• macrosoft
    674
    You may just want to skip to the quote.

    At the moment I am immersed in trying to really grasp or more fully grasp Heidegger. This keeps me flitting from text to text, with lots of help from secondary sources. I just read Sheehan's Making Sense of Heidegger, and, put simply, it's one hell of a book. Is it correct? Did Sheehan get that 'one thought' right? I don't know yet, but what he presents as the 'one thought' is a feasible, great thought. I quoted some key passages in @bloodninja 's thread What is meaning?

    Here I'd like to quote one of my other potent secondary sources, The Genesis of Being and Time, by Theodore Kiesel. This source places Heidegger's primary breakthrough (publicly revealed, anyway) at the lecture KNS 1919: THE IDEA OF PHILOSOPHY AND THE PROBLEM OF WORLDVIEWS, important passages of which are not generally available. Some key passages are quoted from this source in What is meaning? What I didn't quote there was a passage I find quite stirring and would like share with others. Note that Kiesel translates and perhaps summarizes/condenses.

    In fact, it was in this semester which inaugurated his phenomenological decade that he first discovered his root metaphor of the 'way' to describe his very kinetic sense of philosophy. Philosophy is not theory, outstrips any theory or conceptual system it may develop, because it can only approximate and never really comprehend the immediate experience it wishes to articulate. That which is nearest to us in experience is farthest removed from our comprehension. Philosophy in its 'poverty of thought' is ultimately reduced to maintaining its proximating orientation toward the pre-theoretical origin which is its subject matter. Philosophy is accordingly an orienting comportment, a praxis of striving, and a protreptic encouraging such a striving. Its expressions are only 'formal indications' which smooth the way toward intensifying the sense of the immediate in which we find ourselves. It is always precursory in its pronouncements,a forerunner of insights, a harbinger and hermeneutic herald of life's possibilities of understanding and articulation. In short, philosophy is more a form of life on the edge of expression than a science. That phenomenology is more a preconceptual, provisory comportment than a conceptual science, that the formally indicating 'concepts' are first intended to serve life rather than science, becomes transparent only after the turn...
    ...
    Philosophy is 'philosophizing', being 'on the way to language,' ways ---not works.
    — Heidegger/Kiesel

    Given the spirit of the quote itself, I am just opening the space up for reactions. Please let me know what all of this means to you, if anything.
  • bloodninja
    308
    For me "formal indication" really stood out in reading this passage. Do you know of anywhere that Heidegger explicitly discusses his methodology of formal indication?
  • creativesoul
    5.7k
    Heidegger attempted and failed at understanding the role language has in one's world-view.
  • macrosoft
    674


    I'm pretty sure that he really nailed it down in KNS 1919. I could only quote some of it, since I can't cut and paste. I tried to choose the highlights. He was apparently adjusting a concept from a neo-Kantian named Lask. According to Kiesel and the mutual teacher of both Lask and Heidegger, Heidegger was significantly influenced by Lask. If you don't have Genesis already, I'd recommend it. Kiesel had access to just about everything, it seems. I'm finding it very helpful to go back to early lectures. The Ontology of Facticity was very helpful to me. But, as Kiesel notes, important comments were sometimes not published and only recovered from students' notes.
  • macrosoft
    674
    Heidegger attempted and failed at understanding the role language has in one's world-view.creativesoul

    Could you expand? I love Heidegger, no doubt, but I am very open to criticisms. What did he get wrong?
  • macrosoft
    674
    Life is sufficient to Itself, Ekhart already said. The trick is to get to this level and stay with it, thereby reaping the harvest of its self-expression. For factic life also gives itself in the deformation of the objectification, which must first be dismantled in order to get to its initial moment of articulation.
    ..
    Such an intuition immersed in the 'immanent historicity of life' must reach back into its motivation and forward into its tendency in order to form those special concepts which are accordingly called recepts (retrospective grips) and precepts (prospective grips), without of course lapsing into old-fashioned objectifying concepts. Heidegger will later improve upon this dualism suggested in the hermeneutic type of concept by having the single term pre-conception imply both retrospection and prospection, which unitively and indifferently stretches itself along the whole of the life stream. In the same vein, a formal indication is sometimes called a 'precursory' indication that 'foreruns' the stream without disruption. Springing from life's own sense of direction, from the indifference of its dynamics in view of its incipient differentiation, the formal indication wishes to point to the phenomenon in extreme generality, indifference, and contentlessness, in order to be able to interpret the phenomenon so indicated without prejudice and standpoints.
    — K
  • macrosoft
    674
    To be here is to time.

    ('time' as a verb)
  • I like sushi
    1.2k


    He was concerned with creating a new system of terminology without explicit definitions and merely attempted to do something (he did little more than open up some alternative ways to frame Husserl’s work - most of what he is celebrated for was just a reiteration of Husserl; as has come to light over the past few decades with many Husserl’s notes predating what Heidegger claimed as his own.)

    I’ve yet to find anyone who can provide a concise definition of “dasein” given by Heidegger. If anything the whole work of “Being and Time” is merely a pondering of what “dasein” means to Heidegger.

    He’s obviously important in the history of philosophy, but he is also (as far as I can tell) seen as expanding from Husserl when I see his work as doing more than treading into territory not even Husserl considered as explicit enough; and Husserl’s writing is often quite vague.

    In short he ignored the phenomenological experience and became absorbed with language. He tried to speak of the unspeakable - and obviously failed to do anything other than confuse and confound, or fool, people into believing they understood something unreached.

    Of course this is just my opinoin and I’m willing, hopeful, to be shown otherwise (especially regarding the lack of explication of the term “dasein” that everyone seems to have something to say about yet they cannot refer me to Heidegger’s actual words only their own subjective impressions.)
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    “Time” is not a verb in the manner you wrote it, “be” is a verb. To “time” something is a verb.

    The sense used above frames “time” as a noun not a verb. We’re using English here not German.

    Many confusions can happen this way. Such as people saying that killer whales are whales when they’re not whales at all.
  • bloodninja
    308
    I’ve yet to find anyone who can provide a concise definition of “dasein” given by Heidegger. If anything the whole work of “Being and Time” is merely a pondering of what “dasein” means to Heidegger.I like sushi

    What would qualify as a concise definition on your arbitrary standards and why do you feel he needs give one? Your second sentence is half correct, it should read: If anything the whole (published) work of “Being and Time” is a hermeneutic of dasein.
  • I like sushi
    1.2k
    I think it is appropriate for someone to provide a reasonably tangible articulation of the terms they are using. He doesn’t. Of course all philosophers fall short in this category the difference I find with Heidegger is that he does it intentionally and basis his entire premise on an premise that isn;t a premise. His entire written work in that book is embedded in the ter “dasein.” He doesn’t explain it anywhere; yet he is happy to use it as a referential term throughout the book.

    There are chapters in the book which are a complete waste. On one occassion I read around 20 pages only to find I had wasted my time and should’ve just read the last paragraph (which was mostly obvious.) The problem there being he doesn’t tell the resder where he is going and pefers to prance around without meaning - or maybe I’m not giving myself credit enough for seeing something others may find hard to grasp? It is possible, as is the possiblilty I am so dim-witted that I missed the entire point of rambling on in a seemingly meaningless and obtuse manner? You can guess which opinion of myself I lean toward? ;)

    You’re argument is kind of redundant though. You may as well say any written word is a “hermeneutic of dasein,” which is true enough as the term “dasein” is not made explicit enough by Heidegger and so it can be arbitrarily attributed to any item of writing.

    The fact that he uses the term “hermeneutics” means he’s focusing on “words” not thought. He does believe, so it seems, that he’s driving below the surface. I don’t think so.

    Anyway, I am scathing of his work because it is worthy of my attention. Just because I take up an opposing position to his words doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate the in any way.
  • StreetlightX
    3.8k
    Philosophy in its 'poverty of thought' is ultimately reduced to maintaining its proximating orientation toward the pre-theoretical origin which is its subject matter. Philosophy is accordingly an orienting comportment, a praxis of striving, and a protreptic encouraging such a striving. Its expressions are only 'formal indications' which smooth the way toward intensifying the sense of the immediate in which we find ourselves. It is always precursory in its pronouncements,a forerunner of insights, a harbinger and hermeneutic herald of life's possibilities of understanding and articulation. — Heidegger/Kiesel

    I've always had a profound distaste for this kind of 'mysterian' conception of philosophy - if I can call it that - which treats philosophy as though it were just some under-maintained half-way house to Deep Truth or what have you. At its best, philosophy does always indeed 'point elsewhere', always feels like a matter of 'fore-running', like you've never quite grasped the so-called 'sense of the immediate'. But I think it is a deep and terrible mistake to confuse this feeling with the positivity of philosophy itself which is a self-consciously and actively joyful practice of artifice, of constructing visions that deliberately and wilfully abstract from the real all the better for us to orient ourselves within it. Or to cite one of my favourite quotes on the topic,

    "Theory depicts a world that does not quite exist, a world that is not quite the one we inhabit. ... An interval between the actual and the theoretical is crucial insofar as theory does not simply decipher the world, but recodes it in order to reveal something of the meanings and incoherencies with which we live. This is not simply to say that [we] describe reality abstractly. At [our] best, [we] conjure relations and meanings that illuminate the real or that help us recognize the real, but this occurs in grammars and formulations other than those of the real." (Wendy Brown, Walled States, Waning Sovereignty).

    I think Heidegger well realized the artefactual nature of philosophy - perhaps better than most - but mistook it for a mark of inadequacy rather than having acknowledged it for granting philosophy the power it would otherwise not have. It's one of the reasons why Heidegger is so utterly bereft of a sense of humour, and why the whole Heideggarian artifice feels like walking in a blackened, Gothic church, creaking with every step. As fantastic as he was a philosopher, it always feels he aimed to ultimately 'submit' philosophy to some kind of other (higher?) calling, and it comes off as though weighing down - like a weight attached to the ankle, as it were - the real and clearly discernable drive of philosophical creativity and vibrancy that courses through all of Heidegger. Heidegger makes philosophy feel like it ought to serve another master, than to buoy in its own autonomous beatitude. I find it a disquieting and ugly feeling.
  • frank
    2.8k
    Given the spirit of the quote itself, I am just opening the space up for reactions. Please let me know what all of this means to you, if anything.
    13h
    macrosoft

    I think he's riffing on the eye's inability to see itself. What does it mean to you?
  • macrosoft
    674
    I’ve yet to find anyone who can provide a concise definition of “dasein” given by Heidegger.I like sushi

    I'm no scholar, but my understanding is that one can just start with 'dasein' as individual human 'existence.' I often translate in my mind as I read to see what feels right. Sometimes it's being-there or being-here. In short you are dasein, I am dasein.

    In short he ignored the phenomenological experience and became absorbed with language. He tried to speak of the unspeakable - and obviously failed to do anything other than confuse and confound, or fool, people into believing they understood something unreached.I like sushi

    I'm glad you speak your mind here. I have wrestled with Heidegger for a long time now, going back and forth on whether he was over-rated. I'm now pretty settled that he was indeed great. I'm surprised you'd say that he ignored the phenomenological experience.
  • macrosoft
    674
    The fact that he uses the term “hermeneutics” means he’s focusing on “words” not thought.I like sushi

    What is this separation of words from thought, though? To me it seems that our thoughts only exist as words embedded in history. The realm outside of time seems to be exactly what Heidegger is breaking down. The future is roaring and screaming. We are the thrown open space in which it roars and screams. But we can also just get immersed in ordinarily life, forgetting our groundlessness/open-ness to this future as possibility, not as not-yet-present event on the time-line.
  • macrosoft
    674
    The problem there being he doesn’t tell the resder where he is going and pefers to prance around without meaning - or maybe I’m not giving myself credit enough for seeing something others may find hard to grasp? It is possible, as is the possiblilty I am so dim-witted that I missed the entire point of rambling on in a seemingly meaningless and obtuse manner?I like sushi

    I found my way in by tackling earlier works, lectures especially. The Ontology of Facticity is almost as clear as one could ask, given the non-trivial ideas it presents. Being and Time is a beast. Just like Hegel's Phenomenology, it's the most talked about and therefore the first book that one tends to sample. Both books are so crammed with content that they make huge demands on a reader just being introduced to a dense philosophy in a second language read in the light of a different historical context. But why do this, when lectures are available? Lectures in front of an audience impose a natural constraint on some of the run-away writerly tendencies of philosophers. There is also the first draft of Being and Time, a mere 100 pages, which is extremely accessible. I've read this one 4 or 5 times by now. Much of it I grasp completely, but there's still something that's not quite clear. The pieces don't yet gel together perfectly. Individually many of them have already made reading Heidegger well worth my time. I'd say give this one a try: The Concept of Time. The intro on Dilthey/Yorck really sets up what Heidegger is trying to do.
  • Wayfarer
    7.8k
    Life is sufficient to Itself, Ekhart already said. — K

    ‘Ekhart’ being....?
  • macrosoft
    674
    I've always had a profound distaste for this kind of 'mysterian' conception of philosophy - if I can call it that - which treats philosophy as though it were just some under-maintained half-way house to Deep Truth or what have youStreetlightX

    I can relate to that distaste. I can also see that Heidegger is right on the edge of that. IMV, he is outright rejecting deep/final truth, but clearly some kind of pure lifestream is functioning along those lines. The truth is just the open space that times, self-interpretively. If we are relentlessly pointed back to our own lifestream, however, I think 'truth' is the wrong word. In the above passage I read an acknowledgement/assessment that existence overflows its own self-interpretation. We can't not be open to the future. We are thrown open to a storm of possibility, unable to dominate our future selves, future interpretations. Yet this idea of ourselves as un-close-able spaces might itself be a stable conceptual truth, at least inasmuch as it signifies a mode that we can always be thrown into by a mood or a disaster.

    At its best, philosophy does always indeed 'point elsewhere', always feels like a matter of 'fore-running', like you've never quite grasped the so-called 'sense of the immediate'. But I think it is a deep and terrible mistake to confuse this feeling with the positivity of philosophy itself which is a self-consciously and actively joyful practice of artifice, of constructing visions that deliberately and wilfully abstract from the real all the better for us to orient ourselves within it.StreetlightX

    I can relate to this as well. It would be absurd if the quote above were to be applied to all of philosophy. Instead it strikes me as a very personal sense of what Heidegger could do with philosophy, what he was suited for. The Wendy Brown quote is great, and truly I see some strong similarity, though Brown's tone isn't grandiose and so earnestly romantic.

    It's one of the reasons why Heidegger is so utterly bereft of a sense of humour, and why the whole Heideggarian artifice feels like walking in a blackened, Gothic church, creaking with every step.StreetlightX

    I agree, with some exceptions here and there. This is why Sheehan's book is so appealing. He's worldly and funny, doing his best to cut through all the smoke and music. I'd love to hear what you think of it if you get a chance to check it out.
  • hks
    171
    For openers (a Poker term), Heidegger is somewhat narrow in his views in that in his book "Being And Time" he states that we can only be sure of our own existence.

    This is contrary to Modern British Empiricism in that the existence of others is a given since they can harm you or kill you.

    So Heidegger's thinking is flawed. Ergo he is easy to dismiss.

    I look for major flaws and then I dismiss the source. It is my method of doing philosophy.
  • macrosoft
    674
    Life is sufficient to Itself, Ekhart already said. — K

    This quote points to something that I like about phenomenology as a kind of 'spiritual' path . We don't need anything on some other side of life. We need more awareness of the life we already have. Or rather I (because ultimately no one can do my dying or living for me) prefer to look at what is closest to me and not really noticed. In some ways this is the boring old platitude of not taking for granted what it is to be alive. It's just that the right words bring what is exciting and beautiful about being human to the foreground. For me the quote suggests digging within ourselves, finding the right words for our heightened modes of being so that we can get there and stay there more easily. And there is also the joy in simultaneous exploration and creation. Reality-existence loves to talk about itself, loves to get to know itself. Phenomenology is just a radicalization or self-conscious embrace of speaking life's dialectical-hermeneutical aspect. For Heidegger and others with the same kind of personality, this is adventure and purpose enough for a life time, even in the context of mortality and groundlessness.
  • macrosoft
    674
    ↪macrosoft For openers (a Poker term), Heidegger is somewhat narrow in his views in that in his book "Being And Time" he states that we can only be sure of our own existence.

    This is contrary to Modern British Empiricism in that the existence of others is a given since they can harm you or kill you.

    So Heidegger's thinking is flawed. Ergo he is easy to dismiss.

    I look for major flaws and then I dismiss the source. It is my method of doing philosophy.
    hks

    Thanks for jumping in. Here's my take on your take.

    All thinkers are flawed, IMO. An idea I've been working on is that all explicit formulations 'must' be flawed because they are explicit. I won't drone on about it here, but I am coming from a perspective of semantic holism. In short, we can't do math with words. We try, again and again, and the nature of meaning defeats us again and again --if we can bear to look at it and don't just ignore the cracks in our explicit systems.

    I also wouldn't personally dream of dismissing a philosopher who had major flaws for that reason alone. I don't care if said philosopher is a fool 99% of the time. It's that 1% of genius that I'm looking for. A smart reader in my book is never looking for a intellectual idol to adopt wholesale. As we age, develop, and become more exposed and experienced, I think we start to judge books by our experience rather than our experience by books. And judging books this way, we can see what 'computes' and what might have just been the philosopher's idiosyncrasies. True for him, maybe, but not useful or true for us. For me or you, really, as individuals. I've never met two intensely thoughtful people who agree on everything.
  • macrosoft
    674
    he states that we can only be sure of our own existence.hks

    Btw, Heidegger hates all of that solipsism and prove-to-me-that-there-is-world junk. I'd say beware of making judgments especially on Heidegger without some serious investigation. I've done it before, and I ended up with my foot in my mouth. (But maybe this foot-in-mouth situation was educational.)
  • macrosoft
    674
    I think he's riffing on the eye's inability to see itself. What does it mean to you?frank

    The 'eye trying to see itself' does seem related.

    To me he's basically sketching one kind of heroic lifestyle. The phenomenologist described above as much poet as scientist. He is looking for the universal like a scientist, but he is looking for 'internal' or subjective universals. He wants to say the name of that which times and worlds. And yet know name sticks. This is clear. So he wants better and better namings of it, for a more intense life ultimately. Something like negative theology comes to mind. IMV, the incarnation myth runs through German philosophy (blatantly there in the texts). But this incarnation has a Luciferian edge (which is one way to make sense of Heidegger becoming a Nazi, having at one time called himself a Christian theologian in letter). To me Heidegger is not far from Nietzsche in his sense that words are never quite true. In Heidegger I see the anti-Platonic quest for pure becoming. Being itself is dissolved in the rush of time. In the quote, the hero gives himself to this rush of time, seeks the less-wrong-name of this dark god, the better to give himself to this rush of time, this future as splintered possibility. The light of the future also lights up our groundlessness. And giving oneself to the future is like consenting to die in order to really live.

    Granted all of this is tangled together, but I find it tangled together in Heidegger. I'm still sorting it out in the light of my own life and what I can do with.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k
    rambling on in a seemingly meaningless and obtuse mannerI like sushi

    You're actually more kind to him that I am.
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k
    The pieces don't yet gel together perfectly. Individually many of them have already made reading Heidegger well worth my time. I'd say give this one a try: The Concept of Time. The intro on Dilthey/Yorck really sets up what Heidegger is trying to do.macrosoft

    Looking at info about The Concept of Time on Amazon, it doesn't seem any more coherent than anything else Heidegger wrote.

    Someone quotes Heidegger saying:

    "“If time finds its meaning in eternity, then it must be understood starting from eternity. The point of departure and path of this inquiry are thereby indicated in advance: from eternity to time… If our access to God is faith and if involving oneself with eternity is nothing other than this faith, then philosophy will never have eternity… Philosophy can never be relieved of this perplexity. The theologian, then, is the legitimate expert on time."

    That's a complete mess.

    Just for example, "If x 'finds its meaning in' y, then x must be understood starting from y"? Aside from problems with the idea of "finds its meaning in," which seems to be ignorant of how meaning actually works, the logical structure of the conditional seems like a complete non-sequitur.

    How about this sentence:

    "Philosophy will never get to the root of what history is so long as it analyses history as an object of contemplation for method."

    What sort of gobbledygook is that? "History as an object of contemplation for method"?? What in the world is that supposed to be saying?
  • frank
    2.8k
    To me he's basically sketching one kind of heroic lifestyle.macrosoft

    Remember Plato has Socrates say that every philosopher's greatest wish is to die so as to gain a vantage point on life in this world. There is no such vantage point from within it. Existentialism provides no fix for that, but it focuses on that which is (in a sense) most real.

    As soon as we begin to speak, we're already in a reflective state, dismantling that which exists united. So as I speak now, I appear to conjure up some world beyond our grasp. As Heidegger mentioned, it's not far away. There's nothing closer.
  • macrosoft
    674
    Remember Plato has Socrates say that every philosopher's greatest wish is to die so as to gain a vantage point on life in this world. There is no such vantage point from within it. Existentialism provides no fix for that, but it focuses on that which is (in a sense) most real.frank

    Yes, well said. As I see it, an anti-philosophy embraces this life, forgoing the vantage point of the dead. On the other hand, Heidegger too puts death at a central place. It's the contemplation of our own death that reveals our groundlessness and terrible freedom. It's this life that we start from and must live from, in this world (in our time in its glory and stupidity). In short, the hero presented is an anti-escapist. Incarnation. Mortal. Thrown open like those arms nailed in an exaggerated and fearsome hug of what is, like it or not.

    As soon as we begin to speak, we're already in a reflective state, dismantling that which exists united. So as I speak now, I appear to conjure up some world beyond our grasp. As Heidegger mentioned, it's not far away. There's nothing closer.frank

    This is not far from Sheehan's take on Heidegger. We are the thrown-open hermenuetical space, condemned to find the world always already meaningful and always already being re-interpreted. If Sheehan is right, then Heidegger is himself close to Hegel. The difference would be that Hegel was (apparently) too mechanical in his interpretation of the mind (too obsessed with logic and explicitness, underrating poetic acts of disclosure and missing the phenomenon of world.) Then there is the formalism of Hegel (The Logic). But the notion of experience turning back interpretively on itself in very much in Hegel, along with an attainment of the self-consciousness of this process. Heidegger's work would be one more piece of that self-consciousness.
  • macrosoft
    674
    "“If time finds its meaning in eternity, then it must be understood starting from eternity. The point of departure and path of this inquiry are thereby indicated in advance: from eternity to time… If our access to God is faith and if involving oneself with eternity is nothing other than this faith, then philosophy will never have eternity… Philosophy can never be relieved of this perplexity. The theologian, then, is the legitimate expert on timeTerrapin Station

    I found that book dry at first, but then I started to get it. The basic approach of philosophy has been theological. It always reaches for something outside time, something eternal. 'True' being is constant. Heidegger was speaking to theologians in that lecture, so he was being polite. He was trying to finally separate philosophy from theology and being from timelessness. Some have even tried to sum him up with 'being is time.' But, as any good Hegelian knows, such pithy summaries are more deceptive than informative. The truth is not the naked result but the result along with its becoming. Heidegger later in that book does sketch Dasein ,being-in-the-world, clock time, etc. In many ways, the gist of B&T is already there without argument supporting it, since he was just indicating current research.

    A final note: that's a pretty great translation. But really you should probably look at the other text called The Concept of Time. * --if, that is, you want justifications of the theses hinted at in the 'ur-B&T' you are looking at.

    *https://www.amazon.com/Concept-Time-Contemporary-European-Thinkers/dp/144110562X
  • Terrapin Station
    10.6k
    But really you should probably look at the other text called The Concept of Time.macrosoft

    There are two texts called The Concept of Time?
  • macrosoft
    674
    What sort of gobbledygook is that? "History as an object of contemplation for method"?? What in the world is that supposed to be saying?Terrapin Station

    Stress the word object and method. In short, Heidegger thought the standard approach to history was shallow. One of his big themes is a taken-for-granted method that is doomed from the get-go. Our initial grasp is crucial. Again and again I find this kind of insight in Heidegger. It's that blind first step, what we think is obvious, that blinds us. This is what dismantling the tradition is all about. It's the attempt to take off the blinders we didn't know we were wearing. We thought they were just part of our own human seeing. We have, in short, contingency mistaken for necessity.
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