From: TMB <tblan@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Sun, 12 Oct 1997 12:36:36 -0400 (EDT)
On Sun, 12 Oct 1997 Maintal@xxxxxxx wrote:
> Yes, but in his polemic with this, he in fact tends to reinvoke the very
> thing he's working to get away from. Heidegger is *quite* borderline, but
> the situation I pointed to does appear to obtain. The worldhood of the
> world is transposed over from an exposition of the worldhood of the
> workshop, wherein tools have fixed meanings and a *simple* referentiality.
> People do not "work" the same way at all. Religion, to which Heidegger
> apparently wants all that to lead, that treats the world on the model of
> referentialty, usability, labels, solicitude, etc., is violent in that it
> takes people violently in this or that way, sets of massive prejudicial
> schemas of "who one is and who one is with", while striving to maintain an
> attributional and referential system that systematically (no surprise)
> rapes (for want of a better word) the truth of the worlds of people. I
> don't mean to sound like I'm ranting or fomenting, but the structure of
> *rape* is in Fact (in my Understanding, so to speak) one of the best ways
> of characterizing any such oppressive and mistaken transposition.
> Thanks for your reply!
> Mmmh, I'm not quite as sure as you that Heidegger 'wants all that to lead to
> Religion', and even if he tries his philosophy has the potency to become also
> a fine reservoir for atheistical conceptions: This kind of phil., to my mind,
> is not in necessarily need of and must not necessarily lead to religion
> (although I agree with you herein that the specific interest e.g. of
> Christian theology in it is not a mere 'accident'), and to bring forward
> convincing arguments pro for such a 'necessity' would mean hard work (and
> what is that 'necessity' at all?).
No, not necessarily, I'd agree. Inexorably? That appears to be lodged in
Heidegger's *style*. A way of being in the world, undefined as "religion",
to be sure, but marked by all that we know to be religion, is to be,
inexorably, the way Dasein "is to", "does" dwell. "Finding one's hero",
"solicitude", "guilt", "being with others in the world", "attestation of
being towards death", etc. It is not that these categories of Being do not
obtain, but the forward movement of Heidegger's thought passes over much
while he works to clarify a certain series of conditions, and establish
the frameworks in which these conditions are to be held open to play
themselves out. What is passed over? How? Can this passing over be "done"?
(Undoubtedly). But *should* it be done? The *is* of Heidegger can meet a
certain *should*, but this constitutes a radical disruption of his forward
progression. What if we stop short at this or that location in his
delineations and say, "no, that is not how it is or should be", "no, we
can not transpose in this way", "no, other emotions do not have the same
structure as fearing", "no, Death is not the only ownmost possibility for
Dasein, though it is one", etc.? A simplification of Dasein, which
Heidegger notes and admits, may be disrupted. Should this simplification
be called "religion" per se? Can there be a "having one's hero", for
example, or carrying the burden of one's guilt, that is atheistic? In a
certain sense, I guess these questions are secondary to the primary isses
at hand. In that sense, the *label* "religion" is secondary to the primary
issues at hand. This does not necessarily lead us to "the nameless". In
any event, *what* the progressm leads us towards *appears* to have the
structure of religion, albeit an *authentic* one, or many, god or gods,
and not a *fallen* one. So, if one allows this kind of stipulation, one
may then abbreviate Dasein as "being in religion". One may, or must, stop
short of calling SZ a theology, though Derrida has quesitoned whether that
isn't in fact what Heidegger wrote.
So wha may then get questioned is the structure of being in authentic
religion. Of the "who" of Dasein, and of the founding conditions creating
the conditions of possibility of that "who", a "who" that seeks out
others, stands in the world with others, identifies oneself, stands up to
be counted, knows who one is, on-the-basis-of. If these founding
conditions are questioned and rendered impossible, that "who" may not
arrive at its destination, though another "who" may be possible.
Obviously, several questions obtain: *should* such conditions be
questioned? Are the "original" assumptions in the progression truly
flawed? *Why* are the founding conditions questioned? There are several
ways to answer such questions, one set of which is a certain *prima facie*
precaution. But in the progression, in the steps taken, many such
questions can obtaion. If they do, does the progression of the *book*,
SZ, remain possible? And does the progression of the *Dasein* founded
therein, remain possible? How is one to "get out" of a text as
*inexorable* as that of Heidegger? How dare one question Heidegger's
*style*, or *supposed* lack thereof?
Look at the progression. A serioes of preformulated and clarified
questions, a series of examples, investigations, interrogations, a series
of clarifications *leading* to other things. A series of interactions and
takings up of certain major philosophical problematics, and not "merely"
textual ones, but pressing questions for the reader. An arsenal of
rhetorics, pedagotic tendencies and *actions* (for the reader), a set of
provisional conclusions, etc.
The book *anchors*, in that while one might question along the way, there
is no "getting out" of the progression, as the book is already written by
the master. One may tarry here or there on a dispute with how things are
cast, but to no avail, the book proceeds anyhow. One must *drop* such
questions and proceed. One *must*. Indeed, it may well be that the kind of
questioning and progression that takes place in something of such
monumenal importance as SZ *can not* take place in the form of a *book*.
In any event, it is the progression structure I am indicating here that
constitutes *one* manifestation of the *simplification* that Heidegger
One may have problems with such "simplification" itself. When I say that
SZ and perhaps other writings by Heidegger "leads to religion", I mean
that it leads into this kind of *simplification*, the hallmarks of which
appear to be found in most religion.
> But nevertheless I'm quite interested in your criticism of Heidegger: that
> his phil. would treat the world on the model of 'referentiality, useability,
> labels, solicitude'.
Well, I didn't say this, but rather that he developes his basic, anchored
reference points and founding paradigms *for* "referentiality, useability,
labels, solicitude" *on the model of* the workshop.
> Concerning solicitude: Heidegger also analyses the 'Man', this 'Man' is
> obviously necessary that 'Dasein' can exist at all. Perhaps you want to say
> that he thinks this 'man' not essential, of lesser importance, as the
> essential 'eigentlich' (I have not the english translation, but hope you
> understand, nevertheless, otherwise my excuses, but if possible I want to
> spare you a worse translation of my own).
Sorry, I don't know the German. Probably this is a word I should know
anyhow, but I don't. Truly sorry.
As a matter of fact this essential
> 'Eigentlichkeit' seems to destroy the safety of the 'man'; but nevertheless
> could not somebody argue that in order to a responsible 'man' someone must be
> at first find his 'own'? And isn't Heidegger right when he suggests that this
> own is 'vereinzelt', isolated and lonesome? That noone can take the burden
> and the joy of my life than my authentical I, and the deeper this
> 'Eigentlichkeit', the more I am really I, the more I have something to share
> which is 'precious' and not only repeated mechanically, (as a child e.g has
> to learn in order to become grown-up) the more I will be able to resist the
> 'mass', of course in good, but perhaps also in bad, of course. What I'm
> interested in is how handles Heidegger this 'loneliness'-problem, and this
> problem is, to my mind, to help the people to become 'eigentlich', conscious
> of their singular self, and to learn them that this is 'wonderful'; and that
> all should be helpful in supporting the other to become such self-conscious,
> although if they become other and perhaps opponent to one's own opinions
> (this is the way I will support). The question is if Heidegger offers an
> acceptable solution here. (But perhaps you disagree with my above suggestions
> at all.)
> Now, to my mind this 'Eigentlichkeit' is the only real stronghold against the
> overpowering of 'useability and referentiallity' (and hence I'm interested
> how it was possible that Heidegger has supported Hitler's party for such a
> long time, and the only reason I have found for it is that he thought it
> could lead, force the 'mass' to 'Eigentlichkeit', but in fact, quite the
> opposite was truly the case, Heidegger was 'blinded' here -> and that's, to
> my mind, why he was so obsessed with the problem of 'technics' afterwards.).
> The 'Eigentlichkeit', it seems to me, excludes 'usebility' ('eigentlich' am I
> useful for _nothing_, and _that's_ the precious!). But perhaps I'm on the
> wrong track here, and you can explain me your statement. What I will concede
> is the possibility that there is something wrong with H.'s conception of
> 'Eigentlichkeit' in its strong contrast with the 'useful' world around.
In spite of my blind spont on "eigentlichkeit", I'll attempt a response.
I'll take it to mean "authenticity", roughtly speaking. If you like, an
English string: "proper-self-own-real-existentiel-authenticity".
My god, there is so much to understand here. Some preliminary
observations: Yes, he is deeply concerned about this authenticity. There
is a *style* of authenticity, and hence, many styles, many styles are
possible. You suggest Heideggers style of authenticity is "acceptable".
I'm not sure about that, but let's start looking around at this.
You talk of a "helping", an enabling, enabling people to become authentic.
Of a lonesomeness, essential however frightening for the person who
naturally cleaves to being with others in, perhaps, an undifferentiated
form, a "natural" and "prereflective" form, one from which one must in a
certain way shake oneself. You mention a freedom to *resist*, to resist
the Man, the masses. A breaking free of the mechanical, the repetition,
andof the child growing up. Of a childhood, a childishness that would
tarry with machines and toys, that must call itself out of its own
lostness in the they, in machines, in "love" or repetitive forms of loving
others (we must call this love, provisionally, we can not say that
children don't love).
I have to stop short of saying "how it is", but rather have to say that
this is *my take*. I favor a fundamentally different way of handling these
issues, so I can only try and sketch them out. This will have to be a very
long post. I hope you can bear with me. From the start, of course, the
question is aggravated and put in operation: is my questioning and my
*difference* here a childish tarrying? Must I always never the less find
my way back into the future of my Dasein, which must always take place in
the latter pages of SZ and the later writings of Heidegger? Does Heidegger
leap ahead for me in his book, and is that leaping something that can be
strictly understood as a matter of *maturity*? The Dasein that "leaps
ahead" for Heidegger is *unquestionabley* always and only a *more mature
Dasein*. An "adult" Dasein, in a way. The *grounds* and legitimacy of this
maturity are "not to be quesitoned": rather, one is simply to take this
always and only as the burden thrust on the "child" as part of the
stucture of Daseins' moving forward. This is intrinsic to Heidegger's
*style of progression* and, in true Transparency, intrinsic to the
So from the start, I am in a certain way "guilty", I suppose. But let me
proceed anyhow. After all, my questioning may well be pious as well..
In order to grow up, the child has to learn not to "repeat mechanically".
I would say, rather, that the child has to *unlearn* how to repeat
mechanically. The child does not start as a machine. There is much more
"authenticity" in a child than one might perhaps realize. One forgets how
much is *new* for a child, and the enormous literature and personal
experience of nostaligia for the authenticity of childhood bears out that
there is a definite phenomenon therein. It is a mistake to *start* with
the "fallen" child. This is itself a condition of fallenness: to see
things as fallen is a condition of fallenness. One of the ways Dasein
can call itself out of fallenness is to realize that it's own view of
itself as fallen is itself a fallen view. One has forgetten so much
already that one has become convinced that children lack authenticity.
There is more going on than "childish repetition", *from the start*. There
are *deep concerns of pressing importance*, as any child psychologist will
tell you. There is deep love, fear, and so forth. From the start. There is
singing and laughter, and in some families, there are beatings, abuses,
rapes and sexual abuses. There are desires, new friends, new forms of
friendship, joy-filled discovery and anguished loss. There is the smell of
the first day of school and new clothes, the laughter at home around the
dinner table, or the screaming, cruel silences and so forth, the soft
sound of a mother's voice singing one to sleep, a kiss on the forehead, a
hug, a beating, a subtle and overpowering attack from an adult. There are
so many things. It simply can't all be summed up as "the child starts out
as a machine". If this is done, a *machine* of this very conception
imposes itself and enframes the conditions from the start.
How might one then have a conception of a "coming to authenticity" in such
a case? The "coming to" structure itself of course is significianly
"softened" and problematized, and a whole series of possibilities are
possible. They are more essentialy multiple and complex, and in the face
of this, one may well prefer the frameworks introdced by Heidegger or so
many logics of "passage to another side". I find each and every such logic
fundamentally and axiomatically wrong. I always have. I can explore the
question, though, in another post. This one is too long.
> Kindest regards,
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