Martin Heidegger and a Seminar Participant discuss why you are not a table.
MH Then how is the human being in space? Does the human being only occupy space, or am I in space in a different way? SP I use my place. I sit. MH Does the table sit? What does "it sits" mean? SP I can take different positions in space....The human being fills up space. MH So does the table....When I refer to the human being, I am already referring to space too. SP The human being and space belong to each other. MH How? Space also belongs to the table. SP The human being is able to comport himself toward space. MH He is always comporting himself [toward something]. SP Space belongs to the human being's essential characteristics. I comport myself toward things in space, therefore, also toward space. Space is open to the human being. MH For the table too. SP I'm already in this space in which I move. MH I walk by occupying space. The table does not occupy space in the same way. The human being makes space for himself. He allows space to be. An example: When I move, the horizon recedes. The human being moves within a horizon. This does not only mean to transport one's body.
So much for being. For many readers, so much, too, for Sein as such. For them -- for indeed, most of the time at least, the author of Being and Time -- all there is to say about Sein is that it is 'intelligibility'*.
I oppose this view of things. Though there is indeed a sense of Sein in which it is just presence (truth as disclosure, 'world' in the ontological sense, intelligibility) there is another sense in which what is crucial about it is precisely the opposite -- unintelligibility ('un-truth'). In the language of 'The Otigin of the Work of Art', while in one sense Sein is just 'world' (int the ontological sense), in a different and, in the end, much more important sense its heart liesin 'earth'. More accurately, Sein in this sense is 'world' (in the ontic sense) and 'earth' taken together, in other words, 'that which really is' [P. 44] or simply 'reality' [P. 18] taken in the infinite 'plenitude' of all its 'facets'. It is this second sense I indicate by writing 'Being' with a capital 'B'.
Why should we acknowledge Being in addition to being? Why, in other words, should we acknowledge that key Heideggerian phrases -- 'house of B/being,' 'destiny of B/being,' 'truth of B/being,' 'O/other of B/beings', for example are systematically ambiguous? For a number of reasons, the first of which has to do with Heidegger's terminology.
Though by no means consistently, Heidegger sometimes observes a distinction between 'Sein' and 'Seyn'. The use of the antique 'y' suggests something both solemn and forgotten. The (generally excellent) translator of 'On the Essence of Truth' renders the 'Sein'-'Seyn' distinction in English as a distinction between 'being' and 'beyng'.
Teaching to this nation’s future leaders, jurists, lawmakers, government workers, teachers, etc., the ideas and philosophies of men and women such as Comte, Marx, Malthus, de Sade, Rousseau, Reich, Freud, Darwin, Nietzsche, Lenin, Stalin, Heidegger, Adorno, Lukacs, Gramsci, Sanger, Marcuse, Dewey, Kinsey, Derrida, and Foucault, for example, has unleashed a devastating wave of corruption, debauchery, political correctness, chaos, pathologies, crime, narcissism, raw power-grabbing, and abandonment of allegiance towards these United States of America, all of which paves the way for the rise of a socialistic, sustainably-developed New World Order.
Debauchery? Let's roll! I'm currently enjoying Bad Wisdom, and let me tell you, the guys (Is that Margaret Sanger?) on that list above were all amateurs. Well, OK, maybe de Sade knew how to throw a real débauche.
¶ 7:59 AM0 comments
Monday, April 23, 2007
Stephen Law interviews Nigel Warburton, who demonstrates how to use the ad hominem to bring clarity to philosophy.
Some writers write Philosophy as if they were paid by the syllable with bonus payments for including untranslated Latin. They also use jargon which may or may not clarify meaning. For a spectacular example of obscurity through excessive use of jargon, see Martin Heidegger's Being and Time (almost any page).
And ends with this bit of tu quoque.
Don't bullshit. Most people know when they are doing it. If you don't, you are probably in the wrong subject.
The emergence of new political, economic, and cultural Centers outside Europe, beyond the traditionally unmarked Center in relation to which the rest of the world has been defined as Periphery, transforms the parameters of spatial perception. The other source of dramatic change on this level of experience is the vast range of new devices in transportation and communication, which are bringing far-flung points on the globe closer together. Martin Heidegger establishes an explicit relationship between the new technological possibilities for bridging distance and his own analysis, in Being and Time, of space as a frame-condition for human existence. Through one of those hyphenations which are characteristic of his style as a philosopher and writer, Heidegger turns Entfernung ("distance") into its opposite, Ent-fernung ("undoing of farness"). This wordplay leads Heidegger to the thesis--analogous to and derived from the priority of Zuhandenheit ("ready to hand") over Vorhandenheit ("present at hand")--that, from an existential point of view, closeness (the result of an undoing of farness) has priority over distance. This thesis, however, obliges Heidegger to acknowledge--not without hesitation--that the new technologies of speed and transmission may well converge with the existential priority of eliminating distance: "In Dasein there is an essential tendency toward closeness. All the ways in which we speed things up, as we are more or less compelled to do today, push us on toward the conquest of remoteness [Entferntheit]. With the 'radio', for example, Dasein has so expanded its everyday environment that it has accomplished a de-distancing [Ent-fernung] of the 'world'--a de-distancing whose implications for the meaning of Dasein cannot yet be visualized".
As the Jewish world commemorated the Holocaust last weekend, I happened to be at a conference in what was once the heart of darkness. Freiburg, a small town in Germany, was the scene of perhaps the most notorious single example of trahison des clercs, the betrayal of reason by the intellectuals.
A PDF file with scanned-in bitmaps of Early Greek Thinking is available via BitTorrent. Because the contents were not OCR'd the file is over 20 megabytes (it took over a day to fetch the entire torrent), and the text cannot be searched. On the other hand, the book is currently out-of-print.
¶ 1:45 PM0 comments
We will once again be able to recognize and restore the intrinsic meaning to entities, if only we can learn to practice a phenomenological comportment sensitive to the "Appropriation" (her somewhat old-fashioned translation of Ereignis), an ontological truth event that — even after the end of ontotheology – still "takes away that which is its own from boundless unconcealment" (as Heidegger puts it in the 1962 essay, "Time and Being", in a passage White quotes). Obviously, such ideas ring rather differently from the measured tones of Being and Time, yet for White there is nothing new to be found even in the later Heidegger’s famous notion of Ereignis, which she reads simply as Heidegger’s later way of spelling out the implications already contained in the early notion of Eigentlichkeit. Ereignis might be the later Heidegger’s preferred name for a genuine ontological "event", a revolutionary insight that inaugurates the next stage in the history of being, but Being and Time already understood the authentic Augenblick as a "moment of insight" that "discloses the being of what-is". With the support of some of Heidegger’s most spectacular etymological acrobatics, White reads Ereignis back into Eigentlichkeit and maintains that, already in Being and Time, the authentic moment of "[i]nsight is in fact the ‘happening’ in which Dasein lets itself be taken up into the Appropriation of being".
[W]hen I was 15, I used to hang out with all the hobos at the Martin Heidegger Reading Room at the downtown library, who would surreptitiously drink malt liquor from brown-bag-concealed bottles while talking about literary deconstruction. They'd get me drunk and say stuff like "Deconstruction is not an enclosure in nothingness but an openness to the other."