Saturday, March 26, 2016
Katherine Withy on ontological pluralism.
In grasping the entity in terms of a certain sort of possibility, I am making it meaningful as a certain sort of what (essentia). A particular kind of that (existentia) will correspond to this. In other words: for different kinds of entities there are different kinds of standards for counting as that and what they are. What the teacup is is what it is for (in order to), since tools are meaningful in terms of what they are correctly used for. The fact that the teacup is consists in its being available for use: it is the case that there is a teacup when there is an entity that it is possible to use in the way that teacups are used. A piece of quartz, by contrast, will have its that-being in manifesting a certain chemical composition. Its being what it is consists in that chemical composition falling within a range of possible patterns of oxygen, silicon, and other atoms. These examples show that there is a variety of kinds of that- and what-beings—what we might call different “ways” or “ modes ” of being. There is thus a variety of ways in which entities can make sense, and correspondingly different “categories of intelligibility.” Since not everything is meaningful in the same way, we (like Aristotle) must conclude that being is said in many ways. Heidegger is thus an ontological pluralist.
P. 314
Katherine Withy writes, "I am making it [the entity] meaningful as a certain sort of what (essentia)." This is the whatness, the quiddity of a what. Withy thus overlooks that entities are not exhausted by whats, but can also be whos. She wastes not a word on whoness, quissity, even though Heidegger introduces Wersein (whoness) already in Sein und Zeit, without, however, unfolding this phenomenon. Arendt will later make something more of whoness, but cf. my Social Ontology, for which whoness is of crucial importance.

Withy continues, "A particular kind of that (existentia) will correspond to this [whatness]." Phenomenologically, however, existentia means of mode of presencing in the time-clearing of the mind, where this mind is not to be thought as a consciousness encapsulated inside a subject, but as the whereless temporal openness in which all that occurs -- whats and whos -- presence and absence.

Like Sheehan, Kisiel and many other Heidegger scholars, Withy is hung up on "meaningfulness", but this is only half of the story, the half concerning AS what or who entities presence, i.e. present themselves, in the hermeneutic cast of an epoch of the time-clearing. The other half is the granting of the three-dimensional time-clearing of presencing and absencing itself, which is the temporally three-eyed human mind itself.

The older I become, the more I see how academic philosophy is there to blunt, censor and suppress, through scholarship, the kind of thinking initiated by Heidegger that points to a way out of the trajectory hitherto of Western history. Those few who dare to risk thinking from the simplest phenomena themselves, such as time itself, soon find themselves filtered out of the scholarly, academic discourse. They are out on their ear, for they do not play the academic power game.

The academic philosopher sings every morning under the shower,
"But where I live the game to play is compromise solution." (Jagger/Richards)
Thus does the academic philosopher uphold the reputation of his or her whoness.
> The older I become

Hi Michael, thanks for your explanations. I'm into hour thirty-something of a software upgrade at a bank, so I look forward to reading 'em when I'm of sound mind.

Pete, hoping to be done with all the ordering of entities some day.
Thanks, Pete.
At least you live outside that comfortable, complacent, innocuous, scholarly, incestuous little niche-world of academia.

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