Tuesday, June 30, 2015
On concealed views.
An example from Homer, Odyssey VIII, 93, where Odysseus says that he remained concealed before all the others as one who was shedding tears. A person, then, remains in a certain concealment. We do not say: he remained concealed to all the others. We say: he shed tears without any of the others noticing. We speak beginning with the other who is perceiving.
These are quite clear proofs of the tremendous power that ἀλήθεια had in the Greek experience of Dasein. Before we enter the confrontation with the Greeks, our fundamental task is to have a completely clear knowledge of how they stood in relation to beings.
The word δόξα also belongs among these fundamental meanings: I come forth; that which comes forth, that is, strikes others as such and such, that which shows itself; the look, the appearance of something, the respect in which something—an achievement, a person—stands; also fame. δόξα θεοῦ in the New Testament = the majesty of God. But what is decisive is this meaning of δόξα: looking a certain way, standing in visibility and respectability.
Now, this meaning goes together with a second meaning. The second we grasp in a certain sense with the words believe, belief. With this, a double meaning comes to light. We are familiar with this double meaning when we translate δόξα as view. A picture postcard or vista postcard, is a card that shows a picture, a vista—a view in the objective sense; it shows the look of a landscape as it strikes us. View in the objective sense of a multiplicity of objects. But we also use the word “view” in this sense: My view is . . . The postcard has no belief, it offers a look. So there is a double sense: (a) as a characteristic of the thing, look; (b) in the sense of believing, thinking such and such. This double character always resonates among the Greeks from the start; it is based on what the word means.
P. 189
being as you can

I looked at the context of this fascinating passage in its textualized lecture time on the Theatetus within the course on “the essence of truth,” which is too complicated to regard this passage as standing alone. But it’s interesting in its own right, as if standing alone. It’s fascinating as an extended fragment. It’s thought provoking just as that.

The feature that stands out for me presently is that a standard translation of δόξα, according to Google Translate, is “glory,” rather than “majesty.” This is salient because it’s common in Christianity to regard a sense of the majesty of God as “Old Testament” thinking and glory of God as New Testament thinking.

Whether or not Polt/Fried is mistranslating Heidegger, I don’t know. But we do know that Heidegger’s singular interest in religious themes in the lectures pertains to Christianity. That’s not to say that his interest is Christian! His interest is philosophical, at times about religious themes, which are Christian.

This distinction between the majesty of God and glory of God is vital to Christianity. In other words (now not equating ‘God’ and capped-B ‘Being’), a glory of “Being” would be the interest rather than a majesty of “Being.”

If you will read ‘being’ as a term of living a life enactively—be-ing oneself, Truly, i.e., according to one’s ownmost possibilities and potential—it is the case that the teachings of Jesus were very much about emancipatory interest in a glory of being.

It is also the case that this conception was not available to the Judaism of Jesus’s time. But later, such a conception of the glory of being was concealed in the Hellenic notion of Christ. Christianity concealed the original emancipatory interest of Jesus in enowning a glory of being, thus confounding prospects for being in light of the life of Jesus. Retrieving being is not a Christian matter.

Within Germany, during Heidegger’s time, there was nothinng like the venturing into getting back to the original Jesus that has spawned the “historical Jesus” literature of recent decades, in particularly in the U.S. through the authoritative Jesus Seminar (westarinstitute.org).

Inasmuch as Heidegger’s thinking relates to Christianity, he was endeavoring to enable a retrieval of a glory of being.

But he was not endeavoring to retrieve a religiosity in his sense of divine presencing. A child—the “royal child,” Heidegger indicates near the end of the lecture series on The Principle of Reason, the heavy-lidded children of blueness of “Language in the Poem” (On Trakl’s poetry, On the Way to Language)—a child is born already in a glory of being. Primordially, enabling being belongs to one’s ownmost potential, in a sense belonging to everything, of every thing.

Heidegger was not seeking to focus on a sense of divine presencing more than other senses of presencing. Yet, of course, he was ultimately interested—among many “ultimate” appeals (of the earth, of the sky, of mortality) in being of the divine.
I was interested in the wider context of δόξα, this passage appears in, nor much in the δόξα in this passage itself, but in Odysseus "remaining in concealment".

{Redmond book club is doing The Odyssey in a couple weeks.}

The same Homeric passage is used in the essay "Aletheia" (GA 7).

Heidegger had taught this lecture before in 1931 (“the essence of truth”, GA 34). Now in late 1933 he's teaching it again. It's rare for him to repeat a course, but he was busy as Rector and didn't have time to write a new course. It's interesting to see what's different, and δόξα is new. So for me, δόξα would be part of the "spiritual" baggage he's taken on since his "Self-Assertion" inaugural lecture, and which will start fading in a few months, after the night of the long knives. I don't think Heidegger was guided by the teachings of Jesus nor did he care for an emancipatory project, at this point in his career.

Well, he was interested enough in Jesus to emphasize this in his "Letter to a Young Student," following "The Thing," his most candid expression of how he's thinking. And his "Self-Assertion" speech is precisely about the emancipatory interest of the university in community development, as Ted Kisiel has show superbly.

At the time of the winter course, he was in despair (already expressed in a letter to Elisabeth Blochmann some months earlier; and to Carl Schmitt in August, 1933), Indeed, he resigned the rectorship at the end of the winter semester.

He has not taken on any spiritual baggage. Ted Kisiel has proven this beyond doubt, in rigorous terms of Heidegger's work in Being & Time.

Desire to bind his teaching (mapped before 1933) to the news of his time is silly.
But I must add that your awareness of what's where in Heidegger's corpus is fantastically useful. I thank you immensely. Two kinds of information that you're provided is highly useful to me:

1. The fact that a given passage in a lecture appears in another work (essay, lecture) is immensely useful. The appearance of the Homeric passage 20 years after the winter semester course shows the ownership in that passage that Heidegger felt at the time he used it in his winter semester course. Therefore, my extended commentary on it, in light of your citation of it and after my comment here earlier, is all the more useful to me. Citation below.

2. The fact that the winter '33/34 course is almost identical to his 31/32 course is vitally important. I own the English trans. of the 31/32 course, but hadn't made a comparison. What's important here is that Heidegger's baseline justification (1945) for what thinking of his was most pertinent to his rectorship was, he cited, "The Essence of Truth" essay of 1930. How that backs his rectorship is difficult to represent simply, but actually a secret is expressed in his Homer passage: role-distanced action is imposed on situational thinking. My discussion of the Homer passage doesn't make connection to the 1930 essay, but a keynote of that essay is role-distancing in presentation: distinguishing setting forth and setting up. The condition of Odysseus unto himself, so to speak, is a condition of setting forth for perception that easily misses the mark.

My focus on Jesus pertains to the very controversial issue that I whined about in my e-mail to you a few days ago. The philosopher was living a position of engagement that was very ethical (wanting a localist self-determination of Bavarian community), but was forced—for the sake of gaining scarce funding for an assistant who was very personally important to him—into manipulative rhetoric with a bureaucrat who responds to what Heidegger knows he will respond to. This kind of ethical duplicity is known by anyone who has been a high-level administrator in a bureaucratic setting: You do what you have to do within ethical constraints, which may include strikingly instrumental uses of rhetoric. Having private correspondence thrown into public without any known context is strikingly bad ethics, incriminating the conspirator (i.e., the surfacer who dramatically locks the exposure into every other piece of idle chatter that he can think of)—incriminating the conspirator, not the exposed communication.

My discussion of the Homer passage follows a revised and expanded version of my earlier comment here.
By "spiritual baggage" I was referring to his adoption of spirit in the "self-assertion" speech.

"the historical spiritual mission of the German people as a people that knows itself in its state [Staat]." I found Derrida's On Spirit helpful on this subject.

He has his "confrontation with the history of the Western spirit" and Hegel in SS 1933. His attempts to integrate Hegel's spirit into his way of thinking lasts through to the 1934 Hegel seminar. And then he gives up on the Hegelian spirit, and turns his attention to Holderlin and Nietzsche for the rest of the decade.

My first comment, above, should have started:

I was not interested

Useful points about spirit!

Here's the thing: The distinction in "The Essence of Truth" lecture/essay between setting-forth (like the enactive work of art or working toward the product/work) and setting up (the work product) is that the set-up is audience-relative or presentational, not self expressive. Analogously, in curriculum, a point is formulated relative to the presumed developmental zone of the student.

The status of "spirit" in the rector speech is pragmatic, for the purpose of appropriating a concept that everyone has a sense of, appropriating it for the sake of a deeper discourse on thinking.

That deeper discourse is itself pragmatic for the speech: It is Platonic. But the point of Platonic focus would be to draw thinking into an opportunity to get into deeper thinking still, such as he does with Greek thinking in Introduction to Metaphysics, where Platonic modeling is nested in the trans-political culturality, if you will, of Aeschylus and Antigone, just as a polis should be nested in healthy culture. The speech is not a philosophical dissertation, such as was his Inaugural lecture at Freidburg, "What is metaphysics?"

Another key point: Looking carefully at Heidegger's rhetoric about the state and the leader, we see in every case that the upshot is to nest the state in the authentic will of the people, not make the people servants of the state—to base leadership in the community, not have the community serve the leader. What one finds in every case is that the people should serve a leadership that authentically mirrors the will of the people. "Hitler is [to be responsive to an authentic] Germany," not "Germany is [to be responsive to the actual] Hitler."

Given the actual environment of ambiguity about "Hitler" in 1933 (thought to be a domesticable puppet of Hindenberg's highly-experienced people and smoothering himself in a rhetoric of needing to be responsive to the will of the people), Heidegger was astute to try to use the university to engineer localist community that would feed into state direction. And he was astute to want to align such an approach, across the entire university system, in a way that would lead to university-led economic recovery across Germany. If "Berlin" could authentically mirror the will of the German people, and the university system (which Heidegger hoped to have a leading role in) was tightly aligned with a democratic Berlin, then Germany could be in good stead. This is standard leadership thinking in business: clear alignment of organizational policy and practices for the sake of productive efficacy.

The appropriative role for common terms—treated pragmatically with the audience—also applies to texts: appropriating the text into Heidegger's preferred conceptual territory. For example, he's appropriating Hegel's spirit, which could be called integrating; yet, transformatively bringing something into a flow of thinking that is a movement of inquiry is more than integrating it. This is also hermeneutical in the most classic sense: A sacred text is re-thought for its contemporary audience. No wonder, then, that Derrida regarded speech as a trace of writing.

I need to move on. I keep up with your blog regularly, but I don't always check in daily. (I don't do RSS subscription with anything anywhere.) Thanks again, so much, for what you do here and for Ereignis.
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