Monday, May 28, 2012
Jan Patocka with a perspective on personal space.
[We've] demonstrated the possibility of interpreting existence as a triple movement. That we did using both an ancient and a modern idea. The modern idea was Heidegger's, that life is a life in possibilities characterized by a relation to our own being; we project that for the sake of which we are, that for the sake of is the possibility of our life; in the world a totality of possibilities is always open to us. The ancient idea-Aristotle's definition of movement as a possibility in the process of realization, not motion in Galileo's sense. For Aristotle, to be sure, movement is always the movement of a substance. Only conditionally could generation and perishing be understood, in Aristotle, as qualitative movement. An analysis of these three movements distinguished: (a) the movement of sinking roots, of anchoring in things, by which humans are beings for others, (b) the movement of self-prolongation, of self-reflection, in which humans live to need and be needed-in a world no longer fused by kin but in the harsh turmoil of the reality of labor and conflict, no longer shielded by the community of kin, (c) a movement in which humans do not relate to things in the world by means of the world but rather to the world as such.

This led us to ask for a conception of the world in a sense /more radical than that of Heidegger for whom the world is a world of ready-to-hand pragmata present in the context of practical significations. We asked for a conception of a world which is on the one hand what enables us to encounter particulars and, on the other hand, to live in truth. Humans are the only beings which, because they are not indifferent to themselves and to their being, can live in truth, can choose between life in the anxiety of its roles and needs and life in a relation to the world, not to existing entities only. This nonindifferent being (nonindifferent toward things as well as toward being in general) precisely here, in this region of explicit relating to what there is not as mere individual existent or as a sum of such, has its own domain, here it is irreplaceable, here it is at home with itself. Here is also what constitutes the special mystery, adding the depth and perspective which life lacks in contact with particulars, what slips through our fingers like the fool's gold in fairy tales wherever life itself dissolves into individual contacts.
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