• philosophy
    65
    Note: I am not a Heidegger scholar and have only recently started reading his work.

    In Being and Time, Heidegger raises the question of the meaning of Being, a question he believes has hitherto been forgotten by philosophers.

    What I am confused about is whether, in raising this question, Heidegger is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality, or rather (merely) with the reality of the human experience/condition. That is to say, is Heidegger concerned with what reality is like, in the sense that a physicist can be said to be, or is he concerned with what it is like to be a human being, more in the sense that an existentialist can be said to be?

    Prior to reading sections of Being and Time, I assumed that the work was concerned with the fundamental nature of reality. Yet, the book is written exclusively from the standpoint, or perspective, of the human being (''Dasein''). It seems, then, that whilst Heidegger can tell us a lot about what it is like to be a human being, he cannot tell us what reality itself is like?

    I understand that Heidegger focuses on the human being since the human being is the only being for whom their being is an issue for it, and hence an inquiry into human being, i.e. what it is like to be a human being, presumably lends us insight into Being itself?
  • Joshs
    712
    " It seems, then, that whilst Heidegger can tell us a lot about what it is like to be a human being, he cannot tell us what reality itself is like?"
    Heidegger argues that precisely because science derives from the way of being-in-the-world of humans, the question of what reality is like in itself is incoherent. That is why he always puts the word reality in square quotes. For me the most interesting part of Being and Time is the way Heidegger derives the kind of thinking that founded the basis of modern science in logical causality and objectivity.
    He shows how objectivity derives from propositional sentences, and this type of assertion is a modification of a more primordial form of thinking. The problem is that for so long people have mistaken objectivity as the primordial access to truth, and thus miss what is essential about understanding, truth, meaning, being., which is that objectivity is only a modified derivative of our relating to the world in terms of the way it always has significance for, matters to, is relevant for us, in actual contexts of interaction with it.
  • philosophy
    65


    Thanks for your answer.

    Heidegger's account, then, seems to lead to a certain subjectivism that undermines science. The scientist claims that he is describing the world as it is, and the great success of his theories/predictions in the empirical world would suggest that science is not merely describing the world as it appears to human beings but as it really is.

    Take Heidegger's account of time. We know that this account differs from that of modern physics, specifically Einstein's special relativity, which treats space and time not as distinct entities (as Kant had assumed) but as combined, thus creating a four-dimensional world. Thus, the physicist would argue that Heidegger's account of time is flawed. I suspect Heidegger would reply that the physicist has conflated a mathematical model for how human beings experience the world, and these are two different things. In other words, one can accept the physicists' account of spacetime and accept Heidegger's account of how human beings experience time. But this is nevertheless to concede that there is a scientific view of the world and an ''existentialist'' view (I use quotation marks there as I am aware that Heidegger rejected that label) concerned with human experience.
  • Joshs
    712


    Hiedegger rejects both objectivism and subjectivism. He's not saying the world is a construction of mind. He unravels the traditional notion of the subject, the ego, consciousness ans well as the empirical object.

    "One can accept the physicists' account of space-time and accept Heidegger's account of how human beings experience time. But this is nevertheless to concede that there is a scientific view of the world and an ''existentialist'' view (I use quotation marks there as I am aware that Heidegger rejected that label) concerned with human experience."

    Heidegger doesn't say a scientific account of time, or anything else, is wrong. He says it rests on presuppositions(I'm not just talking about specific mathematics models but fundamental metaphysical presuppositions) that physicists ,a t least till recently, aren't aware underlie their understanding of the pre-conditions of objective description. You , for example, are talking about reality here as something 'out there' independent of accounts of it, and thus scientific truth is aimed at a correspondence or mirroring of what is out there with our constructions of it.
    This is called the correspondence theory of truth. It is a older explanatory worldview of what science does. More recent interpretations of science view empirical truth not ass correspondence but as pragamtic interaction. Science doesnt match some supposed reality sitting out there independent of us, it interacts with it in ways that are useful to us. In this account knowledge isnt correspondence, it is transformation.


    Some quotes from Heidegger:

    "Of course, the question of "being-in-
    time" is exciting, but it was also raised prematurely. The question is
    exciting specifically with regard to natural science, especially with the
    advent of Einstein's theory of relativity, which established the opinion
    that traditional philosophical doctrine concerning time has been shaken
    to the core through the theory of physics. However, this widely held
    opinion is fundamentally wrong. The theory of relativity in physics does
    not deal with what time is but deals only with how time, in the sense of
    a now-sequence, can be measured. [It asks] whether there is an absolute
    measurement of time, or whether all measurement is necessarily relative,
    that is, conditioned.* The question of the theory of relativity could not
    be discussed at all unless the supposition of time as the succession of
    a sequence of nows were presupposed beforehand. If the doctrine of
    time, held since Aristotle, were to become untenable, then the very
    possibility of physics would be ruled out. [The fact that] physics, with
    its horizon of measuring time, deals not only with irreversible events,
    but also with reversible ones and that the direction of time is reversible
    attests specifically to the fact that in physics time is nothing else than the
    succession of a sequence of nows. This is maintained in such a decisive
    manner that even the sense of direction in the sequence can become
    a matter of indifference."

    "If you ask a physicist, he
    will tell you that the pure now-sequence is the authentic, true time. What
    we call datability and significance are regarded as subjective vagueness,
    if not sentimentalism. He says this because time measured physically can
    be calculated "objectively" at any time. This calculation is "objectively"
    binding. (Here, "objective" merely means "for anyone," and indeed only
    for anyone who can submit himself to the physicist's way of representing
    nature. For an African tribesman, such time would be absolute nonsense.)
    The presupposition or supposition of such an assertion by a physicist
    is that physics as a science is the authoritative form of knowledge and
    that only through the knowledge of physics can one gain a rigorous,
    scientific knowledge. Hidden behind [this presupposition] is a specific interpretation
    of science along with the science's claim that a specific form
    of viewing nature should be authoritative for every kind of knowledge.
    [The scientist has not asked] what this idea of science itself is founded
    upon nor what it presupposes. For instance, if we talk about time with
    a physicist sworn in favor of his science, there is no basis whatsoever to
    talk about these phenomena in an unbiased way. The physicist refuses to


    "In physics, a theory is proposed and then tested by experiments to see
    whether their results agree with the theory. The only thing demonstrated
    is the correspondence of the experimental results to the theory. It is
    not demonstrated that the theory is simply the knowledge of nature.
    The experiment and the result of the experiment do not extend beyond
    the framework of the theory. They remain within the area delineated
    by the theory. The experiment is not considered in regard to its correspondence
    to nature, but to what was posited by the theory. What is
    posited by the theory is the projection of nature according to scientific
    representations, for instance, those of Galileo.
    Yet today even pioneers in physics are trying to clarify the inherent
    limitations of physics. It is still questionable whether physics, as a matter
    of principle, will ever succeed in doing this."

    "The projection of nature in natural science was enacted by human beings.
    This makes it [a result of] human comportment. Question: What aspect
    of the human being appears in the projection of things moving through
    space and time in law-governed fashion? What character does Galileo's
    projection of nature have? For instance, in the case of the falling apple,
    Galileo's interest was neither in the apple, nor in the tree from which
    it fell, but only in the measurable distance of the fall. He, therefore,
    supposed a homogeneous space in which a point of mass moves and falls
    in conformity to law.
    What then does Galileo accept in his supposition? He accepts without question:
    space, motion, time, and causality.
    What does it mean to say—I accept something like space? I accept that
    there is something like space and, even more, that I have a relationship
    to space and time. This acceptio* is not arbitrary, but contains necessary
    relationships to space, time, and causality in which I stand. Otherwise I
    could not reach for a glass on the table. No one can experiment with
    these [a priori] assumptions. That there is space is not a proposition of
    physics. What kind of proposition is it? What does it indicate about the
    human being that such suppositions are possible for him? It indicates
    that he finds himself comported to space, time, and causality from the
    beginning. We stand before phenomena, which require us to become
    aware of them and to receive-perceive them in an appropriate manner.

    "It is no longer up to the physicist, but only to the philosopher to say
    something about what is accepted in this way. These assumptions are out
    of reach for the natural sciences, but at the same time they are the very
    foundation for the very possibility of the natural sciences themselves."

    "At the beginning of our last seminar our question was: What does
    "nature" mean to modern natural science? We called upon Kant for
    its determination. He gave us the definition: Nature is the conformity
    to the law of phenomena. This is a strange proposition. Why have we
    bothered to ask about "nature" in the natural sciences at all? Because
    natural science does not expressly think about this determination of
    nature. Galileo developed this projection of nature for the first time. In
    doing so, did he simply make a "presupposition" ? What
    kind of presupposition would it be? It is a supposition .
    What is the difference between a presupposition made to reach logical
    conclusions and a supposition? The difference is that we can derive
    something else from logical presuppositions through inferences—that
    a logical relationship exists between presupposition and conclusion. In
    contrast, in a supposition, the scientific approach to a specific domain
    is grounded in what is supposed. Here we are not dealing with a logical
    relationship, but with an ontological relationship.
    To what does modern natural science make its supposition? As a
    natural scientific observer, Galileo disregarded the tree, the apple, and
    the ground in observing the fall of the apple. He saw only a point of
    mass falling from one location in space to another location in space in
    law-governed fashion. In the sense of natural science, "nature" is the
    supposition for the tree, the apple, and the meadow. According to this
    supposition, nature is understood only as the law-governed movement
    of points of mass, that is, as changes in location within a homogeneous
    space and within the sequence of a homogeneous time. This is natural
    science's supposition.
    In this supposition, that is, in this assumption of "nature" determined
    accordingly, there lies simultaneously an acceptio. In such a supposition,
    the existence of space, motion, causality, and time is always already accepted
    as an unquestionable fact. Here accepting and taking mean immediate
    receiving-perceiving. What is accepted in natural science's supposition
    is a homogeneous space."
  • karl stone
    430
    "The theory of relativity in physics does not deal with what time is but deals only with how time, in the sense of a now-sequence, can be measured. [It asks] whether there is an absolute measurement of time, or whether all measurement is necessarily relative, that is, conditioned."

    Heidegger is completely wrong abut relativity in general, and space time in particular. Spacetime is a physical reality that is distorted by gravity. This is evident on earth, where two atomic clocks run differently, where one is at sea level, and the other is in plane flying 30,000 feet above. This is called 'time dilation' - and it's a scientifically proven phenomenon.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_dilation

    It's a genuine shame a mind as fertile as Heidegger's could not accept the reality staring him in the face. Sadly, this is not an isolated example. This kind of attack on science has to end:

    "In physics, a theory is proposed and then tested by experiments to see whether their results agree with the theory. The only thing demonstrated is the correspondence of the experimental results to the theory. It is not demonstrated that the theory is simply the knowledge of nature. The experiment and the result of the experiment do not extend beyond the framework of the theory. They remain within the area delineated by the theory. The experiment is not considered in regard to its correspondence to nature,Joshs

    The two atomic clocks do not differ because of the theory that they should, but because of the difference in altitude. It is the physical reality that is tested. Theory is a variable - upheld or destroyed by the experimental results. These pernicious, or perhaps merely self deluding metaphysical philosophers bring us within sight of our extinction. If we do not recognize the significance of scientific truth now - a sustainable future will soon be impossible.
  • Joshs
    712
    Maybe you should take up the issue with Lee Smolen , who recognizes the dependence of physics on its own worldview(Heisenberg recognized this too), and argues that the presuppositions that have dominated the field concerning the understanding of time are holding it back.
    His argument for giving time a core postilion in physics as it has has in evolutionary biology sounds a bit like Heidegger.
  • karl stone
    430
    Maybe you should take up the issue with Lee Smolen , who recognizes the dependence of physics on its own worldview(Heisenberg recognized this too), and argues that the presuppositions that have dominated the field concerning the understanding of time are holding it back.
    His argument for giving time a core postilion in physics as it has has in evolutionary biology sounds a bit like Heidegger.
    Joshs

    Do you have any quotes, sources or examples? I'm unwilling to take your word for what someone else said. I can't really engage with that. I've heard of Smolen, but I can't place his work.

    Heisenberg is a quantum physicist - and I have serious concerns about the entire field; particularly - I'm not at all confident that there's anything fundamental to be discovered at the sub atomic and quantum level - and downright dismissive of the notion that those mechanics, or lack thereof - can be imported into the macroscopic world we inhabit.

    I'm not a physicist - I'm a philosopher, but I rather suspect that the seat of reality is the middle ground we inhabit, and quantum physics is looking at the frayed edge of reality - on the border between something and nothing. It's the very loss of existential properties like velocity or location that underlie indeterminacy in quantum physics, that lead me to posit this idea. I accept it occurs, I just don't accept it's fundamental indeterminacy. It's frayed edge indeterminacy.

    With regard to Kant and Nietzsche - I think they're both ridiculous. Their work is unreadable, and that's an entirely deliberate mystification. I have a rule - if you invented a new word to explain what you mean, or indeed, are apt to lapse into Latin at the drop of a petasum then you favour obscurity over clarity, because you're wrong or you're lying.
  • tim wood
    2.8k
    and downright dismissive of the notion that those mechanics, or lack thereof - can be imported into the macroscopic world we inhabit.karl stone
    I'm not a physicist - I'm a philosopher,karl stone
    When you say you're a philosopher, what do mean by that? What is it that you understand a philosopher to be?

    To say that quantum mechanic doesn't work or doesn't apply in the world of the big is simply to say you do not know what you're talking about. Real philosophers, it seems to me, attempt to know when they don't know, and as well not to talk nonsense. I'd add the further constraint that real philosophers get paid for their work in philosophy, but while that is indicative, it is not conclusive.
  • Gary M Washburn
    23
    Relativity is “bent”. It brings to mind the use of that word in C S Lewis. But relativity still holds time to be a continuum, a dimension. Physicists, like all other sciences, begins by isolating a variable in a context of what can be assumed constant. Philosophy has no right to do so. Indeed, it is thhe abiding task of philosophy to root out all presumption, and to do so wholesale. A philosophical proof is a very different matter from a scientific one. In fact, philosophy itself has yet to come to grips with this. Heidegger, like virtually all others in the field (if there are any exceptions I know only of Socrates) is hell bent on finding something that is is as the meaning of time. But time is anything but what is. What is most real is the departure time is. What remains is only responsibility of recognizing the worth of the departed. The possibility of that response, as the recognizableness of that worth, is what realness is. And the act of recognizing it is the most completed act of reason and what consciousness is. There is something personal that time is. Science can only count its periodicity. But there can be no such count of a completeness so real as the worth of the departed. Nor can that response completing its being real be self-contained or anticipated. It cannot be “authentic” or “resolute”. By the way, Heidegger can never have seen the inside of a blacksmith's shop if he thinks the hammer teaches the metal anything. Even a cursory glance at a blacksmith's practice demonstrates the material is the teacher, not the mind. The notion of mind over matter, the idea that god teaches the mind and acts in the world through the mind's imposition of a divine design onto the material of the world, is pure Calvinism, which is really the whole source and essence of Heidegger. But if time is the moment of departure, imparting a responsibility of recognizing the worth of the departed upon all that remains capable of responding in the act of that recognition, then there is a dramatic-dialectic between that act of departure and that response of realizing its worth in which the logical qualifier supersedes the quantifier, and does so as its most rigorous term. The question then is, how much does that moment of differing from the continuity of time, as the most rigorous term of that continuity, have to be of superseding worth to that quantifiable quantity for it to be more real? Even to be more what realness is?

    String Theory is a frantic effort to save the quantifier from the chaos of unformed matter at the smallest reaches of our commitment to quantifying it. We are hard put to concede our unjustified commitment to find being something that is, rather than the dynamic between departure and recognition. But that dynamic is a logic of contrariety, not contradiction. That is, the fundamentals of geometry, mathematics, and logic are, in real terms, hopelessly incomplete. Their only completeness is in that contrariety in which contraries, each as capable of being the departed as being the response recognized the worth of that departed, form a community as opposed to the continuity of its antecedent terms as to each other in that capacity for worthiness and love. You cannot isolate any jot or tittle of that drama to be confirmed scientifically. And yet it is the only explanation of how we can be capable of sharing our thoughts. Explains, too, why language always comes into being fully grown. Not lexically, but grammatically, and most surely dramatically. This, because time is personal, but so far from divine as to be gloriously profane.

    Don't get Kant? Doesn't fill me with a lot of confidence on the claim of being a philosopher. He was probably the most lucid author ever, save, maybe, for trivial ones like Jaspers, Camus, or Thoreau.
  • fdrake
    2.4k
    What I am confused about is whether, in raising this question, Heidegger is concerned with the fundamental nature of reality, or rather (merely) with the reality of the human experience/condition. That is to say, is Heidegger concerned with what reality is like, in the sense that a physicist can be said to be, or is he concerned with what it is like to be a human being, more in the sense that an existentialist can be said to be?philosophy

    A distinction I'd like to highlight is between experiential temporality and time. Heidegger's analysis in Being and Time links three fundamental aspects of human experience (which he calls existentialia): projection, thrown-ness and fallen-ness.

    Projection: expectation/anticipation of what is to come; the temporal modality of the experiential future / futurity.

    Thrown-ness: your life history insofar as it is relevant to your currently lived situation; the temporal modality of the experiential past / historicality.

    Fallen-ness: the understanding of your currently lived situation: the temporal modality of the experiential present / presence.

    These different components are always active; one's expectations are mediated through your understanding of the present and constrained by what you have lived until now. Their joint function is called ekstasis, which embeds every human in their lived experience by providing the contours for the past, present and future. The three modalities co-implicate, projection requires an understood past and an uncertain future, thrown-ness requires anticipated consequences from understood actions, fallen-ness requires understanding of what may be through what has already been; so the three are aspects of one unitary phenomenon, existential temporality or temporalising ekstasis. This temporality is more similar to the development of a narrative in a story rather than the unfolding of events over time as measured by a stop-watch.

    The later Heidegger, after what's called the kehre or the turn, changes his emphasis from existential temporality to a notion of unfolding. His motivating questions are no longer asked from the perspective of a human; a methodology which the earlier Heidegger strongly adopts - he's trying to get at Being as what underlays Being-in-the-world, and stops at existential temporality in Division 2 of Being and Time; now the notion of unfolding places humans alongside the world, now the becoming of nature and the existential temporality of humans are seen as equally foundational questions for ontology.

    This change in questioning style changes the fundamental topic of analysis from the human/Dasein to the event/ereignis, Being itself is given a more active interpretation - it arrests/appropriates humans to it. The shift in emphasis changes the subject of interpretation from a socially/culturally/experientially conditioned understanding of being distinct from nature to one where human being spans social/cultural/experiential structures and patterns extrinsic to human being which nevertheless can constrain us and our experiences - what was extrinsic can become embedded.

    Why Heidegger makes the methodological decision to frame his analysis after the kehre in terms of poetry and somewhat mystical categorisations of nature and culture (earth/sky and mortals/divinities respectively), I don't have much of a clue. The reliance on the interpretation of art in his pursuit of these questions might be related to how he thinks technology occludes/transforms our essential relationship with nature, but I don't have enough knowledge to pursue the exegesis here further.
  • karl stone
    430
    When you say you're a philosopher, what do mean by that? What is it that you understand a philosopher to be? I'd add the further constraint that real philosophers get paid for their work in philosophy, but while that is indicative, it is not conclusive.tim wood

    Do you not know what the word philosopher means? You've got google - look it up! REAL philosophers get paid - do they? Okay then. Socrates wasn't a philosopher! Funnily enough, that's what the town elders thought - only, history doesn't record their names.

    To say that quantum mechanic doesn't work or doesn't apply in the world of the big is simply to say you do not know what you're talking about. Real philosophers, it seems to me, attempt to know when they don't know, and as well not to talk nonsense.tim wood

    To quote Richard Feynman, if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics. I don't - but I do understand the philosophy of science, and I'm not willing to accept that Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is a relevant factor, or that it applies to macroscopic phenomena. This desperate latching onto quantum mechanics by every crackpot metaphysical hack makes my skin crawl.
  • Joshs
    712
    "The shift in emphasis changes the subject of interpretation from a socially/culturally/experientially conditioned understanding of being distinct from nature to one where human being spans social/cultural/experiential structures and patterns extrinsic to human being which nevertheless can constrain us and our experiences - what was extrinsic can become embedded"
    Not sure I follow this. I don't see Heidegger allowing for a conditioning model of social shaping in his earlier work.
  • fdrake
    2.4k
    Not sure I follow this. I don't see Heidegger allowing for a conditioning model of social shaping in his earlier work.Joshs

    Explicit analysis of social structure would be more similar to anthropology, which Heidegger takes care to distinguish the aims of his inquiry from. However, he does care a lot about sociality and how the experiential world is natively occupied by other people; being-with as an existentialia. He cares less about the (ontic) specifics of social organisation and more about what it is about humans that grounds (ontological) our capacity for social organisation. We're shaped by others in the account, through discourse and das-man, and this capacity to be shaped by others is a fundamental moving part in the account of Being and Time; distinguishing inauthentic expectation from authentic anticipation, distinguishing being-toward-death from fleeing into the-they/discourse, and partially constitutes fallen-ness in its linguistic/normative aspect.
  • tim wood
    2.8k
    To quote Richard Feynman, if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics. I don't - but I do understand the philosophy of science, and I'm not willing to accept that Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is a relevant factor, or that it applies to macroscopic phenomena. This desperate latching onto quantum mechanics by every crackpot metaphysical hack makes my skin crawl.karl stone
    Mine too, but there's is merely misuse.

    When you say you're a philosopher, what do mean by that? What is it that you understand a philosopher to be? I'd add the further constraint that real philosophers get paid for their work in philosophy, but while that is indicative, it is not conclusive.
    — tim wood

    Do you not know what the word philosopher means? You've got google - look it up! REAL philosophers get paid - do they? Okay then. Socrates wasn't a philosopher! Funnily enough, that's what the town elders thought - only, history doesn't record their names.
    karl stone

    And here. I asked you a question, one that only you could answer - and you took care to avoid answering it.
  • karl stone
    430
    To quote Richard Feynman, if you think you understand quantum mechanics, you don't understand quantum mechanics. I don't - but I do understand the philosophy of science, and I'm not willing to accept that Heisenberg's uncertainty principle is a relevant factor, or that it applies to macroscopic phenomena. This desperate latching onto quantum mechanics by every crackpot metaphysical hack makes my skin crawl. — karl stone

    Mine too, but there's is merely misuse.tim wood

    "There's" means - there is! "Theirs" means belonging to them! But forget that. Let's talk about quantum mechanics and the philosophy of science!

    And here. I asked you a question, one that only you could answer - and you took care to avoid answering it.tim wood

    I don't accept this is a question, per se:

    When you say you're a philosopher, what do mean by that? What is it that you understand a philosopher to be? I'd add the further constraint that real philosophers get paid for their work in philosophy, but while that is indicative, it is not conclusive.karl stone

    It's a snide remark. What was to be gained from answering as if it were an honest question? Let's see.

    By 'I'm a philosopher' I mean to say I constantly engage with philosophical questions - and do so in relation to all the other questions I've engaged with, in order to develop a coherent understanding of reality, I hope can be useful to others. I'm never not doing philosophy. I am a philosopher. It's not a job - it's a vocation.
  • fdrake
    2.4k


    The thread's clearly supposed to be about Heidegger exegesis and criticism, specifically about the relationship of his account in Being and Time to nature. While there is a relationship to physics (which Josh provided uncommented quotes for and perpetuated the myth that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle has anything to do with uncertainty rooted in perspectival variation), the ontology of nature, and how scientific understanding constrains and enables metaphysical speculation, your discussion isn't really on any of these topics.
  • Joshs
    712
    "We're shaped by others in the account, through discourse and das-man, and this capacity to be shaped by others is a fundamental moving part in the account of Being and Time."

    The question is what does it mean to be 'shaped by others'. The characteristic of of inauthentic being-with as average everydayness (das man, curiosity, idle talk, etc) is that one thinks of oneself as being shaped in the sense of falling prey to the world. Idle talk is generic, one 'means the same thing'.
    But there's a difference between how one understands oneself inauthentically and the primordial existential basis of average everydayness. Similarly, in the mode of the present-to-hand , one asserts logical propositions which most on this forum(Karl Stone, for example) think of as 'objectivity,and don't realize derive from a more primordial mode of understanding.In other words, what we think were doing (inauthentic comportment) and what we're actually doing(in a primordial sense) are two different things.
    We think that we are simply conditioned and shaped by our social environment, but we miss the underlying circumspectival basis of our being-in-the-world. Normativity is an assumption based in inauthentic being-in-the-world, but deconstructs itself ontologically.
  • Joshs
    712
    "Heidegger is hell bent on finding something that is is as the meaning of time. But time is anything but what is." Heidegger doesn't construe time as a static meaning. He understands it as temporality: not a thing but transit and transformation itself.

    Temporality is 'simultaneously' of 3 ecstacies. The past as 'having been', the presencing, and future. Dasein "occurs out of its future"."Da-sein, as existing, always already comes toward itself, that is, is futural in its being in general."
    "Only because Da-sein in general IS as I AM-having-been, can it come futurally toward itself in
    such a way that it comes-back." Thus, "Having been arises from the future".

    "We are hard put to concede our unjustified commitment to find being something that is, rather than the dynamic between departure and recognition. But that dynamic is a logic of contrariety, not contradiction."

    Heidegger articulated the self-differing of temporality as the being-together of Overwhelming and Arrival. Overwhelming is the surprise of overtaking.
  • fdrake
    2.4k


    To my mind the question of whether normativity is part of the essential constitution of Dasein for Heidegger of B&T is distinct from whether it's part of our essential constitution. There's an exegetical question, then there's a question of its truth (or of the strength of the account). They're also mostly separate questions from how to relate natural temporality to experiential temporality - with the qualification that nature still unfolds (also for Heidegger) even if there are no clocks or clock-time.

    With regard to the time question, which is a nature question in disguise: just because there's experiential temporality doesn't mean there is no possible account of natural temporality. Heidegger's critique of present-at-hand/scientific time doesn't absolve the work of a responsibility to account for natural temporality - and struggling with this kind of question. with lingering doubts about framework of B&T inquiring from the wrong vantage point (questioning towards being as it is implicated in the existential structure of Dasein does not necessarily mean questioning towards being simpliciter), is definitely part of the turn.

    With regard to the normativity question; perhaps Heidegger does think authentic modes of being are more important ontologically -'anxiety is an ontological mood' (paraphrased)-, but this is far from denying the importance of inauthentic modes of being to Dasein's essential constitution. Is it really more true to say of Dasein that it is anxious than that it is constantly being influenced by others? How could being-with work without normativity?
  • Joshs
    712
    " nature still unfolds (also for Heidegger) even if there are no clocks or clock-time."
    What do you think 'nature' means for Heidegger? What on earth is 'natural temporality'? Don't you think he wants it in scare quotes the way he puts 'reality' in scare quotes? That is to say, the notion of 'nature' as something that has any meaning or coherence outside of the structure of temporality seems to me to be something that Heidegger would argue against.

    "Is it really more true to say of Dasein that it is anxious than that it is constantly being influenced by others? How could being-with work without normativity?" There are conditioning inter-subjective models of influence. Then there is Heidegger's (and Derrida's) in which the ways another influences me is always interpreted by me via fore-structuring. It lends a certain self-consistency to my engagements with those I am lnfluenced by.
  • fdrake
    2.4k
    What do you think 'nature' means for Heidegger? What on earth is 'natural temporality'? Don't you think he wants it in scare quotes the way he puts 'reality' in scare quotes? That is to say, the notion of 'nature' as something that has any meaning or coherence outside of the structure of temporality seems to me to be something that Heidegger would argue against.Joshs

    There's actually a lot of capital N Nature in Being and Time. It's a name for a 'totality of entities' in a specific 'domain' - which tells us nothing of what Nature is for Heidegger, just that it is a certain domain of entities which may have a merely regional (rather than fundamental) ontology:

    Being is always the Being of an entity. The totality of entities can, in
    accordance with its various domains, become a field for laying bare
    and delimiting certain definite areas of subject-matter. These areas, on
    their part (for instance, history, Nature, space, life, Dasein, language,
    and the like), can serve, as objects which corresponding scientific
    investigations may take as their respective themes. Scientific research
    accomplishes, roughly and naively, the demarcation and initial fixing of
    the areas of subject-matter. The basic structures of any such area have
    already been worked out after a fashion in our pre-scientific ways of
    experiencing and interpreting that domain of Being in which the area of
    subject-matter is itself confined. The * basic concepts' which thus arise
    remain our proximal clues for disclosing this area concretely for the first
    time. And although research may always lean towards this positive
    approach, its real progress comes not so much from collecting results and
    storing them away in 'manuals' as from inquiring into the ways in which
    each particular area is basically constituted [Grundverfassungen] — an
    inquiry to which we have been driven mostly by reacting against just
    such an increase in information.

    However, introduction 2 explicitly links the question of experiential temporality, and the 'clearing of the ground' he wants to achieve with his 'destruction of metaphysics', with the question of what it means to inhabit a world or nature in the broadest sense:

    In other words, in our process of destruc
    tion we find ourselves faced with the task of Interpreting the basis of the
    ancient ontology in the light of the problematic of Temporality. When
    this is done, it will be manifest that the ancient way of interpreting the
    Being of entities is oriented towards the 'world' or 'Nature in the widest
    sense, and that it is indeed in terms of 'time' that its understanding of
    Being is obtained.

    though there is also a connotation of Nature being thingly/must be understood as present-at-hand, as he contrasts beings of Nature to persons:

    The person is not a Thing, not a substance, not an object. Here Scheler
    is emphasizing what Husserl v suggests when he insists that the unity of
    the person must have a Constitution essentially different from that
    required for the unity of Things of Nature. 1 What Scheler says of the
    person, he applies to acts as well: 'But an act is never also an object; for
    it is essential to the Being of acts that they are Experienced only in their
    performance itself and given in reflection. ' vl Acts are something non-
    psychical. Essentially the person exists only in the performance of inten-
    tional acts, and is therefore essentially not an object.

    but he doesn't necessarily restrict the understanding of Nature to a present-at-hand understanding:

    Even if it were feasible to give an ontological definition of "Being-in"
    primarily in terms of a Being-in-the-world which knows, it would still be our
    first task to show that knowing has the phenomenal character of a Being
    which is in and towards the world. If one reflects upon this relationship of
    Being, an entity called "Nature" is given proximallyas that which becomes
    known. Knowing, as such, is not to be met in this entity. If knowing 'is* at
    all, it belongs solely to those entities which know. But even in those entities,
    human-Things, knowing is not present-at-hand.

    In short - the story of Nature in B&T is fucking complicated.
  • karl stone
    430
    The thread's clearly supposed to be about Heidegger exegesis and criticism, specifically about the relationship of his account in Being and Time to nature. While there is a relationship to physics (which Josh provided uncommented quotes for and perpetuated the myth that the Heisenberg uncertainty principle has anything to do with uncertainty rooted in perspectival variation), the ontology of nature, and how scientific understanding constrains and enables metaphysical speculation, your discussion isn't really on any of these topics.fdrake

    You're quite right. I apologize and shall make no further comment, that's not strictly related to the subject of the thread.

    Metaphysics sucks! Epistemology rules! Whhoooo! Yeah!
  • bloodninja
    308
    dude, metaphysics and epistemology both suck.
  • karl stone
    430
    dude, metaphysics and epistemology both suck.bloodninja

    I disagree. Metaphysics sucks because it's all rhyme and no reason; in contradiction to epistemology which asks "What can we know?' and "How can we know it?" - thus providing any epistemology based philosophy with a theory of truth and reason by which its claims can be measured.

    Metaphysics can say anything, and reason anyhow. As Heidegger's obsession with the random concept of "being" demonstrates. One has to ask - is Heidegger's work merely the longest dictionary definition of a word ever? A word coined - not as an exacting definition of a nuomenal phenomenon, but for linguistic convenience.
  • bloodninja
    308
    Heidegger is not doing metaphysics
  • karl stone
    430
    Heidegger is not doing metaphysicsbloodninja

    He's merely being metaphysical!

    LOL
  • Gary M Washburn
    23
    Actually, Heidegger, infamously, wrote the book on metaphysics. Quantum physics is a summation of anomaly reduced to the infinitesimal. The theory is that this summation is accurate because the anomaly is rendered so close to zero as to be mathematically equivalent. Unfortunately, to complete the argument requires that that value, 1/∞, as a positive value and as zero. We 'zero-in' on the value that mathematics cannot define or describe, and then cancel it out. The thing is, the very value we pretend to be looking for gets discarded. It's a process of washing the baby, then throwing it out, while saving the dirty water as if this is what we are looking for. If we do not get over this obsession with finding only the lawfully predetermined outcome we cannot grasp reality at all. Life is the defeat button to such presumption. Heidegger was just doing in a more archaic form what physicists and logicians are still doing now.
  • sime
    365
    Metaphysics is what everyone denies doing, whilst accusing everyone else of doing it.

    I think metaphysical statements are best understood as being speech acts or instructions to think in a certain way. Nobody can avoid doing metaphysics of some sort, even if this consists of refusing to do metaphysics.
  • Joshs
    712
    Do you think you could elaborate on this? What writers do you find more consonant with your own thinking?
  • bill harris
    12
    The go-to concept of Existentialism indicates that there is no fundamental reality beyond human experience; Essence precedes Being, etc..everything--even Science--is imbued with free choice.

    To his end, Sartre's Being and Nothingness critiqued Heidegger's Existenz Philosophy because it permitted Death as a natural End to life. Well, no--we choose life or death as a choice of freedom or slavery, etc...
  • Joshs
    712


    "Essence precedes Being"

    From Wiki:

    "The proposition that existence precedes essence (French: l'existence précède l'essence) is a central claim of existentialism."

    Heidegger didnt consider himself an existentialist, and critiqued Sartre's position.
    Derrida, who I consider the closest writer to Heidegger, and the one who understood him best, wrote this about Sartre(which I agree with);

    "there were some enlargements, distortions, simplifications(in Satre's work), which from that point of view seemed to me to amortize what was essentially interesting about the work of Husserl and Heidegger." "Sartre was not a rigorous enough reader."
    "But it is a fact that Sartre's thought obscured in quite a powerful way what was happening elsewhere in German philosophy, even in the philosophy that he himself pretended to be introducing in France. To say nothing of Marx and to say nothing of Freud and to say nothing of Nietzsche, whom he, in a way, never really read. I mean that he misunderstood Freud, Marx, and Nietzsche (to put them together as is usually done) even more than he misunderstood Husserl and Heidegger, whom he nevertheless quoted "
    "What must a society such as ours be if a man, who, in his own way, rejected or misunderstood
    so many theoretical and literary events of his time, let's say, to go quickly, psychoanalysis, Marxism, structuralism, Joyce, Artaud, Bataille, Blanchot-who accumulated and disseminated
    incredible misreadings of Heidegger, sometimes of Husserl,
    could come to dominate the cultural scene to the point of becoming
    a great popular figure?" "So, in short, you see in Sartre the perfect example of what an
    intellectual should not be."
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