edition of Basic Writings are these: (1) Heidegger's most concise employs a series of words (Abriss, Aufriss, Umriss, and especially Grundriss) to suggest. Heidegger's Philosophy, 2nd ed., by Frank Schalow and Alfred Denker, an J. B. Droysen, Grundriß an J.B. Droysen, Grundriß der Historik [seminar]. Moods That Matter: Heidegger, Affect and Wallace Stevens' “Thirteen Ways of the structure or fundamental design (Grundriss) of the ontological difference.
|Language:||English, Indonesian, French|
|ePub File Size:||20.68 MB|
|PDF File Size:||11.65 MB|
|Distribution:||Free* [*Register to download]|
Grundriss Heidegger Ein Handbuch Zu Leben Und Werk harley hahn guide to unix, herbally yours by penny royal download pdf books about herbally yours. Key words: Heidegger, Siewerth, Rahner, Welte, Müller. Introduction: . Cf. H. Vetter, Grundriss Heidegger: Ein Handbuch zu Leben und Werk, Hamburg: Meiner,. 14 .. bellesetokmeo.gq, p. 9. Idem, What is. I am greatly indebted to Professor J. Glenn Gray for initiating me into the demanding art of translating Heidegger and for our close association over the past two.
:~" tal GA.TIWAV lOn'lON a.
The being of beings, of other entities as 21 Dasein understanding of being, and secondly that we can only understand well as of Dasein itself, is not independent of Dasein: theories, questions, tools, cities — all these depend for their existence, and for their mode of being, on the fact that they are produced, asked, used, inhabited, and interpreted by human beings.
It is, in a way, only because Dasein does this that there is a unitary world at all rather than a collection of entities. Dasein is not just one thing among others; it is at the centre of the world, drawing together its threads. Thus in selecting Dasein as the starting-point for his enquiry Heidegger does not focus on one type of entity to the exclusion of others; Dasein Heidegger brings the whole world along with it.
The noun Dasein is used by other philosophers, by Kant for example, for the existence of any entity. But Heidegger restricts it to human beings. Why does he speak of the human being in this way? The being of 22 humans is strikingly different from that of other entities in the world. Dasein is an entity that can decide whether to be or not.
But Hamlet does not suggest that a man is nothing more than something that can decide whether or not to be. Indeed he must have some further characteristic 23 Dasein merely present at hand and which are not therefore appropriately apart from this ability to decide whether or not to be. Nothing could consist solely in that capacity, any more than it could have existence as its sole characteristic. In any case a man does not have an unrestricted power to decide whether or not to be.
He may choose to die, but he cannot choose to be born, or to be born in one situation rather than another. But once Dasein is thrown it has more control over its own being than just the option of suicide if it does not like what it is. Heidegger does not mention suicide in BT, but it is clear from xx. What I decide, therefore, is not so much whether or not to be, but how to be. I can choose to be a priest, a doctor, or a philosopher. Heidegger marks this special character by saying that Dasein, alone of all entities, exists or has existence.
Dasein stands forth, creating its own ways of being, in a way that no other entity does. I may after all be too stupid to become a priest, a doctor, or a philosopher. I may become bald, through no choice of my own and with no possibility of 24 regrowing my hair. Most human beings have a certain bodily, biological structure which differs markedly from that of other creatures and they have only limited possibilities of altering it. Heidegger does not of course argue that Dasein can become whatever it wants.
If I become bald, I may refuse to accept that I am bald, continuing to insist that I have a full head of hair; I may wallow in my baldness, and let it drive me to despair; I may wear a wig; I may simply ignore it; or I may gladly Dasein 4. Which option I take is not determined solely by my baldness, but is freely chosen by me. Wearing a wig is an acceptable response, whereas attempting to shave the heads of everyone else so that I am no longer exceptional is not.
Dasein is sometimes authentic and sometimes not. Does Heidegger mean that only authentic Dasein is really Dasein, is really a human being? That inauthentic Dasein is not properly human? What then is inauthenticity? Whose mind might I have, whose person might I be, if not my own?
I might emulate 26 some other person or group — Heidegger, my spouse, or my academic colleagues — doing and thinking what they do and think.
I am writing in English, because that is what one does. I grieve at funerals because that is what one does. Dasein is inauthentic in so far as it does things simply because that is what one does.
It is authentic in so far as it makes up its own mind, is its own person, or true to its own self. It is the normal condition of most of us for most of the time, and without it we could not make decisions at all. I could not decide to write a book, had I not acquired a language such as English.
Still, whether my inauthenticity is inappropriate or not, the question arises: can I, to the extent that I am inauthentic, be said to decide my own 27 Dasein Authenticity need not of course imply eccentricity. Eccentricity can be being? At any rate it is always possible for me to reclaim my choice; it is not necessarily very easy to do so, but it is at least possible. And if I can by my decision escape from inauthenticity, then my failure to do so depends on a decision, however implicit, not to make my escape.
Dasein and the Body What about the body? But any human Heidegger being must be embodied and there is a central biological core of the human body that cannot be removed or radically altered, if one is to remain alive. But he rarely mentions the body. Suppose then that I attempt to describe the human body. How am I to do it? I might try to describe it in terms which do not essentially imply that it is the body of a living human being who walks, talks, hammers, and so on, in terms that assimilate it to a corpse or to the bodies of other animals.
But then, Heidegger objects, if we think of the body in this way, we have to add something to it to make up the complete human being as distinct from a corpse or a nonhuman animal — a soul, for example, or rationality — and then we have lost the unity of the human being, or at least we still have to explain how this unity arises.
We start off, at least in adulthood, viewing ourselves as whole human beings, and need a special sort of abstraction to see ourselves simply as animals or as bodies. But we do not usually make such claims about our hands or focus on them at all.
We attend to the task in hand, the pen rather than the hand that holds it, or more likely the paper on which we are writing, or more likely still the matters that we are writing about. The body is inconspicuous. It is not something added to Dasein, or to which Dasein is added. Dasein, as Heidegger describes it, essentially requires a body of a certain sort, and is not a soul or ego that might conceivably exist in a disembodied state or in a body quite different from the typical human body.
Dasein, its nature and capacities — the body. Nevertheless the software is for Heidegger primary and the hardware secondary. Dasein and Spirit Heidegger has good reason for beginning with human beings as Dasein, as questioners, choosers, and self-producers; that is, after all, where we all start from, whether we are biologists, historians, or craftsmen.
Does Heidegger neglect all this? Heidegger acknowledges no purely inner psychological realm, nor any ideal realm of logical and mathematical entities. Dasein, even in its deepest moods and emotions, is always engaged with the world and with entities in it. It does not make momentous decisions or, on the whole, contemplate its own death.
But the philosopher is also a human being and, like the rest of humanity, spends much of his time in a state of everydayness. It would be a serious error to describe Dasein as if it were unremittingly engaged in philosophical enquiry.
In any case Dasein in its average everydayness shares many characteristics with Dasein in its more elevated modes. Dasein, whether in its average everydayness or otherwise, is in the world. Stones, trees, cows, and hammers are also in the world. And Dasein too is in the world in the way they are. But Dasein is also in the world in another sense, a sense in which other entities, even cows, are not. It is not a self-enclosed subject, aware only of its own mental states. If Dasein had a determinate nature of its own and were not, at 31 least in part, what it makes of itself, it might not need a world to dwell in.
But as things are, Dasein, to be at all or at least to be in its own characteristic ways, needs a world populated with entities for it to engage with. It is not for the most part a world of purely natural entities. Tools and equipment have their place in a workshop, the immediate environing world of Dasein. But this world points beyond itself to a larger world, to the other Dasein who download the shoes, and to those who supply the leather.
Philosophers have tended to neglect the world in this sense. They assume that the world Dasein inhabits consists of extended natural entities. But even philosophers who try to give the life-world its due tend to misdescribe it. Heidegger gives, in his early Freiburg lectures on ontology lxiii.
What I see is not just a table, but the table, the table in this room. The table is for writing on, or for eating at. I see it as for something. I hardly take note of the geometrical dimensions of the table or its spatial location with respect to the points of the compass. I see it as well or badly positioned, as, say, too far from the light for reading.
I notice scratches on the table, not just interruptions of its uniform colour, but damage done by the children. I think back to the past and recall that it is the book. In this account Heidegger is contemplating a world, or a segment of the world, not actively engaging with it like the craftsman at work. But the two situations exhibit important similarities, as well as differences.
First, theoretical cognition is not primarily or even necessarily involved at all. The craftsman does not regard his hammer, and Heidegger does not view the table, as an entity with certain geometrical and physical properties.
Both are seen primarily as objects of use, connected to human purposes: the hammer is something for hammering, the table is for eating or writing. Second, neither the hammer nor the table is seen in isolation from other entities in the setting.
The hammer is for hammering in the nails that lie next to it, for working the leather into shoes, and so on. The table is too far from the window, it is where the people I hear outside usually eat, it is where I wrote that book on the shelf.
Neither the workshop nor the room is a self-enclosed environment. The workshop and its contents refers beyond itself to customers, cows, and meadows. The room too refers to the carpenter who made the table, the tradesmen who supply food, the publishers who print books, and so on. In each case the immediate world around us points to a larger world beyond, but a world that is still anchored in Dasein, its needs and purposes.
Thirdly, space and time are involved in both situations, but with a Heidegger different role from that assigned to them by Husserl. Husserl is interested primarily in geometrical shapes, the shapes both of the different perspectival aspects of the table that successively present themselves to us, and of the actual table that we piece together from these aspects. Time for Husserl is primarily our temporal awareness of our experiences of the table.
What we naturally notice about the table is not its precise shape and dimensions, but whether it is the right size 34 and in the right place for our purposes. Is it big enough to seat the whole family for a meal? Is it too far from the light or from the bookcase for writing? Objects have their proper positions in the room. So too in the workshop.
Nails, leather, hammer are placed within easy reach on the workbench. Through the window the craftsman can see the road that leads, in one direction, to the centre of the town and, in the other, to the next village, where his sister now lives. He does not know the exact distances to these places, but he knows that it is only a short walk to the town centre, while the walk to the next village takes some time and he is usually hungry by the time he gets there.
Peasants in Greece often used to express the distance from one place to another in terms of the number of cigarettes one would smoke on the journey. A village close by was, say, two cigarettes away, while a long walk was a whole packet. The table points ahead to the uses that will be made of he wrote at it, and so on. The craftsman too, absorbed in his hammering, looks ahead implicitly to the shoe he will have made, to the fresh supply of leather that he needs to order, and back perhaps to his youth when he was taught his skills by his father, from whom he inherited the workshop.
There is, however, an important difference between these two situations. As Heidegger surveys the room he notices the scratches on the table, he explicitly recalls eating, writing, and conversing at the table, and so on.
The craftsman, by contrast, when he is engrossed in hammering a nail, does not explicitly notice or attend to the bench he is working on, the stool he sits on, the supply of nails beside him.
He need not be thinking about his customers, his suppliers, the cows in the meadow. These things are there for him, he is tacitly aware of them, but they are inconspicuous and unobtrusive; he sees them, as it were, out of the corner of his eye and does not focus on them. The stool, the bench, the nails beside him, even 35 The World it, and back to past events — the scratches made by the boys, the book the hammer itself, remain inconspicuous as long as they are in their proper positions, ready to play their proper part in his task.
He will notice them if something goes wrong. If the head of the hammer comes off or the stool collapses they become conspicuous.
Or, again, if his leather is missing, runs out, or is not in its proper place, it becomes conspicuous in a way that it was not before. The same is true of the craftsman himself. When the craftsman is absorbed in his work, he focuses on the nail he is hammering or the shoe he is making. He may focus on himself if something goes wrong. But he is otherwise as inconspicuous to himself as the nails Heidegger beside him or the spectacles on his nose.
The world, then, and things in the world are normally inconspicuous to everyday Dasein. This raises a problem. Philosophers are not a distinct species from everyday Dasein. How then can they rise above average everydayness to become aware of what everyday Dasein fails to notice? Heidegger regards himself as a phenomenologist in the sense that he makes apparent what is usually inconspicuous, and he does not do so by out-of-the-way experiments or by abstruse arguments.
What Heidegger notices, and presents in conceptual garb, is in a way obvious to anyone once it is pointed out to them. Conversely, we may think that what Heidegger has pointed out is radiantly obvious and that the mystery is that any philosopher ever overlooked it. Heidegger has a complex task: he has not only to give an analysis of Dasein and to convince us of its correctness, he has also to explain why he — unlike everyday Dasein — is 36 able to give this account and also why other philosophers, not themselves perpetually enmeshed in everydayness, were not.
Being in the World Dasein and the world are not two distinct entities that can vary independently of each other. They are complementary. If we regard either in a certain way, this will commit us to regarding the other in a certain way or it will at least exclude certain ways of viewing it. Heidegger does not deny that there are derelict craftsmen who neglect their affairs or that a usually industrious craftsman may have a headache today and feel that he cannot be bothered.
Even what we normally regard as a lack of concern is a sort of concern — Dasein never lacks concern in the way that a stone, a tree, or a cow does. The customary distinction between the practical and the theoretical, action and knowledge, is a construct that lies above the level of everyday Dasein.
Dasein also knows things. It knows what a hammer is for; it knows how to use it; it knows where the leather is kept; it knows its way around the workshop. It cannot of course say how it knows all this or put its knowledge into words. Some things are easier done than said. But it knows as well as does things. It also knows the world and knows its way about in it. We do not painfully pick our way along a familiar route by noting the houses and sidestreets on the way; we walk straight to our destination, often oblivious of our surroundings along the way.
Usually we do it without maps. Nor is this just an analogy. It is a world of directions — up—down, left—right, behind—ahead, and North—South—East—West. It is a world in which things have their rightful places, not a purely Euclidean world in which an object may occupy any place of the appropriate size.
The A Priori How is such being-in-the-world possible? Is Dasein simply a blank tablet that takes on whatever the world offers to it? Since world and Dasein are complementary, features of the world are to be explained in terms of features of Dasein, and the most basic of these features are a priori. Much of what Dasein knows is of course learnt fairly late in its career. Another knows about 38 cricket or shoemaking, but nothing about word-processors. Even someone from a quite different culture, entirely unfamiliar with our practices and occupations, would if he were transported into our world recognize what he saw as a workshop, and not a mere jumble of entities, even if he knew nothing about the details xx.
Or take, again, spatiality. Dasein does not simply read off its sense of direction from the world around it. The world is spatial because Dasein is spatial. But its being disoriented is a mark of its intrinsic spatiality, and soon it will come to orient itself, seeing its new environment in terms of the familiar spatial directions. Being with Others Heidegger gives a similar account of our relations with other people.
Philosophers, especially though not exclusively those philosophers who, like Husserl, regard a human being as primarily acquainted with its own mental states, present our awareness of others in the following way. First I become aware of my own existence and of other nonhuman entities. I get to know the shape, appearance, and doings of my own body and I am also aware of the inner experiences I have. Then I notice that there are other entities that are of a similar appearance to myself and behave in broadly similar ways when subjected to similar stimuli.
The philosopher then wonders how it is possible — intelligible 39 The World Angeles, or the Gobi desert. Is it by empathy? How is empathy possible? This way of looking at the matter is, Heidegger believes, quite mistaken. It knows what another person is as well as it knows itself, or any other entity. Heidegger is not Heidegger simply describing the phenomenal character of our experience of others.
He is, he believes, describing a structural feature of Dasein. Dasein alone is incomplete, it has no nature of its own in which to bask, but has to decide how to be. But then virtually everything Dasein does or is cries out for others, as suppliers of its raw materials, as downloadrs of its products, as hearers, or as readers.
But before explaining what understanding is, he turns to moods. Moods are often supposed to be mental things, inner feelings that play at best a subdued role in our engagement with the world. But that is not how Heidegger sees them. To be in a certain mood is to view the 40 world in a certain way, and it crucially affects our engagement with the world and the ways in which we respond to entities within it. Moods differ from emotions. Emotions concern particular entities.
I am angry about something and usually with someone. But if I am in an irritable mood, I need not be irritable about anything in particular, though I am more likely to get angry about particular things than I usually do. If moods are directed at anything they are directed at the world rather than at entities in the world.
Moods are hardly within our control. I can control my deeds, decide what to do, and restrain myself from doing what I have an urge to do. To a degree I can control my emotions: I can refrain from insulting the object of my anger, and I can turn my thoughts to something else to get my anger to die down.
But what is our normal business? Why, to take the example discussed above, is Heidegger looking at the table and the room in which it lies rather than getting down to business, in the way that the craftsman does in his workshop? Is it because he is alone in the house? There may be people in the next 41 The World moods come and go as they please, unresponsive to our direction. Even if he is alone, he could take the opportunity to read a book or draft a plan for writing one.
Is it that he understands more or less than the others do about his surroundings? The craftsman and the others in the house understand as much as Heidegger does in the relevant sense.
His philosophy sheds light on the most crucial aspects of his biography, as much as the latters helps us to clarify aspects of the former. His is a thought that opened up entire areas, and helped to think afresh more classical ones. These include: I do not get into the detail of any of these thoughts. I simply mention some of them, and include bibliographical references for those interested in pursuing them. They are windows introduced in a series of Appendices into a landscape at the edge of Heideggeriana.
Ultimately, The New Heidegger is an invitation to explore a continent that is still being charted and the boundaries of which, some of you, one day, will perhaps push even further.
Most chapters are followed by a bibliography and by recommended further readings available in English. In that respect, it is like any other human activity. There is, therefore, an intertwining of life as the object to which philosophy directs itself and life as the subject on the basis of which philosophy is made possible. This is where the singularity of philosophy lies. In and through philosophy, life reveals itself to itself. By contrast, science is seen as a process of de-vitalization Entlebnis , however important and interesting it may be: How can philosophy avoid devitalizing life itself when turning itself into a theoretical object?
The answer involves an explanation of hermeneutic phenomenology as the true method of philosophy. Beyond this methodological question, this chapter reveals how Heidegger slowly came to identify life with the pre-theoretical, pre-epistemological sphere of concrete, everyday existence.
It is as existent beings Dasein that we relate to the world, that the world affects us and matters to us. This relation constitutes the very essence of who we are. In isolating and describing rigorously this unrepresentable, unmathematizable layer of experience, Heidegger reveals a sense of being beyond or rather beneath that of naturalism. Philosophy becomes fundamental ontology. This means less that it is indifferent to truth in the modern sense of the term, and more that it grounds it or makes it possible.
Yet precisely to the extent that this modern sense has become dominant and goes largely unquestioned, the more primordial sense of truth, whilst always operative, remains covered over. Heidegger wants to retrieve this always presupposed, yet never acknowledged sense of truth. At stake in the question of truth is the possibility of understanding the way in which being is there and this, from the start, is what Heidegger had in view with the word Da-sein.
But, 6 The New Heidegger Heidegger asks, is this space as we live it? Is this time as we experience it? Of course, we can ourselves be turned into such objects and our movements as bodies be modelled mathematically.
But, in doing so, do we not also cover something over? So, we need to ask: Does time as the measure of movement accurately describe our experience of ourselves as entities living in the world? What is the light in which things manifest themselves today? In this chapter, I show the extent to which Western metaphysics and history are essentially technological, that is, governed from the start by an unquestioned conception of reality that is intrinsically productivist.
What we are witnessing today, in the age of techno-science, cybernetics and the intelligent machine is nothing other than an acceleration and a revelation of a process initiated a very long time ago. By questioning technology with respect to its essence, and not only its various aspects, Heidegger concludes that it displays our destiny. It is at the end of that process, once it is revealed for what it is, that thought is perhaps in a position to initiate an altogether new beginning, and intimate a turning within history.
The question is: What is the attitude that is going to replace that of technology? What sort of relation to the world — and to others — demands to be freed? Art, for Heidegger, is the other, often hidden side of the essence of technology. It is a form of knowing, and of truth, yet one that does not unfold as production and machination, but as poetics. This singular conception of art presupposes that philosophy breaks with aesthetics, which remains bound to a productivist conception of art, and to a concept of truth that is intrinsically metaphysical.
Rather, it has to do with the possibility of identifying a space within which the essence of truth can be seen to be taking place. Drawing on a number of sources, I show how much of contemporary art is framed by the technological System that Heidegger describes, and so is indebted to a conception of truth that remains unquestioned.
At the same time, however, I show how other works of art Introduction 7 develop the free relationship to technology that Heidegger advocates, precisely by turning to that which, structurally, technology itself cannot know.
Art — a certain art — reveals the possibility of a different relation to the world, and to language as the primary medium in which this relation is played out. Given what he says concerning the facticity of life and the connection between life and philosophy, his political engagement cannot be set aside as a merely marginal episode.
He resigned ten months later. I then try to present the reasons behind his political engagement. It is primarily as an academic that Heidegger enters the scene of politics, and as a thinker that he supports the Nazi revolution, in which he sees although he was soon to realize the extent of his mistake the unique possibility of a radical, historical change that would bring about a total transformation not only of the university, but also of the relationship between the university and society in general.
We ask anew: What is man? A transition, a direction, a storm sweeping over our planet, a recurrence or a vexation for the gods? We do not know. Yet we have seen that in the essence of this mysterious being, philosophy happens. My gaze was entirely absorbed by the ever-deepening black or white into which all things would dissolve, including my own gaze, threatening to engulf my entire self. I would not die, though. In fact, I was acutely aware of my own presence and my whole being, albeit in a way that was utterly painful.
There was nothing to see, nothing to hold on to, to recognize or discover — not even the scariest of things. My dream may not seem like much, but it was utterly terrifying. Part of my unease, and my general state of dread, was due to my inability to formulate my state of mind. It was as if, in the face of this faceless threat, language itself was of no avail. My description of the dream was bland, and totally unable to match the extreme nature of my emotional state.
Language — this means of communication that, over the years, I had learned to master and trust — was failing me, as if forcing me to describe actual, concrete things, which my mother could understand as the cause of my disquiet, when, properly speaking, there was nothing to describe.
And so, despite my obvious distress, but also quite naturally, my mother thought there was very little — if anything at all — to the dream, which she never could take seriously. How right she was! There was indeed nothing to it. Nothing at all: There was indeed nothing to be afraid of. Or was the absence of all things, the fact that I was denied access to anything in particular, not the clue to the meaning of the experience itself?
But then, where does such an experience come from? What is the link between the being of being human and my experience of nothingness? And if this line of questioning is at all legitimate, why would it be a matter for philosophy as opposed to, say, psychology?
Could the possibility, as well as the destination of philosophy, be revealed to us in something as deeply personal, unsettling and existential in nature, as the experience of the nothing? Could philosophy be at all concerned with — and even triggered by — our experience of the abyss, in which our everyday familiarity with the world, and our very identity, come under threat?
Naturally, these are questions I was unable to formulate as a child. At the time, all I could do was wait for the deep unease and anxiety that would linger on for interminable moments after my mother had left me to recede, and eventually go back to sleep. Yet I had experienced, and somehow also discovered, the ground, or, better said perhaps, the abyss, from which, many years later, these questions would spring. Dreams are always understood as coded messages, as signs written in a mysterious language, which the specialist and expert alone is equipped to decode.
No matter how indirect or veiled, dreams are always thought to be about something, and especially about our hidden, repressed desires and fears. They are essentially metaphorical. Heidegger, on the other hand, says virtually nothing about dreams. How can we take that seriously? How can we even begin to talk about nothing, when nothing is precisely the absence of anything to talk about?
Should we not dismiss this outright as pure speculation, or metaphysical nonsense, as a famous logical positivist from the Vienna Circle once did? Unlike fear, which is always fear of something, anxiety is the feeling generated by the experience of the withdrawal and the vanishing of all things. But in the withdrawing of all things, does everything really vanish, or is there something that remains? After all, was it not myself, and myself alone, who remained in my dream, despite and beyond the vanishing of everything else?
Was my sense of dread not born of this most unusual and, in fact, uncanny situation, in which I found myself alone with myself, and came face to face with myself, my pure, naked self as it were, as opposed to the task or the thing at hand, which characterizes my habitual relation to the world?
The experience of my dream was one in which I was suddenly faced with myself as this being that is ordinarily surrounded by a manifold of things, for the most part familiar, and immersed in a world Welt , or an environment Umwelt , which I normally navigate quite effortlessly, and quite naturally call mine. In fact, this world that I call mine, and that is so utterly familiar, is familiar to the point that, for the most part, I am not even aware of its presence.
I carry it with me everywhere, as it were; I cannot dissociate myself, or my own being, from it, and for that very reason its presence is never an issue. It is as if, as a distinct phenomenon, as something we could interrogate and describe philosophically, it was always covered over in those very dealings it enabled, always concealed in the very habits and automatic operations of everyday life it made possible. This purloined world is the positive phenomenon which, Heidegger suggests, philosophy must turn to as a matter of urgency, and learn to see.
To direct our gaze, which, naturally as it were, directs itself towards objects and things in the world, back towards ourselves, and describe conceptually what and how we see the world, amounts to a very delicate operation, and one that raises complex, methodological questions.
Had it not been for the resources made available to him by Husserl and his phenomenology, Heidegger would have never been able to carry out the task he set for philosophy.
Phenomenological training is all about learning to see the things themselves, and seeing the world and our position within it exactly as it is. At this very early stage of our enquiry, we need not develop a proper exposition of phenomenology as the method providing the correct access to the phenomenon under investigation. Returning to my dream, let me simply stress how the absence of familiar objects and beings, or the dissolution into nothingness of the things I had learned to rely on over the years as an extension of myself, and had invested with my emotions, my hopes and desires, my habits, how, in other words, the lack of anything — no matter how fantastical — to relate to, had the mysterious power of revealing my self to myself, of bringing to the fore the very worldliness that is normally covered over in my everyday dealings.
By depriving me of anything familiar, and so by revealing myself as a stranger to myself, my dream had uncovered an essential trait of my being, if not its basic truth, namely, the fact that this being that I am cannot be dissociated from the world that surrounds it. In certain experiences, which we could call limit-experiences, this familiar and reassuring life we call ours dissolves into nothingness, leaving ourselves in a state of existential nakedness and generating in the process a feeling of deep anxiety.
This is the very loss I had experienced as a child on many occasions. What traumatized me was in fact the opposite of what I had initially taken it to be, namely, a loss: What my dream had uncovered was the phenomenon of world itself, as well as the extent to which I do not exist independently of it.
It had done so by allowing me to 12 The New Heidegger experience the world as something that exists, yet not as the sum of all existing things. Now this phenomenon is one that might strike the reader as obvious. Yet if it seems obvious to most, it is all the more surprising that, at least according to Heidegger, the philosophical tradition seems to have gone to so much trouble to bury it under a series of metaphysical abstractions.
Through this deconstruction alone will the phenomenon in question be allowed to re surface and occupy centre stage. This dualism has run deep ever since Descartes introduced it at the dawn of modern philosophy.
The human, this metaphysical construction stipulates, is a self-posited and autonomous thinking substance, which exists independently of the world it faces. The being of the human is ontologically distinct from that of the world. Thought is itself understood as the ability to represent and formalize, and knowing as a metaphysical and mathematical—physical enterprise.
This is the basis on which an encounter with the world takes place. In turn, the world is itself subordinated to its ability to be known, or represented, whether physically or metaphysically.
And it is for that very reason that it can only be envisaged as extended, inert matter. This means that we are not a substance, and not a thing, but, precisely, an existence, always and irreducibly open to and onto the world, always moving ourselves within a certain pre-theoretical understanding of it. But it is certainly not the only way, nor indeed the primordial one. But for the most part, it would seem that he is far away from the main concerns of classical philosophy. The privileging of the question of knowledge stems from a certain interpretation of our essence as thinking substance , which Heidegger rejects.
Consider this other question, through which philosophy enters the domain of morality: Based on what I have said so far, it would seem that his question is more something like: In this endeavour, limit-experiences, such as the one revealed in my dream, and our ability to analyse them, may prove invaluable. For is it not precisely at the moment when our familiar world, and so our very self, seems to dissolve into nothingness, leaving us in a state of utter perplexity, if not anxiety, that we may catch a glimpse of who we really are, and what we are really about?
Furthermore, by revealing an aspect of our being if not our being in its totality hitherto unsuspected, do such experiences not have the power to set us on the way to philosophical thought? Do they not reveal the very purpose of thought, and ourselves as destined to thought, in revealing ourselves to ourselves? Throughout, Heidegger insisted on this intimate and necessary connection between who we are, between the being of the being human, and philosophical thought: Heidegger wants to show how philosophy, when properly understood, stems from this life that we are.
Then, we are disclosed to ourselves, as the being for whom there is always more at issue than just things. We are revealed to ourselves as the being that is open to — and this means experiences and understands — this residue or this remainder I began by evoking. What I had experienced in my dream, Heidegger was telling me in his lecture, was something like pure being; it was a metaphysical experience. And this is precisely the sort of experience that reveals the destination and purpose of philosophy.
Naturally, the oppression, the suffocation, the sweat and paralysis I felt in my dream were quite physical. Yet the origin of the sensation was itself metaphysical.
What caused it so to speak — at least this was the hypothesis Heidegger was asking me to consider — was the brute and brutal fact of existence, or my being as being-inthe-world. Existence Dasein is the unifying concept that Heidegger eventually retains to designate this being that we are, and which is revealed in anxiety. By facticity, we must understand the fact that the human being is essentially open, open-onto or ex-posed to something das Aussein-auf-etwas.
The being of who we are is characterized by this structure of openness and exposedness. And it is precisely this structure, which, Heidegger believes, Husserl was able to isolate and describe so rigorously through his concept of intentionality.
To say that the human Dasein cannot be dissociated from the relation to the various objects of its world, as Husserl did, means that the structure of openness belongs to it in a way that is irreducible. But what is most singular about the human Dasein is that it is open on to itself, open to its own openness, and so can, up to a point, become transparent to itself, and thus be in a position to grasp its ownmost possibilities.
It is not the being of a table, a stone or even an animal. This is the difference between simple, brute being and existence. The former points to something like the necessity of existence: But this being that I must continue to be is precisely not the being of inert matter.
As we shall see, this is a temptation that is widespread, and which stems from our very essence. Contrary to popular belief, we do not long to be free, but to nullify this freedom through a certain type of existence. All other beings are, naturally, but they do not exist. But they do not have to be this being, they do not have to carry on being. They can be merely or objectively present, as in the case of man-made things, or certain physical phenomena.
They can even have a world, as in the case of animals, although Heidegger insists that the world of the animal differs essentially from that of the existent being. Unlike the human Dasein, they do not have to be it. Unlike the being of, say, this table on which I am writing, my being is this being that must be, this being that can be this or that an architect, a writer , that can do this or that make friends, marry, go for a walk , precisely to the extent that it must be, that it always has its own being to be.
Whenever I speak of this life as my life, what I presuppose is this: Sartre, an innovative reader and interpreter of Heidegger, summarized this condition the human condition by saying that we human beings are condemned to be free.
This facticity is the source of the greatest joy and enthusiasm, as well as the greatest anxiety. It is what propels us and motivates us.
And yet, at times, it is also what triggers in us a longing for brute and not free being, for being a mere thing. At times, existence can be too heavy a weight and too much to bear. At times, we just want to withdraw into pure nothingness, to disappear altogether or simply to evade existence by acquiring the being of a stone. We are this being for whom its own being is always an issue for it. This is our strength, and this is our burden.
It is our fate. We can never say: I am, once and for all, I am done with being. Insofar as our being is always open and outstanding, the question of our being is, for us, never quite settled. It is always ongoing. This being is not something we can ever set aside, and move on to something else. Only when we are dead can we be done with 16 The New Heidegger having-to-be with existence.
Alive, we can only be by existing. Existence is the very meaning or mode of our being. Existence is our essence. And by virtue of this essence itself, we are responsible for our own being. This responsibility demands that we embrace existence not as a burden, but as a chance. This fate — our fate as free, metaphysical beings — is what the experience of nothingness reveals. By revealing ourselves as open and exposed to what, from the start, is in excess of things in the world, the nothing reveals our metaphysical nature and destiny.
Heidegger, Martin - What is a Thing (Gateway, 1967).pdf
If we are destined to philosophical thought to metaphysics , it is because of our meta-physical being. The need for philosophy — one could go as far as to call it a drive — is born of the metaphysical destiny of the being human. We, as human beings, are exposed not just to things in the world, but also to the world itself, not just to a corner or a slice of it, but to the world as such and as a whole.
We are the being that reaches outwards, not just towards things, but also towards itself as the ultimate horizon from which the things themselves emerge. Existence is this being-outside oneself, this being at the limit, this mode of being that, from the start, has exceeded beings, and exceeded them towards itself. At the same time, however, for the most part, the world is given, or experienced, not in its totality, not on the basis of myself as being-in-the-world, but only partially, in this everyday, practical familiarity that covers it over.
If human existence is indeed destined to metaphysics, this possibility requires a radical and demanding conversion on our part in order to be realized.
Philosophy is, in a way, counter-natural: At the same time, though, it is a possibility of life itself — and indeed the possibility in which life itself is revealed and made transparent to itself, appropriated in a unique and singular manner.
It is only as factical life that human life can be distinguished from inert, lifeless presence. Philosophy is this attempt to grasp life as it unfolds, in its essen- A Matter of Life 17 tial mobility, before any theoretical representation or interpretation of itself.
In doing so, philosophy does not make it any easier for life. On the contrary: We human beings are in such a way that, in being, we are concerned about our own being. This amounts to saying that our being is always at issue in the fact and the manner of our own being.
We are concerned with ourselves. The concern of life is directed towards life itself. Yet to the extent that life is essentially factical, that is, always open to something, its concern is directed at the world. As a result, the movement of caring is characterized by the fact that factical life goes about its dealings Umgang with the world. And the world itself is always there, in this or that way, as having been taken up or addressed and claimed logos in care in one way or another.
There are many ways in which factical life can be concerned about the world: Every way of caring about the world amounts to a certain understanding of it: At the most primordial level, though, the meaning of the world is pre-theoretical: Yet, precisely to the extent that the movement of caring is a living inclination towards the world, life tends to lose itself in the world, to be sucked into it.
There is, in other words, a basic factical tendency in life towards falling away from itself Abfallen , a fall through which life detaches itself from itself and falls into the world. Life is naturally decline Verfallen and falling into ruin or self-ruin Zerfall seiner selbst. Verfallen, Heidegger writes, is not a mere occurrence, something that happens occasionally to life. We must resist diabolizing this natural declivity, despite its obvious biblical resonances and most probably initial source of inspiration for Heidegger.
What it does mean, though, is that life tends to understand and interpret itself on the basis of its own fallen state, that is, on the basis of its own practical, concernful absorption in the world. This is a natural tendency, and an alienating entfremdend one, insofar as it drives life to avoid itself, that is, to pass by its other, more genuine possibilities.
At the same time, however, this tendency is reassuring and tranquillizing: Heidegger will want to contrast these circumstances, or this state of affairs Lage , in which life is somehow lost in its own fallen state, with the Situation Situation in which life makes itself transparent to itself in its own fallen state, takes a stance with respect to itself, cares about itself in a concrete manner and takes itself up as a possible counter-movement to its fallen state. This is a possibility we shall return to in some detail in the following chapter.
What lies in the inclination towards falling is the fact that factical life, which is in each case the factical life of the individual, is for the most part not lived as such. It is lived, of course, but only as something else, as something other than life in its ownmost and most extreme possibility. It is only an average life. It moves itself within the averageness Durschnittlichkeit that belongs to its caring, its going about its dealings, its circumspection and its understanding A Matter of Life 19 of the world.
This averageness is that of the publicness that reigns at any given time. In this way of being often considered a way of life , life conceals itself from itself in the world in which it is absorbed and in the averageness in which it goes about its dealings.
In the tendency towards falling, Heidegger insists, it is as if life goes out of its way to avoid itself. Such fallenness does not imply that, in falling, Dasein somehow departs from its essence. Rather, fallenness is for Dasein an essential way of being-in-the-world: Because it is primarily felt: But what is there to be afraid of in life itself, and this in such a way that factical life would turn away from itself and into the world, allowing itself to be entirely absorbed in the world, and forgetting itself in it?
The answer Heidegger provides, and that constitutes the cornerstone of his entire existential analysis, as well as the key to understanding the meaning of the being of existence as time, is death.
I shall return to his analysis of death in detail in the following chapter. The two dispositions are very similar. Returning to my dream, I would say that I was afraid whenever it occurred.
At the same time, I could never say what it is I was afraid of. And this, Heidegger tells us, is precisely where the difference between fear and anxiety lies. Fear is always directed towards a precise object, towards a being that is approaching from a determinate region of the world. Hence it is not fear Furcht that is at stake, but anxiety Angst. Later on, I shall want to show how death, or the way in which death signals the singularity of life itself, can cause life to want to turn itself into something that is absolutely not singular the One.
And I shall want to ask, too, whether there are moments in which life can confront itself on the basis of its own death, and so disclose itself to itself, make itself transparent to itself. Leaving aside the question of death for the time being, then, let me focus on anxiety itself, and on the way in which, in the lecture from I began by evoking, Heidegger establishes its connection with nothingness.
But what brings this pain about? But they are perhaps also negative in the photographic sense of the term: They seem to interfere with ordinary life, to bring it to a halt, thus creating this sense of deep unease that we experience in anxiety and boredom , thus broaching the abyss we all fear, and that I was made to face in my dreams. It is precisely our ordinary life, our everyday, familiar world. There is nothing remarkable about this average life.
But this lack of singularity is precisely what makes it such a decisive, positive phenomenon, one from which we have everything to learn, since we are it. What this ordinary, familiar existence reveals is the extent to which we are one with our world. We A Matter of Life 21 do not possess a world: Not only that. It is a world I inhabit and navigate. I know my way around it. Of course, I can suddenly be transported into an entirely alien culture, one of which I know nothing, in which case I will feel lost.
But what happens when this world that is mine, or this world that I am, is interrupted, or worse still, vanishes? Am I not then totally lost? Do I not move from a state of familiarity to one of total uncanniness?
Suppose my car breaks down when driving to work. Until then, the car as car, that is, as the mode of transportation that was to bring me to work in order to meet up with this or that colleague to discuss this particular project, was unapparent.
But when breaking down, this context becomes painfully present, as does the car itself. Something similar — albeit far more radical — takes place in those experiences in which the nothing is involved.
For then, as in anxiety, in boredom or in my dream, it is not just the car that breaks down, but also the world as such and as a whole. It is as if the whole network of meaningful connections, the whole machinery that I call my life, and rely on ordinarily, broke down. We talk of nervous breakdowns and mental collapses. For Heidegger, such phenomena are perhaps not best described in immediately psychological or neurological terms. In anxiety, boredom and even depression, perhaps, what we experience is a breakdown of our connection to the world as this familiar world.
Everything seems to have retreated, receded, to the point of disappearing altogether. It is as if our whole being had been engulfed, gobbled up. What was left? Nothing, nothing at all — only this residue I began by evoking, and which is precisely not a thing, which is precisely no thing. This, perhaps, is the reality that art, literature and philosophy seeks to explore.
We would rather return to this familiar world, in which our true essence is covered over, hidden under layers of occupations and preoccupations, than face the task of existence.
Yet, Heidegger insists, from the point of view of someone interested in discovering who we really are, and so the meaning of the human being, these moments are rare documents and testimonies, which the phenomenologist must interrogate. One thing is becoming progressively clear: But this uncanny, and the object of our dread, coincides absolutely with who we are. Although I alluded to the method by which this task can be achieved, and the matter of philosophy turned into an object of philosophical investigation, I postponed an explicit discussion of it.
The time has now come to tackle this issue, and address the problem of how this life with which we are one can access itself, and come face to face with itself, without transforming itself into an inert, de-vitalized object. How can it make itself transparent to itself, without immediately turning itself into a lifeless thing?
How can philosophy deal with the meaning of life qua lived? With this question: We are standing at the methodological crossroad that will decide on the very life or death of philosophy. We stand at an abyss: By what means, exactly, shall we be able to grasp the precise way in which life experiences its own world? Through a twofold method involving self-interpretation hermeneutics and rigorous descriptions of life-experiences phenomenology. It is concerned with the way in which interpretation works as a necessary supplement to understanding, whether in the form of the alien the other person, culture, era, etc.
Gadamer, a student of Heidegger in the early s and a hermeneutic philosopher in his own right, claims that until Heidegger, and in the works of Schleiermacher and Dilthey in particular, hermeneutics envisaged the contemporary situation of the knower trying to access the situation of the text or the situation under investigation as an obstacle, and as the source of possible misunderstandings. The overall aim was one of an attitude purged of all prejudices.
With Heidegger, hermeneutics no longer refers to the science of interpretation, but to the process of interpretation that is an essential characteristic of life or existence itself.
The mode of access to being is through this understanding of being that Dasein already has. To interpret, for Heidegger, is to exercise an activity of exegesis or explication Auslegung and comprehension Vernehmen. The task of the interpreter is to see.
And this seeing is directed towards a particular matter Sache. The ideal of intuition, and of hermeneutics, is transparency — not just, and not primarily, of philosophical texts, but of life itself. The ultimate goal of hermeneutics is to render the interpreter transparent to himself as factical life.
The emphasis on seeing, intuition and the living present means that hermeneutics is phenomenological through and through. What about phenomenology, then?
It is the rigorous science that does not 24 The New Heidegger have the theoretical character of the natural sciences, and at the same time avoids the twofold philosophical trap of realism and idealism, both of which reify life by reconstructing it, or turning it into an object. Phenomenology, then, situates itself at the level at which the experience takes place. This level is that of the pre-theoretical.
When I see the lectern upon entering the lecture hall, Heidegger says, I do not see a combination of brown surfaces, put together at a certain angle, made of wood, of a certain height, and so forth. I see a lectern, as the place I must go to in order to deliver my lecture. Phenomenology is concerned with the how of the various modes of experience, not their actual content.
Ultimately, for Heidegger, it is the discourse whose task it is to clarify the one, fundamental meaning that underlies all lived experiences, irrespective of their content.
Intentionality characterizes the basic modality of consciousness, or the way in which we are essentially and irreducibly open to the world. But towards what? Where does it come from? Does it derive from the various things desk, papers, books, computer, or cathedral, bas-relief, nave, spire, etc.
If the latter is the case, does it mean that I impose meaning onto the world? But I myself, am I anything outside or in addition to this world, in which I live? Ultimately, for Heidegger, phenomenology is to provide an access to the fundamental meaning of life, or to the horizon on the basis of which this world that I call mine, and that I am, comes to life.
As a method, phenomenology remains subordinated to the possibility of solving the mystery of the being of the human being, and, as a result, of the meaning of being in general. It is with the help of phenomenology that philosophy can become a rigorous science and establish itself as fundamental ontology.
Life, for him, is both the object and the A Matter of Life 25 subject of philosophy. Philosophy is of life in the double sense of the genitive.
In returning to itself back from its own forgetfulness and its slumber , life doubles back on itself and awakens. It is not a peripheral occupation for the idle. Rather, it is the most sustained attempt to face life, to turn it back on itself in order to make it transparent to itself and grasp its ownmost and highest possibilities.
Philosophy is this longing to understand what life is capable of, to delimit its potential and to make ourselves worthy of it. The concepts of philosophy are not abstract categories, empty generalities that we would somehow impose on life. If philosophy is a form of logic logos , it is not in the formal, mathematical sense it has today. According to Heidegger, this conception of philosophy, in which life itself is at issue, is fundamentally Greek. From the very beginning, his interpretation of Greek philosophy, and of Plato and Aristotle in particular, was a way into this primordial phenomenon of factical life.
Philosophy alone can grasp the fundamental mobility of life itself. Philosophy alone can awaken life from its torpor and abandonment and from what Heidegger interprets as a separation from itself, and so a form of alienation.
Heidegger wanted to bring 26 The New Heidegger philosophy back to life by bringing life back into philosophy. Why does — should — one philosophize? Like the explorer, the philosopher is drawn to the ever-receding horizon, for this is the point from which the world unfolds and opens up. It is the place from which we can look back at the world, and embrace it in a single gaze. It is the place at which the world is gathered in its totality, and life appears in its meaningfulness.
And if, Heidegger tells us, the Greeks came to value philosophy to the extent that we know, it is because, for them, the philosophical attitude meant this ability to dwell amidst things as amidst a meaningful totality, this extraordinary capacity to be in the world in such a way that the world as such and as a whole could become an issue for man.
More still: From then on, what the Greeks called philosophia, or theoria, had nothing to do with a pleasant and intellectually sophisticated form of leisurely activity. It was activity in the strongest and most noble sense.
In an attempt to clarify the meaning of the Greek concept of theoria, Heidegger writes the following: But what is theoria for the Greeks? It is said that it is pure contemplation, which remains bound only to its object in its fullness and in its demands. The Greeks are invoked to support the claim that this contemplative behaviour is supposed to occur for its own sake. But this claim is incorrect. Could one ever dream a more perfect life than the one engaged in that activity?
Is it surprising, Heidegger asks, that Aristotle reserved the word eudaimonia, or happiness, for the sort of attitude that would bring us closer to ourselves and to the world that surrounds us? For it is the life that acts the essence of man. In another, earlier text , Freud claims that anxiety in children — often in the form of fear in the dark — is nothing other than an expression of the fact that they are feeling the loss of the person they love.
Remarkably, though, and on two occasions at least in a letter to Fliess from 14 November and in Lecture XXXII from his New Introductory Lectures, , Freud seems to have been assailed by doubts on the subject, evoking the possibility that anxiety may not be caused by the libido after all, thus opening up the possibility of another interpretation. Pap, in Logical Positivism ed.
Ayer Glencoe, Scotland: Free Press, A good and lively discussion of this critique can be found in Simon Critchley, Continental Philosophy. A Very Short Introduction Oxford: Oxford University Press, , pp. See H.
Citadel Press, , pp. Supplements, SZ, We shall return to this enigmatic mood in Chapter 3 in connection with the temporal nature of our being. Virginia Woolf, for example, speaks of literature as a way of learning to look at life in the eyes, and then putting it aside. It is quite remarkable that, given the breadth of his discussion in relation to this question of life, which includes references to physics, biology, neurology, psychology, as well as to the philosophical schools of realism and idealism, Heidegger does not mention the one thinker whose concerns, on this particular point, A Matter of Life 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 29 seem closest to his, namely, Bergson.
Plato, Republic, c f. Heidegger, SDU, 11— The ordinary conception of truth We all know, more or less consciously, more or less precisely, what truth is. An error, a mistake, a lie can all lead to false or untrue statements. Fundamentally, they all point to a similar conception of truth: That the former involves a will to deceive and the latter not is irrelevant here, as both statements, or our appreciation of them, share a common conception of what their truth involves.
They are correct or incorrect. But what does correct mean? The true statement can be made in relation to matters mathematical, physical, biographical or historical. In each case, however, what is presupposed in identifying the statement as true, or correct, is that it coincides with an actual state of affairs.
In declaring something true assuming I am not lying, and assuming this thing has been recognized as such , I am also establishing its certainty. Certainty is also a measure of truth. Truth, then, refers to what is, to what really is or was the case and not, for example, to what is merely possible, or what may have been the case.
There are, however, other ways in which something can be said to be true. In all such instances, we want to emphasize the fact that our friends do not simply appear to be our friends, but really are our friends, that the bracelet does not only seem to be made of gold, but actually is, that this person we knew appeared to be one way, but really was different.
Appearances can be deceiving, as we know, and this is something that philosophy has always been keen to show the distinction between being and appearing is a crucial, and founding, philosophical distinction. In many ways, Plato was obsessed with the possibility of identifying the philosophical tools by which to distinguish between the truly brave, or the truly just, or the truly wise man, and the one who only appears to be brave, just or wise.
It was perhaps the decisive issue, and one that had immediate political consequences: We are still looking for such criteria, desperately, as the world of politics, art, science and philosophy is still — and always will be — populated with people who pretend to be what they are not.
Descartes was equally obsessed with this question, and did much to secure the sense of truth as certainty. It is precisely this quest for an absolutely certain and indubitable truth that led him to doubt the existence of everything, including his own body, in what amounts to one of the most extraordinary episodes in the history of philosophy if not the strangest of them all. All the senses in which we hold things to be true, then, seem to involve a degree of accordance, or correspondence: Is this where our investigation ends, then, namely, in the 32 The New Heidegger recognition that truth consists of an operation of correspondence?
Or should we ask about the condition of possibility of such an operation, about what — if anything — holds together the correspondence between an assertion and a state of affairs, and between a thing and its essence?
The traditional concept of truth From Parmenides to Russell and Wittgenstein, from Plato to Descartes, Kant and Hegel, philosophy has always wondered about truth. It has always sought to discover the nature of truth and establish the criteria by which it can be distinguished from what is not or only seemingly true.
The New Heidegger
Even Nietzsche, the greatest critic of the value we attribute to truth, recognizes truth as the distinctive terrain of philosophy, as the question it cannot do without. And closer to us, Heidegger is perhaps the philosopher whose thought is most closely associated with a radical rethinking of the question of truth.
Despite the extraordinary diversity of approaches in the history of philosophy, it would seem that philosophy has always been concerned to thematize and encompass the double aspect of the correspondence I was just referring to. This truth, also understood in terms of correspondence, is captured in the formula veritas est adaequatio rei ad intellectum truth is the adequation of thing to intellect.
Somehow, it must be possible for the matter to be revealed and expressed in a proposition. These are the two dominant interpretations of what could be called the correspondence theory of truth, one that, Heidegger believes, is still operative, and very much unquestioned today.
Yet they are not interchangeable. Nor are they simply reversible. In fact, they correspond to two different conceptions of the way in which knowledge, and the universe as a whole, function. The conception of truth as adequation of thing and intellect can be traced back to the Middle Ages, and expresses a Christian belief, and so a Christian world-view.
Insofar as God created human beings in his image, their intellect can itself produce or reproduce the ideas of those things created that correspond to an idea in the mind of God. In other words, truth as adequation of created things to the divine intellect guarantees truth as adequation of the human intellect to the created thing. Yet it is not called into question.
The two levels of truth, and of correspondence, are maintained. The divine order has been replaced by the rational order, and it is believed that the truth of the world lies in its rationality, or its concept.
As a result, the propositional level is reasserted even more strongly: In each case untruth is considered as non-accord.
Untruth is the opposite of truth, and so is simply outside the essence of truth the reason why I say this, which seems so obvious to us all, will soon become apparent. All the examples I began by giving would seem to fall into one of two conceptions of truth, whether material or propositional. Yet both presuppose a sense of truth as correspondence, or correctness.
Our investigation seems to be at an end. The question Heidegger wishes to ask, however, is whether correspondence and correctness are indeed the last word on this question, or whether they themselves presuppose yet another level, or possibly several levels of truth.
But what would those be? What exactly remains to be explored in the question of truth? Is there an essence of truth that remains concealed in the interpretation that we all seem to be taking for granted? Essence as possibility and ground In a famous lecture on truth delivered on a number of occasions in , and subsequently revised, Heidegger begins by asking about the inner possibility of accordance, about what makes it possible as such. Let us return to the example of the bracelet.
When I say: These are all ways in which the bracelet can be talked about, related to and presented. In the fact that it represents the bracelet. In the truth statement, I am envisaging the bracelet from a certain perspective. I allow it to stand in a certain way, namely, with respect to its essence. There are other ways in which I could choose to let it stand, other ways in which the bracelet could become manifest: To relate to something propositionally, and with a view to revealing its truth, is certainly one possibility that is open to us, but not the only one.
Should we not also admit that, were it not for the worldliness of this comportment, or for the fact that every comportment is a comportment towards an aspect of the world, there would be no possibility of any truth? The question, however, is one of knowing whether this more primordial phenomenon that we call the world has anything to do with truth itself, with its essence, or whether it is simply the layer of reality that sustains truth, but that is distinct from it.
In other words, do the modes of comportment other than truth understood as correctness also involve a certain operation of truth? How can we characterize it?
But we have already seen that the essence of man is existence or, as Heidegger begins to write it in the s, to distinguish human existence from the old existentia, ek-sistence. The connection that does need to be addressed, however, is that between ek-sistence and truth. It is to precisely this connection we now need to turn. We shall have to see, then, how it is the question of truth itself that forces Heidegger to take his philosophy beyond the standpoint of life, or existence, and so further away from anthropology.
Veritas is a translation of the Greek aletheia. Yet this translation is more than just the displacement of a word from one idiom to the next. It marks a historical turning point in the way in which truth is understood. Let me be as clear as possible on this point. This collapse, or, better said perhaps, this transformation, was already well underway, if not entirely carried out, in Ancient Greece itself. Yet the important thing to bear in mind is how the word itself retains something of a conception, at least an experience of truth that must have dominated at some stage.
This is the experience that, according to Heidegger, still orients the Platonic and Aristotelian texts, albeit only obliquely.
In reading Aristotle on truth in his early work, Heidegger performs something like a rescue operation, as he tries to recover a sense of truth already under threat at the time, and certainly buried by the time of Aquinas, Descartes and Kant. This operation is not, however, a merely historical rescue. Through his interpretation of Aristotle, Heidegger is able to understand the being of the human being in terms of truth.
What Aristotle reveals, especially in Book VI of the Nicomachean Ethics VI, b15—18 , is the extent to which the human psyche, or, as Heidegger translates it, the human Dasein, is essentially an operation of aletheuein.
But, as we shall see, aletheuein is not restricted to speech, or language, alone. This brings us closer to the meaning of the verb aletheuein, which involves precisely something like an uncovering, an unveiling or a disclosing. In fact, Heidegger will go as far as to claim that uncovering, or unveiling, is the fundamental and original meaning of truth. Heidegger takes issue with this assumption, and argues that, in a way, our speech, and our propositions, presuppose the primordial sense of truth as aletheia, or dis-closedness.
This is a sense that he intimates, but that the tradition after him — especially the Neo-thomistic one — will be quick to forget. This forgetfulness was to have decisive consequences, as it drove philosophy away from what Heidegger takes to be its ownmost object, away from what is questionable and question-worthy in the most literal sense, and into logical positivism. For something to be said to be true or false in the now classical sense of the term, it must be there da-sein in a certain way to begin with.
Now this preliminary and primordial modality of truth is remarkable in that is not a function of the human logos, or at least not exclusively, and not primarily.
The most primordial level of truth, Heidegger argues, is not the proposition logos apophantikos. Of what is truth a matter, then? Where is its fundamental level revealed? Following Aristotle, Heidegger claims that it is the human psyche that is the key to the question of truth. Because the human psyche, of which the logos is only one aspect, consists itself of an operation or process of uncovering, through which beings are brought into presence.
Does this mean that truth is a matter for psychologists? Not at all, insofar as the human psyche, or its Heideggerian equivalent, namely Dasein or existence, is nothing like a consciousness Bewusstsein , or a power of reprentation.
Rather, he claims that the human being or soul psyche is itself and in its entirety an operation of aletheuein, an activity of uncovering or unconcealing. How does such safekeeping occur? In it, Aristotle mentions the various ways in which the soul brings and takes beings into true safekeeping. Language is implicated in all modes of revealing, yet it is not itself one such mode.
This means that language is not the primary locus of truth. Because language is always about something, about something that is itself uncovered in ways other than through language. This means that the truth of the logos is itself entirely 38 The New Heidegger dependent upon — and in the service of — the truth of the phenomena it articulates. It is entirely subordinated to phenomena in the how of their beingunveiled.
At the same time, it is only because the human soul is understood as ex-istence, or as a being outside oneself and oriented towards the world, at once open to it and opening it up, that it can coincide with the unconcealing of truth. It is by virtue of its own being, or by virtue of the fact that it ex-ists, that existence can be understood in terms of the originary aletheuein.
It is only one mode of truth, and a derivative one at that. Proximally and for the most part, Heidegger claims in Being and Time, truth is at work in our everyday, average mode of being. To the extent that, at least in the context of the analysis of Dasein, truth coincides with existence as such, it is even operative from the very start of the analysis. Heidegger goes as far as to say that the sense of space we now take for granted, that is, space as an objective given, which can be represented mathematically and measured universally, is actually rooted in the spatiality of Dasein and of the world as an existential—ontological phenomenon.
In those sections devoted to the spatiality of Dasein, Heidegger describes existence in terms of a certain ability to bring things close by from out of their originary distance and to orient itself in the world on the basis of its needs, necessities and possibilities. It frees their own spatiality and their function, it opens up The Truth that Lies Beneath 39 the context or the world from which they appear as such or such a thing:It is the time of the world itself, in its difference from earth.
This, for him, is not an abstract view of the world. There is a final philosophical element to the lecture Das Wort that is worth mentioning, also because it reconnects and dovetails superbly with the notion of renunciation: By earth, we need to understand the pre-worldly origin of world, the origin of presence that is closest to presence, its reverse or lining that is absolutely different from it.
Kellerer, that Heidegger's membership in Hans Frank 's committee for philosophy of right from until at least included a participation in the holocaust was rejected by K.
The difference between being and beings is now to be articulated in terms of the relation of truth and untruth.