Thursday, November 21, 2013

Heidegger's lament and hope for Arrival

from MIndfulness, 1939, pp.377-8

Heidegger is 50 years of age when he wrote the following, below, ending a retrospective sense of his career—as if anticipating that his life may end soon—and having a large body of work that is to remain unpublished while he’s alive. Of course, he does live to work decades beyond this Moment in his pathmaking, which will antedate this Moment (especially his work of 1946 to the mid-'50s). But here, 1939, he anticipates that, in any event, he is likely to be misunderstood.
The worst that could happen to these efforts would be the psychological-biographical analysis and explanation, that is, the counter-movement to what is precisely assigned to us, namely, to [annul counter-movement, i.e., to] place everything “psychic-emotional”—however intimately this has to be preserved and enacted—at the service of that aloneness which is demanded by the work that strikes one as strange....

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

a note on the phenomenality of a text

A given passage in the transcript of a Heidegger lecture is presumably expressive of what he intended to draw attention to. But that’s not always the case!

As he notes in the second Appendix of Mindfulness, 1939! (p. 373), “In all the lecture-courses, the occasional remarks about contemporary circumstances are factually without relevance....Occasional references are mostly responses to the queries from the audience.”

This is profoundly implicative for “scholarly” narratives that pull isolated, odd passages from various lecture courses and then proffer the lot as a constellation of symptoms.

the question of being now

Writing at the New York Times on “Learning How to Die in the Anthropocene,” doctoral student Roy Scranton notes that…
...the biggest problems the Anthropocene poses are precisely those that have always been at the root of humanistic and philosophical questioning: “What does it mean to be human?” and “What does it mean to live?” In the epoch of the Anthropocene, the question of individual mortality — “What does my life mean in the face of death?” — is universalized and framed in scales that boggle the imagination. What does human existence mean against 100,000 years of climate change? What does one life mean in the face of species death or the collapse of global civilization? How do we make meaningful choices in the shadow of our inevitable end?…
Well, the end has no shadow. And the question is thrilling, to me.

Yet, such is the scale of Heidegger’s calling, in the wake of WW-I and -II and the Holocaust and his mid-century position of “planetary thinking.”

This posting, that article, is just a tiny preface (for persons new to the scale of questioning that called philosophy into being, way back.) to a very long trek that will not mainly turn back.

So far to go—for me: happily.

This posting is associated with the “being in Time” area of