Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Faust Series Opus 9 on the other physis.
Heidegger shifts physis first towards the verbal mode – phyein ϕυειν or growing, to make grow. Here he implicitly reflects or anticipates the ‘danger’ of regarding his term Greatness or great as merely a quantitative indicator. “Doch was heißt wachsen? Meint es nur das mengenmäßige Zu-nehmen, mehr und größer Werden?”(“But what does it mean to grow? Does it only mean the quantitative increase, to become more and greater?”) Without really answering this question of what is growth – Heidegger persists in his infra-mince distinction between physis as “opening up (rising)”, the motion or mode of natural phenomenon such as sunrise, the tides, growth of plants, “going forth of animals and humans from the womb (Schoß)” and everywhere else in nature and that other physis – not observable in nature or on beings (Seiende). The second Heideggerian physis, denoted as an opening up that prevails, reigns is not a natural process. Finally, relieving the suspense, Heidegger identifies the second physis as “das Sein selbst” or Being itself – by whose power any being can first become and remain observable.
From Richard Polt's review of "Besinnung":
"This book makes it very clear that by the outbreak of the Second World War, Heidegger was bitterly disappointed with Nazi ideology. Land and blood do not coustitute a people (p. 167). Totalitarianism is the culmination of modern technology (p. 169) and of the metaphysics of power, which always seeks new opponents, even on a global scale (pp. 18, 20). Heidegger criticizes the political exploitation of the youth, who are ignorant and irreverent enough "to carry out the planned destruction in the semblance of the new [political] awakening" (p. 19). In one dramatic passage, he quotes a line from a speech delivered by Hitler in January 1939, and proceeds relentlessly to challenge every concept Hitler uses (pp. 122-3).
"Unfortunately, Heidegger also rejects every other available political alternative. He opposes not only "world-war thinking," but also "world peace (in the Christian-Jewish-ambiguous sense)" (p. 28). He sees no essential difference between "the rational conformity to plan of `total authority'" and "the `common sense' [Heidegger uses the English words] of the democracies" (p. 234). As in his postwar thought, the effect of this wholesale rejection of modernity is to make philosophy irrelevant to political practice."
Richard Polt "Besinnung. Gesamtausgabe". Review of Metaphysics, The. FindArticles.com. 18 Apr, 2012.
--cross-posted from Faust Series Opus 9 comments.

I do not feel qualified to critique the original piece because his sources are beyond my familiarity. Yet if he bends those as I can see he bends the ones I am familiar with (MH a Parmenidian?) it amounts to the proverbial sound and fury.
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