Monday, November 18, 2013
In NDPR, Scott Campbell reviews Irene McMullin's Time and the Shared World: Heidegger on Social Relations.
There are many interpreters of Heidegger's work who would claim that authentic Dasein is so silent, solipsistic, and self-absorbed that there could be no such thing as authentic interaction on his terms. But McMullin has made such a convincing case for a Heideggerian approach to intersubjectivity that we are prepared for the final chapter to make this case. She describes the attentive silence at work as she watches her young nephew try to tie his shoes. She is in a hurry to get home, and he would like her to help him, but she does not do so: "I do not leap-in and take over this careful struggle to be from him -- I hold myself back in a type of restraint that is nevertheless characterized by a hovering attentiveness, a silent co-willing, an expressive encouragement and recognition of his struggle". This kind of active restraint could be expanded beyond the adult-child relationship to a broad range of authentic human interactions. Using Heidegger's texts, but employing a language that goes beyond Heidegger's own, McMullin has shown us a way to go about doing that.
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