Friday, July 31, 2009

Perverse Egalitarianism on H disses H: "ever more ludicrous", "impressed with himself", "irrational", "off the deep end".
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Bert Olivier on the fourfold charms of Philadelphia.
Moreover, this “region” gathers together places where what Heidegger calls the “fourfold” (the unity of earth, sky, mortals and divinities) may be encountered at every level — in the physical exhilaration of walking the distance, and that accompanies the visual experiences, in the time it takes to walk and to stand still while taking in the changing scene, and finally in the experience of satisfaction and edification in the face of so much creativity.
Even the thought of Star Trek’s imaginary starship, the Enterprise (which can hardly be avoided) is consonant with this pioneering spirit and it is not difficult to see in this sculptural work — within its setting — an instantiation of the combined presence of the members of the “fourfold”: “earth” (physical desire and striving), “mortals” (the meaning of limited human time), “sky” (the challenge to live creatively beyond existing boundaries) and divinities (giving meaning to life through constructive, self-transcending activity).
Sometimes we walked through the snow (often feeling the falling snowflakes on our faces) or under a canopy of Fall colours, catching our breath at the beauty around us and discovering, every step of the way, what Heidegger meant when he remarked that we, as humans, so easily forget to be “astonished”. Astonished at what? At the sheer miracle of being and of being able to discover, even in the ostensibly most ordinary of experiences or places, a world or “fourfold” of meaning, an easily forgotten ethos by which to find orientation in what often seems to be a world lacking all sense of direction.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Wozu Dichter?

missinterpretation of heidegger
we all claim for deconstruction
of everything what you believed before
we all claim just for your presence
here and now once before we leave
this place, and this time
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Charles Taylor on why philosophy students may need to retool.
Q: The flip side of that is that some students, particularly in multi-disciplinary courses, find p hilosophy fascinating but overwhelming. They embark on required texts such as Heidegger’s Being and Time or something by Foucault, but they can’t understand them, there’s something missing which they expect to be there. What would you advise such students?

Charles Taylor: Well, yeah, that’s a very difficult thing, because you are quite right, sometimes, as with the work of Foucault, it can take a really big investment of time, particularly if it’s just you and the text and you’re reading it for the tenth time, asking ‘What’s going on?’ But there are some good commentaries out there. Hubert Dreyfus has written a commentary on Division One of Being and Time that I think really bridges the gap between Heidegger and anybody with a certain knowledge of philosophy in the English-speaking world. But it is certainly true that for both Heidegger and Foucault you definitely have to retool your mind (laughs). You don’t get it right away, because they’re not writing in terms immediately connected to the terms you’ve been used to.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Critchley, B&T, week 8. The triad of time.
The key to Heidegger's understanding of time is that it is neither simply reducible to the vulgar experience of time, nor does it originate in distinction from eternity. Time should be grasped in and of itself as the unity of the three dimensions – what Heidegger calls "ecstases" – of future, past and present.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Santiago Zabala on his new book.
Ontology as the investigation of Being has always been unique in philosophy and will probably continue to demand our efforts (in the form of recollection or appropriation, as Heidegger requested) not only because it’s what shaped philosophy in its essence but also because it is the only sphere through which we think. Among the first things my teacher, Prof. Vattimo, taught me is that to be “a philosopher means to be obsessed with the verb Being (concerning what is and what is not) because it invites you not to remain satisfied with your own identity and to seek the entire horizon of Being—in other words, to dialogue.” In this book I really took this suggestion literally since it implies that Being requires infinite interpretations rather than definite descriptions, in other words, “conversations instead or truth” as Rorty always requested.

anotherheideggerblog interviews Graham Harman and Lee Braver.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Junk for Code on the quotidian thinker.
Often this proposal for an encounter between philosophy and everyday life that will be mutually transforming is one in which philosophy critiques everyday life; a proposal that fixes a one-way relation between everyday life and a discourse of philosophy, which transcends it. These proposals, eg. those of Heidegger, opt for the enrichment of philosophy over the enrichment of everyday life--ie., the organization and production of social time and space, and the questions associated with culture.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Leszek Kolakowski, R.I.P. He wrote "A Comment on Heidegger’s Comment on Nietzsche’s Alleged Comment on Hegel's Comment on the Power of Negativity".
Critchley, B&T, week 7. The inauthenticity of blogging.
What gets said in the call of conscience? Heidegger is crystal clear: like Cordelia in King Lear, nothing is said. The call of conscience is silent. It contains no instructions or advice. In order to understand this, it is important to grasp that, for Heidegger, inauthentic life is characterised by chatter – for example, the ever-ambiguous hubbub of the blogosphere. Conscience calls Dasein back from this chatter silently. It has the character of what Heidegger calls "reticence" (Verschwiegenheit), which is the privileged mode of language in Heidegger. So, the call of conscience is a silent call that silences the chatter of the world and brings me back to myself.
The less blogged, the better, then.
Friday, July 17, 2009
When will philosophers get one of these?: Social networking site for researchers aims to make academic papers a thing of the past. I expect there will be still be academic papers into the foreseeable future. They just don't have to be published in paper journals, and their restricted web sites. It's happened already, only someone has to "beep-beep" so they'll look down and realize.

Human Trend prioritizes the hyphen.
“Well, what don’t you like?” I asked.

“The title, for one.”

“‘Heidegger’s Hyphens.’”

“Right. Why that?”

“Well, I wanted to write about the hyphens. Being-in-the-world. The bridges between the words. How things are tied together.”

“Right. I can see that,” he says, flipping through the manuscript. “But why isn’t more Heideggerean?”

“Well, it’s not about that. It’s about the hyphens.”

talent imitates, genius steals on disapearing into the background.
Invisible technology is a concept coined by Heidegger to describe tools that stop being tools and become integral aspects of how we live in and experience the world, extensions of ourselves.

His example is a blind person's cane. My point was that only when the web is as integrated as that, in ways that are hinted at by the 'mobile' web and augmented reality applications, will we really understand the impact it will make on the world.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Dana S. Belu reviews Sharin N. Elkholy's Heidegger and a Metaphysics of Feeling.
This double movement of revealing and concealing that characterizes the "ontological occlusion" appears to be the same double movement characteristic of Heidegger's aletheia. It remains unclear what work the ontological occlusion accomplishes that aletheia does not.

What is clear, however, is that Elkholy uses "ontological occlusion" to support her claim that Da-sein's authenticity is possible only at a collective level as a Mitda-sein in the attempt of preserving its unique tradition.
Audio of Michael Eldred's "Appraising Heidegger's Interpretations of Movement and Time" is now available on MP3.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009

anotherheideggerblog found "The Principle of Identity" on vinyl. The turntableless can watch the video on YouTube.

Object-Oriented Philosophy on what makes humans different from other animals.
Even most panpsychists wouldn’t deny that human dealings with the world are of a vastly different kind from all others. That’s not in dispute. The dispute is over whether the human relation is so vastly different in kind from that of other entities that it deserves to be built into a basic ontological rift around which all else revolves.

And in fact, this is Heidegger’s weakest point as a philosopher, the point where he sees least clearly with his own eyes and merely adopts what the tradition of modern philosophy handed down to him. For he is never able to clarify adequately how Dasein’s relation to the world is different.
When I teach a parrot to ask: "Why is there something rather than nothing?", I'll name it Dasein.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic has over a dozen Heidegger books available on CD and audio file. However, it costs $100, to join and get access.
Karen Armstrong reinterprets Greek through via Latin blinders.
In most pre-modern cultures, there were two recognised ways of attaining truth. The Greeks called them mythos and logos. Both were crucial and each had its particular sphere of competence. Logos ("reason; science") was the pragmatic mode of thought that enabled us to control our environment and function in the world. It had, therefore, to correspond accurately to external realities. But logos could not assuage human grief or give people intimations that their lives had meaning. For that they turned to mythos, an early form of psychology, which dealt with the more elusive aspects of human experience.

anotherheideggerblog posts on Tarkovsky's Stalker and eco-criticism, and, dearer to my heart, used-bookstores, in Freiburg.
Of course for the Heideggerian it is the availability of spoken word Heidegger cds, and the presence of the Gesamtausgabe in a bookshop which is most striking. I'm sure most of us are used to coming across this in our libraries, but to come across Band...34 or 56 or 78...for sale makes one a little jealous!
One of the great cultural tragedies of our epoch is that no one recorded Heidegger when he was like a rumor of the hidden king. The earliest recording I know of is "What is Called Thinking?" for Bavarian Radio in 1952.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Critchley, B&T, week 6. The perniciousness of one's own death.
Heidegger's analysis of being-towards-death is exceptionally direct and powerful. However, it is open to the following objection. Heidegger argues that the only authentic death is one's own. To die for another person, he writes, would simply be to "sacrifice oneself". To that extent, for Heidegger, the deaths of others are secondary to my death, which is primary. In my view (and this criticism is first advanced by Edith Stein and Emmanuel Levinas), such a conception of death is both false and morally pernicious. On the contrary, I think that death comes into our world through the deaths of others, whether as close as a parent, partner or child or as far as the unknown victim of a distant famine or war. The relation to death is not first and foremost my own fear for my own demise, but my sense of being undone by the experience of grief and mourning.

Perverse Egalitarianism on understanding early Heidegger.
And before saying anything about this I should be clear about one point, by "early Heidegger" we mean the Heidegger of Being and Time and surrounding writings, not the brilliant earliest pre-Husserlian Heidegger who was doing interesting things in reaction to his teachers (the first 1919 formulation of Vorhandenheit/Zuhandenheit is in reaction to Rickert, who is discussed in this regard in History of the Concept of Time, but then the citation of the very same discussion is dropped in Being and Time), the Southwest School neo-Kantians, nor Heidegger right after that whose lectures of that period that spends 9/10ths of the time going through the ritualized dance of setting up the phenomenological verbiage. Being and Time is (among other things) a brilliant (though possibly inconsistent) working out of his earliest anti-neo-Kantian insights in the context of a very neo-Kantian Husserliana, the different interpretations above are all to some extent in reaction to the tensions between these two aspects.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
The English translation of Emmanuel Faye's book is coming out in November.
In this provocative book, Faye uses excerpts from unpublished seminars to show that Heidegger’s philosophical writings are fatally compromised by an adherence to National Socialist ideas.
I suspect that unpublished in this sense means: have not all been translated to English or French yet. Summer Semester 1934's Logik als die Frage nach dem Wesen der Sprache was delayed, but should be out before the end of the month.
Heidelberg Thingplatz.
A Thing is an term for the ancient gatherings of Norse and Germanic tribes in an outdoor setting,
Outdoor areas called Thingstätte (Thingplatz, singular) were constructed on or near sites that had historical or mythical significance, and were made to look as natural as possible. Thingstätte were modeled from ancient Greek theaters to strengthen the link to the past

Martin Heidegger:
Our language denotes what a gathering is by an ancient word. That word is: thing. The jug's presencing is the pure, giving gathering of the onefold fourfold into a single time-space, a single stay. The jug presences as a thing. The jug is the jug as a thing. But how does the thing presence? The thing things.

Pp. 173-4
Saturday, July 11, 2009
German 101.
I'm a beginner with a question on when to use sein or haben for the past partciple. In my virtual notebook I'm collecting all sorts of grammar rules from various grammar manuals in order to provide myself with a quick and easy way to store and organize the multitude of rules in German grammar. Here's what I've collected so far, and I've tried to order them in such a way where it would be easy to figure out whether to use haben or sein. Should I just stick to the fact that sein takes the intransitive and haben taking the transitive?

1. Is the verb expressing something that has happened to people outside of their control rather than something that people have done? If the verb is outside of their control, use sein. Think Heidegger's Dasein who is being thrown into the world.

n.b. I don't know anything about the philosophy of Heidegger. I just think it's sort of odd/neat that German grammar would actually care about whether or not the verb is is being done by the individual's control or by external forces.

Chamber Music Today on tools.
Martin Heidegger in the 1930s wrote the bible, so to say, on ontology of toolness. He used the example of hammers, as archtypical of tools with good UIs. You don’t have to learn an abstraction to use it. Little kids when first encountering a hammer and without any parental teaching pick up hammer and begin using it, mostly in the intended hammerlike use-case. Heideggerian ‘toolness’, ‘immanence’—‘usability’, if you like—or the ordinary German word ‘verstehen’.

Verstehen basically means ‘thereness’, ‘openness to experience’, or ‘primordial comprehendability’. Those are the most adequate expressions to convey what it really means. The usual English dictionary translation of verstehen is wimpy, though. Usually some lame, card-boardy thing like ‘understanding’, way too cerebral. That’s not what it means. Not primeval enough. Verstehen is seeing a hook-like object and reflexively and instantaneously imagining that you could use it to catch fish, or seeing a sharp-edged object and imagining without any internal discourse or deliberation that “I could kill and eat food with that”. Or seeing a Google search UI or a good videogame UI and knowing immediately how to interact with it to get a good, valuable, winning result.
Friday, July 10, 2009

Kaizenology on Alan Moore's The Birth Caul.
A trip back through and beyond birth, overcoming the barrier of the everyday language in search of the DNA helix, the primordial verb, the being of the there would have said Heidegger, nothing.
My translation.
Artemy Magun on hiding from the open.
Yaghoubi: You suggest that a reorientation of politics toward justice, and particularly the known unknown of the Other, might alleviate some of the present antinomies described above. I was especially interested in your placement of Carl Schmitt into this intellectual tradition. You trace the genealogy of justice as relating to the Other from Plato onward to Heidegger and Derrida, but you make a good case for including Schmitt. How does Schmitt's work, and his friend-enemy distinction, contribute to our understanding of the Other?

Magun: Well, this is kind of an unexpected thesis, particularly because we know Schmitt was a Nazi. But (see above) you cannot just dismiss the conceptual content of a theory because it went practically wrong—the task is to reorient it. Already Derrida drew attention to this interest of Schmitt in the figure of the Other. But Derrida clearly thought that he was reading Schmitt against the grain, showing how his writing and thinking subvert his explicit agenda, and so on. And I argue that these things in Schmitt have been present quite explicitly: like Plessner and Heidegger, he was a theorist of the open, but from the right. What is interesting is that this is not exactly the liberal openness, since it has to do with the divisive political action, with antagonism. However, in Schmitt this is not, of course, a left-wing revolutionary openness either. First, it is an openness that dialectically turns into aggressiveness, because one is too open and therefore needs to be violent against the intruder. We have seen this logic, unfortunately, in the left-wing revolutions too, in the moments of terror. Second, this openness is still too close to the liberal one, since it led Schmitt to accept just any interesting political development. His conservatism is here (and elsewhere) strongly marked by liberalism. Again, our task is to be aware of this dialectics and to remember for what you need this openness, what are you actually doing.

An interesting topic to develop—I did it a little bit in an article on terror, coming out this year in a Routledge volume on "Law and evil"—is the connection of this receptive openness with the active openness of manifestation, with the drive to reveal, which Heidegger affirms in An Introduction to Metaphysics and then criticizes in "The Question Concerning Technology." I think that his criticism of Gestell would also apply to liberal or conservative openness, which should be balanced, in my view, with a capacity to keep things hidden or latent, if needed (not to discover more atomic bombs, etc.). Openness should not be an absolute, of course.
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
Hat tip to adswithoutproducts.

Prometheus Unbound on whether scientists can speak about anything but empirical science.
Another example: If Collins was a Heidegger enthusiast, absorbing Heidegger’s works and language in his leisure time, and in an interview Collins declared that his reflections on Heidegger’s concept of “Dasein” (Being) had brought him to experiment with meditation and vegetarianism, and gave him a deeply ecological view of the world, with a suspicion of human technology, would we feel that an otherwise good scientist had flipped his wig? What if he punctuated his conversational speech with Heideggerian coinages like “bestand,” “gestell,” and “dwelling”? Is it tolerable for a scientist, outside the lab or science journal, to adopt ways of being in the world and languages that are, well, quirky and non-evidential based, or not?

What if, for instance, Collins flatly declared in public:

“I oppose zoos because by caging animals we lose contact with our relationship to Dasein—the Ground of Being. I agree with Heidegger that ‘mystery pervades the whole of man’s Dasein.’”

Is this kind of “reasoning”—from a non-empirically derived concept to an opposition to caging animals—an outrageous abuse of reasoning by a scientist who ought to be committed to empiricism alone? Would Collins be a man guilty of believing and acting on something absent evidence—and therefore someone worthy to be made fun of by atheists?
Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Bread and Circuits liked a passage from “Building Dwelling Thinking.”
Cuban artist Juan Carlos Rodríguez explains his art.
These large structures or paintings with natural elements are influenced by the readings of German philosopher, Martin Heidegger. He said that every human being is a project of being. Afterwards in an epitaph of Rayuela, - the novel by Argentinean writer Julio Cortázar -, I found: “a human being isn’t except that s/he tries to be, plans to be.”

This explains what art means to me: a path that I have to travel while going through life and not an end that I must reach. If tomorrow I consider that I must not do what people call art, I won’t do any more. Art is another of the roads of my life and because of this I have never hurried the works.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Horrors. McNamara not as authentic as Kurtz.
Unlike McNamara, Kurtz understands himself as what Heidegger would have called a "thrown" man, thrown into the middle of the Horror, where he realizes that Reason cannot help him. Thrown back on himself, in the midst of unreason, Kurtz does the only thing left to do. He pushes through. He pushes BEYOND, into madness, and into authenticity. Kurtz’s madness cannot be understood as a mere "backlash" against Reason. To the contrary. In a war that could never be WON but from which it was impossible to WALK AWAY, perhaps Kurtz’s decision was quite rational. Perhaps he is as much an Enlightenment man as McNamara. Perhaps his response, his DECISION, was, in those circumstances, COMPLETELY rational.
From Theodore Kisiel's review of James Luchte's Heidegger's Early Philosophy: The Phenomenology of Ecstatic Temporality.
In confronting the tradition of philosophy with his central insight of the radically finite temporality inherent in the Da-Sein experience, Heidegger discovers that the entire tradition of Occidental philosophy constituted a basic drift away from this chiaroscuro experience of be-ing and developed over the centuries into a metaphysics of permanent presence now coming to its perfection in the Ge-Stell (syn-thetic com-posit[ion]ing) of modern technology in the form of global matrixes. These include air traffic control grids, Global Positioning Systems, the World Wide Web of the internet, the starkly binary digital logic that rules informational electronics, etc. To move beyond this final upshot of the Occidental tradition of philosophy, the later Heidegger calls for a radically other beginning of thinking in accord with the history of be-ing 'based' on the abyssal temporality inherent in the Da-Sein experience of his early philosophy.
Monday, July 06, 2009
Critchley, B&T, week 5. Ineffable anxiety.
In order to understand what Heidegger means by anxiety, we have to distinguish it from another mood he examines: fear. Heidegger gives a phenomenology of fear earlier in Being and Time. His claim is that fear is always fear of something threatening, some particular thing in the world. Let's say that I am fearful of spiders. Fear has an object and when that object is removed, I am no longer fearful. I see a spider in the bath and I am suddenly frightened. My non-spider fearing friend removes the offending arachnid, I am no longer fearful.

Matters are very different with anxiety. If fear is fearful of something particular and determinate, then anxiety is anxious about nothing in particular and is indeterminate. If fear is directed towards some distinct thing in the world, spiders or whatever, then anxiety is anxious about being-in-the-world as such. Anxiety is experienced in the face of something completely indefinite. It is, Heidegger insists, "nothing and nowhere".

anotherheideggerblog has words of advice for young Heideggerians.

The Cold Hut on real truth.
Heidegger contrasts the epistemological notion of truth as correspondence with his ontological notion of truth as disclosure. Another friend of mine, rather different in attitude from the friend mentioned above, once told me that the truths of fiction are “more true because they are fiction.” I think that’s a somewhat over-the-top way of making the point but I believe I understand what he is trying to say. In a similar manner to Heidegger, he has rejected the correspondence theory of truth, according to which we divide literature into fact and fiction, in favour of a notion of truth that can better be described as revealing or disclosing the intrinsic nature of the world. Rather than a relationship between propositions and facts about reality, alétheia is the disclosure of reality itself.
Sunday, July 05, 2009
Jan Zwicky on being down in the valley.
Zwicky's second essay is a humorously written monologue from the perspective of a cowboy in an Old Western saloon. This piece is an interesting complement to others in the book in that, unlike Bringhurst's discussion, for example, which traces some of the historical rejections of poetry by philosophers, here Zwicky is questioning the fervent celebration of poetry by an influential philosopher, "Marty Heidegger." The cowboy narrator is suspicious of what it means to think of poets the way Heidegger does. To think of language as the constitution of Being and to think of poets as the masters of language potentially eliminates humility from poetic acts of attention. Does the world exist outside of language? The cowboy cautions: "If you think it's obvious the world is out there, turns out you have to give up on bein able to provide a proof fer how you know that." Ultimately, we all have to decide what to believe in; whether it is to follow Heidegger's mythic ethos or acknowledge that there is a world outside of logic, outside of language. This choice, Zwicky reminds us, is fundamentally ethical.
Thursday, July 02, 2009

The Book Oven on The Question Concerning Digital Technology.
Of late, I’ve been feeling cold about the web. So much of what is going on is the ordering of nature, which, if you believe Heidegger, is the inevitable drive of technology. And “dangerous” for our humanity.

Samuel Chase on Being discrimination.
What Heidegger is saying here that perhaps being cannot be defined, however, Being, which one should not confuse with being, could be defined.
I'm feeling the ontological guilt of being prejudiced against capital B Being.
For when Ereignis is not sufficient.

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