Thursday, July 02, 2015
The forgetting in remaining hidden.
The Greek λήθη (and λανθάνομαι) only gets the meaning of forgetting via the indirect manner of a specific derivation, whereby, however, the objective sense is still present. What is decisive for this derivation is precisely its origin in the fundamental meaning of remaining-hidden. λανθάνω means that I am or remain hidden, to myself or to others. This fundamental meaning of the word leads to a linguistic usage quite characteristic of Greek, namely combination with a participle as we know this from Homer (Odyssey VIII, 93, a verse which we still remember from school): ἔνθ' αλλους μέν πάντας έλάνθανε δάκρυα λείβων. 'He remained hidden to all the others as someone shedding tears'; we say, by contrast, that he shed tears without anyone else noticing it. For the Greeks, remaining- hidden stands in the foreground (it is expressed in the verbum finitum), always as an existing state of affairs, as the character of the beings (also of a particular human being). But we turn the state of affairs around into something subjective, and express it by saying that the others did not notice his weeping.
In this way the wisdom of language provides us with an important testimony to the fact that the remaining-hidden and being-unhidden of things and human beings (to themselves as to others) was experienced by the Greeks as an occurrence of the beings themselves, and also belonged to the fundamental experiences which determined the existence of ancient man. λανθάνω ἥκων: I remain hidden as someone who comes; we say: I come without anyone noticing. Thus the meaning of λανθάνομαι as letting something be hidden to me, i.e. I let it withdraw, slide away from me and be gone, I allow forgetting (being-gone) to come over something, I do not turn towards it, I let it rest, I forget it. Only by way of this modification do λανθάνομαι and λήθη come to have the meaning of forgetting in the sense of a subjective state of affairs (but precisely in the meaning of being-gone).
Pp. 102-3

Earlier: Iris Murdoch's entertainment of these ideas.
Something that's apposite here, but missing from the later lecture session, is one's letting be hidden, for good cause. The later passage centers on being hidden because the other doesn't perceive what's there. Yet, both instances are occupied with the difference between being with oneself in a differentiating manner and being with others in a differentiated manner, which was integrally Greek.

A kind of theme that Heidegger is clearly working with—but could not dare to thematize—is how a cultural evolutionary process is going on, led by Greek thinking. Heidegger couldn't dare say such a thing, because the biologistic conception of evolution in his time had no good sense of cultural evolutionarity.

The Greeks are discovering the conceptuality of self-differentiation, i.e., differences between being oneself to-and-for others and being oneself to-and-for oneself. Privacy of mind is considered a modern advent, but it was originally documented with Greek thinking. There are no demons here; there are workings of oneself coming to understand the conceptuality of psychological relations.
I must add that I'd be happy to continue the themes of discussion of June 30 and/or today via e-mail. My "issue" with moving on is simply that I'm not checking in here daily and don't want to seem inconsiderate; but also, my own learning curve is not centered on Heidegger now, though deeply "Heideggerian" in a sense that's not readily represented. Recent discussion was, for me, motivated by an accidental discovery on the Ereignis site that was followed by your evocative quote from "The Essence of Truth" session, which happened to gel with a sense of philosophical teaching that I have and see Heidegger showing. You have my e-mail address.

The Murdoch passage is amazingly good. I haven't read any Murdoch, though I've had a philosophical friend who worshipped her. Your comment gels with Heidegger's everyday condition of living with others' frivolity about everything, including about him. I recall from somewhere, I forget where, his marked annoyance with students in a seminar who were treating the text under discussion (Kant, it seems to have been) as something for parody, like high schoolers.

One more thought, which came to me after my previous comment: The reality of Christian conflict in Germany can't be overestimated as something that progressive Christians were desperately trying to find ways to deal with. Rudolf Bultmann's approach was closely tied to Heidegger and, of course, they were close friends. I discovered some years back that a 1932 letter from Bultmann to Heidegger expressed enthusiasm about an indiginous, authentic national socialism that was arising in their region of Germany, which Bultmann referenced as "the inner truth and greatness of the national socialist movement," 1932. It's plausible to claim that Heidegger's reference in 1935 was a hat tip to the Christian resistance in Germany.

Enjoy yourself.
> one's letting be hidden, for good cause

That's Odysseus's talent, and the ethical ambiguity about him. To Achilles, a hero should be direct; instinctively think the right things and express them. Achilles was appalled that some men could think one thing, while behaving differently.
The worst form of inauthenticity. Yet Achilles died on the battlefield, while wily Odysseus brought down Troy.

> A kind of theme that Heidegger is clearly working with—but could not dare to thematize—is how a cultural evolutionary process is going on, led by Greek thinking.

He had thematized something like that by 1936. He'd figured out that there's different historical epochs with different understandings of being. But instead of evolving, Heidegger thinks there's usually some event that triggers a change
to a new understanding. Kind of like Kuhn's revolutionary paradigm changes.

> Privacy of mind is considered a modern advent, but it was originally documented with Greek thinking.

Thanks, Homer.

> My "issue" with moving on is simply that I'm not checking in here daily

That's the stochastic nature of the internet. I post something when I stumble across it and time permits. I just delivered a software component that's going well for the testers, and I'm starting a new one that'll absorb me in two months of
coding, after we spend a month thrashing out the spec. I'm hoping after that to get back to doing some serious work on my GA app.

Thanks for the "Three Concepts of the Political" paper. Good stuff!

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