Tuesday, November 12, 2019
UnHerd on leaving Cyberia.
For the exile of Cyberia is the collapse of all experience into mere information. Heidegger captured this best when he described human being as fundamentally ‘Being-in-the-world’. The point of all those hyphens is to express the oneness of being and location.
The contrast here is with Descartes, the patron saint of Cyberia. For the whole nature of Descartes philosophical project is to describe thinking prior to engagement with the world. First, he establishes the existence of pure thought — I think therefore I am — only after which he seeks to connect up the thinking subject with the world around. On this influential model, thinking is structurally disconnected from its surroundings. All thinking is an out of body experience, as it were.
Being-in-the-World — see this excellent film on the subject — is the attempt to overcome the alienation of thinking from a sense of place and time, an alienation that Heidegger believed technology only deepened, though he didn’t even know the half of it. In the run up to that great cosmic feast of place and time — the incarnation — it is a joy to return from home from Cyberia.
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