Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Alan N. Shapiro on our world, their universe.
The “essential ground” of modernity does not lie in humanity’s having freed itself from the bonds of oppression of the Middle Ages, but instead resides in the foundational relationship between knowledge and its objects that modern science and academic research exemplify. Heidegger both admired and decried this setting up of “man the subject” as the center of being, a “setting-up” in front of “that-which-lies-before” that has general consequences for the “understanding of being as a whole.” Heidegger gives us a precise ambivalent conceptualization and evaluation of modernity — civilization and its discontents.

In his appreciation for what is original in the work of art, what is truly an origin, Heidegger offers a clear hint as to what the universal of Western metaphysics is leading towards. A secret prophecy: a renaissance in our relationship to being, a dwelling within the world itself rather than the postulation of a universe.
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