Tuesday, June 21, 2016
In First Things, Peter J. Leithart reads Robert Pogue Harrison.
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?
Monday, June 20, 2016
The Globe and Mail on leadership.
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.
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.
Al Arabiya on the meaning of art.
German Philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976) said the origin of artistic work is individuality - meaning that art is an original expression of one's relation with existence.
Thursday, June 16, 2016
Dasein's now-when.
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 . . .”
P. 290
Wednesday, June 15, 2016
The basic characteristic of human existence.
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.
P. 93
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.
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.
P. 74
Sunday, June 12, 2016
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.
For when Ereignis is not sufficient.

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