Three episodes of reactivity from Mr. Eldred in one day!
Yesterday, I responded to to Mr. Crifasi:
> On Thu, 20 April 2000, Anthony Crifasi wrote:
> > Could you describe the non-outdated form of psychology which would neither
> > fall under that critique, nor depend on phenomenology in the first place?
> Cogntive psychology generally, perhaps. But specifically, I have in mind
research on intelligence, led by R.J. Sternberg at Yale. Dasein may really be that
which is specifically human about human intelligence (granting that Heidegger
enters into SuZ from a different tack--an ontotheological problematic of "Being"
that he inherits from his environs.
And Mr Eldred says:
He doesn't inherit the ontotheological tradition -- he invents it....
(W) This is an odd claim indeed.
(E) ....Heidegger is the first to see the ontotheological tradition clearly _as_ the ontotheological
(W) So, there was a tradition that was / is ontotheological prior to Heidegger's seeing, and Heidegger was the first to see this tradition _as_ ontotheological. So, Heidegger didn't invent it after all. He discovered it. It's evident that you're implying a confusion between invention and discovery. Presuming better, I have to believe you're just writing impulsively--and not about my comments to someone else, but about a relatively unrelated aside.
Note, though, that I made an aside about a "...problematic...," not about Heidegger's whole sense of (or relation to tradition), though it's very noncontroversial to speak of one inheriting tradition.
(E) "...Without Heidegger, you wouldn't have the word "ontotheology" to
(W) Strictly speaking, I suppose this is true. But historically, metaphysicalism (ontologism) and theology are like Adam and Eve: theology was born from the rib of ontologism; so, the word is a rather straightforward register of this fact. Besides, it's not this notion (let alone *term*) that gives Heidegger's analysis of ontotheological thinking its substance; rather its his analysis that gives the term its significance.
Might I suppose--since you're interested in the aside, but not the conjecture it supplements--that you don't have a problem with my conjecture, namely, that Dasein may really be that which is specifically human about human intelligence? I doubt it.
(E) If thanking is thinking,....
(W) I thought it was: thinking is thanking. Logically, of course, the two assertions are the same. But Heidegger got to thanking in discourses ostensibly about thinking. He sought to bring thinking into thanking. So, relative to Heidegger's designs, the difference matters. His message is: Thinking is thanking.
(E) ...the ease with which we become thankless, swollen-footed children...
(W) Who is "we"? Is "we" regressing to days of kicking stones barefoot? I don't know about the Outback.
(E) [This ease] means that we are also inclined to become unthinking
to boot, deeply forgetful of whence we came and thus who we are and toward
which end we are thrown.
(W) You seem to be writing in the name of a group, from within a regime of domination, looking for a way out. Granted, there's a lot of domination in the world. But I was responding to Mr Crifasi's more related interest in what I was conjecturing. I see no incommensurability between doing metapsychology (to get to the philosophical issues implied) and critical social perspectives.
> (W) Then, for example, the Dreyfus dispute here, a couple of months ago, might be
less an issue of who's the real spokesperson for Heidegger and more an issue
of: What is "Dasein" really?
(E) Learning to think from the place from where H. has his insight.
(W) Dasein is learning to think....? Then an analysis of thinking would really address the question: What is "Dasein" *really*? But on what basis can we assess the extent to which thinking itself is *still to be realized*? To what extent does *Heidegger* belong in the "we" of his 1950s "What is most thought-provoking...."?
"The place from where H has his insight...."; that place belongs to us all. What is that placING, that EMplacing *really*?
Heidegger doesn't name it 'Dasein'. Whatever is the "place" OF Heidegger, this is different from the question of the human (Dasein) itself. Humans think; but are they at heart thinking? What is the human, as such? Not merely: What does Heidegger say that pertains to the question. Rather: What is the *human* as such? On what basis can we *assess* Heidegger's contribution to the question (given what didn't become of _BT_--given that "Dasein" became supplementary to Heidegger's concern with mortality), without basically reiterating or expanding on the details of what he said to this kind of question? It's self-serving to make Heidegger the basis for evaluating his own contribution to philosophy. But *when*--on what basis--can one, can we?
[cutting several paragraphs of context, in my response to Anthony, that are of no interest to Mr. Eldred....]
(W) > However, a successful [physical Theory of Everything]--at the level of strings, probably-- will offer no insight into the dynamics of genetic morphigenesis or whether or not "the"
universe is "a" universe in, say, a froth of universes (while theory is very
actively wound up in this pluriform prospect). And none of this will generate
foundational insight for understanding neurophenomenology--let alone the encyclopedic
poesis of understanding that our hypercultural humanity is moving into.
> A question of being, in this context, is a problem to overcome--as archetypal
pschology seeks to overcome the aura of The One. It pales against the pluralism
of reality that literate humans live with.
(E) A _plurality_ of reality is a plurality of _reality_, i.e. the manyness is said
towards a one and presupposes it.
(W) I used the term 'pluralism'. I want to insist on a difference. An -ity (plurality) is a state of affairs; an -ism (pluralism) is a perspective *toward* states of affairs. We (I, at least) live in a very pluralistic, culturally hybrid, multidisciplinary, epistemically complex world--a reality that is quite a plurality, to be sure. The plurality of reality is real, and this befits a pluralism toward the pretense of singularity that any covering term implies (terms like 'world' and 'universe'). To interpret things otherwise would be reductionistic. Nevertheless, we have the term 'reality', and it is useful for out always-limited intentions in any use of terms.
However, in using the phrase "a plurality of reality" (which I did not), it's not necessary that a oneness beyond some set-theoretical sense of this be presupposed, along the line that we presuppose a language in communication. *That* we must, doesn't entail that reality is a linguistic invention.
(W) > What, in such a "postmodern" environs is in-the-world humanness? In beholding
entities, do we behold beings or manifold things (where the category of "being"
is not very implicative or fruitful--so a question of beings vis-a-vis "Being"
becomes a pseudo-issue of philotherapeutics, if you will, rather than promising
philosophy). Heidegger grew to see the latter--manifold things--rather than a
problem of beings. He outgrew the question of the ontological difference. So,
why lead thinking into the question in the first place, if thinking doesn't
easily find the "problem" compelling?
(E) "Being" a "category"? What's a category?
(W) A kind of understanding. A fundamental and distinct class to which things or concepts may belong.
(E) Plurality presupposes a one.
(W) Trivially, yes: non-empty sets contain members. But I would have thought you'd be concerned a the other end, so to speak: plurality presupposes Oneness or unity (of the plurality as pluralITY); this would relate to the pretext *I* indicated (shortly after referring to an aura of the One): the category of "being" in the context of beings vis-a-vis "Being". Here, too, a One is not presupposed in a plurality:
A cell is a plurality of organelles; it is a single cell. But we wouldn't say that the plurality of cell structure presupposes some "one" (in the sense of Oneness). Rather, we say: It's a cell (any attributed oneness of the cell is probably just a heuristic for the relative self-organizationality of the cell as cell--which makes especial sense with single-cell organisms). Probably, the cell is just one cell in its own plurality, which is a multicellular organism, and so forth. Ultimately, in this kind of example, we reach the issue of natural kinds and the conceptual foundations of biological classification. But at this point, it is hardly any issue of presupposed Oneness (cf. _Species: new interdisciplinary essays_, ed. Robert A. Wilson, MIT 1999, part one: "Monism, Pluralism, Unity, and Diversity").
Some say that the Earth itself is a singular organism. One Earth (among the intelligent planets to be found--found Awaiting? Due to Arrive, like Hoelderlinian gods?). Earth as One (Gaia).
(E) "The state of being plural; the fact or condition of denoting, comprising, or consisting of more than one." (OED) So what's one here?
(W) Membership. As the Earth is a member of its system, in turn a member among systems, and so on.
(E) Why should thinking find a problem easily compelling?
(W) Because you teach good. Write well. Interpret insightfully. And so on.
(E) Rather, hardly compelling.
(W) Then you will be ignored.
(E) "He outgrew the question of the ontological difference."
We went through this a couple of months ago (February). It's one among many
glib and convenient misconceptions.
(W) O, no! I think I'll go shopping.
.... [Deleting my own several paragraphs, which are irrelevant to Mr. Eldred]
(E) What's bright? Isn't it at first (for the young), the reflection of the light
into which they have been cast and in which they bathe?
(W) Bright, in brief, is good mental acuity, good capacity for insight, creativity, and cognitive productiveness. This is the light. But the babe is less interested in bathing than in reaching, finding, moving--and other intensities of initiative borne by the light of innate intelligence.
(E) The odd bright one, suffering under the light-weight of communis opinio, might develop geotropic
tendencies and start to dig to see what is being covered up.
Well, then, happy trails!
..., in our house of this night, where we are writing....
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