Wednesday, January 31, 2007
Translation considered dangerous.
Sertaç Canbolat is one of tens of translators who has been penalized for “insulting Turkishness, the Turkish Republic and government agencies” through his translation of the book “Ma Vie Amoureuse et Criminelle avec Martin Heidegger” (My Life of Love and Crime with Martin Heidegger). Canbolat was sued on grounds of the book being “against moral values” and “encouraging” people to commit crime.
Some countries get all the good translations.
Hannah Arendt, frankly nebulous.
Arendt comes by her cloudiness honestly. She was the student - indeed, the lover - of Martin Heidegger, the German existentialist who, as one critic quipped, turned the fact of death itself into a professional secret for philosophers. While her liaison with Heidegger has given rise to much high-level gossip - in today's university, Herr Doktor Heidegger's affair with a stunning 18-year-old student would be even more outrageous than his Nazi sympathies - her intellectual loyalties are more the issue. She never conceptually broke with Heidegger.

In fact a semi-religious Heideggerian idiom of angst, loneliness and rootlessness informs her work. The masses that supported Hitler (and Stalin) did not suffer from unemployment or hunger, but from "loneliness". Totalitarianism "bases itself on loneliness, on the experience of not belonging to the world at all, which is among the most radical and desperate experiences of man".
Tuesday, January 30, 2007
Philippe Lacoue-Labarthe, RIP.
Commenting upon a fragment of Pindar, to which he gives the title, The Law, Hölderlin writes: 'The immediate...is impossible for both mortals and immortals...But rigorous mediateness is the law.' It is this law which founds and governs tragedy. It may be called the Law of finitude.

P. 43
Hat tip Continental Philosophy.
Monday, January 29, 2007

Other Than Being finds that a spoonful of Heidegger helps the Christianity go down.
Faith and reason do not ultimately contradict, but you can't sacrifice one for the other. Nor can you base on on the other, certainly not reduce one to the other.

Just as suddenly and subtly you find yourself remembering an old insight from Heidegger's What is called Thinking. Heidegger writes that although the sciences calculate and analyze, they do not think because they forget the ground on which they are based. Science and observation would not be possible except that being gave itself over for observation. There is... something there, and why should it be there? Science has no answer, we merely take for granted that there is, es gibt, da sein.

Okay, this is not a fully-reclaimed faith yet; Heidegger does not one a Christian make. But, Heidegger does drag you back to another ethos, where mystery is not code for not-yet-solved, but rather not-fully-comprehensible and infinitely knowable. Subtly you are back in an ethos where faith in the unseen seems a rational response to the mystery of being.

Philosophical Investigator's Box 'o Heidegger, contains tome of Plato.
More from Slavoj Žižek, on being in the space where things are--heading East.
However, there still remains a "naive" question: if entities are there as Real prior to Lichtung (clearing), how do the two ultimately relate? Lichtung had somehow to "explode" from the closure of mere entities--did not Schelling struggle (and fail) with this ultimate problem in his Weltalter drafts, which aimed at deploying the emergence of logos out of the proto-cosmic Real of divine drives? Are we to take the risk of endorsing the philosophical potentials of the modern physics whose results seem to point towards a gap/opening discernible already in the pre-ontological nature itself? Furthermore, what if THIS is the danger of technology: that the world itself, its opening, will disappear; that we'll return to the prehuman mute being of entities without Lichtung?

It is against this background that one should also approach the relationship between Heidegger and Oriental thought. In his exchange with Heidegger, Medard Boss proposes that, in contrast to Heidegger, in Indian thought, the Clearing (Lichtung) in which beings appear does not need man (Dasein) as the "shepherd of being"--a human being is merely one of the domains of "standing in the clearing" which shines forth in and for itself. Man unites himself with the Clearing through his self-annihilation, through the ecstatic immersion into the Clearing. This difference is crucial: the fact that man is the unique "shepherd of Being" introduces the notion of the epochal historicity of the Clearing itself, a motif totally lacking in Indian thought. Already in the 1930s, Heidegger emphasized the fundamental "derangement (Ver-Rücktheit)" that the emergence of Man introduces into the order of entities: the event of Clearing is in itself an Ent-Eignen, a radical and thorough distortion, with no possibility of "returning to the undistorted Order." Ereignis is co-substantial with the distortion/derangement, it is NOTHING BUT its own distortion. This dimension is, again, totally lacking in Oriental thought--and Heidegger's ambivalence is symptomatic here. On the one hand, he repeatedly insisted that the main task of Western thought today is to defend the Greek breakthrough, the founding gesture of the "West," the overcoming of the pre-philosophical mythical "Asiatic" universe, against the renewed "Asiatic" threat--the greatest opposite of the West is "the mythical in general and the Asiatic in particular." On the other hand, he gave occasional hints as to how his notions of Clearing and Event resonate with the Oriental notion of the primordial Void.

P. 10-11
Sunday, January 28, 2007

Maverick Philosopher on the meaning of Heidegger.
If we must assign a meaning to his name, I suggest that it is that of ‘heather field,’ or ‘heath acre,’ or perhaps, ‘pagan soil.’ Die Heide (feminine) means heather, heath, moor. . . while der Heide (masculine) means pagan. Given Heidegger’s association with the Blut und Boden ideology of the National Socialists — an association he never properly renounced — and the dark trends of his later thinking, ‘pagan soil’ may well be fitting
Hat tip Mormon Philosophy.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Slavoj Žižek on where things are, and being there with them.
Heidegger's notion of Geworfenheit, of "being-thrown" into a concrete historical situation, could be of some help here. Geworfenheit is to be opposed both to the standard humanism and to the Gnostic tradition. In the humanist vision, a human being belongs to this earth: he should be fully at home on its surface, able to realize his potential through the active, productive exchange with it. As the young Marx put it, earth is man's "anorganic body." Any notion that we do not belong to this earth, that Earth is a fallen universe, a prison for our soul striving to liberate itself from the material inertia, is dismissed as life-denying alienation. For the Gnostic tradition, on the other hand, the human Self is not created, it is a preexisting Soul thrown into a foreign inhospitable environment. The pain of our daily lives is not the result of our sin (of Adam's Fall), but of the fundamental glitch in the structure of the material universe itself which was created by defective demons; consequently, the path of salvation does not reside in overcoming our sins, but in overcoming our ignorance, in transcending the world of material appearances by way of achieving the true knowledge.

What both these positions share is the notion that there is a home, a "natural" place for man: either this world of the "noosphere" from which we fell into this world and for which our souls long, or Earth itself. Heidegger points the way out of this predicament: what is we effectively are "thrown" into this world, never fully at home in it, always dislocated, "out of joint," and what if this dislocation is our constitutive, primordial condition, the very horizon of our being? What if there is no previous "home" out of which we were thrown into this world, what if this very dislocation grounds man's ex-static opening to the world?

As Heidegger emphasizes in Sein und Zeit, the fact that there is no Sein (being) without Dasein (being-there) does NOT mean that, if the Dasein were to disappear, no things would remain. Entities would continue to be, but they would not be disclosed within a horizon of meaning -- there would have been no world. This is why Heidegger speaks of Dasein and not of man or subject: subject is OUTSIDE the world and then relates to it, generating the pseudo-problems of the correspondence of our representations to the external world, of the world's existence, etc.; man is an entity INSIDE the world. Dasein, in contrast to both of them, is the ex-static relating to the entities within a horizon of meaning, which is in advance "thrown" into the world, in the midst of disclosed entities.

P. 8-10
Friday, January 26, 2007
Mick's singing isn't as good as his and Keef's songs, Tony Chackal explains:
Now, personally, I subscribe to the art theory posed by the 20th century German philosopher, Martin Heidegger, which essentially says: Art is valuable, in and of itself, and never as a means to an end. To this extent, art is useless because it has no utility outside of aesthetic appreciation; art cannot make your car run, it cannot save impoverished countries, it cannot cure a sickness, it cannot stop a war. Art, in this sense, is useless.

Now, before all the brie- and shiraz-consuming art fags angrily tangle themselves with their color wheel scarves, let me say that just because something is useless, in the most literal sense, does not by any means make it worthless; art has infinite worth because an endless number of people attach value to it. Heidegger is on to something, but his point can only be seen once one is aware of where he is going with this initial statement. If art cannot get us anything, if, in this literal sense it has no use, and we nevertheless persist in attaching the most poignant and profound value to it, then what we value is the core substance of art, which is the integral ability of art to reflect and illuminate to us the truths of our existences- the meaningfulness at which humanity can nod its head in universal accordance and think, “Yes, that’s so true… that does happen…I know exactly what is being conveyed, I have encountered this very thing.” And when the spectator reaches this point, when she meaningfully connects with the artwork, the aesthetic experience is had.

But can the artist take full responsibility for this? Certainly not.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
A rare sighting of part II of B&T.
The question concerns the fate of what would have been the second part of “Sein und Zeit”, second part without which the first is nought but an arch deprived of its spring, and which, there can be no doubt, would have completed the ontological edifice of what we have referred to as the “historial”. Indeed, I saw the manuscript of this second part, with my own eyes, on Heidegger’s work desk in Freiburg in July 1936. It was contained in a large sheath. Heidegger even amused himself by putting it in my hands that I might weigh it, and it was heavy. What has since come of this manuscript? There have been some contradictory answers to this question: as for myself, I have none to offer.

real_philosophy compares deconstructions.
Now, whatever “deconstruction” means in Derrida’ philosophy, it is a translation of what is going on here in Heidegger, viz., a critical thinking of heritage. But it’s a history of writing, not being. Derrida’s idea is that, traditionally, “voice” is supposed to be the guarantor of meaning, because it is literally the presence, the authority of the speaker. In Heidegger’s version, the being of being, the meaning or intelligibility of the thing, is understood as permanent presence by traditional metaphysics.
Monday, January 22, 2007
Sartre, grumpy, but not as cranky as some, according to this argument for the power of positive existentialism.
Even Heidegger and Sartre, the grand old Mr. Cranky and Mr. Grumpy of German and French existentialism, respectively, aim not at despair but at a kind of rejuvenation. Sartre, in particular, claims, in response to a question about despair, that he has never experienced it in his whole life. (That may throw into question his credibility, but it's nonetheless instructive as to his broad philosophical outlook.)

Perhaps the wartime experiences of Mr. Cranky put him beyond the reach of any celebration of life, but Mr. Grumpy insists that existentialism provides an experience of incredible freedom, a feeling of responsibility that is not so much a "burden" as a matter of finding one's true self-identity. If nihilism and despair play any role in this picture, it is only as background against which existentialism is the ecstatic resistance. Responsibility and choice, picking oneself up by the bootstraps, are what this positive version of existentialism is all about.
Gilles Deleuze discerns an inspired connection.
An Unrecognized Precursor to Heidegger: Alfred Jarry

Pataphysics (epi meta ta phusika) has as its exact and explicit object the great Turning, the overcoming of metaphysics, the rising up beyond or before, "the science of that which is superinduced upon metaphysics, whether in itself or outside of itself, extending as far beyond metaphysics as the latter extends beyond physics." We can thus consider Heidegger's work as a development of pataphysics in conformity with the principles of Sophrotates the Armenian, and of his first disciple, Alfred Jarry. The great resemblances, memorial or historical, concern the Being of phenomena, planetary technology, and the treatment of language.

P. 91
Hat tip: Foucault Is Dead.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Philosopher in this Sunday's funny pages.

Saturday, January 20, 2007
Earth humor, ar! ar!
Friday, January 19, 2007
More from Michel Haar on the relation of dasein and being.
If the principle of Ereignis is a truly mutual belonging together of man and being, such mutuality or reciprocity is admissible only at the price of a false symmetry. For if the essence of man consists only in belonging and corresponding to being, how can this belonging be equal on the side of man's relation to being, given that being can never truly "belong" to man in the way in which being possesses man, since being cannot depend on man as much as man depends on being? Ereignis, as equality and reciprocity of the two sides of the double relation, contradicts the absolute preponderance and antecedence of being over man. Heidegger fails to attain the simplicity that ought to characterize Ereignis, as singulare tantum. Indeed the "co-appropriation" (to attempt a translation of Ereignis) is, in the description given, doubled once more into two modes of appropriation that repeat the two asymmetrical sides of the relation. On the one side, " man is appropriated unto being [dem Sein...vereignet]"; on the other "being however is appropriated unto (zugeeignet) the essence of man." It must be conceded that the leap into Ereignis, as an Identity in which the terms founding themselves lose their previous identity, that is, "those determinations that metaphysics has conferred on them," has not been successful, because being has not been removed and man still retains a distinct essence. To be called the mortal, must he not continue to be differentiated--from being, from the world, or from the gods? Strictly speaking, the priority of being renders unthinkable any true reciprocity of its relation to man.

P. 66
Thursday, January 18, 2007
Isn't the critique of the the Cartesian subject a simple reversal, privileging being? Michel Haar responds in Heidegger and the Essence of Man.
The very idea of subjectivity, which is that of man's self-positing and positing the outside as object, rests on the idea of something facing. Yet is the thought of being not then simply a reversal of the metaphysics of subjectivity, insofar as it would simply turn the subject's self-positing around into the self-positing of being? Moreover, is not the fact that being somehow reassumes and takes on all the functions of the subject the index of this reversal?

To reply to this objection, according to which the subject-object relation would merely be inverted--being becoming the true subject and man its object--Heidegger develops the difficult notion of Ereignis, which is to think the tie between man and being in a quite different way. Their joining would precisely not be a link in the sense of a relation "with or without dialectic," in the sense of an attachment of two terms originally separated, but of an initial Identity, a full and unlimited "belonging together," a "constellation," an "interlacing," or "intertwining". Ereignis is an interbelonging of being and man, as "the belonging together of call and obedience", would be more original than the relation considered in terms of its two moments. Only a "leap" of thinking, a leap that "leaps away from being," would allow us to understand this wholly reciprocal appropriation, allow us to see that being belongs as much to us as we belong to it, since "being itself belongs to us; for only in us can it essence, i.e. presence as being." "The leap is the abrupt entry into the realm from out of which man and being have always already reached one another in their essence, because both are appropriated over to one another out of a reaching-towards. The entry into the realm of this transpropriation first attunes and determines the experience of thinking."

P. 65-66
Tuesday, January 16, 2007
Slavoj Žižek on Ernst Nolte on Heidegger's political choices.
It is worth to recall here Ernst Nolte's book on Heidegger, which brought fresh wind into the eternal debate on "Heidegger and the political" - it did this on the very account of its "unacceptable" option: far from excusing Heidegger's infamous political choice in 1933, it justifies it - or, at least, it de-demonizes it, rendering it as a viable and meaningful choice. Against the standard defenders of Heidegger whose mantra is that Heidegger's Nazi engagement was a personal mistake of no fundamental consequences for his thought, Nolte accepts the basic claim of Heidegger's critics that his Nazi choice is inscribed into his thought - but with a twist: instead of problematizing his thought, Nolte justifies his political choice as a viable option in the situation of late 1920s and early 1930s with the economic chaos and Communist threat:
Insofar as Heidegger resisted the attempt at the Communist solution, he, like countless others, was historically right ... In committing himself to the National Socialist solution perhaps he became a 'fascist.' But in no way did that make him historically wrong from the outset.
Nolte also formulated the basic terms and topics of the "revisionist" debate whose basic tenet is to "objectively compare" Fascism and Communism: Fascism and even Nazism was ultimately a reaction to the Communist threat and a repetition of its worst practices (concentration camps, mass liquidations of political enemies):
Could it be the case that the National Socialists and Hitler carried out an 'Asiatic' deed the Holocaust only because they considered themselves and their kind to be potential or actual victims of a Bolshevik 'Asiatic' deed. Didn't the 'Gulag Archipelago' precede Auschwitz?
The merit of Nolte is to approach seriously the task of grasping Fascism - and even Nazism - as a feasible political project, which is a sine qua non if its effective criticism. - It is here that one has to make the choice: the "pure" liberal stance of equidistance towards Leftist and Rightist "totalitarianism" (they are both bead, based on the intolerance of political and other differences, the rejection of democratic and humanist values, etc.) is a priori false, one HAS to take side and proclaim one fundamentally "worse" than the other - for this reason, the ongoing "relativization" of Fascism, the notions that one should rationally compare the two totalitarianisms, etc., ALWAYS involves the - explicit or implicit - thesis that Fascism was "better" than Communism, an understandable reaction to the Communist threat.
This passage is also in his book Iraq: The Borrowed Kettle.
I found these lectures on Being and Time, while searching for this passage:
By looking at the world theoretically, we have already dimmed it down to the uniformity of what is purely present-at-hand, though admittedly this uniformity comprises a new abundance of things which can be discovered by simply characterizing them. Yet even the purest θεωρία has not left all moods behind it; even when we look theoretically at what is just present-at-hand, it does not show itself purely as it looks unless this θεωρία lets it come towards us in a tranquil tarrying alongside...

P. 138
Monday, January 15, 2007
Lou's Berlin explained.
Reed was creating a listening room for something beyond despair. Using Berlin the city as a metaphor, he performed an aural novella driven by the German philosophy of the pre-war period as spread to the undergraduates of the 1950s and beyond by Jean-Paul Sartre. When the German troops marched out of Paris, the German philosophers of being -- Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger -- marched in. Reed's disaffected hero moved beyond attachment to anything, beyond being into nothingness. This is the void where you were asked, "How do you think it feels to always make love by proxy?"
Screw up and you'll end up streetless.
Martin Heidegger may still be read and, in places, treated with quasi-religious reverence. But streets and commemorative awards are far more likely to be named after those Germans who resisted nationalism and National Socialism, often risking their lives.
Still, while reverence can be a dodgy matter, there's a lot to be said for being read.
Thursday, January 11, 2007
Parvis Emad on shifting into Ereignis.
[T]he experience of "being thrown into being's appropriating forth-throw" amounts to this: being thrown into being's appropriating forth-throw is the same as being thrown into the openness. This way of being thrown requires that the openness be opened-up. Experiencing throwness as being thrown into openness is the same as Dasein shifting into the openness, as catching up the counter-sway, and along with this shifting, opening up the openness and shifting into Ereignis. By shifting into Ereignis, Dasein becomes who Dasein is, namely the preserver of being's appropriating forth-throw, one who preserves the openness by projecting, i.e., opening it.

Thus founding of Dasein depends entirely on shifting into the openness into which Dasein is always already thrown and needs to be opened up. Opening up the openness, catching up the counter-sway that sways in and as being, Daseinshifts into Ereignis/appropriation. Thus Dasein becomes who Dasein already is, namely the preserver of the thrown projection. Put concisely, the founding of Dasein comes about when Dasein not only stands within the openness and disclosure of being (Erschlossenheit des Seins) ("Heidegger I") but also when Dasein proceeds to open up this opnenness by way of catching up the counter-sway that sways in and as being and is named Ereignis ("Heidegger II").

P. 141-142
Tuesday, January 09, 2007
Slavoj Žižek on truth continued.
When Heidegger speaks of the untruth as inherent to the truth-event itself, he has two different levels in mind:
  • On the one hand, when he is engaged in inner-worldly affairs, forgets the horizon of meaning within which he dwells, and even forgets this forgetting itself (exemplary here is the 'regression' of Greek thought that occurs with the rise of the Sophists: what was a confrontation with the very foundation of our Being turns into a thrifling play with different lines of argumentation, with no inherent relation to truth).
  • On the other hand, the way this horizon of meaning itself, in so far as it is an epochal Event, arises against the background of -- and thereby conceals -- the imponderable Mystery of its emergence, just as a clearing in the midst of a forest is surrounded by the dark thickness of the woods.
Leaving aside the difficult question of how these two levels are co-depenedent, let us focus on the second, more fundamental level: is it enough to perceive the Untruth in the heart of Truth as the imponderable background against which every epochal truth-event occurs? It seems that even the parallel with Lacan (in so far as we admit it as legitimate) would justify this conclusion: for Lacan also, in order to lie properly, our speech has already in advance to refer to the big Other qua the guarantee of Truth -- this is why, in contrast to a simple animal feigning, man can feign to feign, he can lie in the guise of truth itself, like the Jew from the famous anecdote quoted by Freud ('Why are you telling me you're going to Lemberg, when you are really going to Lemberg?'). So, for Lacan, the 'untruth' which is not in this sense derivative of the dimension of truth would be simply the imponderable thickness of the pre-symbolic Real itself as the unsurpassable background of every symbolic universe.... It was William Richardson who -- from his unique knowledge of Heidegger and Lacan, and in a direct response to Sallis's essay -- drew this conclusion when he said [Heidegger among the Doctors]: 'When I hear Heidegger talk about lethe as "older" than the essence of truth, I hear what Lacan means by the real.'

Here, however, one has to venture a further step, the step whose necessity is indicated by Heidegger himself when, in the elaboration of this notion of an untruth older than the very dimension of truth, he emphasizes how man's 'stepping into the essential unfolding of truth' is a 'transformation of the being of man in the sense of a derangement [Ver-rückung] of his position among beings.' The 'derangement' to which Heidegger refers is not, of course, a psychological or clinical category: it indicates a much more radical, properly ontological reversal/aberration, when the universe itself, in its very foundation, is in a way 'out of joint', thrown off its rails. What is crucial here is to remember that Heidegger wrote those lines in the years of his intensive reading of Schelling's Treatise on Human Freedom, a text which discerns the origin of Evil precisely in a kind of ontological madness, in the 'derangement' of man's position among beings (his self-centredness); in his early writings, Hegel also refers to such an ontological madness (the 'night of the world', the radical withdrawal of the subject from the world, its radical self-contradiction) as a sine qua non, a necessary intermediate step ('vanishing mediator') in the passage from 'prehuman nature' to our symbolic universe.

P. 80-82

Bag of Worms Yet Words discusses Heidegger's Concept of Mood.
Primordial mood is the fundamental awareness that we are alive and are our own being in our world. It is the revealing of ourselves in the world to ourselves. Our world refers to our experienced world, including the presence of other persons, objects, public places, landscapes, and cities. It is not co-extensive with our consciousness or self-consciousness. It is not a private world, in the same way our dreams are private to us.
Discussion continues in subsequent posts.
Monday, January 08, 2007
Slavoj Žižek discusses the monstrosity of a fundamental ground or absolute truth.
Another way to approach this same ambiguity and tension in the relationship between fantasy and the Real would be via Heidegger's theme of errancy/untruth as the innermost feature of the event of truth itself. The very opening paragraph of John Sallis's remarkable essay on the monstrosity of truth tackles this difficult point directly:
What if truth were monstrous? What if it were monstrosity itself, the very condition, the very form, of everything monstrous, everything deformed? But, first of all, itself essentially deformed, monstrous in its very essence? What if there were within the very essence of truth something essentially other than truth, a divergence from nature within nature, true monstrosity? [Deformatives: Essentially Other Than Truth]
Before jumping to hasty psuedo-Nietzschean conclusions, let us ponder briefly on what these statements are getting at. Sallis's point is not the psuedo-Nietzschean 'deconstructionist' notion that 'truth' is a fixed, constraining order imposed by some Power on to the free thriving of our life-sustaining imagination -- that the 'monstrosity' of truth resides in the fact that every 'regime of truth' deforms and stifles the free flow of our life-energy. For Sallis, as a Heideggerian, Nietzsche, with his famous notion of truth as 'the kind of error without which a certain kind of living being could not live', remains within the metaphysical opposition between truth and its other (fiction, error, lie), merely accomplishing the anti-Platonic inversion of the relationship between truth and illusion, praising the life-enhancing potential of fictions. Sallis, rather, follows to the end Heidegger's move from truth as adequatio [adequatio rei et intellectus, the correspondence of reality and mind] to truth as disclosedness: prior to truth as adequatio (either adequatio of our statements to 'the way things really are'--'There is a screen in front of me' is true only if there actually is a screen in front of me -- or adequatio of the things themselves in their essence -- 'This is a true hero' if he or she in fact acts as befits the notion of a hero), the thing itself must be disclosed to us as what it is. 'Truth' is thus, for Heidegger, the (historically determined) 'clearing', where things appear to us within a certain horizon of meaning -- that is, as part of a certain epochal 'world'. Truth is neither 'subjective' nor 'objective': it designates simultaneously our active engagement in and our exstatic openness to the world, letting things come forth in their essence. Furthermore, truth as the epochally determined mode of the disclosure of being is not grounded in any transcendental ultimate Foundation (divine Will, evolutionary laws of the universe...) -- it is in its innermost being an 'event', something that epochally occurs, takes place, 'just happens'. The question is now: how does this notion of truth involve an untruth (concealment, errancy, mystery) at its very heart, as its 'essential counter-essence' of 'its proper non-essence'? How are we to think this untruth without reducing it to one of the metaphysical modi of the untruth qua negative/privative version of truth (lie, illusion, fiction...) and, as such, already dependent on truth?

P. 78-80

Billy Joe explains Heidegger.
Sunday, January 07, 2007
The Telegraph on that messy category of art.
The German philosopher Martin Heidegger suggested that art resists categorisation. That's certainly right, but if one were forced to try, a category of 'messy' would be at least as handy as any other.
Heidegger on why it's not about the realism vs. idealism dichotomy.
When we have seen that the elucidation of the reality of the real is based upong seeing Dasein itself in its basic constitution, then we also have the basic requirement for all attempts to decide between realism and idealism. In elucidating these positions it is not so much a matter of clearing them up or of finding one or the other to be the solution, but of seeing that both can exist only on the basis of a neglect: they presuppose a concept of 'subject' and 'object' without clarifying these basic concepts with respect to the basic composition of Dasein itself. But every serious idealism is in the right to the extent that it sees that being, reality, actuality can be clarified only when being, the real, is present and encountered. Whereas every realism is right to the extent that it attempts to retain Dasein's natural consciousness of the extantness of the world. But it immediately falls short in attempting to explain this reality by means of the real itself, in believing that it can clarify reality by means of a causal process. Regarded strictly in terms of the scientific method, therefore, realism is always at a lower level than every idealism, even when that idealism goes to the extreme of solipsism.

P. 222
Saturday, January 06, 2007
Werner Marx, in Heidegger and the Tradition, interprets some correspondences between man and being in Identity and Difference.
The forethought "relationship" of behooving, i.e., of the to chre of the first beginning, is called the appropriating event [Ereignis]. This "key word" of forethinking is called upon now to determine the distribution of "power and impotence" between Being and the essence of man. It is intended to indicate how, corresponding to the original sense of the word, the "focused" essence of man as "glimpsed" can only "respond" to that which addresses itself to him in the realm of language, in an address that comes soundlessly as a claim aand appeal of Being or the world of essence. But in this "constellation" of Being and the essence of man, man himself retains much more "power" than the tradition had ever consigned to him. As the "prelude" of the event of appropriation, which essences as com-posite, already indicates, the noncreative human labor is itself a cocreating within the occurrence of Being. For being could never come forth within the currently prevailing unconcealment as the disposibility of stock if man could not listen to the currently prevailing demand and produce what is present through his labor. The creative modes of human response already designated by Heidegger in forethinking, namely, poetizing, thinking, building, and dwelling, are all no longer violent, but they are nonetheless, each in its own way, the expression of an enormous power of man.

P. 226-7
Monday, January 01, 2007
Julian Baggini speaks crudely.
In Continental Europe, Kant's insights would eventually be developed in a branch of philosophy known as phenomenology. Crudely speaking, phenomenologists such as Martin Heidegger took the lesson of Kant to be that the only way to study existence and "reality" was by examining our perceptions of it. There could be no study of the world as it is in itself because such a world is inaccessible to us.
For when Ereignis is not sufficient.

Appropriation appropriates! Send your appropriations to enowning at gmail.com.

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