Thursday, March 24, 2016
Ted Kisiel explains the new paradigm.
What lets meaningfulness come about at all? In his briefest account, Sheehan provides a twoconcept answer to this question, one from the very core of Being and Time and the other from the core of the later Heidegger. What makes meaning possible at all? The answer: die Lichtung , the lighted clearing that opens a realm of intelligibility for the human being and demarcates its essentially hermeneutic situation. But what then makes the clearing possible? The answer: das Ereignis, the properizing event of appropriation that throws us into the unique clearing of intelligibility into which we happen to find ourselves thrown.
P. 170-1
I like Kisiel's paraphrase here. However, there doesn't seem to be anything paradigmatically new about the scheme that meaning is made possible by die Lichtung and the latter is made possible by das Ereignis. It may even be the case that Capobianco, arguably the most outspoken opponent of Sheehan's pardigm, would agree with this series of conditions. But even if he wouldn't, it is not this string of conditions that constitutes the real core of Sheehan's controversial and forced reading. It is rather his more fundamental (and, to my mind, unsupportable) claim that Heidegger's question is not about Being. This is the real "paradigm shift" that stands in need of an explanation not attempted in the Kisiel excerpt above. Listing or elaborating upon this string of conditions only begs the question: are they conditions of meaning in the sense of mechanisms that the transcendental knower employs in order to "make sense of" and give a face to objects which are in themselves senseless and faceless? Or is the problem of the meaning OF Being, when it is thought in the sense of a genetivus objectivus from a transcendental perspective still awaiting a reconsideration, as even the young Heidegger spoke about, of the Being of Meaning, and thus also the inevitable alternate consideration of the meaning OF Being when it is thoughtin the sense of a genetivus subjectivus, as the meaning that depends upon and emanates from Being? Presumably, the later Heidegger suggests how even this alternative is only a bridge to understanding the zusammengehoerigkeit of the genetive as a belong that is neither objective nor subjective.
To recapitulate, then: Lichtung and Ereignis are conditions of meaning. Fine. But, as conditions of meaning, they are either names for the sense-making of the human being ONLY (as Sheehan wants to force Heidegger to claim) or they are names for the essencing of Being itself, which cannot be identified with the functions of transcendental consciousness (as Heidegger reminds often but perhaps most succinctly when considering the meaning of die Lichtung as Die Sache des Denkens in contradistinction to Husserl's Transcendental approach to the primary datum of phenomenology in the "The End of Philosophy and The Task of Thinking").
"To recapitulate, then: Lichtung and Ereignis are conditions of meaning. Fine."
I don't think it is at all "fine". Why? Because it puts meaning and meaningfulness at the exclusive focus.

Heidegger's question was that concerning the meaning of being itself, and this, as he lucidly shows, is time. Being means time. Once being is hermeneutically recast in this way, and being is thought from the ground up as temporal, then being itself becomes presencing and absencing in time, and the famous Lichtung/clearing becomes not another name for Alaetheia, but the time-clearing, die Zeitlichtung, a term Heidegger does not use, as far as I know.

Heidegger got off the track in his own thinking around 1930 by explicitly substituting Alaetheia/truth for time. The Zeitlichtung is presencing/absencing itself, which is not tied exclusively to meaningfulness, meaning, understanding, but also globally, and prior to understanding, to mood, attunedness. The time-clearing attunes first and foremost; it is first and foremost musical, not linguistically meaningful. Fixated as they are on meaning, neither Sheehan nor Kisiel nor many other Heidegger scholars see this.

The Zeitlichtung is the openness in which all that occurs presences and absences, showing itself hermeneutically AS what or who it is, and is so understood. Each historical epoch has its own hermeneutic cast. The Zeitlichtung is neither a place nor a space; it is no Where; rather the Zeitlichtung is the mind itself in which all we humans partake as long as we live. Time and Mind are the same, they belong together. That is the Parmenidean message. It is hard to see this, especially since from the outset, with Plato and Aristotle, time was spatialized (as the counting of the regular motion of the celestial bodies). This spatialization of time culminates in Einsteinian relativity theory, in which time becomes 'nothing other than' the motion of light (electromagnetic radiation) which is posited by modern physics to be THE absolute movement.

Learning to see the time-clearing itself is the precondition for one day, perhaps, getting of the fateful cul-de-sac into which humankind has long since manoeuvred itself.

For further reading cf. my A Question of Time, CreateSpace 2015.
> [Sheehan's] claim that Heidegger's question is not about Being

I agree that is most controversial -- most likely to annoy others -- part of the new paradigm.

On the other hand, the scheme Kisiel outlines, is becoming generally accepted. It's the claim that resonates the most with me. I'm not sure what to call it. In the book it's the ἀλήθεια 1-3 ordering of truths of being/s, but I don't recall the scheme being named.

The problem is that Heidegger substitutes ἀλήθεια for time, claiming that "die Zeit ist der Vorname der ἀλήθεια", i.e. "time is the provisional name for ἀλήθεια". But ἀλήθεια is itself temporal, ἀλήθεια itself having the three possibilities of self-showing of the phenomena as i) disclosure, ii) partial/distorted/false disclosure, iii) non-disclosure/hiddenness. These three possibilities criss-cross with the three temporal dimensions of presencing, absencing in the past, and absencing in the future, giving 3x3=9 possibilities all told.

To see this a bit more clearly, take the simple, banal example of a car accident in which you're involved, which can presence in the presence, or as absent in the past, or as absent in the future.
You may see it in the present i) very clearly what's happening, say, when the car before you brakes too suddenly (disclosure), or ii) only distortedly and falsely, say, when you misjudge the distance of a car behind you when changing lanes, or iii) not even notice it, say, scratching another car when parking (hiddenness).
Or you may see it in the past i) very clearly what happened (disclosure), or ii) only distortedly and falsely (misremembering), or iii) forgotten it altogether(hiddenness).
Or you may see it in the future i) very clearly what will happen, because you know your brakes are faulty (disclosure), or ii) only distortedly and falsely, because it's raining heavily and visibility is limited (vaguely expecting), or iii) not foresee the possibility of an accident at all (hiddenness).

If ἀλήθεια is substituted for time, there is no way of seeing the complex. 9x9 interplay of ἀλήθεια and time.

Heidegger's main achievement, on my (long) reading and consideration of the phenomena themselves, is the reinterpretation of the phenomenon of time itself, freeing it from its linear spatialization as a counted sequence, which paved the way for its mathematization in all modern (physical as well as social) science. Heidegger takes the step back into the deeper hermeneutics of time as three-dimensional presencing and absencing, which is the open time-clearing that is not mathematizable, not scientifically controllable, but rather is the openness of mind itself.

Today, with the emergence of neuroscience, we are well on the way to destroying the human mind -- but nobody notices this disaster befalling us, driven as 'we' are by the will to power over movement/change of all kinds.
And it all has to do with the misinterpretation of time itself that starts with Plato (Timaios) and Aristotle (Physics IV).
Therefore I propose a hermeneutic chronophasis, i.e. an interpretive saying of the phenomena presencing and absencing in the time-clearing.

Tom and Ted are scholars, and don't see this.
" 'To recapitulate, then: Lichtung and Ereignis are conditions of meaning. Fine.'
I don't think it is at all "fine". Why? Because it puts meaning and meaningfulness at the exclusive focus."

I agree with your objection here, Michael. But in what directly follows in my original comment after the words you have quoted, I try to make clear that there is a noteworthy ambiguity in the phrase "conditions of meaning," one that may allow us to escape the cause of your just objection. After all, a condition of meaning may simply be something that makes meaning possible, without having to be exclusively related to meaning. A condition may not, and often does not, relate to what it conditions as to its raison d'etre. This last phrase proves particularly impossible in a case were Being itself is the condition, since to talk about a raison d'etre of Being is to speak thougtlessly. As I go on to say in the first comment, though, these "conditions of meaning" can be considered in such an exclusive way only if the genitive in the "meaning of being" is understood as an objective genitive. This makes the conditions of meaning the property of the transcendental knower. And this is exactly what Sheehan needs in order to say that Lichtung and Ereignis belong within the general consideration of meaning AS ENTIRELY DISTINCT from the realm of Being. On Sheehan's reading, Lichtung and Ereignis are conditions of meaning which, when we press forward and put to them the question of THEIR Being, namely what and how these conditions are, we are answered that they must belong to the process of the human being's meaning-making and NOT to Being. Thus, on Sheehan's reading, the "whence of Being" is the transcendental apparatus of the human being, which he equates with what he calls the "thrown-open clearing". In the end, there seems to be little difference between the way these conditions relate as conditions to the finite knower and the way Kant's conditions for the possibility of expereience, and most immediately his forms of intuition relate to the finite knower. But even a cursory acquaintance with the early Heidegger's interpretation of Kant refuses any such similarity of relation; the primordial time of the transcendental imagination which serves as the common root of both intuition (including the forms of intuition) and concepts is what enables the self-affectivity of subject. Primordial Time precedes mind. Which leads me back to your interesting, rather indiosynchratic reading:

"Heidegger takes the step back into the deeper hermeneutics of time as three-dimensional presencing and absencing, which is the open time-clearing that is not mathematizable, not scientifically controllable, but rather is the openness of mind itself."
I would simply say that the ambiguity I pointed to in the phrase "conditions of meaning" perdures in your "openness of mind". The key question is, does this openness precede mind in such a way that mind IS at all only by being assigned in advance into and by this Openness? Surely primordial time precedes mind in this way.


And this brings up a second point regarding your characterization of Heidegger's "main achievement." Heidegger has famously characterized the course of his own denkweg as passing through three distintive regions: Sinn, Wahrheit (als unverborgenheit) which is spoken and experienced but not thought in ἀλήθεια, and finally Ort thought onto-topologically. Meaning of Being, Truth of Being, Place of Being. Time as a transcendental horizon belongs to the thinking of the Meaning of Being. This is also the proper domain of the Kant interpretation which ferrets out Primordial Time as the source of the transcendental ego which overthrows it. You have indicated how you thought Heidegger "got off the track in his own thinking around 1930 by explicitly substituting Alaetheia/truth for time." However, how do you, on this reading deal with Heidegger's own characterization of the final region of his denkweg as place? Doesn't the "reaching" of the reaches of Time that belong to the Bereich of Time detailed in the later Zeit und Sein notsuggest that time has a resting Place as its eventual destination? Just as Fragen has a final resting place in Sagen?
You raise good and important questions, Pseudonoma. Thank you for elaborating your train of thought. I agree that a transcendental thinking of the Kantian kind does not suffice, for this amounts to keeping on the straight-jacket of subjectivist metaphysics, the curse of our age that is upheld by all analytic philosophy.

I not in passing, "thrown-open clearing" is Sheehan's translation of "Lichtung des Sichentwerfens" or similar, which shows that he remains hung up on meaningfulness, since Entwerfen refers to the casting of the hermeneutic As of an age.

Your first objection or question: "Surely primordial time precedes mind in this way."
I am following Parmenides and taking a tip from Heidegger's interpretation of Parmenides in formulating Fragment 8 as
"Presencing and minding are the same." or even
"Timing and minding are the same."

Since speaking of the mind may suggest the merely cognitive instance of human thinking, one could also speak of the psyche instead, which is the all-encompassing openness that is not located somehow within the human body (the orthodox opinion). The psyche is openness for both understanding/meaning and moodedness; it quivers (Heidegger speaks of "Erzitterung"). It is this quivering that renders the human psyche/mind musical (cf. my Thinking of Music 2015).

The openness of the clearing cannot precede the psyche/mind, for we humans can only know anything of it through belonging to it in a sameness -- Parmenides' _to auto_. Parmenides injunction is against attempting to break out of the belonging-together of _noein to kai einai_, i.e. "minding and presencing".

Your second objection or question: How do I deal with "Heidegger's own characterization of the final region of his denkweg as place?"
You are referring presumably to Heidegger's late seminar in which he refers to an "Ortsverlegung" (shift of place) from the subject to Dasein. This is indeed what his thinking is all about, but this is "place" in a sense different from physical place or space. In the very important 1962 lecture, 'Zeit und Sein' we have Heidegger's radical thinking-through of primordial four-dimensional time (what I call the time-clearing) which Heidegger (rightly) characterizes as "vorräumlich" (pre-spatial). Therefore it is entirely misleading to then proceed to call time a "Place", as you do. Heidegger's thinking has a "resting Place" in four-dimensional time, but this time-clearing itself is placeless, pre-spatial and no Where at all. This wherelessness is hardest of all to see, wherefore it has remained unthought since the beginnings of philosophy. Instead, from the outset, time was fatefully spatialized, and today we even have Heidegger scholars perversely criticizing Heidegger for giving priority to time over place. But this turn in academic philosophy is only a relapse into the good old, pernicious, metaphysical tradition. Cf. my A Question of Time 2015 for more detail.
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