• Corvus
    83
    I think for Heidegger, using "soul", "spirit", "mind" etc. ignores the way in which Dasein exists. It carries too much philosophical baggage, just like the term "human being" does. Sure, Dasein may have a soul/spirit/mind, but that would be ontic and not ontological. Those categories have no relevance to what Heidegger is trying to do. Rather, Dasein is the site of the clearing of Being.
    18 hours ago
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    Old Master

    Then, in which books does he ever mention about these concepts? Or not at all? Is he just turning away from these questions?
  • Old Master
    6
    This was the story that I was first sold as an undergraduate and I think it does incredible damage to one's understanding of the history of philosophy. It took me an incredibly long time to read philosophers like Hegel and Nietzsche properly, because Heidegger (and many of those he's influenced) cheapen their thought in order to overemphasize certain problematic aspects which can be used as a basis for whole sale refutation. (Kant is merely a "Cartesian", Hegel is a "rationalist", Nietzsche is all about a subject projecting his values onto the world.) The problem is that undoing these exegetical errors, as far as I can tell, demands getting outside of Heidegger's orbit, because he doesn't give you the resources to appraise properly what other thinkers are doing. (This is a big problem in Heidegger scholarship as well. An absolute refusal to engage with ideas posed outside of Heidegger's terminology, to claim anyone who has a doubt, suspicion or question lacks depth or understanding of the master.)John Doe

    Right, Heidegger is not presenting Nietzsche as Nietzsche, but his role in the history of metaphysics (as Heidegger understands it). Of course Nietzsche scholars utterly detest Heidegger for what he's done to his writings/thought. But I do agree that you don't need to read over Heidegger's shoulder when it comes to Nietzsche, Hegel, etc.

    Something I've learned the hard way: don't take Heidegger's word for what he's doing. There is a great deal of metaphysics and politics going on in his work. Again, this point can't be discussed if one sticks entirely to his way of talking about and treating the matters which concern him and requires that you maintain your capacity for external critique. Of course, you could just instead become another Heidegger cult member and refuse to see the issues, which is seductive and appealing (especially for young men) because it gives the devotee such a strong perspective on what it means to be a human being standing at this moment in the history of the West.John Doe

    I agree, Heidegger certainly has an ontology which is where my disagreements lie in. It could probably be said he is doing what he said he wouldn't do: ontotheologizing. Its good to remain critical of his project and not become some blind devoted cult member, as you suggest.

    Be careful here. Being called on to purge yourself of all the words you use unproblematically in non-philosophical discourse as a sort of expiation for your original sin, talking as if philosophy then frees you from responsibility to ordinary language, then adopting the master's language to aver phenomenologically vague or questionable statements ("Dasein is the site of the clearing of Being") are the first three steps in Heidegger cult programming.

    Heidegger is a top ten all-time great philosopher but if you start using his language as a sort of meaningful internal discourse to the initiated without any responsibility to our ordinary ways of talking...well, it's time to think carefully about what your philosophical aims are.
    John Doe

    I was just giving an extremely simplified summary of what Heidegger is trying to accomplish. Of course "the clearing" and other Heideggerese would need to be clarified as how he is using them. I'm not a Heideggerian or even a philosopher, my reply was to show how those worn concepts of "soul", "spirit", "mind" or whatever don't have relevance in Heidegger's inquiry. You don't have to agree with him or even my summary of it.

    Heidegger himself would urge his students to think independently.

    My chief aim in reading B&T is how I can appropriate it for Christian theology. I'm not interested in reading B&T as B&T, if that makes sense.
  • John Doe
    157
    Gotcha. :ok: Perhaps my post was overly importune.

    What are you thoughts/concerns with respect to his ontology?
  • bloodninja
    268


    Am I able to sum up your criticism of Heidegger's project in B&T as 'not genuine'? For Heidegger 'genuineness' refers to the manner in which concepts are drawn form given phenomena. So concepts that lack an origin in the underlying phenomena are not genuine while concepts that have such an origin are genuine. Your criticism appears to be that the manner in which he draws his concepts (i.e., his ontology) is not genuine. Is this right?
  • bloodninja
    268
    "Tradition takes what has come down to us and delivers it over to self-evidence; it blocks our access to those primordial 'sources' from which the categories and concepts handed down to us have been in part quite genuinely drawn. Indeed it makes us forget that they have had such an origin, and makes us suppose that the necessity of going back to these sources is something which we need not even understand. Dasein has had its historicality so thoroughly uprooted by tradition that it confines its interest to the multiformity of possible types, directions, and standpoints of philosophical activity in the most exotic and alien of cultures; and by this very interest it seeks to veil the fact that it has no ground of its own to stand on. Consequently, despite all its historiological interests and all its zeal for an Interpretation which is philologically 'objective' ["sachliche"] , Dasein no longer understands the most elementary conditions which would alone enable it to go back to the past in a positive manner and make it productively its own."

    As the quotation suggests, Dasein is groundless. How can Dasein, the groundless entity, have anything to do with metaphysics?
  • bloodninja
    268
    Here is a quote that might be relevant to your question:

    "One of our first tasks will be to prove that if we posit an "I" or subject as that which is proximally given,
    we shall completely miss the phenomenal content [Bestand] of Dasein. Ontologically, every idea of a 'subject'-unless refined by a previous ontological determination of its basic character-still posits the subjectum (mroKtdJLwov) along with it, no matter how vigorous one's ontical protestations against the 'soul substance' or the 'reification of consciousness'. The Thinghood itself which such reification implies must have its ontological origin demonstrated if we are to be in a position to ask what we are to understand positively when we think of the unreified Being of the subject, the soul, the consciousness, the spirit, the person. All these terms refer to definite phenomenal domains which can be 'given form' ["ausformbare"] : but they are never used without a notable failure to see the need for inquiring about the Being of the entities thus designated. So we are not being terminologically arbitrary when we avoid these terms--or such expressions as 'life' and 'man'-in designating those entities which we are ourselves."

    Also check out section 25. An Approach to the Existential Question of the " Who" of Dasein
  • John Doe
    157
    I've never actually seen Heidegger's idiosyncratic use of Eigentlichkeit/Uneigentlichkeit translated as 'genuine' (because that's usually reserved for Echt/Unecht in order to ensure that his use of terms like "genuine authenticity" makes sense) but I imagine that's what you're going for?

    I have little to no critique of Heidegger's philosophy! I do have some serious issues, developed as a result of reading him for many years, with what we might as well call his metaphilosophy; the tone and posture he takes with respect to his readers and the philosophical tradition which he inherits. He is not treating his readers as adults but as potential acolytes; he is couching his thought in a poetic rhythm that is potentially beautiful and which opens up new worlds of thought to many readers but which is also very definitely aimed at convincing the reader that Heidegger is a prophet of post-modernity.

    This frustrates me because instead of discussing the upshot and value of his ideas we often get stuck on his circular semantics (we can't just discuss potential concerns but feel obliged to use Heidegger's terminology to do so); people get in the game of declaring unilaterally "For Heidegger..." instead of saying "On my reading of Heidegger...but what do you think?" as a result of reading him often enough that they feel some sense of special access to what he means; and yet even after we've gone through this circularity and competing declarations of "For Heidegger..." we still won't get anywhere unless we engage in a yet even more pedantic conversation in order to distinguish further between whether your use of "genuine" refers to Echt or Eigentlichket.

    I think his way of doing philosophy can very quickly trap any reader into this game, which I want to resist, but which inevitably (in my experience) is the end result of any Heidegger-related conference, gathering, or thread. I'm trying not to be a bore about this though which is why I quit posting in here for a while. The other day, I was listening to a Heidegger scholar voicing all of these criticisms on the radio and it was sort of awful because it distracted from a far more interesting topic: Heidegger!
  • Blue Lux
    458
    I agree with you.

    I read his philosophy, just as I do any philosophy now, at a distance. The paradigm of a philosophy is that which is bracketed, determined by premise after premise, which paves the path for exclusionary conclusions regardless of if they are well-based. Taking my own personal experiences, I form my own ideas and plan on developing my own extensive philosophy. I believe this is what Husserl calls, perhaps, of an eidetic reduction?
  • bloodninja
    268
    That's cool, I respect your informed opinion.

    To quickly end this pedantry now, it's true I neither speak nor understand German, but yes I was using genuine as what Heidegger probably uses Echt for. I wasn't talking about authenticity (Eigentlichkeit). So as I understand it, while genuineness (Echt) refers to the manner in which concepts are drawn form given phenomena, authenticity (Eigentlichkeit) denotes the appropriate phenomena themselves, e.g. authentic being towards death, authentic future, authentic past, etc.
  • John Doe
    157
    Ah, well I don't know about others but I'm learning from this pedantry! And since this thread is pedantic as hell ( :razz: ) I hope you won't mind a follow up to your interesting comment on the Echt/Eigentlich distinction. I find his views on authenticity and death to be the two most lasting and interesting topics in the book.

    The problem is we can deal with others authentically or inauthentically, so it seems weird to say that authenticity deals with the "phenomena themselves" insofar as that would then reduce the other to a phenomenon. It also seems a bit off to say that "being-towards-death" is a phenomenon, right? Wouldn't it be more like: "that in virtue of which my phenomenological horizon gains structure"? (Surely too Kantian a formulation...)

    Would you be willing to say (slightly contrary to your comment) that authenticity deals with one's manner of comportment towards phenomena?
  • bloodninja
    268
    I think I understand where you're coming from. It's hard. I still struggle to see some phenomena, and "get it". But Heidegger is definitely doing phenomenology so I think that all his concepts whether "death", "anticipatory-resoluteness" or "being-with" are always ultimately denoting phenomena.

    It also seems a bit off to say that "being-towards-death" is a phenomenon, right?John Doe

    I would be interested to hear what others think on this. My personal view is that "being-towards-death" is an ontological concept that he draws from a certain phenomenon. Obviously the phenomena is not very easy to get. But I think death must be thought as a (existential) phenomenon rather than demise or perishing. Thus the difficulty regarding its interpretation. He says somewhere that dasein can have an inauthentic or authentic being-towards-death which favors my view that authenticity denotes a kind of phenomena, namely the authentic phenomena.

    Regarding others, I think the phenomena is conceptualized as "being-with" and he writes of authentic and inauthentic modes of this.

    Would you be willing to say (slightly contrary to your comment) that authenticity deals with one's manner of comportment towards phenomena?John Doe

    I think the comportment is the phenomena. The existential phenomena.
  • Dan123
    53
    The problem is we can deal with others authentically or inauthentically, so it seems weird to say that authenticity deals with the "phenomena themselves" insofar as that would then reduce the other to a phenomenon. It also seems a bit off to say that "being-towards-death" is a phenomenon, right? Wouldn't it be more like: "that in virtue of which my phenomenological horizon gains structure"? (Surely too Kantian a formulation...)

    Would you be willing to say (slightly contrary to your comment) that authenticity deals with one's manner of comportment towards phenomena?
    John Doe

    But Heidegger is definitely doing phenomenology so I think that all his concepts whether "death", "anticipatory-resoluteness" or "being-with" are always ultimately denoting phenomena.bloodninja

    I think John Doe is closer to the answer here. Being-towards-death is not a phenomena; it is an existentiale. Being-towards-death is constitutive of disclosedness itself. Strictly speaking, there are neither "inauthentic phenomena" nor "authentic phenomena". Authenticity and inauthenticity are general modes of Being-towards/comportment that reveals entities as this or that. As Being-towards-death, Dasein always-already dwells in a public milieu of significance in anxiously standing out into the nothing. Being-towards-death - along with all the existentialia - names the ways Dasein is open to meaning or beings in their beingness. Dasein is open to meaning. Being-towards-death is part of the way we are always-already open.

    But let's be less pedantic: What is Being-towards-death insofar as it is constitutive of disclosedness itself? What is disclosedness as such? - This is the million dollar question.
  • bloodninja
    268
    Dasein is open to meaning.Dan123

    Agreed. Another way to think about it is that dasein is the event or happening of sense making.

    Being-towards-death is not a phenomena; it is an existentiale.Dan123

    That is right that being-towards-death is an existentiale, however every existentiale is a phenomenon.

    Perhaps yourself and John Doe understand phenomena/phenomenon differently?

    "And we have formally defined 'phenomenon' in the phenomenological sense as that which shows itself as Being and as a structure of Being." (from the world sections)

    "In the phenomenological conception of "phenomenon" what one has in mind as that which shows itself is the Being of entities, its meaning, its modifications and derivatives. And this showing-itself is not just any showing-itself, nor is it some such thing as appearing. Least of all can the Being of entities ever be anything such that 'behind it' stands something else 'which does not appear'. 'Behind' the phenomena of phenomenology there is essentially nothing else; on the other hand, what is to become a phenomenon can be hidden. And just because the phenomena are proximally and for the most part not given, there is need for phenomenology. Covered-up-ness is the counterconcept to 'phenomenon'." (from the 2nd intro)

    "The "they" is an existentiale; and as a primordial phenomenon, it belongs to Dasein's positive constitution."

    "If we Interpret understanding as a fundamental existentiale, this indicates that this phenomenon is conceived as a basic mode of Dasein's Being."

    "Dying is not a [present at hand] event ; it is a phenomenon to be understood existentially"

    "We must, in the first instance, make plain in a preliminary sketch how Dasein's existence, facticity, and falling reveal themselves in the phenomenon of death."
  • Dan123
    53
    I think we were taking "phenomenon" to refer to entities that appear to Dasein. But it seems that in fact "phenomenon" has a more expansive scope.

    No matter, I say we just bracket the term. We can still make the distinction between beings and existentialia. Though now I'm not sure how the Being of beings fits into this picture. It seems like the Being of beings invokes every existentialia that are at play in that being's disclosure.
  • Corvus
    83
    Thanks. Will have read at them. cheers.
  • Corvus
    83
    Also check out section 25. An Approach to the Existential Question of the " Who" of Daseinbloodninja

    Is this a book, commentary by someone? I could not locate where the book is. Would it be available as PDF free download?
  • Corvus
    83
    oh... that's in B&T. I see. I thought it was a commentary or some other source.
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