• Kevin
    8


    "Very poetic and very unphilosophical, I'd say."

    I'm not familiar with that particular passage, but in some of H's later stuff, he seems to me to be attempting a kind of blend of the 'poetic' with the 'philosophical.' I think he does this because he views poetry as being capable of capturing a sense of certain things that cannot necessarily be named explicitly in philosophical prose.
  • Kevin
    8


    "Why, how, did he think the Nazi part was a good idea?"

    In some of his comments, Heidegger seems to me to have thought of Hitler along the lines of Hegel's observing Napoleon ride past:

    "I saw the Emperor – this world-soul – riding out of the city on reconnaissance. It is indeed a wonderful sensation to see such an individual, who, concentrated here at a single point, astride a horse, reaches out over the world and masters it.” - Hegel

    In another passage from the link referenced by Path above, Heidegger writes:

    "The world of our Volk and Reich is about to be transformed and everyone who has eyes with which to watch, ears with which to listen, and a heart to spur him into action will find himself captivated by genuine, deep excitement—once again, we are met with a great reality and with the pressure of having to build this reality into the spirit of the Reich and the secret mission of the German being […]"

    In the Der Spiegel interview of 1966, we can find a sort of parallel I think between what he saw as his role as rector - bringing together the disparate sciences of the university (perhaps relatable to Husserl) and the Nazi's consolidation of power over the 22 parties apparently in conflict in Germany at that time.

    From the interview:

    "SPIEGEL: But we seem to perceive a new tone in your rectoral discourse, when, four months after Hitler's designation as Chancellor, you there talk about the "greatness and glory of this new era (Aufbruch)."

    Heidegger: Yes, I was also convinced of it.

    SPIEGEL: Could you explain that a little further?

    Heidegger: Gladly. At that time I saw no other alternative. Amid the general confusion of opinion and political tendencies of 22 parties, it was necessary to find a national and, above all, social attitude, somewhat in the sense of Friederich Naumann's endeavor. I could cite, here, simply by way of example, a passage from Eduard Spranger that goes far beyond my rectoral address."

    http://www.ditext.com/heidegger/interview.html

    He also reportedly wrote to Karl Jaspers:

    "What I report here can excuse nothing. Rather, it can explain how, when over the course of years what is virulently evil became manifest, my shame grew-the shame of directly or indirectly having been involved in it."
  • Xtrix
    932
    Heidegger disqualifies his rivals and the entire universal philosophy for not having understood what the Being is.David Mo

    No, that's simply wrong.

    I have been searching uselessly in Being and Time for an answer to that question. I consulted several qualified commentators (not believers) of his work who told me that, precisely, Heidegger never made something similar to a definition of the Being and even recognized that the Being is an indefinable concept.David Mo

    I don't know exactly why you accuse me of being a "believer" -- but that's nothing but a term of abuse.

    What you stated originally was this:

    But he ended up recognizing that he had been unable to give an explanation of the problem of Being.David Mo

    An "explanation of the problem of Being" is his entire work of Being and Time. That's not the same as what you're now asking for, which is a definition of being -- what being is. I could have told you, as I have here, for example, that Heidegger never defines being -- somewhat frustratingly for many. But that's completely missing the point. Being -- including human existence -- has been interpreted in various ways throughout history. We also walk around with a "pre-theoretical" (pre-conceptual/abstract), or in his words "pre-ontological" understanding of being -- and this shows up in what we do, given our time and place. Various cultures and various epochs have different understandings of being.

    His thesis in Being and Time is that in the Western world, since the Greeks, "being" has been defined in terms of what's present before us, present-at-hand (Vorhandenheit) -- he says at one point "presencing." This has given rise, in his view, to Western philosophy and science -- showing up as ousia in Aristotle to the res of Descartes -- a kind of substance ontology. Beings then become "objects," representations, etc.

    He does indeed go through the history of this, thoroughly. But if you're looking for a definition of "being" from Heidegger himself, then yes you'll be disappointed. Better to look towards his ideas about disclosure and aletheia, which I think get closer to any kind of definition.

    If you have an answer to what the Being is and you can base it on some text of Heidegger, I would be grateful if you could tell me. It will dispel the terrible suspicion that haunts me: that Heidegger did not know what he was talking about.David Mo

    See above -- I can't provide you with it. The closest he comes is saying being is "on the basis of which entities show up as entities," or something to that effect -- which isn't very helpful, I'm sure.

    NOTE: A text, please, not a simple quote.David Mo

    Introduction to Metaphysics is where I'd start almost anyone. Much more clear than Being and Time.
  • StreetlightX
    5.9k
    Eh, Heidi was a provincial philosopher with a couple of interesting ideas here and there. Would give away his entire corpus for a page of Hannah Arendt.
  • Xtrix
    932
    But he never said clearly what that stupidity consisted of. He never disavowed the assumptions of his philosophy that led him to that "stupidity". He never denied the political basis that led him to glorify Hitler and his party. He always abhorred the Jews, communism and democracy.David Mo

    I agree with everything except "always abhorred the Jews." Husserl and Arendt with both Jews, as you know. Maybe there's some private letters I've missed, but so far as I can tell he wasn't anti-Semitic.
  • Xtrix
    932
    I don't have the text in front of me, but thought I'd offer that in the beginning of BT, he gives at least one tentative definition of Being as "that which determines beings in their being," he suggests, as already noted, we already have a preontological understanding of being - ("what is being?" for example, presupposes a direction/horizon for the question and a sense of being in the "is" of the question we are asking), and from the start he repeatedly insists Being should not be thought of as 'a being,' and that Being can not be understood as 'objective presence' which is how philosophy/metaphysics has typically 'covered over/concealed' this character of Being.Kevin

    This is very well said. I wrote something similar just before reading this -- which goes to show Heidegger isn't completely unclear, after all -- even if one rejects his perspective, it's not so murky, provided one puts forth the effort (and I don't blame those who don't).
  • Xtrix
    932
    Eh, Heidi was a provincial philosopher with a couple of interesting ideas here and there. Would give away his entire corpus for a page of Hannah Arendt.StreetlightX

    I like Arendt very much as well. Ironically, I don't think she'd give Heidegger's corpus away though.
  • Ciceronianus the White
    1.1k
    How good to know there are some others who aren't thrilled with Heidegger. You know, I wrote a little poem about Heidegger once. It went something like this:

    Mystical Martin Heidegger
    Whom some have said wrote trash,
    Used to worship Der Fuhrer
    Right down to his mustache.
    While exhorting German youth
    To follow Hitler's lead
    He managed to remove the Jews
    From Frieberg with all speed.
    It's not that he despised those folk
    He merely thought it prudent--
    He even was inspired to poke at
    One who was his student.
    One day he said the Nazis failed
    But not due to their dealings
    It wasn't all the folk they killed...
    They had no sense of Being!
  • Brett
    2.3k


    I don’t really have anything against Heidegger, I feel quite comfortable with his ideas. What I find of interest is the distance between theory and action in the world, how we can think something and be convinced of it then find ourselves entangled in something, by our own choosing, that contradicts that thinking. This is obviously another subject from the OP so I’ll leave it there.
  • Xtrix
    932


    That had me laughing. Well done. lol
  • David Mo
    651
    he repeatedly insists Being should not be thought of as 'a being,' and that Being can not be understood as 'objective presence' which is how philosophy/metaphysics has typically 'covered over/concealed' this character of Being.Kevin

    To say that x is not y is not to define it. To define a thing is to give a series of characteristics that make it recognizable when it is presented. Nothing you mention is a definition.

    Moreover, in Identität und Difference he goes so far as to say that the attempt to separate the Being from entities is useless. Since he had said that the knowledge of the Being is a prerequisite for the knowledge of entities, this means an invalidation of all his doctrines.
    NOTE: I have not read the book in question, but it is cited in the book that George Steiner dedicates to him ( page 256 of the Spanish edition).
  • David Mo
    651

    The characteristic of poetry is that it plays with language to create a world of ambiguity that is suggestive and emotional. The characteristic of philosophy should be that it provides some kind of clarity to the basic questions of life. If you mix the two things up, you create nothing but confusion. Thus, a poet is sold to us as if he were a philosopher. That sounds like a guru, as I said before. And I don't like gurus. I think humanity needs light and not having its guts stirred up with magic wands.
  • Kevin
    8
    For the most part, these concerns seem to me to be addressed in BT.
  • David Mo
    651
    Heidegger disqualifies his rivals and the entire universal philosophy for not having understood what the Being is. — David Mo

    No, that's simply wrong.
    Xtrix

    From the very beginning:

    The Necessity for Explicitly Restating the Question of Being
    This question has today been forgotten. Even though in our time we deem it progressive to give our approval to ‘metaphysics’ again, it is held that we have been exempted from the exertions of a newly rekindled gigantomakía peri tés ousías. Yet the question we are touching upon is not just any question. It is one which provided a stimulus for the researches of Plato and Aristotle, only to subside from then on or a theme for actual investigation. What these two men achieved was to persist through many alterations and 'retouchings’ down to the ‘logic’ of Hegel. And what they wrested with the utmost intellectual effort from the phenomena, fragmentary and incipient though it was, has long since become
    trivialized.
    — Heidegger, Being and Time, #1
    I don't know exactly why you accuse me of being a "believer" -- but that's nothing but a term of abuse.Xtrix
    I was not referring to you, whom I do not have the pleasure of knowing, but to a certain type of Heidegger followers who function as believers in a mystical sect.
    I'm sorry, if you felt referred to.
    He does indeed go through the history of this, thoroughly.Xtrix
    Do you have to read all 102 volumes of his complete works to get a brief summary? Gee, it is hard!

    Anyone who knows about a subject is supposed to be able to give a brief explanation of it, even if it is only approximate, but this is the typical response of Heidegger's followers to any request for clarification. It should not be stressed that I find it very unphilosophical.

    Heidegger does not define or explain anything because there is nothing to define. Carnap and Ayer closed the problem in less than a page. Heidegger confuses the use of "being" as the subject of a sentence with a name of something. Basic logical error into which Parmenides already fell, by the way

    "Something is happening out there."
    "Something smells rotten in Denmark."

    Then there is a stuff called "Something" that is at the origin of everything because we can say of everything that is "something". We have to elucidate what "Something" is before we go into any other subject. But Heidegger makes an ontologically rude mistake. Too much influenced by Parmenides, he believes that the alternative is between Being and Non-Being, when in reality we have three types of First Reality: Something, Totality and Nothing (I am Hegelian and I do not believe that Non-Being is not). And along this path I go where I want. And nobody should ask me for clarification because it is so obvious that one has to be blind not to see it... (or similar answer).

    And I leave the thing here because I'm getting excited about my parody and I see myself writing a hundred and two volumes in paste.
  • David Mo
    651
    I agree with everything except "always abhorred the Jews." Husserl and Arendt with both Jews, as you know.Xtrix

    "Some of my best friends are black," you know.

    It seems that the publication of the latest Black Notebooks has left little doubt about Heidegger's anti-Semitism, which had already been denounced by Husserl and Jaspers, among others.
  • Xtrix
    932
    Heidegger disqualifies his rivals and the entire universal philosophy for not having understood what the Being is. — David Mo

    No, that's simply wrong.
    — Xtrix

    From the very beginning:

    The Necessity for Explicitly Restating the Question of Being
    This question has today been forgotten. Even though in our time we deem it progressive to give our approval to ‘metaphysics’ again, it is held that we have been exempted from the exertions of a newly rekindled gigantomakía peri tés ousías. Yet the question we are touching upon is not just any question. It is one which provided a stimulus for the researches of Plato and Aristotle, only to subside from then on or a theme for actual investigation. What these two men achieved was to persist through many alterations and 'retouchings’ down to the ‘logic’ of Hegel. And what they wrested with the utmost intellectual effort from the phenomena, fragmentary and incipient though it was, has long since become
    trivialized.
    — Heidegger, Being and Time, #1
    David Mo

    Not once does he disqualify anyone for "not understanding what the Being is," in that quotation or anywhere else. Why? It should be obvious in what was said before: he himself provides no definition. But he's not talking about a definition. The very beginning of that paragraph -- and its section title -- explains clearly what he's getting at: the question today has been forgotten. That's not disqualifying anyone, and it's not about "understanding" -- in fact, as I said before, Heidegger argues we all not only have a tacit understanding of being, but that talk about "being" is taken for granted as something obvious; it's gone through many variations, right up to Hegel, as a "theme," and has now become trivialized.

    This is what the above means. It has nothing to do with disqualifying anyone, nor about "understanding" being (especially not in your sense, which apparently means providing a definition).

    His thesis in Being and Time is that in the Western world, since the Greeks, "being" has been defined in terms of what's present before us, present-at-hand (Vorhandenheit) -- he says at one point "presencing." This has given rise, in his view, to Western philosophy and science -- showing up as ousia in Aristotle to the res of Descartes -- a kind of substance ontology. Beings then become "objects," representations, etc.

    He does indeed go through the history of this, thoroughly.
    Xtrix

    Do you have to read all 102 volumes of his complete works to get a brief summary? Gee, it is hard!David Mo

    To get a brief summary of what? The history of the interpretation of being? Because that's what I was referring to in this specific context.

    As I mentioned, Introduction to Metaphysics is a good start. As far as "brief," I tried to do that above: Western thought has interpreted being from the "horizon" (standpoint) of time, particularly the present.

    I can't make it any more brief without making it a cartoon version. Keep in mind this is one point -- but an important one, and the one I was talking about above.

    Anyone who knows about a subject is supposed to be able to give a brief explanation of it, even if it is only approximate, but this is the typical response of Heidegger's followers to any request for clarification. It should not be stressed that I find it very unphilosophical.David Mo

    But you haven't asked anything. A brief explanation of what? His entire philosophy? The history of the interpretation of being? His thoughts about the relation of being and time? The history of the conception of time?

    I gave at least one brief synopsis in the very response you're citing:

    His thesis in Being and Time is that in the Western world, since the Greeks, "being" has been defined in terms of what's present before us, present-at-hand (Vorhandenheit) -- he says at one point "presencing." This has given rise, in his view, to Western philosophy and science -- showing up as ousia in Aristotle to the res of Descartes -- a kind of substance ontology. Beings then become "objects," representations, etc.

    Maybe you don't understand it, in which case the onus is on me to be more clear, but it's certainly brief.

    Heidegger does not define or explain anything because there is nothing to define. Carnap and Ayer closed the problem in less than a page. Heidegger confuses the use of "being" as the subject of a sentence with a name of something. Basic logical error into which Parmenides already fell, by the wayDavid Mo

    Ayer and Carnap are analytical philosophers, who -- like Russell before them -- never showed they really bothered with Heidegger at all.

    Given that Heidegger says over and over again that being is not a being (an entity), I fall to see how he's "confusing [it] as the subject of a sentence with a name of something." It's not even a "subject."

    "Something is happening out there."
    "Something smells rotten in Denmark."

    Then there is a stuff called "Something" that is at the origin of everything because we can say of everything that is "something".
    David Mo

    No, not a "stuff." But yes, any time we use "is," we're assuming the being of whatever phenomenon we're talking about. That's fairly trivial.

    There's an entire chapter titled "The Grammar and Etymology of Being" in Intro to Metaphysics which you may find interesting. I keep recommending that book to you -- it's all online for free. Doesn't take that long to read, and it's what Heidegger recommends one reads in his preface to the 7th edition (or something close to that) of Being and Time.

    But Heidegger makes an ontologically rude mistake. Too much influenced by Parmenides, he believes that the alternative is between Being and Non-Being,David Mo

    "He believes." Where? Where does he say that the "alternative is between being and non-being"?

    Your characterization of Parmenides is wrong. Heidegger wrote an entire book on him (lectures), if you care to read about it before speculating about what he "believes." Feel free to cite the text if you find anything close to what you're claiming here.

    Honestly, I get the sense you've made up your mind about Heidegger already. You claim you've tried reading him and couldn't make sense of "ten pages," etc. So you rely on secondary sources. That's fine -- be happy in that. But I don't think there's any sense pretending you care to learn anything here -- rather, everything you've said so far indicates an attitude of defending a position (and in my view a very weak one, given your level of study). I'm happy to keep discussing it, but it's worth pointing this out.
  • Xtrix
    932
    It seems that the publication of the latest Black Notebooks has left little doubt about Heidegger's anti-Semitism, which had already been denounced by Husserl and Jaspers, among others.David Mo

    I'll take your word for it -- I haven't read them myself. If that's the case, that's disappointing.
  • David Mo
    651
    Not once does he disqualify anyone for "not understanding what the Being is,"Xtrix
    If to say that everyone has forgotten or trivialized the essential question of philosophy is not to disqualify, I do not understand what disqualify means.
    Heidegger argues we all not only have a tacit understanding of being, but that talk about "being" is taken for granted as something obvious;Xtrix
    In Heidegger's usual contradictory way to have an immediate understanding of what it means to be seems that it is not in contradiction with having forgotten or trivialized the question of being. So that intuitive understanding seems to be quite trivial or ineffective for walking through philosophical life. As he themes it, it is truly trivial. In my opinion.
    To get a brief summary of what?Xtrix
    Obviously I was asking for a summary of what the fundamental concept of all Heidegger's philosophy can mean: the Being. That being with a capital letter that sometime comes to qualify as "divine". If I remember correctly.
    Western thought has interpreted being from the "horizon" (standpoint) of time, particularly the present.Xtrix
    His thesis in Being and Time is that in the Western world, since the Greeks, "being" has been defined in terms of what's present before us,
    It seems you're trying to give me the explanation I asked for. The Being would be the "present horizon", which obviously can mean anything. If that is all that can be said about the Being, it is tremendously vague to me. Poetic, but vague. But since you refer me to the Introduction to Metaphysics as a key text, I will take a look at it to see if I can find out better. Fortunately I have it at hand.
    Ayer and Carnap are analytical philosophers, who -- like Russell before them -- never showed they really bothered with Heidegger at all.Xtrix
    Ayer mentions Heidegger's metaphysics as a "superstition" on page 49 of the Spanish edition of Lenguaje, Verdad y Lógica (Language, Truth and Logic) and refers to Carnap, who analyses the concept of Nothing in Heidegger in section 5 of his article "The Elimination of Metaphysics through Logical Analysis of Language" and concludes that it is the result of a "gross logical error".
    I don't know if "bother" is the right word in English, but of course Heidegger's metaphysics didn't appeal to either of them.

    It's not even a "subject."Xtrix
    Heidegger uses the term "Being" as a subject on countless occasions, adding to it the capital letter, which makes it especially substantial by making it a proper name.
  • 180 Proof
    1.4k
    The Being would be the "present horizon", which obviously can mean anything. If that is all that can be said about the Being, it is tremendously vague to me. Poetic, but vague. But since you [Xtrix] refer me to the Introduction to Metaphysics as a key text, I will take a look at it to see if I can find out better.David Mo
    I prefer Karl Jasper's provocative conception of "The Being" as encompassing (i.e. 'nondual transcendence' - from his lectures titled Existenzphilosophie, published in 1938) for its much more direct expression and nearly pellucid explication than Heidi's mystagogic, etymologizing, logorrhea.
  • Xtrix
    932
    Not once does he disqualify anyone for "not understanding what the Being is,"
    — Xtrix
    If to say that everyone has forgotten or trivialized the essential question of philosophy is not to disqualify, I do not understand what disqualify means.
    David Mo

    Disqualify from what? It's not meant to be derogatory, which he says many, many times. In fact he sees it as necessary given philosophy's inception. He has almost only praise for Aristotle, Suarez, Aquinas, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche.

    Einstein wasn't "disqualifying" Newton any more than Heidegger is disqualifying the history of Western thought.

    Heidegger argues we all not only have a tacit understanding of being, but that talk about "being" is taken for granted as something obvious;
    — Xtrix
    In Heidegger's usual contradictory way to have an immediate understanding of what it means to be seems that it is not in contradiction with having forgotten or trivialized the question of being.
    David Mo

    Sorry, but this is why it helps to read Heidegger. It's not contradictory at all once you get into his language, which I mentioned above. Having a "pre-ontological" understanding of being does not contradict the fact that philosophy, as ontology, and with it the question of the meaning of being, has been almost completely forgotten or trivialized. We can accept or reject Heidegger's argument, but let's at least be clear about the distinctions he's drawing (and then uses quite consistently throughout his works).

    To get a brief summary of what?
    — Xtrix
    Obviously I was asking for a summary of what the fundamental concept of all Heidegger's philosophy can mean: the Being. That being with a capital letter that sometime comes to qualify as "divine". If I remember correctly.
    David Mo

    A summary of what "being" means -- which you mentioned before and which I thought I addressed already: Heidegger gives no definition. If that's what you're looking for, you won't find it from him or from me.

    Regarding the capitalization: that's just a mistake, in my view. It's not capitalized in every text, and I believe it shouldn't be for exactly the reason you mention: it gives the connotation of a "super-thing" of some kind. In German, it's capitalized -- but all nouns are capitalized in German.


    Western thought has interpreted being from the "horizon" (standpoint) of time, particularly the present.
    — Xtrix
    His thesis in Being and Time is that in the Western world, since the Greeks, "being" has been defined in terms of what's present before us,

    It seems you're trying to give me the explanation I asked for. The Being would be the "present horizon", which obviously can mean anything. If that is all that can be said about the Being, it is tremendously vague to me. Poetic, but vague.
    David Mo

    I agree, it is vague. I know it's frustrating, but I have to nitpick here. It's not that being = the present horizon. Rather, it's being argued that in Western thought, it is from the standpoint of the present horizon that we interpret "being", and therefore all beings (plural, as in "entities" or "phenomena"). Hence why when Heidegger traces the history of Western thought, he sees only variations of "present-at-hand" ontologies which deal almost exclusively with beings rather than being itself (which he will, confusingly, call "fundamental ontology"), mainly substance ontology (as the "ousia" of Aristotle gets translated) and it's offshoot: the measurable, calculable ontology of Descartes (the "res" ofres cogitans and res extensa).

    That's a mouthful, I'm aware. But it's worth reading a couple times, because it did take me a few minutes to re-read and edit, in all honesty.

    But since you refer me to the Introduction to Metaphysics as a key text, I will take a look at it to see if I can find out better. Fortunately I have it at hand.David Mo

    That is fortunate, and please do. Let me know if you find it clearer than Being & Time -- or if my description of it is accurate.

    Ayer and Carnap are analytical philosophers, who -- like Russell before them -- never showed they really bothered with Heidegger at all.
    — Xtrix
    Ayer mentions Heidegger's metaphysics as a "superstition" on page 49 of the Spanish edition of Lenguaje, Verdad y Lógica (Language, Truth and Logic) and refers to Carnap, who analyses the concept of Nothing in Heidegger in section 5 of his article "The Elimination of Metaphysics through Logical Analysis of Language" and concludes that it is the result of a "gross logical error".
    I don't know if "bother" is the right word in English, but of course Heidegger's metaphysics didn't appeal to either of them.
    David Mo

    True, by "bother" there I meant really take him seriously enough to read carefully. Again, I don't blame them for that -- there's plenty of good reasons not to, least of all his Nazi involvement. But given that that's almost certainly true, the little they did write about him isn't all that challenging -- they simply misrepresent what he's saying. But it's been a while since I read either Ayer or Carnap, so I'll take another look -- but that was the impression I got when perusing years ago.

    It's not even a "subject."
    — Xtrix
    Heidegger uses the term "Being" as a subject on countless occasions, adding to it the capital letter, which makes it especially substantial by making it a proper name.
    David Mo

    But he repeatedly says it's not a "being" (in the sense of an object or entity). It's presupposed in any sentence that uses "am," "is," "are," etc. He speaks of the copula a lot in Intro. to Metaphysics, in fact. And as I mentioned before, all nouns are capitalized in German, and I think it's misleading to capitalize it in translation, when we wouldn't capitalize "Chair" or "Rock."
  • Xtrix
    932


    Lol. Well done.
  • Brett
    2.3k


    But he repeatedly says it's not a "being"Xtrix
    I agree here. My impression, in English translations, is that the capitalisation of “Being” is to set it apart from a “being”. Though it doesn’t seem to me to be very difficult to tell the difference.

    I think it’s virtually impossible to prove something to someone who actively does not believe. I have no trouble with the concept of “Being” and I find it hard to understand why others can’t or won’t. But in some ways you either get it or you don’t.

    Edit: I’m relatively new to Heidegger, but it seems to me that we do wonder about our existence, so that suggests that the meaning of Being is under question. How and why would we instinctively question something we don’t believe exists?

    Heidegger is then saying that we should try to discover the meaning of Being through the way we exist and live.
  • David Mo
    651
    Einstein wasn't "disqualifying" Newton any more than Heidegger is disqualifying the history of Western thought.Xtrix
    According to the dictionaries I have consulted, disqualifying means rejecting someone from a "competition" because they have done something wrong. This is what Heidegger did with regard to all philosophy from the Greeks to him. Things are not so drastic in science. Einstein only limited the field of application of Newtonian physics, he did not reject its validity.
    Regarding the capitalization: that's just a mistake, in my view. It's not capitalized in every text, and I believe it shouldn't be for exactly the reason you mention:Xtrix
    It cannot be said that Heidegger does not capitalize on the word "being" and that in German all nouns are capitalized. Indeed this was my thesis: that the capitalization implies that the Being is used as subject by Heidegger in spite of his own refusal. Many translators in English and other languages think that Sein's substantivity is so evident in many passages that it deserves to be capitalized. Exactly the same way as Dasein. This is not a widespread whim but an insight of the ambiguity inherent in Heidegger's discourse.

    True, by "bother" there I meant really take him seriously enough to read carefully.Xtrix
    If you don't remember what Ayer and Carnap say about Heidegger, your accusation is a priori. Read it first. You will see that the Carnap article I mentioned does a thorough analysis of the concept of Nothing through Heidegger's article "What is Metaphysics? It is a clear case in which a concept is substantialized without logical foundation.
  • David Mo
    651
    I think you yourself are acknowledging my main accusation against Heidegger: ambiguity and vagueness. The text you recommended to me (Introduction to Metaphysics) is a clear example. It is all dedicated to an analysis of the treatment of the problem of being through Greek philosophy. Given Heidegger's admiration for the Greeks, it can be considered that his conclusions are assumed by himself... or maybe not. For example, the whole search for the Self leads, in his opinion, to the concept of ousía. But, either Heidegger is giving to this term a particular sense or he is accepting a totally substantial concept of the Being (which is what ousía means).

    The former would not be surprising because Heidegger's translations of Greek are quite capricious (he goes so far as to translate techné into "knowledge", which is something any student of philosophy knows not to be the case). The second would be surprising. But, leaving both paths open, Heidegger reserves a possible escape route face of his critics, which may be very intelligent, but not very philosophical.
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