Monday, May 24, 2010

Zero Point Philosophy on the turn away from transcendental subjectivity.
The significance of Heidegger’s turn is that he acknowledged the need for an ontological (ontos in relation to “being”) basis for conscious experience. Heidegger argued that Being was the most self-evident and universal concept to reference beginning points in philosophical and phenomenological investigations. Thus, unlike Husserl, one could not “isolate” consciousness as some sort of transcendental subjectivity that had epistemic priority over its world. Conscious experience was already “ontically” engaged in and informed by the life-world. What Husserl should have recognized from his own theory of intentionality (i.e. consciousness as always about something) was that consciousness only understands itself as consciousness by its perceptual engagement in the life-world. This was the significance of Heidegger’s concept of Being-in-the-world, often translated as Dasein. The life-world had an ontic priority, as that which pulled conscious experience into its “horizonal” setting at the very birth of “consciousness”. As Heidegger put it, we already find ourselves “hurled” onto our horizons. We have no transcendental free choice in the matter. Thus, what should concern us is an ontological and, consequently, hermeneutic investigation of what has already ontically engaged us and informed us.
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