What can make us at home again? Harrison quotes Heidegger's famous Der Spiegel interview in which he stated that “only a god can save us.” The interviewers responded to Heidegger's insistence that human beings are essentially related to earth (humans to the humus) by proposing that human beings are not determined by anything at all. One day, they said, we may settle on other planets and then where, Prof. Heidegger, is your humus human?
Humans need to get essentially related to the sky -- continue the discoveries; go where no anthropos has gone before -- because the sun's going to fry the earth some day. And who's going to save us from large, extinction event, meteorites?
¶ 7:22 AM0 comments
As Martin Heidegger once said, “Transcendence constitutes self-hood”.
I couldn't find that one in the corpus, but it's on a bunch of "inspirational quotes" web sites.
¶ 5:12 PM0 comments
Sunday, June 19, 2016
In LARB's Philosophical Salon, Jeff Love and Michael Meng on your ownmost.
We are left to face the harsh reality encapsulated in Martin Heidegger’s extravagant phrase: “Death is Dasein’s ownmost possibility.” “Ownmost” is a curious translation of the German “eigenste,” an adjective whose root “eigen” denotes ownership, thus suggesting that what we own most (another impossible phrase) is the possibility to die. To put this slightly differently, what we most truly own is death. Of course, this phrase must seem darkly ironic, and it is. For what sort of ownership can this be but ownership that obliterates the inveterate trace of hope secreted away in the notion of ownership itself? A trace intimating that I may be freed of death, that I may own “in perpetuity” that, in other words, I do not have to face the humiliation of death, all my property, my house, my stocks, my cars, proving to be nothing more than an elaborate network of fences that protect me from a ghastly reality, which, having once emerged, will never let me go.
In other words: Time is not something present out-there. It is not
something that can be empirically intuited. But that means that time in
itself is not determinable. I cannot determine any “now” in an absolute
way by way of the pure pre-view of the whole of time, because any determinate
“now” always already bespeaks a “now, when . . .” Every
now-determination is essentially relative to some present thing; and
only to the degree that this present thing (with regard to which time is
determinable at all) can be fixed, is a determination of time possible.
By the way, Einstein arrived at this same framework for determining
time by pursuing some quite specific, concrete problems in physics.
The principle of the theory of relativity—that all time is the time of
a certain place—is a principle that is grounded in the very essence of
time, insofar as what is present in the sense of being present in nature
can be determined only place-wise—i.e., only in terms of a place and
relative to a place. There is no absolute perception of time. In a certain
sense, as regards something present in nature, I can never simply and
directly fix its “now” as given absolutely. Instead, the now is always a
“now, when . . .”
In physics, the theory of [special] relativity introduced the position of the observer
as a theme of science. Yet physics, as such, is unable to say what this
"position of the observer" means. It obviously refers to what we touched
on by saying: I am here at any time. In this being-here, the bodiliness
of the human being always comes into play. In the area of microphysics,
the act of measuring and the instrument themselves interfere with comprehending
the objects during experimentation. That means that the
bodiliness of the human being comes into play within the "objectivity** of
natural science. Does this only hold true for scientific research, or is it
true here precisely because in general the bodying forth of the human
being's body co-determines the human being's being-in-the-world.
Galileo had already postulated relativity (no absolute space or time), but Cartesian absolute coordinates worked (the math calculated) for Newton, so relativity was forgotten. Until 1905, when Einstein explained that given that the speed of light is absolute, relative to the body making the measurement, then space and time had to be relative for every body. Therefore, embodied Dasein's space-time, human being's being-in-the-world, is appropriated by Dasein, and not a feature of the natural world.
¶ 12:13 PM0 comments
Absolutely no arbitrary relativism.
We have determined truth as the manifestness of beings, by virtue
of which we are fitted and bound in that which is. We have disavowed
an absolute truth. That does not mean, however, that we advocate the
thesis of an only relative truth; relativity is merely arbitrariness. The
rejection of the standpoint of the absolute truth means, at the same
time, the rejection of all relations between absolute and relative. If one
cannot speak in this sense of an absolute truth, neither can one speak of
relative truth. The whole relation is askew.
In NDPR, Gregory Fried reviews Peter Trawny's Freedom to Fail: Heidegger's Anarchy, translated by Ian Alexander Moore and Christopher Turner.
Our concepts are given by language and tradition, and however much freedom we grant to philosophy in deconstructing and reconstructing our inherited views, we will never get behind that givenness of our way of being so as to reconstitute the world as a whole, free from unexamined assumptions, a pure representation of reality in the lingua mentis of God. This means that whenever we set out to think by pursuing a question to its limits, we will, sooner or later, run up against our own limits. Like Oedipus, we are destined to fail in a way that we could not "see" in advance. To accept this tragic essence of human freedom is to affirm and return to ourselves within those limits as mortal, not infinite, beings.