the self one must find and win is who one is at this moment, but we cannot let the language of "moments" (Augenblicke) mislead us. Just as who I have-been is not who I have been, in the sense of the phases of my life that have gone by, so the moment of vision of which Heidegger writes in section 65 [of Being and Time] is not the now of clock-time, a tipping point between what has gone by and what is to come. This moment of vision, which might better be called a "moment of resolution," encompasses who I find myself to be and am able to go forward as.
This distinction [between be-ing and a being] is grasped since Being and Time as "ontological difference"--with the intention of safeguarding the question of the truth of be-ing from all confusion. But this distinction is immediately pushed in the direction from which it comes. For here beingness is claimed as ousia, idea; and following these, the objectness is claimed as condition for the possibility of the object. Therefore, in attempting to overcome the first effort at the question of being in Being and Time and its emanations (Vom Wesen des Grundes and the Kantbook), varying attempts were needed to master the "ontological difference," to grasp its very origin and that means its genuine onefold. Therefore, the effort was needed to come free of the "condition for the possibility" as going back into the merely "mathematical" and to grasp the truth of be-ing from within its own essential sway (enowning). Hence the tormenting and discording character of this distinction. For as necessary as the distinction is (to think in traditional terms), in order to provide at all a preliminary perspective for the equation of be-ing, just as disastrous does this distinction continue to be. For this distinction indeed does arise from a questioning of beings as such (of beingness). But in this way one never arrives directly at the question of be-ing. In other words, this distinction itself becomes the real barrier which misplaces the inquiry into the question of be-ing, insofar as, by presupposing this distinction, one attempots to go further than this distinction and t inquire into its onefold. This onefold can never be anything but the mirroring of the distinction and can never lead to the origin, in view of which this distinction can no longer be seen as originary.
Therefore the task is not to surpass beings (transcendence) but rather to leap over this distinction and thus over transcendence and to inquire inceptually into be-ing and truth.
But in thinking in the crossing, we must sustain this ambiguity: on the one hand to begin an initial clarification with this distinction and then leap over this very distinction. But this leaping-over occurs along with the leap as the en-grounding of the ground of the truth of be-ing, by leaping into the enowning of Da-sein.
Really, it is just a matter of distinguishing your garden variety being from ponderous beyng. Next, I'll be equally dismissive of the contradiction in the wave and particle duality of lyght.
¶ 9:44 AM0 comments
Boss prefers Heidegger's existentials, the things in life that we all have to deal with. He is interested, for example, in how people see space and time -- not the physical space and time of measured distances and clocks and calendars, but human space and time, personal space and time. Someone from long ago, who now lives far away, may be closer to you than the person next to you right now.
One incidental and belated product of this failure to grasp das Wesen des Dinges (the essence of the thing) was, according to Heidegger, the probability of nuclear annihilation: "Man gazes upon what might come with the explosion of the atomic bomb. Man does not see what already arrived long ago, and which transpires as that which only casts forth the explosion of the atomic bomb as its final eruption [...] What does this helpless anxiety still await, when the horrifying thing has already happened?" The elimination of mortal life between earth and sky, Heidegger thinks, is just the sort of thing you have to expect if you get das Wesen des Dinges wrong. Nuclear catastrophe "is only the crudest of all crude confirmations of the annihilation of the thing that already transpired long ago."
Passages such as these help to remind us what a self-infatuated blowhard Heidegger was. He is a perfect example of the idiot, the sort of person who has no sense of citizenship and whom you would never want to represent you in parliament. All that nuclear annihilation meant to him was one more bit of evidence for his claim to have understood das Wesen des Dinges better than Plato and Aristotle. The idea that we might gather together in public assemblies and agitate for a reform of the United Nations, one that would enable it to cope with nuclear proliferation, would have struck Heidegger as showing a ludicrous failure to understand the priority of Denken (thinking) over mere politics.
If in the guiding question of metaphysics what is interrogated is beings, but what is ultimately sought after is the being of beings, what is interrogated in Heidegger's other questioning" is the being of beings, the meaningful prescience of beings, whereas what is sought after is not more being, but rather a third thing, namely, the radical depth dimension of the temporal happening and differentiated giving of this being of beings. If the configuration of the guiding question is beings/being, the postmetaphysical configuration of Heidegger's topic is beings/being/the temporal giving of being in different historical shapes. His "step back" out of metaphysics is "out beyond the conception of being as the being of beings".
Thus heideggerians in their search for "being" have for years been after the wrong thing. Despite Heidegger's continued use of such phrases as "the question of being," "being as being," and "being itself" right up until the unfinished introduction to his collected edition, his question was never really the question of being, but rather the more radical question of what gives or produces being as an effect. The "question of being" misleadingly suggests that being here means what it has always meant in traditional metaphysics. "The name being loses its naming power in the step back, because it always unwittingly says 'presence and permanence,' determinations to which the essential presencing of being can never be attached as a mere addendum." This Heidegger spoke of the "disappearance of being" in the step back to that which makes being possible, "when the emphasis reads: letting come to presence [Anwesen lassen], there is no more room even for the name being. The letting is then the pure giving, which itself points back to the It that gives, which is understood as Ereignis."
A post about a paper by William Vallicella on Heidegger and truth, mentioned here last month, gets comments on the paper, and a post at Mormon Metaphysics. Clark's post has a good summary of recent scholarship on the issue of truth in Heidegger. I should mention that the host of the paper also has a response from Michael Zimmerman.
Kostas Axelos on Heidegger's meeting with Lacan, and politics.
I met [Lacan] again in his country house in Guitrancourt in August 1955, where he had invited Heidegger and his wife, Elfriede, Jean Beaufret and me to spend a few days. This was just before the seminar Heidegger gave at Cerisy-la-Salle, in Normandy, on What is Philosophy?, which Lacan did not attend.1 The discussion between the thinker and the psychoanalyst was a complete failure. They did not speak the same language, their approaches were entirely different. ... Heidegger I met in the summer of 1955, when he was spending a few days in Paris, just before the meeting with Lacan and the conference in Cerisy. We subsequently met several times, in his house in Freiburg or his hut in the Black Forest. We discussed many things – the ʻpolitical questionʼ throughout.
Stuart Elden: This question of Heideggerʼs politics is still very present. What did Heidegger say about this? What do you think of this?
KA: The discussion of the political question with Heidegger never advanced very far. One must say, the political realm in general eluded him. He was a great thinker and a narrowminded petty bourgeois at the same time; he did not really understand what had happened and was happening on this level. In the discussions, he tried to exonerate himself, saying that he had committed a great error, that in the beginning National Socialism was not what it later became, that he had distanced himself from Nazism, and so on. All this was wholly insufficient. But despite the National Socialist enticement of Heidegger, his thought can absolutely not be reduced or limited to Nazism. It is an opening, but it remains covered by a shadow. This shadow cannot and must not be forgotten, but all reductive attempts to explain it fail entirely.
Jeff Malpas describes the role of place in Heidegger's way of thinking, beginning with the earliest lectures.
The point is not merely that in 1919 Heidegger was already thinking about the problem of situatedness in terms that draw upon notions of happening and gathering, and so on, terms that are at the core of the later notion of Event, but that the notions at issue here are themselves already bound together. The problem with which Heidegger grapples form early on is how to understand the way in which our own being is given to us, "happens," along with the giving of world. That this is indeed a happening, and a happening in which we find ourselves gathered to that to which we already belong (as we are gathered in to the life that we live), is given in the original "datum" that gives rise to our thinking and to which we must respond. The Event is thus the starting point for thinking, while also being that to which thinking has to "return." Moreover, the happening that is at issue here is not some abstract "occurrence," but a happening in which we are gathered in to the concreteness and particularity of the world and to our own lives. As such, the happening at issue is also essentially a "there-ing," a "near-ing," a place-ing"--it is a happening of that open region, that place, in which we find ourselves, along with other persons and things, and to which we already belong. In returning to the original Event that is the happening of belonging, the happening of being, we also return to the original happening of place.
The idea of place that is invoked here is not, it should be stressed, the idea of that in which entities are merely "located"; rather, in the terms I used immediately above, place is that open, cleared, yet bounded region in which we find ourselves gathered together with other persons and things, and in which we are opened up to the world and the world to us. It is out of this place that space and time both emerge, and yet the place at issue here also has a dynamic character of its own--it is not merely the static appearance of a viewed locale or landscape, but is rather a unifying, gathered regioning--place is, in this sense, always a "taking place," a "happening" of place. It is this idea which I have argued has to be seen as already, in a certain sense, determining Heidegger's thinking from the start, and it is this idea which, as I have argued elsewhere on quite independent grounds, has to be viewed as having a central role in understanding both the world and our being "in" it. Moreover, the idea of a certain singularity and unity in "structure" that is characteristic of the way the happening of world occurs in Heidegger's earliest thought, and comes more clearly to the fore in the later, exactly parallels the singularity and unity that is a crucial part of the idea of place as I have employed it here and elsewhere, and that is captured in the idea of topology. Topology is the attempt to articulate place, not by means of any derivation from an underlying principle or ground, but rather in terms of its own differentiated and yet unitary character. The idea of the Event is topological in just this sense, operating against any attempt at grounding the original happening of place that is the focus here in anything more basic, more primordial, more originary. It is at this point, of course, that the idea of the Event both as happening and as gathering/belonging is crucial. Just as place does not gather separate elements "in" place, and is itself the gathering of those elements (elements which are themselves brought to light only in the gathering), so neither is the Event itself something that stands apart from the gathering of the elements that themselves brought to self-evidence through it.
The fact is that, however many factors you examine, you cannot fully explain behaviour, not even relatively simple behaviour. And if you cannot explain relatively simple behaviour, how are we to explain the immense, indeed infinite, variety of human behaviour? How are we fully to account for the infinite variety and originality of human utterance, for example? (It is vanishingly unlikely that the last sentence, or for that matter this one, has ever been written before.) How does one develop a universal law that explains an infinite number of unique events that are infused with meaning and intentionality? It was on this question that the programme of behaviourism, that (as everyone now completely forgets, though it was not so very long ago) promised a complete and sufficient explanation of human behaviour, foundered.
For Heidegger, thinking through the meaning of being ultimately leads to thinking about place.
According to the tradition, the "question of being" means the question concerning the being of beings, in other words: the question concerning the beinghood of beings, in which a being is determined in regard to its being-a-being[Seiendsein]. This question is the question of metaphysics.
With Being and Time, however, the "question of being" receives an entirely other meaning. Here it concerns the question of being as being. It becomes thematic in Being and Time under the name of the "question of the meaning [Sinn] of being.
Later this formulation was given up in favor of that of the "question concerning the truth of being," and finally in favor of that of the "question concerning the place or location of being," from which the name "topology of being" arose.
Three terms which succeed one another and at the same time indicate three steps along the way of thinking:
Ghost in the Wire on a connection from Heidegger to Baudrillard, via Benjamin and Lacan.
[A]ll I am trying to highlight at this point is how the early Baudrillard project really does provide a way of explaining how it is that Dasein gets dispersed into the They: the object sucks the subject away by means of a fluid and ever changing imaginary. The imaginary is both a projection of desire and the product of a system of signification that exceeds the subject, that is determined by the exchange and economy of objects, and that is influenced by the different auratic economies of the technological and media environment. To this extent, we can really consider Baudrillard one of the more legitimate heirs of Heidegger's project.
[Kundera] argues not only that self-conscious literary artifice is artistically necessary, but that it is philosophically and historically necessary. For Kundera, the world is essentially meaningless and contingent, its real existence always hidden by comfortable myths, and the only way to give it meaning, to live authentically, is to courageously rip away these myths. Kundera uses the phrase "the curtain" -- a concept that recalls both Plato's allegory of the cave and the Hindu concept of the veil of Maya -- to refer to those "judgments" and "pre-interpretations" of the world that stand in our way. The great novels refuse the consolation of essentialism, of received beliefs; they tear the curtain. In short, Kundera advocates a kind of dynamic fictional existentialism, in which each act of creative transgression reawakens what the phenomenologist Edmund Husserl called "the world of life," and what the philosopher Martin Heidegger called "being." (For Kundera, "existence" would seem a more apropos term, but he favors Heidegger's metaphysical word.)
For the sign to be pure, it has to duplicate itself: it is the duplication of the sign which destroys its meaning. This is what Andy Warhol demonstrates also: the multiple replicas of Marilyn's face are there to show at the same time the death of the original and the end of representation. The two towers of the W.T.C. are the visible sign of the closure of the system in a vertigo of duplication, while the other skyscrapers are each of them the original moment of a system constantly transcending itself in a perpetual crisis and self-challenge.
There is a particular fascination in this reduplication. As high as they are, higher than all the others, the two towers signify nevertheless the end of verticality. They ignore the other buildings, they are not of the same race, they no longer challenge them, nor compare themselves to them, they look one into the other, as into a mirror and culminate in this perstige of similitude. What they project is the idea of the model that they are one for the other, and their twin altitude presents no longer any value of transcendence. They signify only that the strategy of models and commutations wins out in the very heart of the system itself.
Dasein only 'has' meaning, so far as the disclosedness of Being-in-the-world can be 'filled in' by the entities discoverable in that disclosedness. Hence only Dasein can be meaningful [sinnvoll] or meaningless [sinnlos]. That is to say, its own Being and the entities disclosed with its Being can be appropriated in understanding, or can remain relegated to non-understanding.
This interpretation of the concept of 'meaning' is one which is ontological-existential in principle; if we adhere to it, then all entities whose kind of Being is of a character other than Dasein's must be conceived as unmeaning [unsinniges], essentially devoid of any meaning at all. Here 'unmeaning' does not signify that we are saying anything about the value of such entities, but it gives expression to an ontological characteristic. And only that which is unmeaning can be absurd [widersinnig]. The present-at-hand, as Dasein encounters it, can, as it were, assault Dasein's Being; natural events, for instance, can break in upon us and destroy us.
And if we are inquiring about the meaning of Being, our investigation does not then become a "deep" one, nor does it puzzle out what stands behind Being. It asks about Being itself in so far as Being enters into the intelligibility of Dasein. The meaning of Being can never be contrasted with entities, or with Being as the 'ground' which gives entities support; for a 'ground' becomes accessible only as meaning, even if it is itself the abyss of meaninglessness.
The cad asks for ten pounds, and is offered four and sevenpence: the encounter involves not just indebtedness and impropriety (Schuld) but also bartering, like the bartering Heidegger describes when discussing the Anaximander Fragment. Beings come, then go back whence they came, thus rendering justice and paying penalty to one another for their injustice, according to the ordinance of time, the fragment tells us. ‘Thus,’ Heidegger writes, ‘they exhibit a kind of barter system in Nature’s immutable economy’. What the Fragment, an incomplete account from deep, deep in the past – just like the Wake’s accounts of the encounter, or encounters, of which Joyce himself only received partial accounts – represents to Heidegger is the dawn of that destiny whereby Being, the presencing of what is present, is sent to us – the dawn, that is, of the possibility of the Ereignis, the event, ‘in which the history of the Western world comes to be born out, the event of metaphysics’. Finnegans Wake, the book of history, of knowledge and of ignorance, of rereadings, repetitions and exegeses, turns around the possibility of the event: of the event that might have happened way back in the park, or might happen again, or maybe is continually happening and has never stopped – and round the possibility of understanding it, of finally containing it in thought. In Joyce’s text, the event unfolds as possibility, as destiny. It comes round again and again; it is retaled. But what it brings round is not Being, presencing and presence – rather, it reopens all lines of difference and credit around a monetary sign, an event of economic exchange. It is a tale that is retailed, again and a gain. Joyce’s Ereignis is not that of presence, but rather of différance. In it, es gibt Sein becomes es gibt Geld.
In veiled polemic against Lacan on the one hand and Deleuze on the other, Derrida declares that the metaphysical notions of truth-presence function as fetishes aiming to supplement and hide the lack of phallus of truth as woman; but that if one rebels against truth, seen as castrating, one falls into the phallocentrism which inspires this denial. Reduced to a fiction truth is still something under our control. But ‘castration does not take place’; the ‘il faut’ of truth, as the ‘law’ of judgement’ cannot be fixed in a stable, fetishised way. We are caught in its play without being able to master it, either by raising it to dogmatic certitude or unmasking it as illusion.
This Nietzschean vertigo replaces the Heideggerian vision of the essence of truth, the Ereignis, event of being. Derrida opens the Ereignis onto the enigmas of truth as woman, not to dissolve the truths of science, ethics, psychoanalysis or ontology, but to show the abyssal ground in which they are rooted and which they can never recuperate or reduce. The Ereignis, interpreted in this way, subordinates presence to a play of the simulacrum and of seduction, for the Ereignis reveals itself to be ‘origin-heterogeneous’; instead of recollecting in itself the essence of being, it dissolves every notion of proper origin or foundation.
Heidegger during his middle period famously did a phenomenological analysis in which he argued that beings were not fundamental. Rather he focused on what one might call a pragmatic consideration. We encounter things not fundamentally as objects (beings) but as useful equipment. Thus I don't encounter a paint brush as matter that I then think of how I can use it. Rather the uses come first. I use a paint brush in-order-to paint a wall. The paint brush is part and parcel of a world with aims, projects, practices and equipment. Thus the paint brush has its meaning in terms of walls, paints, paint thinner, rollers and the aim of painting walls. There are many such worlds. For instance the world of an accountant involves pencils, Excel spreadsheets, Quickbooks, paper, tax forms and the purposes of paying taxes, pleasing tax men and clients and so forth.
I was surprised when I took my tax materials to my new accountant, that when he got excited about a discrepancy between employer's and broker's numbers, he pulled out his desk calculator and the paper tape started flying out. This despite having a PC monitor at his side. Perhaps Excel isn't real enough, and needs to add sound effects. Or the ready-to-hand gets burned into the brain at a certain age, and all new gadgets past that point are merely present.
¶ 8:35 AM2 comments
Freedom, Playfulness and Education, the blog, has been quoting Being and Time. Here, and the following posts.
¶ 8:16 AM0 comments
Let us first return to the very beginning of Being and Time, to the first lines of the book. Heidegger begins Being and Time with a quote from Plato's Sophist. The Eleatic Stranger poses a question to Theaetetus as to the meaning of Being. This question arises "directly" in the center of the dialogue. Thus Being and Time, begins in the middle of a Platonic dialogue. Given such a conspicuous beginning, we are perhaps entitled to ask what will happen in the middle of Being and Time itself.
The assumption of the tradition is not necessarily traditionalism and the adoption of prejudices. The genuine repetition of a traditional question lets its external character as a tradition fade away and pulls back from the prejudices. ... [T]his process of having recourse and seeking a connection to the tradition includes the assumption of particular interrogative contexts and particular concepts which certainly in turn are then clarified relatively along phenomenological lines and conceived more or less rigorously. However, we not only want to understand that such a contact with the tradition brings prejudices with it. We also want to establish a genuine contact with the tradition. For the opposite way would be just as fantastic, represented in the opinion that a philosophy can be built in mid-air, just as there have often been philosophers who believed that one can begin with nothing. Thus, the contact with the tradition, the return to history, can have a double sense. On the one hand, it can be purely a matter of traditionalism, in which what is assumed is itself not subjected to criticism. On the other hand, however, the return can also be performed so that it goes back prior to the questions which were posed in history, and the questions raised by the past are once again originally appropriated.
Sein. The illumining of world through the deployment of the suite of time-spaces historically unfolded through the human existent as interpretative horizons, the possibilities of which are rooted in and fashioning of cultural things and symbols, an natural things as interpreted. The results of past interpretative illuminings of Sein in the form of the concrete possibilities of the already having been (das Gewesene) are handed on principally through the enculturation of new generation of Dasein, whose natural faith is molded by the anonymous average them (das Man), passing on traditions and language inauthentically, governing the way epochs continue to come to be through intersubjective interpretation (Mitsein). Seinsgeschichte (history of Sein) means the suite of epochs growing out of the dialectical relationships between the brute facticity of the in-itself (the ontic, including the cultural forms embedded in transformed natural carriers) and the sense-making activity of the interpretation (the ontological). These are not to be confused; the thinker should not forget this ontological difference between Sein and Seienden. As these interpenetrate, the socially shared interpretative horizons account for what is allowed to stand in the attention of our individual and collective dealings with the world. The facticity responds, by presencing within the opened space-time and by being altered by man's action, to become a guide to future cooperative interpretation and action.
Alain Badiou's Being and Eventtalked up in Radical Philosophy.
[A]t the level of philosophical form, it surpasses its ambivalent predecessor, Heidegger’s Being and Time, in the rigour of its reactionary modernism. The modernity of Badiou’s mathematics does not mitigate, but rather reinforces, the authoritarianism of his philosophical axiomatics and the mysticism of his conception of the event.