• fdrake
    2.4k
    This is why I asked the question. In my experience there are not a whole hell of a lot of Frege fans who aim to crush Heidegger on his fascism/psychopathy. Generally in my experience analytics tend to crush him on his language: accusations of obscurantism, pretentiousness, and emptiness. The cottage industry of crushing all of Heidegger and his disciples, just in my experience, comes from folks in literary and political theory.John Doe

    This makes sense. I'm not involved in philosophy research or their soirees, so my exposure is mostly to 'He's a Nazi' rather than 'look how poorly he writes'.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    822

    Not just a sympathizer. In fact, Heidegger was a member of the Nazi party, and remained a party member until the end of the war, when the party was dissolved. Not that it really matters, of course.
  • Arkady
    762

    That so much of philosophy seems to center around exegesis of texts, interpretation, and focus on individuals as opposed to actual ideas does not speak well of it, in my humble opinion. Perhaps so much of philosophy seems unable to get off the ground because we're still trying to figure out just what Heidegger, Kant, Wittgenstein, and others were saying, never mind the merits of what they were saying.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    I think that something remarkable once said, and even well said, by some generally becomes unremarkable when said by others years later, especially when said in a manner requiring explanation.Ciceronianus the White

    Ah. And with this you've completed, in one thread, all three of the stages James believed made up the typical reaction of those hostile to a theory.

    First, you know, a new theory is attacked as absurd; then it is admitted to be true, but obvious and insignificant; finally it is seen to be so important that its adversaries claim that they themselves discovered it — William James
  • Ciceronianus the White
    822

    Not so. I quite agreed with what fdrake said Heidegger said. I suppose it can be said I thought H's use of language as quoted absurd, but I certainly haven't said I discovered his arcane vocabulary.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    822

    It makes one wonder, doesn't it? Specifically, of what worth are the interpretations made? To what extent do they accurately reflect what the philosopher intended to say, and to what extent do they merely state what we hope was said? I don't think Wittgenstein ever wrote anything but the Tractatus, so I don't think we can "blame" him if the other works attributed to him are unclear (they're his students notes, as I understand it). Not that the Tractatus is a model of clarity, being rather gnomic.
  • csalisbury
    1.8k
    nah the james quote is remarkably dead-on
  • Fooloso4
    856
    Can someone’s philosophy be separate from what he or she does? In once sense it can in so far as I appropriate it and make it my own, but in another sense what one says and what one does are two sides of the same coin. It is sometimes difficult to reconcile how, for example, one can make beautiful music and be a cruel person, but this is not the same as how we are to evaluate someone’s words in the face of what they do.

    Heidegger speaks of “hearkening to Being”. Is Being silent with regard to our treatment of other people or is Heidegger deaf to their plight or is there something morally vacuous about such talk of hearkening, clearing, presencing, and alethia? Are we to accept with open arms whatever destining brings forth?

    What does it mean to encounter Others “from out of the world”? What is the “environment”? If one’s world is Nazi-Germany does one encounter Aryans as Others like oneself and non-aryans as something else? Is it given to us to regard them in this historically determined way? He says in a paragraph preceding the one quoted:

    They are rather those from whom, for the most part, one does not distinguish oneself -those among whom one is too. — B & T
  • Ciceronianus the White
    822
    nah the james quote is remarkably dead-oncsalisbury
    Q.E.D.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    822
    And is it really so hard to acknowledge this fact without getting bogged down in the almost totally undisputed fact that the man was an absolute monster.John Doe
    It seems there are monsters, and then there are monsters. Some monsters are not monsters when they're not being monsters. Perhaps it depends on whether they're encountered in the world, or out of it.
  • Joshs
    712
    "Almost totally undisputed fact".
    The fact and its interpretation are two different things.
    "Is there anything here to cause a scandal? No, except in those
    places where too little interest is taken in other, more rigorous and
    more difficult work. I am thinking of the work of those who,
    especially in France, know the majority of these "facts" and these
    "texts," who condemn unequivocally both Heidegger's Nazism and
    his silence after the war, but who are also seeking to think beyond
    conventional and comfortable schemas, and precisely to understand.
    Understand what? Well, that which ensures or does not
    ensure an immediate passage, according to some mode or other of
    the aforementioned "translation," between the Nazi engagement,
    in whatever form, and what is most essential, acute, and sometimes
    most difficult in a work that continues and will continue to give
    cause for thinking.
    Why does this hideous archive seem so unbearable and fascinating?
    Precisely because no one has ever been able to reduce the
    whole work of Heidegger's thought to that of some Nazi ideologue.
    This "record" would be of little interest otherwise. For more than a
    half century, no rigorous philosopher has been able to avoid an
    "explanation" with Heidegger. How can one
    deny that? Why deny that so many "revolutionary," audacious, and
    troubling works of the twentieth century have ventured into or
    even committed themselves to regions that, according to a philosophy
    which is confident of its liberal and leftist-democratic humanism,
    are haunted by the diabolical? Instead of erasing or trying to
    forget it, must one not try to account for this experience, which is
    to say, for our age? And without believing that all of this is already
    clear for us? Is not the task, the duty, and in truth the only new or
    interesting thing to try to recognize the analogies and the possibilities
    of rupture between, on the one hand, what is called Nazism, that
    enormous, plural, differentiated continent whose roots are still
    obscure-and, on the other hand, a Heideggerian thinking that is
    also multiple and that, for a long time to come, will remain
    provocative, enigmatic, still to be read? "
    Jacques Derrida
  • Ciceronianus the White
    822
    We can be grateful to Derrida for demonstrating that resort to a special vocabulary isn't a prerequisite for obscurity.
  • Dan123
    63
    Can someone’s philosophy be separate from what he or she does?Fooloso4

    From Heidegger's perspective, and if I am granted some interpretive lee-way, "one's philosophy" is one's 'understanding of Being', the a priori grasp of the ways in which one is always-already situated and attuned within the lived-contexts into which one is thrown. I think when Zizek speaks of Ideology, this is his core most basic thought.

    Though we should be careful and make a distinction, at least a prima facie one, between 'liking', studying, and being fascinated by a particular idea, concept or branch of philosophy, verses living in and through a philosophy. And in the latter, I think we might still be able to make a distinction between deliberately and explicitly ascribing oneself to a philosophy as a normative compass for living, and already-finding oneself operating according to a framework of meaning that pervades and structures one's life. So think a threefold distinction between, for example, liking Nietzsche's Ubermensch over Heidegger's Dasein, deliberately following a new list of moral axioms upon being convinced to live and treat people in such and such a way, and already living as a traditional paternal, authoritative figure in relation to one's family and home environment.
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