Sunday, September 01, 2013

The Partially Examined Life on getting being right.
[Heidegger] says “Being” is closer to us than beings, for example, which I take to mean that our immediately lived experience is more real and more concrete than things or objects. The Cartesian subject, traditionally conceived as a mental being set over and against an external world, is rejected and replaced by Da-sein or being-in-the-world. The Platonic notion of seeing reality clearly – as opposed to seeing through a glass darkly or seeing only shadows on the cave wall – is dropped in favor of “World disclosure“. These kinds of changes add up to create a radically different picture wherein the world is not an object of knowledge existing outside of us but the whole background of intelligible meanings in which we are always, already situated.
The main thing I have got from Heidegger and Arendt, more than anything they wrote in particular, is the possibility to think in a commemorative way; aiming not at expounding a worldview or converting people to a cause, but to think about what words mean, and how to relate that to my chosen subject, which is classics. Today shows that it is possible to disconnect thought from knowledge but Heidegger and Arendt were the only intellectuals I know of who made me understand the value in being thoughtful and applying that to my own life and decisions. http://commemoratum.blogspot.co.uk
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