Thursday, November 24, 2011

The League of Ordinary Gentlemen on tragedy from Aeschylus to Heidegger.
For allowing man to extend his mind beyond his body, Prometheus is punished by being nailed down to his own body. In a sense, Aeschylus realizes that the body, which we experience in finite space, is misled by the mind, which we experience in extended time. Human tragedy is in forgetting where we are, which is who we are.

Socrates worried about writing in part because he thought this externalization would cause the memory to atrophy. Some writers, who have bought into the current mantra/falsehood, “technologies are neither good nor bad, but neutral”, ridicule Socrates on this point. But ask yourself how many contemporaries you know who can recite the Iliad.

Innovation then is a mixed godsend. Heidegger writes of Greek techné as poiesis - bringing forth, involving the mutual play of four causes: Material, Aspect (eidos), Boundaries, and the workman’s considering carefully (forethought). For example, Prometheus’s shackles were brought forth mutually by: Material (iron), Aspect (the form the shackles assume when completed), Boundaries (staying within physical boundaries, but also the boundaries of its purpose), and the ironsmith’s forethough. Heidegger’s point about techné is that the Greeks saw it as a bringing forth and a revealing of truth. He compares this to technology, in which nature is “reframed” as a storehouse of raw material and sees the Greek conception as superior. A typical German mystic, he mistakes a Greek curse for a volkish blessing.
Heidegger understands that tragedy is in forgetting, the same as Aeschylus.
Liked your comment. Furthermore, if MH can be called "a mystic," (and I agree it can be argued) then it must be added that he is a non-metaphysical mystic, which is a completely different kind of mysticism from any I know of--with the possible exception of Spinoza. Dunno what MH may think of Spinoza
Tragedy is ...quintessentially Aristotelian, isn't it--not mere Spinoza clock-mechanics. Humans, making errors, full of pride, lust, violence. There is a fatalistic element. But whats tragic in Spinoza's clock world? Nada. I thought we agreed MH's ontology was not Spinozaism (division of ontology/ontic would suggest as much)
Aristotle says tragedy is bad things happening to good people, so I guess in clock-mechanical terms tragedy translates as rust, or a spanner in the works.
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