Saturday, January 26, 2013
When Victor Frankl met Martin Heidegger.
When Martin Heidegger visited Vienna the first time in his life, he offered a privatissimum seminar to a dozen scholars. In the evening of the same day Professor G. of the Department of Philosophy at the University of Vienna and I took Heidegger out to a Viennese Heuriger (a typical Viennese place where the owner of a vineyard seeks his own wine). Our wives were with us. Since the wife of Professor G. was not a professional philosopher but rather a former opera star, she asked me to explain in plain words what the outcome had been in the seminar with Heidegger. I improvised the following story: "Once upon a time there was a man who stood behind a telescope and was despairing because, as he said, he had searched all around the sky for some planet of the solar system, but could not find. Specifically, it was a planet whose name was Earth. A friend referred him to a sage whose name was Martin Heidegger. 'What are you searching for?' Heidegger asked the astronomer. 'The earth,' the man lamented, 'and nowhere in the whole firmament could I find it.' And may I ask you where you have set the tripod?' inquired Heidegger. 'On the earth, of course,' was the immediate reply. 'O.K.,' concluded Heidegger, 'here it is.'"
What one was in search of, again, had been presupposed all along. Literally pre-sup-posed, that is to say, (posed) laid (sup) under (underlying) his search (pre) before even setting out on it.
Martin Heidegger asked my permission to use this image in his lectures. He lets himself be led by etymologies. Why should I not let myself be guided by analogies.
Pp. 151-2
Heidegger visited Vienna in 1958.
How interesting. The story works very well, I think. And I am always interested in learning about about Heidegger's friendly relationships with any Holocaust survivor.
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