• Brett
    2.3k


    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

    You introduce the word disqualify as the definition of Heidegger’s view of Western philosophy. Then you go to your dictionaries to dig up the meaning of disqualify as meaning “rejecting someone from a "competition" because they have done something wrong” and then ask Xtrix to defend Heidegger on that basis. Sounds a little cheap to me.
  • Brett
    2.3k


    You keep referring to “the Being” as a subject and it being the fact “in spite of (Heidegger’s) own refusal.” Only someone who refuses to see would persist in thinking that. I don’t know why you persist in this.
  • Xtrix
    932
    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.Brett

    Yes, that's certainly why. But people will mistake the capitalization in the sense of "God," a supreme Being of some kind -- and that's not what's meant. But I agree, it's not that difficult for me either, and in many translations (like Basic Problems of Phenomenology by Hofstadter) that doesn't capitalize it, it's easy to follow.

    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.Brett

    Maybe. But that's education and learning in general. Some people (myself include) will be able to grasp something, others won't. I'm a firm believer that ANYONE can, if the motivation is there to understand AND if they have a good teacher. I am decidedly NOT in favor of obscurantism, and am very sensitive to it; I feel I can very easily tell if someone knows what they're talking about or not, or if they have any interesting things to say. I went into Heidegger thinking that, like I did with Hegel, that he was nearly impossible to read, and not expecting to understand anything due to the convoluted language. But, like with Hegel, I was wrong.

    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.
    Brett

    Well we should distinguish two different aspects: 1) the pre-ontological (pre-theoretical, pre-reflective, pre-abstract) understanding of being, which you mentioned, and 2) the state we're in when we're analyzing our existence, spurred by the "wonder" you mentioned. (2) is the state all philosophers have been in, according to my reading of Heidegger. This is why they always interpret being from the one particular aspect of time, the present. Thus even "time" itself becomes an present-object, and itself gets interpreted as such (a succession of "nows").

    As for (1), you're right: we do have a sense of being, but very rarely do we stop and ponder it intellectually. When we do, it's almost always in the way mentioned above.
  • Xtrix
    932
    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.
    David Mo

    No, he's not. At this point, I'll have to ask you for any textual evidence of this. From what you've given so far, you've misunderstood. See my previous remarks.

    Things are not so drastic in science. Einstein only limited the field of application of Newtonian physics, he did not reject its validity.David Mo

    Likewise, Heidegger is not rejecting the validity of presence-at-hand. He'd be rejecting the entire enterprise of science if he did that, and he holds science in high regard (as he holds Aristotle in high regard).

    Here's Heidegger himself (emphasis mine):

    "Our immersion in the prior view and insight that sustains and guides all our understanding of being is all the more powerful, and at the same time all the more concealed, because the Greeks themselves no longer shed light on this prior line of sight as such. For essential reasons (not due to a failure), they could not shed light on it." (Intro to Metaphysics, bottom of page 124)

    This is just one example, but very typical of Heidegger. He is not rejecting, disqualifying, or belittling the Greeks, nor the variations of Greek ontology in the form of Christian theology, modern philosophy since Descartes, or modern science, in any way. If this is what you gather from reading him, you're just mistaken. If you have concrete evidence, I'll take a look, but in all my reading of him I have never gotten the impression of "disqualifying" anything -- unless, as I mentioned, we describe Einstein of "disqualifying" Newton.

    It cannot be said that Heidegger does not capitalize on the word "being" and that in German all nouns are capitalized.David Mo

    This is a very confusing sentence, but I'll try to respond: it certainly CAN be said that German nouns are all capitalized. I don't know what you're arguing here. All German nouns are capitalized -- that's just a fact.

    If you're not arguing this, I'm not sure what the above is supposed to mean.

    Many translators in English and other languages thinkDavid Mo

    Yes, and it's a mistake in my view, because of the connotations -- which are never implied in Heidegger.

    Given Heidegger's admiration for the Greeks,David Mo

    Which he's supposedly disqualifying?

    For example, the whole search for the Self leads, in his opinion, to the concept of ousía.David Mo

    "search for the Self"? What does this mean, and where is it in Intro to Metaphysics (or in Heidegger at all)?

    But, either Heidegger is giving to this term [ousia] a particular sense or he is accepting a totally substantial concept of the Being (which is what ousía means).David Mo

    Heidegger has an entire analysis of ousia in that book. It has traditionally been translated as "substance," true. But he will say in Aristotle its meaning was "constant presence," basically -- that which appears and persists. See pages 33 and 61.

    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.David Mo

    The "former" what? "Particular sense"? Yes, I mentioned what Heidegger says about ousia.

    As for "capricious" -- it's hard to take that seriously coming from you (no offense meant), based on your level of reading and understanding so far of Heidegger, but you're welcome to present an argument as to where he goes wrong. One reason I say this is based on the very example you gave, techne. Heidegger describes it as follows: "Techne is generating, building, as a knowing pro-ducing" (p 18). That requires further clarification, of course, but it's hardly him defining it as "knowledge."

    It's easier to learn something if you're not dedicated to "debunking" it beforehand. Try to be open and hear, make sure you understand it, and then make up your mind. I'm not trying to persuade you to "follow" Heidegger; I'm assuming you want to learn about him, as you implied a while back. If you've settled in your mind that he's a charlatan from whom there's very little to learn, and who's not worth the time to read or understanding, then this discussion becomes one of me correcting misunderstandings and mistakes. I'm not interested in doing that.
  • David Mo
    651
    I don’t know why you persist in this.Brett

    Don't you think there are often obvious contradictions in what people say they do and what they actually do?Do you accept the statement of politicians who say they are not racist when what they say is full of racism? Heidegger says that Being is not a subject, but he writes constantly as if it were.

    I'll complete the answer when I have a minute. Thank you for your patience.
  • David Mo
    651
    "search for the Self"? What does this mean,Xtrix

    I'm sorry. Automatic correction program jokes. Although I do go over it, sometimes I miss some of its pleasantries. Read: "search for the Self Being".
  • David Mo
    651
    This is just one example, but very typical of Heidegger. He is not rejecting, disqualifying, or belittling the Greeks, nor the variations of Greek ontology in the form of Christian theology,Xtrix

    Heidegger did not consider the Greeks to be competitors. It was the period when, according to him, the question of the Being had been most correctly posed. It is precisely Christian theology that perverts this approach which, in its fairest form, comes from (his version of) Heraclitus and Parmenides.
    The problem is that Heidegger's translation is manifestly pro domo sua. The translator of the edition of the book you recommended that I have consulted has to recognize that Heidegger's version of fragments 1 and 2 of Heraclitus, which is fundamental to him, is "deviated" from the "conventional" version. "Conventional" means the one that true experts in classical philology give. Something similar occurs with Heidegger's other main focus of inspiration: Hölderlin. With a few manipulations, he turns it into an antecedent of German conservative nationalism, which Heidegger himself professed.

    But the manipulations of Heidegger's history are of little interest to me. I would like to discuss what an archaic thinker like Heidegger can say to the men of the 21st century.
  • David Mo
    651
    As for "capricious" -- it's hard to take that seriously coming from you (no offense meant),Xtrix
    Gee, I didn't realize that attacking Heidegger could be an offense to you. You don't take it too personally?
  • David Mo
    651
    "Techne is generating, building, as a knowing pro-ducing" (p 18). That requires further clarification, of course, but it's hardly him defining it as "knowledge."Xtrix

    [techné]which means neither art nor technology but a kind of knowledge (...) It would require a special study to clarify what is essentially the same in phusis and techne. — Heidegger, Introudction to Metaphysics, p. 18

    Techné, in platonic and post-platonic context does not mean "generating knowledge similar to physis (sic)", but in the sense of an inferior form of praxis. It is not true knowledge, science, which is attributed sensu stricto or by eminence to intellectual thought. It is a clearly derogatory term. To overlook this turns out to be a real manipulation.

    By the way, I did not refer to the appearance of techné in the Introduction to Metaphysics but in the acceptance speech of the rectorate of Fribourg. If I remember correctly.
  • Kevin
    8
    I would like to discuss what an archaic thinker like Heidegger can say to the men of the 21st century.David Mo

  • waarala
    47
    Interesting passage from the "Being-There and Being-True According to Aristotle (Interpretations of
    Nicomachean Ethics, Book VI)" (1924).

    "The aim of the present interpretation is to enable Aristotle to speak again, not in order to bring about a renewal of Aristotelianism, but rather in order to prepare the battleground for a radical engagement with Greek philosophy — the very philosophy in which we still stand. If an examination of Aristotle’s text should show that much of what we say here is not to be found there in the text, that would not be an argument against our interpretation. An interpretation is a genuine interpretation only when, in going through the whole text, it comes upon that which common sense never finds there, but which, although unspoken, nonetheless makes up the ground [Boden] and the genuine foundations of the kind of vision from out of which the text itself came to be. We need not go further into the steps taken in this kind of interpretation, which in its principles goes back to phenomenology’s investigations of the matters. That approach should become apparent of itself in the very way this interpretation looks at things and inquires into them."

    https://www.academia.edu/34868841/BECOMING_HEIDEGGER_second_revised_edition p.216


    And:

    "There are five distinctive possibilities of ἀληθεύειν, that is, of “being-true” in the Greek sense of uncovering an entity. Let us put the question more precisely: how does Aristotle characterize these five distinct ways of being-true, that is,ἀληθεύειν? What is his “guiding thread” [Leitfaden
    , clue] for distinguishing them, and what criteria does he use to put them in a specific order of priority?

    III. The Ways of Being-True and its Distinctive Possibilities

    To begin with, let us enumerate these five different ways of uncovering.

    1. ἐπιστήμη : knowledge
    2. τέχνη : here I emphasize that τέχνη does not mean manipulating some-thing. Rather, τέχνη is a form of ἀληθεύειν and it means know-how [sich Auskennen] when it comes to manipulating something
    3. φρόνησις : insight, or, better, practical insight [umsichtige Einsicht]
    4. σοφία : pure understanding
    5. νοῦς : pure apprehension [Vernehmen] "

    https://www.academia.edu/34868841/BECOMING_HEIDEGGER_second_revised_edition p.223
  • David Mo
    651
    I don't think I said I wanted to watch a youtube. But thank you anyway.
  • Kmaca
    24
    I love Heidegger and I come from the Analytic tradition and read primarily Anglo-American philosophy. I can’t really get into Sartre, Derrida and other giants of continental philosophy (not their fault, but mine) but I think Heidegger is quite systematic and clear. I think he got an unfair rep from Sidney Hook’s takedown of him in the 30s or 40s. Ironically, I think Heidegger is the easiest continental thinker to merge with the analytic school in spite of his reputation. I think Joan Stambaugh‘s interpretation of Being in Time is quite easy to understand and I don’t have a particularly easy time reading a lot of philosophy. I think he has the best take on a philosophical description of a lived life - not what is truth or objectivity or a clarification of the sciences or linguistics- but what it is to be a person living in the world.
  • Xtrix
    932
    Heidegger did not consider the Greeks to be competitors. It was the period when, according to him, the question of the Being had been most correctly posed. It is precisely Christian theology that perverts this approach which, in its fairest form, comes from (his version of) Heraclitus and Parmenides.David Mo

    Why do you keep referring to "the Being"? Where does the "the" come in?

    Please give one example where he even implies Christian theology "perverts" the approach of Parmenides and Heraclitus.

    The translator of the edition of the book you recommended that I have consulted has to recognize that Heidegger's version of fragments 1 and 2 of Heraclitus, which is fundamental to him, is "deviated" from the "conventional" version.David Mo

    True.

    "Conventional" means the one that true experts in classical philology give.David Mo

    From what I've read, nearly all scholars recognize his accuracy in his translation of Greek words but also recognize that it's a nuanced and unconventional way of translating things. He discusses logos as length, for example, and only then incorporates his language into a passage of Aristotle or Heraclitus.

    The fact that it deviates from convention is irrelevant. HIs entire philosophy and interpretation of history also deviates from convention -- so what? If there's a specific point to be raised, then raise it. Otherwise appealing to authority is useless.

    I would like to discuss what an archaic thinker like Heidegger can say to the men of the 21st century.David Mo

    I think there's a great deal to learn, in fact.
  • Xtrix
    932
    As for "capricious" -- it's hard to take that seriously coming from you (no offense meant),
    — Xtrix
    Gee, I didn't realize that attacking Heidegger could be an offense to you. You don't take it too personally?
    David Mo

    No, which is why I said "no offense meant." But then I go on to mention why: you claim his translations are capricious (which you're clearly not yet in a credible position to do, admittedly), but then misrepresenting "techne" as an example, which confirms the point.

    If you take offense to that despite my saying "no offense" (and I mean it), I can't help that.

    Techné, in platonic and post-platonic context does not mean "generating knowledge similar to physis (sic)", but in the sense of an inferior form of praxis. It is not true knowledge, science, which is attributed sensu stricto or by eminence to intellectual thought. It is a clearly derogatory term. To overlook this turns out to be a real manipulation.David Mo

    Being a "kind of knowledge" is very different from "knowledge," for reasons you just mentioned. He goes on:

    "Techne means neither art nor skill, and it means nothing like technology in the modern sense. We translated techne as 'knowing.' But this requires explication. Knowing here does not mean the result of mere observations about something present at hand that was formerly unfamiliar. Such items of information are always just accessory, even if they are indispensable to knowing. Knowing, in the genuine sense of techne, means initially and constantly looking out beyond what, in each case, is directly present at hand." (p 169)

    As far as "derogatory term" -- what are you talking about there? Heidegger's use of techne or what your claiming the Greeks use was?



    Thank you for that, that was interesting indeed. I think he's exactly right about interpretation and translation. On the other hand, if many scholars thought his analysis of the Greek words was completely bogus, it would certainly give me pause. That's not what I'm seeing, though. Take logos as "gathering" -- scholars don't disagree with Heidegger on this, but they DO disagree with what they consider the appropriate context in which to give this particular meaning.

    Ironically, I think Heidegger is the easiest continental thinker to merge with the analytic school in spite of his reputation.Kmaca

    Elaborate please, that's interesting. They seem worlds apart to me.
  • Kmaca
    24
    That’s a tough one because I never had to quite elaborate before. Hopefully it still makes sense to me after I do so. I still see a stark contrast between someone like PF Strawson and H. But, I feel the closest connection falls with the American pragmatists. It was always hard for me to comprehend how use is more important than the truth in the pragmatist conception of epistemology. That use vs. truth contrast was baffling when there clearly are statements like 2+2 =4 that require no theory of use to justify their validity. We can imagine certain basic science claims also. Now, enter H. with his claim that science is actually an abstraction removed from our most basic contact with the world. We don’t contact the world on sense-data points a la Russell according to H. Then, that allows me to situate the basic science, logic and math claims as abstractions one most develop, not something given to us by our contact with the world.
    Quine, Sellars, Rorty and others were still not relaxed or distant enough from the analytic tradition to fully describe (to me anyway) why I should value use over truth in conceiving of our relationship with the world but Heidegger’s work brought me there. I hope that sounds somewhat understandable as sometimes I’m not sure of it myself.
    Heidegger also seems to resemble the more mysterious moments of early Wittgenstein like what we can not say, we must pass over in silence. Heidegger’s later philosophy on truth as revealing allowed me to make sense of that comment.
    All in all, I feel like Heidegger built a great, free standing system a la Kant that I think has quite a bit of clarity. I am lost reading the more philosophical passages of Sartre for example but Being and Time never tied me up in that way.
  • David Mo
    651
    Please give one example where he even implies Christian theology "perverts" the approach of Parmenides and Heraclitus.Xtrix

    From what I've read, nearly all scholars recognize his accuracy in his translation of Greek wordsXtrix

    On the fidelity of Heidegger's translations:

    "Hölderlin scholars, especially Berhard Böschenstein, have no trouble showing that Heidegger's readings are often unfounded (...)
    In this case, as in the famous "translations" of the Presocratics, Heidegger takes to very violent extremes the hermeneutic paradox according to which the subject of interpretation can "go behind" the text”. George Steiner, Heidegger, 240-41.

    “Now, given that Heidegger refuses to call on historical or philological evidence in any decisive way to support his readings, how does he go about establishing a position within the circle, getting into it in the right way, as he put it? He does so principally by summoning the metaphor, and perhaps more
    than a metaphor, of hearing. (...) But how do we manage to give ourselves Greek ears? Not by familiarising ourselves with early Greek literature, since that would, once again, be to land in the domain of historiography and philology. Such hearing occurs when we are led by ‘that which calls on us to think in the words’ (WCT: 232)”. (Pattison, GuideBook to the Late Heidegger:138)

    The experts I have consulted do not agree with you. Note the significant quotes in the text. I have consulted the translations I have at home of the fragments of Heraclitus, including the prestigious The Theology of the Early Greek Philosophers by Werner Jaeger, which, of course, have nothing to do with Heidegger's free lucubrations. Some examples of Heidegger's "free interpretation" of the texts can be found in the Introduction to Metaphysics that you recommended, where the absence of any critical apparatus, essential in any serious philological study, is evident.


    On his opposition to Christian theology, Heidegger maintains that historically the forgetfulness of the Greek ideals that he maintains begins from the moment one passes from Greek to Latin. That is, in the theology of the Western Church at least. Expressions contrary to Christianity can easily be found even in political texts. I am not an expert and I have found several. For example, in a speech in June 1933 Heidegger declared that ‘A fierce battle must be fought’ against the present university situation ‘in the national Socialist spirit, and this spirit cannot be allowed to be suffocated by humanising, Christian ideas that suppress its unconditionality’.

    “Turning from jugs and shoes to the big picture, Heidegger then adds that the dominion exercised by the matter–form distinction was, historically, significantly enhanced by the way in which it was taken over from Aristotle by medieval Christian theology and applied to the total relation between God and the world, such that the world becomes what God has made for the fulfilment of His purposes, however these are conceived. But this effectively reduces the world to the status of mere instrumentality, a useful means to an end, rather than something of value in itself” (Ibid: 92).
    Also in the Introduction to Metaphysics, in several passages. This one, for example:
    “But it was Christianity that first misinterpreted Heraclitus. The misinterpretation already began with the early church fathers.” (97/133)

    (I don't need to tell you that Heraclitus, together with Parmenides, are the fundamental thinkers in the "recovery" of the Greek philosophy proposed by Heidegger).

    NOTE: I am surprised that you – who accused me of not reading Heidegger carefully – have overlooked these passages from a book you recommended. Because there is more than one in the same sense.
  • David Mo
    651
    I am sorry I cannot continue this interesting debate right now. But I'll be back, as Patton said. And I won't be as long as he was.
  • 180 Proof
    1.4k
    :clap: I commend your patience. My objections to H's wanton and sloppy heideggerizations of philosophical texts, modern & classical (e.g. Kant, Hegel, Hölderlin, Nietzsche & Presocratics, et al, respectively), are sympatico with yours, DM, though I only name-dropped (Steiner, Adorno, Kaufmann, Löwith, et al) and lazily didn't bother with quotations. I feel fortunate to have read a genuinely philological philosopher's (scholarly, early) study of some 'Presocratics' - Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks - some time before, and in contrast to, H's "nuanced", syntax-tortured, "re-readings".
  • David Mo
    651
    I commend your patience.180 Proof

    La paciencia es la madre de la ciencia (Patience is the mother of science), Spanish proverb.

    But it's not just patience. I like to get into these battles because I practice English and I remember philosophers I read in another life far away. Both are good things.

    Right now I have just dusted off the books I have at home dedicated to Heraclitus and the Presocratics. As expected, none of them mention Heidegger, which reinforces my initial statement: Heidegger's Greece is only suitable for Heidegger fans. They draw a lot of things from it that they've put in before.

    Beware of Nietzsche who is not very faithful to classical Greece either. It seems that in both cases Greece inspired in them a devout love, but they were not respectful sons to their spiritual mother.
  • David Mo
    651
    Knowing here does not mean the result of mere observations about something present at hand that was formerly unfamiliar. Such items of information are always just accessory, even if they are indispensable to knowing. Knowing, in the genuine sense of techne, means initially and constantly looking out beyond what, in each case, is directly present at hand."Xtrix

    It's this kind of explanation that's misleading. Although it is true that Platonic terminology can be ambiguous in some cases, in its clearest formulations the word techné is associated with the world of shadows that Plato had condemned without nuance in the Republic (el oficio del sofista, el retórico y el médico). And this is something similar to what happens with the world of appearances in Parmenides and also in Heraclitus. I do not know the reasons why Heidegger forgets the obvious to confuse the knowledge of physis with that of the senses, which also does not fit very well with his theory. From what I know of it.
  • 180 Proof
    1.4k
    Beware of Nietzsche who is not very faithful to classical Greece either.David Mo
    So I've learned through the years and from other Classicists.
  • Xtrix
    932
    Please give one example where he even implies Christian theology "perverts" the approach of Parmenides and Heraclitus.
    — Xtrix

    From what I've read, nearly all scholars recognize his accuracy in his translation of Greek words
    — Xtrix

    On the fidelity of Heidegger's translations:

    "Hölderlin scholars, especially Berhard Böschenstein, have no trouble showing that Heidegger's readings are often unfounded (...)
    In this case, as in the famous "translations" of the Presocratics, Heidegger takes to very violent extremes the hermeneutic paradox according to which the subject of interpretation can "go behind" the text”. George Steiner, Heidegger, 240-41.

    “Now, given that Heidegger refuses to call on historical or philological evidence in any decisive way to support his readings, how does he go about establishing a position within the circle, getting into it in the right way, as he put it? He does so principally by summoning the metaphor, and perhaps more
    than a metaphor, of hearing. (...) But how do we manage to give ourselves Greek ears? Not by familiarising ourselves with early Greek literature, since that would, once again, be to land in the domain of historiography and philology. Such hearing occurs when we are led by ‘that which calls on us to think in the words’ (WCT: 232)”. (Pattison, GuideBook to the Late Heidegger:138)

    The experts I have consulted do not agree with you.
    David Mo

    Well you have to know what I'm saying before you can state whether they agree or disagree. And so far it's not clear that you do.

    The two mentioned above are not saying he wasn't accurate, they're saying he's going to "extremes," etc. You left out, importantly, the rest of what I said. For example, no scholar I've come across disagrees that one meaning of "logos" -- at one point in history, at least -- was "gathering," which is what Heidegger emphasizes. In fact this is close to Proto-Indo-European. It's true that most scholars translate logos as "reason" or "discourse," etc., given the context -- Heidegger is well aware of that. But that's far different from claiming "gathering" is a false reading; it isn't, it's quite accurate.

    I wonder how many of these translators have really taken the time to understand Heidegger's thinking -- because without doing so, critiquing his translations is a moot point. Of course his translations are outside the norm -- that's without question.

    Gave a good example on this topic.

    Regardless, in this context, whether or not his critics disagree with his translations says almost nothing. I'm sure most don't. I'm sure I could find many who do (the translators of IM often say his translations, though idiosyncratic and cumbersome, are fairly accurate). It's not a settled issue. But even if it were -- it doesn't tell you much about Heidegger's thinking. But if it turns out, for example, that "logos" never meant "gathering" at all, or that "aletheia" never meant "unconcealment" -- that would be a real problem indeed. But I'm not seeing that.

    Some examples of Heidegger's "free interpretation" of the texts can be found in the Introduction to Metaphysics that you recommended, where the absence of any critical apparatus, essential in any serious philological study, is evident.David Mo

    For example? What "critical apparatus" are you talking about?

    On his opposition to Christian theology, Heidegger maintains that historically the forgetfulness of the Greek ideals that he maintains begins from the moment one passes from Greek to Latin. That is, in the theology of the Western Church at least. Expressions contrary to Christianity can easily be found even in political texts. I am not an expert and I have found several. For example, in a speech in June 1933 Heidegger declared that ‘A fierce battle must be fought’ against the present university situation ‘in the national Socialist spirit, and this spirit cannot be allowed to be suffocated by humanising, Christian ideas that suppress its unconditionality’.David Mo

    That's not quite what you said. Politics is not ontology. Fortunately we have a record:

    Heidegger did not consider the Greeks to be competitors. It was the period when, according to him, the question of the Being had been most correctly posed. It is precisely Christian theology that perverts this approach which, in its fairest form, comes from (his version of) Heraclitus and Parmenides.David Mo

    My response:

    "Please give one example where he even implies Christian theology "perverts" the approach of Parmenides and Heraclitus."

    Christianity as a whole (which can mean almost anything), Christian values, and Christian political "ideas" is not what you mentioned. "Perverted" also implies a negative judgment, where Heidegger is simply discussing changes in history (as he sees it). You'll find only the most respect for major Christian thinkers from Augustine to Suarez to Aquinas. But he will say that Christianity does misinterpreted/distort much of Greek philosophy, largely due to Roman translations.

    This is to say nothing about Heraclitus and Parmenides, which you also leave out.

    The best synopsis of the background history is from page 14:

    "In the age of the first and definitive unfolding of Western philosophy among the Greeks, when questioning about beings as such and as a whole received its true inception, beings were called phusis. This fundamental Greek word for beings is usually translated as "nature." We use the Latin translation natura, which really means "to be born," "birth." But with this Latin translation, the originally content of the Greek word phusis is already thrust aside, the authentic philosophical naming force of the Greek word is destroyed. This is true not only of the Latin translation of this word but of all other translations fo Greek philosophical language into Roman. This translation of Greek into Roman was not an arbitrary and innocuous process but was the first stage in the isolation and alienation of the originally essence of Greek philosophy. The Roman translation then became definitive for Christianity and the Christian Middle Ages. The Middle Ages trans-lated themselves into modern philosophy, which moves within the conceptual world of the Middle Ages and then creates those familiar representations and conceptual terms that are used even today to understand the inception of Wester philosophy. This inception is taken as something that we have left behind long ago and supposedly overcome."

    That's the background. Now to Christianity more specifically:

    "Only with the sophists and Plato was seeming explained as, and thus reduced to, mere seeming. At the same time, Being as idea was elevated to a supersensory realm. The chasm, khorismos, was torn open between the merely apparent beings here below and the real Being somewhere up there. Christian doctrine then established itself in this chasm, while at the same time reinterpreting the Below as the created and the Above as the Creator, and with weapons thus reforged, it set itself against antiquity [as paganism] and distorted it. And so Nietzsche is right to say that Christianity is Platonism for the people."

    (I don't need to tell you that Heraclitus, together with Parmenides, are the fundamental thinkers in the "recovery" of the Greek philosophy proposed by Heidegger).David Mo

    And Anaximander, yes. He considers those three the true "primordial" thinkers.

    NOTE: I am surprised that you – who accused me of not reading Heidegger carefully – have overlooked these passages from a book you recommended.David Mo

    Hardly. See above.

    Remember, you started by admitting you haven't read Heidegger widely, and didn't understand him, and never met someone (one of his "followers") who could explain him succinctly. Now you're shifted tone a bit, feigning expertise, and launching accusations before first demonstrating you have the facts right. There's no way, for example, that you've finished Introduction to Metaphysics -- which should be required reading for anyone new to Heidegger, and which is so dense as to take at least a couple weeks to really absorb.

    Doing a Wikipedia search, scrolling down to "criticisms," and using that as a starting point already betrays the bias you have against Heidegger (it oddly cites exactly your "criticisms" and exactly the same critics). So again, if your mind is basically made up that he's a charlatan, so be it. I don't care to change your mind. If however you're sincere in what you originally said -- namely, that you want to understand his thinking -- then pointing to Ayer and Carnap's analytical problems with being as a "subject" is a pretty strange way to begin.
  • Xtrix
    932
    I feel fortunate to have read a genuinely philological philosopher's (scholarly, early) study of some 'Presocratics' - Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks -180 Proof

    Yes, because Nietzsche's work on the Greeks aren't also controversial.

    :roll:
  • Gregory
    1.1k
    When Heidegger says that we are "ahead of ourselves" (already across the bridge when we start at the beginning), it seems to logical explanation is that we experience time backwards from what it really is. Is this the essence of what "thrown" means?
  • David Mo
    651
    If an examination of Aristotle’s text should show that much of what we say here is not to be found there in the text, that would not be an argument against our interpretationwaarala
    I think this short sentence summarizes Heidegger's position: What I say is not in the text, but the interpretation I make is the good one. Amazing hermeneutic method.

    What Heidegger hides is that he is not facing a "popular" interpretation that does not take into account of I do not know what totality, but that of the experts in the subject, who base their reasons on philological and historical arguments (what is called "critical apparatus"). He even recognizes that his interpretation of a fragment of Heraclitus clashes with the most obvious translation and that it contradicts other fragments of the same author. In front of them Heidegger can only say that his interpretation is convenient to his interpretation and that is why it is "revolutionary". And so much so.
  • Gregory
    1.1k
    He even recognizes that his interpretation of a fragment of Heraclitus clashes with the most obvious translation and that it contradicts other fragments of the same author.David Mo

    Heidegger admitted later in life that his book on Kant went too far in that regard
  • David Mo
    651
    The two mentioned above are not saying he wasn't accurate,Xtrix

    Of course they do. More delicately than I do, but they say that what Heidegger sees in the text is not in it. Or what you think "to violate a translation" or that he makes a "translation" (with quotes) mean? You don't capture the nuances of the language, I'm afraid. Any philologist who was told that would be more than nervous.

    This is to say nothing about Heraclitus and Parmenides, which you also leave out.Xtrix
    I beg your pardon! I quoted Heidegger's conclusion that it is blunt in itself:
    “But it was Christianity that first misinterpreted Heraclitus. The misinterpretation already began with the early church fathers.” (97/133)David Mo
    Isn't this saying something from Heraclitus?

    Regardless, in this context, whether or not his critics disagree with his translations says almost nothing.Xtrix

    It happens that they are not "his critics", it is practically all the experts on the subject. Something like that would have baffled anyone with less aspirations to be a philosophical Messiah than Heidegger. He wouldn't run away for such a little thing.

    Now you're shifted tone a bit, feigning expertiseXtrix
    I haven't pretended any such thing at all. I'm not an expert on Heidegger and I've said so several times. My knowledge of Heidegger is limited to three books of him, two monographs and about four articles on him. Regarding Introduction to Metaphysics, I am reading it now -due to your kind recommendation- and I comment on what I am reading. I know a little more about Heraclitus and Parmenides and that is why I can criticize the interpretation he gives. Modestly.

    Note: If I have enough books on philosophy at home, it's not because I'm dedicated to it. It's for family reasons that are beside the point.
  • David Mo
    651
    Heidegger admitted later in life that his book on Kant went too far in that regardGregory

    Can you pass me the reference? Thank you.
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