Thursday, November 10, 2011
Santiago Zabala on learning to philosophize.
Leiter, like an ecclesiastical fundamentalist who submits to a cleric’s interpretation of sacred texts, is convinced that only analytic philosophy can correctly read these classics. It is probably this legitimized culture that led a student to tell Gadamer, when he was teaching at Boston College, “Oh, Professor Gadamer, I see that you are teaching Plato this semester! What a pity, because I have already done Plato!”

Against these legitimations that impede students’ pursuit of questions previously studied, philosophy must educate them to “become who they” are because
of the kind of Being which is constituted by the existentiale of projection, Dasein is constantly “more” than it factually is, supposing that one might want to make an inventory of it as something objectively present and list the contents of its Being, and supposing that one were able to do so. But Dasein is never more than it factically is, for to its facticity its potentiality-for-Being belongs essentially. Yet as Being-possible, moreover, Dasein is never anything less; that is to say, it is existentially that which, in its potentiality-for-Being, it is not yet. Only because the Being of the “there” receives its Constitution through understanding and through the character of understanding as projection, only because it is what it becomes (or alternatively, does not become), can it say to itself “Become what you are,” and say this with understanding. [Pp. 185-186]
Being in the university today must educate students “to become who they are,” that is, to fulfill as much as possible the projections that constitute their own Being. This is probably why Heidegger, in the introduction to his lecture course of 1928, The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic, points out to the students that “having devoted your current Dasein to academic studies is a form of existence in the university.” But if students, through the fundamental questions that constitute the history of philosophy, must be educated to develop their initial devotion to thought, it is not simply to keep the discipline alive but because it is a living discipline. This is why dialogue is so important in a lecture.33 For the relation between the teacher and student to be genuine there should never be a “place in it for the authority of the know-it-all or the authoritative sway of the official.” Being in the university “is only living, in the moment of self-understanding, and that means in one’s own free, productive grasp of the task harbored in philosophy.” After all, Kant himself believed a student would not “learn philosophy [in the university, but] learn to philosophize.”
Contemplating "Being", like climbing in the Alps or reading Kant and other klassics in an Ivy League school, may have a certain sublimity--tho those who grow up in the barrio are not reading Kant. They're fighting over kunt. Obvious as f*ck perhaps but there is some bourgeois elitism to the Heideggerian schema IMO (as with Nietzsche, the great Hero of all gonzo frat boys ).
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