Friday, May 18, 2012
Reiner Schürmann on two breaks in the later Heidegger.
[Heidegger] describes the first of these breaks as the transition from time as the “sense of direction of being” to time as the “history of the truth of being.” This break constitutes the “turning” (die Kehre) in his thinking. Briefly, it results from the discovery that being-in-the-world is diversified according to Menschentum, the epochal type of man, for example, the Greek, Roman, Medieval, modern, and contemporary types. Thus ecstatic temporality turns into epochal temporality. The continuity with the Existential Analytic is nonetheless striking. An epoch is the sudden establishment of a constellation of presence and absence that unites the three dimensions of time in the non-linear upsurge of a phenomenal arrangement that henceforth will mark the age. And since it is the advent of such a new arrangement of things, the epoché remains future-oriented. Lastly, as the phenomenal origin of past, present, and future, the epoch unifies these dimensions co-originarily. In the movement of Heideggerʼs thought from ecstatic temporalization to epochal temporality, the basic features in his understanding of time become historicized and yet also preserved, as will be seen.

The other break is described by Heidegger as the transition from “the truth of being” to “the topology of being.” At this last stage, his reflection on time touches on what might be called the “primordial” condition—the universal and necessary condition of all previous notions—were it not for the impossibility, directly resulting from it, of a “first order.” Time here is the “direction” of being inasmuch as being assigns phenomena their site in a given economy. Such assigning is not the deed of any agency. It is nothing other than the entrance of beings into an arrangement which makes up an epoch. This entrance, for which Heidegger still has recourse to verbs such as phuein, ‘emerging,ʼ and phainesthai, ‘appearing,ʼ is the phenomenon which the term Ereignis is supposed to capture. As we have seen, this may be translated as ‘event,ʼ so long as we understand by this both appropriation and expropriation. The “proper” (eigen) points to the way singulars belong to one another in a world, a mutual belonging which is always made fragile from within by the ex- of expropriation (by the Ent- of Entzug, etc.). The proper thus designates the movement by which things render themselves mutually and provisionally proximate—which does not mean unfailingly close by, or fully present. Here, just as in ecstatic and epochal temporalities, it is Sinn as directionality, and not as “significance,” that is at stake here. But if time thus gives a “sense of direction” it is no longer to human existing, or to historial epéchein. For of what is Ereignis the sense of direction? It can only be in relation to presence and absence. Time as the event of appropriation-expropriation gives a sense of direction to coming to presence, a sense of direction which turns the latter against itself by coupling universalization—the law of salvation (Heil)—and singularization—the counter-law of havoc (Unheil).

It should be clear in what way Heidegger, up until his last writings, remains indebted to the transcendental tradition. Time as event makes possible ecstatic as well as epochal temporality. However, Heideggerian transcendentalism abandons the ancestry of self-consciousness—thereby destituting modern hegemony. The event is originary time, operative always and already in lived time (through existence or in history), and it makes possible all the concepts of time the tradition has transmitted to us, be they physical or spiritual.

P. 152-3
Wow! That says so much without the tradition's conventions of agency. I am intrigued by the comparison of the last pair ("universalization" and "singularity") with the previous pair ("the universal and necessary condition").

Nihilism rubs me as the absence of the "necessary." Maybe that is because I am accustomed to think of necessary and universal as Sinn (in terms of signification rather than direction?) but also not in terms of "havoc."
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