Tuesday, July 17, 2018
Calvin L. Warren on Ontological Terror.
Ontological Terror thinks with and against Heidegger, since I believe Heidegger’s destruction of metaphysics can assist black studies in the tremendous task of thinking Being and blackness, as Grant Farred has suggested. Heidegger’s Destruktion covers a wide range of philosophical issues, and it is not my objective to address all of these complexities; my interest is the relation between Heidegger’s critique of metaphysical violence, available equipment, and the task of remembering as it concerns blackness. What I hope to broach in this book, with all the aporias such as broaching encounters, is that the Negro is the missing element in Heidegger’s thinking (as well as in that of those postmetaphysicians indebted to Heidegger, such as Jean- Luc Nancy, Giorgio Agamben, Alain Badiou, and Gianni Vattimo). If, as we learn in Being and Time, Dasein uses tools to experience its thrown- ness in the world (establishing its facticity) and to develop its unique project oriented toward the future (projectionality), the Negro — as commodity, object, slave, putative backdrop, prisoner, refugee, and corpse — is the quintessential tool Dasein uses. The use of the Negro metaphysically and ontologically, as a tool, is what black thinking is tasked with pursuing. Thus, black thinking (and postmetaphysics) must ask the unasked question “How is it going with black being?” Without broaching this question, all forms of destruction are just reconstitutions, since the world continues to use the Negro (as black and nothing) to forget Being and the sadistic pleasure of this forgetfulness.
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