Friday, October 24, 2014

Archinect on thanking your old socks.
While perhaps laughable to some – particularly within the context of home-organizing –, taking seriously the idea that inanimate objects have a life of their own parallels a lot of emerging thought in contemporary philosophy. In particular, the philosophical school of "Object-Oriented Ontology" (OOO) seeks to destabilize the tradition of Western philosophy since at least Kant that relegates the reality of objects to their conforming to the human subject's perception. Graham Harman, whose doctoral dissertation "Tool-Being: Elements in a Theory of Objects" sparked the OOO movement, effectively responds to the philosophy of Martin Heidegger: "Hammers break in different ways from drills, which break in different ways from hearts, kidneys, and lungs. The shocks and surprises generated by failing equipment are not random. The world is not a single lump broken into pieces by consciousness, but consists of individual pieces from the start."

Collections and Recollections gathers the various sources and details of Celan's visit to Todtnauberg.
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Slavoj Žižek on overcoming positionality.
[W]hen Heidegger speaks about the 'essence of technology,' he has in mind something like the frame of a fundamental fantasy which, as a transparent background, structures the way we relate to reality. Gestell, Heidegger's word for the essence of technology, is usually translated in English as 'enframing'. At its most radical, technology does not designate a complex network of machines and activities, but the attitude towards reality which we assume when we are engaged in such activities: technology is the way reality discloses itself to us in contemporary times. The paradox of technology as the concluding moment of Western metaphysics is that it is a mode of enframing which poses a danger to enframing itself: the human being reduced to an object of technological manipulation is no longer properly human; it loses the feature of being ecstatically open to reality. However, this danger also contains the potential for salvation: the moment we become aware and fully assume the fact that technology itself is, in its essence, a mode of enframing, we overcome it -- this is Heidegger's version of traversing the fantasy.
Pp. 29-30
Tuesday, October 21, 2014
In Japan Times, a report on a new exhibition of the paintings of Shunso Hishida.
[H]e also had a major influence outside Japan, especially on thinkers such as German philosopher Martin Heidegger and American poet Ezra Pound, who were interested in radical forms of traditionalism.
An unacknowledged influence, in so far as I can tell.
Monday, October 20, 2014
In Foreign Affairs, Gregory Fried reviews Peter Trawny's Heidegger und der Mythos der jüdischen Weltverschwörung. It's mainly a recap of L'affaire Heidegger.
Whatever the philosopher’s motivations, the notebooks will almost certainly spell the end of Heidegger as an intellectual cult figure, and that is a welcome development.
This is somewhat hyperbolic. Yes, scholars translate Heidegger's works, and study and comment on them, but I don't see any evidence of a cult. Who are the cult leaders? Where does the cult gather? Are they those dour chaps in black turtlenecks? Is there any empirical evidence for the existence of the cult? It sounds like a metaphysical straw man to me. Does the end of Heidegger include banning his works, as Faye recommends, and Fried reports uncritically, while poo-pooing Faye's critics? Academic philosophy will remain stuck in its rut, unless it removes its political correctness blinkers, and returns to Aristotle and genuine philosophical inquiry.
Sunday, October 19, 2014
In Appendix 1 of GA 40, Heidegger reflects on Introduction to Metaphysics.
The lecture course gets stuck halfway, not just because in its narrow way of posing the question it is not brought to an end--cf. projection! from the understanding of Being to the happening of Being!--but because at bottom it does not escape from the shackles of the understanding of Being. And it fails to do so because the question--even the fundamental question--in no way draws into the essential, that is, into the essential unfolding of Being itself.
The explication of the concept of Being and its history is important--the fact of the understanding of Being and its factuality is important, but all this only if the oblivion of Being is opened up as an authentic happening and thrust into this history, i.e. into the disempowerment of phusis, into the end of "metaphysics," into the urgency of the necessity of the other inception as the grounding of Being-here.
Pp. 233-4
Saturday, October 18, 2014
For your fragrant consideration: Dasein.
We borrow our name from existentialist philosophers Hegel and Heidegger, who used the term 'Dasein' (prounounced: DAH-zyne) to define 'human being' as the marriage between self awareness and sensual experience.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
In the Jewish Review of Books, Seyla Benhabib responds to Richard Wolin's contentions and shortfalls.
Wolin has always misconstrued how Arendt transformed and indeed subverted Heideggerian categories, for example by translating “das Man” into human plurality; “being-unto-death” into natality; and by emphasizing the human condition of acting and speaking in the world with others. Had Arendt slavishly followed Heidegger’s thinking, which, as she observed many times, is destructive to the political realm, she would not have been one of 20th-century’s greatest political thinkers. But for Wolin, Arendt is always a foolish woman in love!
For when Ereignis is not sufficient.

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