Thursday, July 09, 2009
Peter Osborne on ordinary time.
The ordinary conception of time is taken by Heidegger to 'cover up' the character of temporality as a mode of Dasein's existence, by reducing it to 'a sequence of "nows" which are constantly "present-at-hand", simultaneously passing away and coming along' in an uninterrupted flow, as if they existed externally to one another and independently of Dasein. As such, the ordinary conception of time is described by Heidegger as now-time' (Jetztzeit). For Heidegger, it is essentially an everyday version of Aristotle’s conception of rime as an endless and irreversible succession of instants. In presenting time as continuous (as opposed to ecstatic), and independent of Dasein, the ordinary conception marks itself off as the product of a 'fallen' Dasein, an 'inauthentic' mode of time-consciousness. What it covers up, in particular, is Dasein's finitude, and hence everything that flows existentially and temporally from the recognition of that finitude. The ordinary conception of time involves a 'fleeing in the face of death'. It is a 'self-forgetful "representation"' through which time appears as infinite, since it is defined by the standpoint of 'the they'. For '"the they" never dies.' Indeed, 'the they' cannot die since, as we have seen, on Heidegger's analysis, 'death is in each case mine.'

P. 64
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