Heidegger

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Heidegger

Postby KidA41 » Sun Sep 24, 2006 3:56 pm

What the fuck is he talking about?

Just for personal interest...
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Postby Faust » Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:06 pm

I have asked myself that same question many times. Try reading only every other sentence. It helps.

Just as Kant made the notion of the thing-in-itself incoherent and nonsensical, Heidegger, by plumbing its darkest depths, made the idea of being (Being) useless and empty. He mistook existence as a thing-in-itself, as a something. As such, he is a useful deadend. After reading Heidegger, you will be able to add to your list of things not worth thinking about.

You might read Husserl and Bergson first, if you haven't.
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Postby KidA41 » Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:08 pm

faust wrote:I have asked myself that same question many times. Try reading only every other sentence. It helps.

Just as Kant made the notion of the thing-in-itself incoherent and nonsensical, Heidegger, by plumbing its darkest depths, made the idea of being (Being) useless and empty. He mistook existence as a thing-in-itself, as a something. As such, he is a useful deadend. After reading Heidegger, you will be able to add to your list of things not worth thinking about.

You might read Husserl and Bergson first, if you haven't.


ha! Perhaps you're right... Any dissenters?
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Postby Faust » Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:11 pm

Here, that's like asking a Metal band if they have any tatoos.
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Postby KidA41 » Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:13 pm

faust wrote:Here, that's like asking a Metal band if they have any tatoos.


I have read Husserl's Ideas though I didn't love it... do you find him and Bergson to be more worthwhile philosophically?

As soon as people start talking about "essences" in a mystical sense, it tends to lose me... unless it's Plato or Descartes and I can just give it up to historical interest...
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Re: Heidegger

Postby Sauwelios » Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:13 pm

KidA41 wrote:What the fuck is he talking about?

Just for personal interest...

I was just contemplating on starting a thread about him. I had started to read his "Being and Time" in German, and quickly came to the idea to compare him to the following:

"I am the spiritually conscientious one," answered he who was asked, "and in matters of the spirit it is difficult for any one to take it more rigorously, more restrictedly, and more severely than I, except him from whom I learnt it, Zarathustra himself [i.e., Nietzsche].

Better know nothing than half-know many things! Better be a fool on one's own account, than a sage on other people's approbation! I - go to the basis:

- What matter if it be great or small? If it be called swamp or sky? A handbreadth of basis is enough for me, if it be actually basis and ground!

- A handbreadth of basis: thereon can one stand. In the true knowing-knowledge there is nothing great and nothing small."

[...]

That, however, of which I am master and knower, is the brain of the leech: - that is my world!

And it is also a world! Forgive it, however, that my pride here findeth expression, for here I have not mine equal. Therefore said I: 'here am I at home.'

How long have I investigated this one thing, the brain of the leech, so that here the slippery truth might no longer slip from me! Here is my domain!

[Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra, The Leech.]

I can't seem to find an online English translation of Being and Time, but just read the beginning of section 2 for an idea of the slipperiness of Heidegger's basis, Being.
"Someone may object that the successful revolt against the universal and homogeneous state could have no other effect than that the identical historical process which has led from the primitive horde to the final state will be repeated. But would such a repetition of the process--a new lease of life for man's humanity--not be preferable to the indefinite continuation of the inhuman end? Do we not enjoy every spring although we know the cycle of the seasons, although we know that winter will come again?" (Leo Strauss, "Restatement on Xenophon's Hiero".)
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Postby Faust » Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:23 pm

kid - no, it's not that I think either are better philosophers, it's just that some of their ideas were immediately influential to Heidegger.

In general, the runup to Heidegger is Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Bergson, Husserl.

Husserl was, I think, actually one of Heidegger's teachers. You can skip the Bergson, I suppose. No one reads him anymore.
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Postby KidA41 » Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:28 pm

faust wrote:kid - no, it's not that I think either are better philosophers, it's just that some of their ideas were immediately influential to Heidegger.

In general, the runup to Heidegger is Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Bergson, Husserl.

Husserl was, I think, actually one of Heidegger's teachers. You can skip the Bergson, I suppose. No one reads him anymore.


That's unfortunate for Henri...

Yes, my understanding is that Husserl's phenomenology greatly informed Heidegger's philosophy, although what I've read so far of him feels very different stylistically... thanks for your help!

Just out of curiosity, who are currently your favorites, both in philosophical and literary senses?
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Postby Faust » Sun Sep 24, 2006 4:43 pm

On both scores, Nietzsche. I also read the Logical Positivists (very inclusively), logicians in general. Hume, because I keep having different thoughts about him and his influence. Hegel was a great stylist, I think. Kierkegaard is such a good writer that he can be reread limitlessly.

Heidegger was obviousy very conscious of style. Look for him in Derrida.
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Postby von Rivers » Sun Sep 24, 2006 6:25 pm

KidA41 wrote:ha! Perhaps you're right... Any dissenters?


yes, i am a dissenter... that was purely idiotic.

you're better off doing some research on whatever encyclopedia on the internet for Heidegger...
or get michael gelven's book as a secondary source... it will atleast make you feel like you know it.
or just read each page 5 times minimum before moving on...

adn whatever you do, don't think reading husserl is going to be any easier.
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Postby Faust » Sun Sep 24, 2006 6:31 pm

Yeah, but moonoq - if you skip every other sentence, it will take half the time.
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Postby Ponty » Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:35 am

faust wrote:In general, the runup to Heidegger is Kant, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Bergson, Husserl.


Wasn’t Heidegger also influenced by Karl Jaspers (who was a lovely little philosopher; it’s a shame not many people read his work anymore)?
Last edited by Ponty on Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Peter Kropotkin » Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:45 am

Heidegger, smeidigger, I don't need to read
philosophy anymore. Everything I need to know
is in Harry Potter. I am waiting for hermione to come
of age and zoom, I am going to hit on her.


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Postby Faust » Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:43 am

Yeah, Jaspers. Forgot him. Need to remember to Wikigoogle everything.
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Postby James No. 2 » Mon Sep 25, 2006 6:25 am

Jaspers is not really that interesting. Besides, he had even less of a sense of humor than Heidegger himself.

Read Jasper's book on Kierkegaard if you are interested in the latter.

And Husserl? I hesitate to recommend him either. I not sure that Heidegger is a dead end, as such, but you could probably do better by just skipping him and reading Bergson, Whitehead, and Deleuze instead. Heidegger was not really influenced by Bergson, and presents only a superficial reading of him in Being and Time.

Or perhaps just read a book on Heidegger. I would recommend the one by Miguel Beistegui.

Heidegger's run up is Aristotle, Augustine, Husserl, and Nietzsche. Kant and Hegel are also there, in the background, as well as St. Paul. Duns Scotus cannot be forgotten either.


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Postby Faust » Mon Sep 25, 2006 12:59 pm

James, I would rarely suggest reading a book on a philosopher over reading that philosopher himself but this might be that rare occasion. Yeah, Aristotle, but I assumed that anyone reading any modern philosopher has read Ari. Agree on Jaspers. Heidegger tried to rethink Hegel, but I'm not sure you really have to read through Hegel - maybe a summary.

In the end, Heidegger is still incoherent and only of historical import. I think that's why we seem to be struggling in our search for a method. Nothing really helps.
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Postby Sauwelios » Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:43 pm

It seems to me that Heidegger was trying to formulate Being in other terms than those of Being. For instance, in Being and Time, he says:

"Das Sein des Seienden "ist" nicht selbst ein Seiendes."
[section 2.]

Translation:

"The Being of that which is "is" not itself something that is."

This may become intelligible when we replace all forms of the verb "to be" in this sentence (except the one between quotation marks) by the corresponding forms of the verb "to run":

"The running of that which runs is not itself something that runs."

So what is this Being of that which is, if not itself something that is? - Again, I will quote from section 2, this time the beginning of the next paragraph:

"Sofern das Sein das Gefragte ausmacht, und Sein besagt Sein von Seiendem, ergibt sich als das Befragte der Seinsfrage das Seiende selbst."

Translation:

"In so far as Being is the object of our inquiry - and "Being" means Being of that which is -, that which is proves to be itself the object of our inquiry after Being."

This is because the Being of that which is is not itself something that is. So the Being of that which is has itself no Being. Only that which is has Being, and it is this Being that is the object of our inquiry. Therefore, as that which is, is [i.e., has Being], the object of our inquiry is that which is itself: it is this that we shall endeavour to understand.
"Someone may object that the successful revolt against the universal and homogeneous state could have no other effect than that the identical historical process which has led from the primitive horde to the final state will be repeated. But would such a repetition of the process--a new lease of life for man's humanity--not be preferable to the indefinite continuation of the inhuman end? Do we not enjoy every spring although we know the cycle of the seasons, although we know that winter will come again?" (Leo Strauss, "Restatement on Xenophon's Hiero".)
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Postby Faust » Mon Sep 25, 2006 1:51 pm

The problem is that you have not substituted for "to be" in each instance. It should be "The running of that which runs runs not itself something that runs".
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Postby Sauwelios » Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:03 pm

faust wrote:The problem is that you have not substituted for "to be" in each instance. It should be "The running of that which runs runs not itself something that runs".

As I said, "except the one between quotation marks". It is not between quotation marks for nothing.
"Someone may object that the successful revolt against the universal and homogeneous state could have no other effect than that the identical historical process which has led from the primitive horde to the final state will be repeated. But would such a repetition of the process--a new lease of life for man's humanity--not be preferable to the indefinite continuation of the inhuman end? Do we not enjoy every spring although we know the cycle of the seasons, although we know that winter will come again?" (Leo Strauss, "Restatement on Xenophon's Hiero".)
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Postby Faust » Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:44 pm

Yeah, I know, Sau. But that this is intelligible doesn't make Heidegger so, which I took to be your point. Sorry if i misunderstood.
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Postby Sauwelios » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:17 pm

faust wrote:Yeah, I know, Sau. But that this is intelligible doesn't make Heidegger so, which I took to be your point. Sorry if i misunderstood.

Well, I think he is, up to this point at least. With some effort, I am able to understand him.

I think we might rephrase the sentence in question as follows:

"The Being of that which is, itself something that is, "is" not."

Which we might, after my example, compare to:

"The running of that which runs, itself something that runs, "is" not."

Or, according to you:

"The running of that which runs, itself something that runs, "runs" not."

But "itself something that runs" means: "which [running] is itself something that runs". So you cannot evade the "is".

In any case, the "is" between quotation marks is a different use of the verb "to be" than the forms of that verb outside of the quotation marks - as you yourself have taught me. In the former case, it means something in the line of "is equal or identical to"; in the latter case, it means "to have reality or actuality". Merriam-Webster distinguishes between these two meanings by giving the former the number "1", the latter the number "2":

http://m-w.com/dictionary/be

"Being" in the first sense is not comparable to the transitive verb "to run". We might make it completely unambiguous if we replace "running" by "aspiring":

"The aspiring of him who aspires is not itself something that aspires."

This makes sense. The following does not:

"The aspiring of him who aspires does not itself aspire something that aspires."

This is nonsense because "to aspire" is not a transitive verb.

Now, as for my rephrasing at the beginning of this post:

"The Being of that which is, [which is] itself something that is, "is" not."

In this way, the "is" between quotation marks means the same thing as the other forms of the verb "to be" (except for the "is" between brackets).

"The existence of that which exists, [which is] itself something existent, does not exist."

I.e.: that which exists, exists, but its existence does not.
"Someone may object that the successful revolt against the universal and homogeneous state could have no other effect than that the identical historical process which has led from the primitive horde to the final state will be repeated. But would such a repetition of the process--a new lease of life for man's humanity--not be preferable to the indefinite continuation of the inhuman end? Do we not enjoy every spring although we know the cycle of the seasons, although we know that winter will come again?" (Leo Strauss, "Restatement on Xenophon's Hiero".)
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Postby Faust » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:40 pm

Okay, but if we accept that reading, Being becomes a nothing that still manages to have characteristics. Properties, if I may say so. He seems to replace metaphysics with nothing. This is just odd on its face. It is in this way that I find Heidegger nonsensical.

This nothing is, in fact, treated as a something, despite, or even because of H's protestations to the contrary. If it is merely an abstraction, an unreal characteristic of any thing, and of everything, why do we need to know about it in such detail? I have never been able to figure out what we are to do with this being that is not, or what it does, if it is not.

He still treats possibilty, for instance, as if it has no object, but is a thing, or a no-thing in itself. In other words, he takes the fundamental metaphysical mistake of language, or the fundamental linguistic mistake of metaphysics, and turns it on its head. But what does this produce? I wonder if anyone can tell me.
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Postby SilentSoliloquy » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:43 pm

faust wrote: But what does this produce? I wonder if anyone can tell me.

B and S.
You must be to do.
It's not rocket science.
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Postby Faust » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:48 pm

B and S?

Boats and Ships?

Backs and Sides?

Bread and Sircuses?

Baloney and Salami?

You obviously haven't read his definitive "Being and Rocket Science".

Look it up.
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Postby Sauwelios » Mon Sep 25, 2006 4:55 pm

faust wrote:Okay, but if we accept that reading, Being becomes a nothing that still manages to have characteristics. Properties, if I may say so.

What characteristics, or properties, does it have, then?


He seems to replace metaphysics with nothing. This is just odd on its face. It is in this way that I find Heidegger nonsensical.

This nothing is, in fact, treated as a something, despite, or even because of H's protestations to the contrary. If it is merely an abstraction, an unreal characteristic of any thing, and of everything, why do we need to know about it in such detail? I have never been able to figure out what we are to do with this being that is not, or what it does, if it is not.

I do not know whether I am jumping ahead if I, like you, identify Heidegger's "Being" with his "Nothing", but I know he has said that the Nothing itself nothings... So that which exists, exists, but its existence does not exist, but nothings. It nothings all day long.


He still treats possibilty, for instance, as if it has no object, but is a thing, or a no-thing in itself. In other words, he takes the fundamental metaphysical mistake of language, or the fundamental linguistic mistake of metaphysics, and turns it on its head. But what does this produce? I wonder if anyone can tell me.

Well, I have not read anything by him about possibility, so I certainly cannot.
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