Confrontation with Heidegger

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kirtu
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Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by kirtu » Sun Oct 08, 2017 12:47 pm

A confrontation with Heidegger is brewing. Here's a kick-off thread. So Thurman in "Inner Revolution" has apparently called for a reinvigoration of academia in order to form a social; organ for peace in American society and though (I personally have not read this in "Inner Revolution"). But Heidegger and the SS (~ 1/3 of whose members held PhD's) are one of many obvious arguments counter to this proposition.



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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by PuerAzaelis » Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:01 pm

As a philosopher, Heidegger is barf-worthy.

Given the significant attachment of the philosopher to the climate and intellectual mood of National Socialism, it would be inappropriate to criticize or exonerate his political decision in isolation from the very principles of Heideggerian philosophy itself. It is not Heidegger, who, in opting for Hitler, "misunderstood himself"; instead, those who cannot understand why he acted this way have failed to understand him. A Swiss professor regretted that Heidegger consented to compromise himself with the "everyday," as if a philosophy that explains Being from the standpoint of time and the everyday would not stand in relation to the daily historical realities that govern its origins and effects. The possibility of a Heideggerian political philosophy was not born as a result of a regrettable "miscue," but from the very conception of existence that simultaneously combats and absorbs the Zeitgeist.

Karl Löwith (1897–1973), "The Political Implications of Heidegger's Existentialism," [quoted by Wolen, ibid., p. 85-86].

I appeal to the philosophers of all countries to unite and never again mention Heidegger or talk to another philosopher who defends Heidegger. This man was a devil. I mean, he behaved like a devil to his beloved teacher [Husserl], and he has a devilish influence on Germany.

Sir Karl Popper [quoted by Eugene Yue-Ching Ho, Intellectus 23 (Jul-Sep 1992), pp. 1-5, Hong Kong Institute of Economic Science].
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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by Malcolm » Sun Oct 08, 2017 3:43 pm

:coffee:
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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by emaho » Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:19 pm

I couldn't find the english translation of this passage online (and neither the German original, btw.) but since we're discussing a German philosopher here, a German quote by one of his critics is hopefully not out of place:
Daß Heidegger am Wahrheitsbegriff, wenngleich in der angedeuteten schillernden Weise, immerhin festgehalten hat, kann als Indiz dafür gewertet werden, daß, wie ich vorhin behauptet habe, sogar Heideggers entrationalisierte Konzeption noch unbemerkt vom Vernunftbezug lebt. Wohin aber diese entrationalisierte Konzeption von Wahl und der entrationalisierte Wahrheitsbegriff führen kann, läßt sich an einer Rede sehen, die Heidegger im November 1933 zur Unterstützung von Hitler vor dem Volksreferendum zum Austritt aus dem Völkerbund gehalten hat. Sie beginnt so: "Das deutsche Volk ist vom Führer zur Wahl gerufen; der Führer aber erbittet nichts vom Volke, er gibt vielmehr dem Volke die unmittelbare Möglichkeit der höchsten freien Entscheidung, ob das ganze Volk sein Dasein will, oder ob es dieses nicht will. Das Volk wählt morgen nichts Geringeres als seine Zukunft." Und dann heißt es: "Was ist das also für ein Geschehen? Das Volk gewinnt die Wahrheit seines Daseinswillens zurück, denn Wahrheit ist die Offenbarkeit dessen, was ein Volk in seinem Handeln und Wissen sicher, hell und stark macht." [3] Diese Zitate zeigen, daß Heideggers Nazismus keine zufällige Angelegenheit war, sondern daß ein direkter Weg von seiner Philosophie - von seinem entrationalisierten Wahrheitsbegriff und dem von diesem bestimmten Begriff der Selbstbestimmung - zum Nazismus führte. Und doch würden wir auf philosophische Einsichten verzichten, wenn wir deswegen nicht von Heidegger lernen wollten, was wir von ihm lernen können. Es kommt darauf an, die genaue Stelle zu sehen, die zum Irrationalismus führte und nicht das Kind mit dem Bade auszuschütten."
Ernst Tugendhat, Selbstbewußtsein und Selbstbestimmung, Seite 243 (Last paragraph of lecture no 10)

(Maybe somebody has the english edition, Self-consciousness and self-determination?)
"Do yourself a favor and get out of Samsara!" Dudjom Rinpoche, Counsels From My Heart

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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by Malcolm » Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:57 pm

emaho wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:19 pm
I couldn't find the english translation of this passage online (and neither the German original, btw.) but since we're discussing a German philosopher here, a German quote by one of his critics is hopefully not out of place:
Daß Heidegger am Wahrheitsbegriff, wenngleich in der angedeuteten schillernden Weise, immerhin festgehalten hat, kann als Indiz dafür gewertet werden, daß, wie ich vorhin behauptet habe, sogar Heideggers entrationalisierte Konzeption noch unbemerkt vom Vernunftbezug lebt. Wohin aber diese entrationalisierte Konzeption von Wahl und der entrationalisierte Wahrheitsbegriff führen kann, läßt sich an einer Rede sehen, die Heidegger im November 1933 zur Unterstützung von Hitler vor dem Volksreferendum zum Austritt aus dem Völkerbund gehalten hat. Sie beginnt so: "Das deutsche Volk ist vom Führer zur Wahl gerufen; der Führer aber erbittet nichts vom Volke, er gibt vielmehr dem Volke die unmittelbare Möglichkeit der höchsten freien Entscheidung, ob das ganze Volk sein Dasein will, oder ob es dieses nicht will. Das Volk wählt morgen nichts Geringeres als seine Zukunft." Und dann heißt es: "Was ist das also für ein Geschehen? Das Volk gewinnt die Wahrheit seines Daseinswillens zurück, denn Wahrheit ist die Offenbarkeit dessen, was ein Volk in seinem Handeln und Wissen sicher, hell und stark macht." [3] Diese Zitate zeigen, daß Heideggers Nazismus keine zufällige Angelegenheit war, sondern daß ein direkter Weg von seiner Philosophie - von seinem entrationalisierten Wahrheitsbegriff und dem von diesem bestimmten Begriff der Selbstbestimmung - zum Nazismus führte. Und doch würden wir auf philosophische Einsichten verzichten, wenn wir deswegen nicht von Heidegger lernen wollten, was wir von ihm lernen können. Es kommt darauf an, die genaue Stelle zu sehen, die zum Irrationalismus führte und nicht das Kind mit dem Bade auszuschütten."
Ernst Tugendhat, Selbstbewußtsein und Selbstbestimmung, Seite 243 (Last paragraph of lecture no 10)

(Maybe somebody has the english edition, Self-consciousness and self-determination?)

I like Negative Dialectics by Adorno who proves that Heidegger's thought is through going philosophical fascism:
"Existential thinking crawls into a the cave of a long-past mimesis. In the process it is nevertheless accommodating the most fatal prejudice from the philosophical history which it has laid off like a superfluous employee: the Platonic prejudice that the imperishable must the good, which is to say no more than that in permanent warfare the stronger is always the right...Of the eternal idea in which the entity was to share, or by which it was to be conditioned, nothing remains but the naked affirmation of of what is anyway— the affirmation of power."
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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by emaho » Sun Oct 08, 2017 9:19 pm

Malcolm wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 5:57 pm
I like Negative Dialectics by Adorno who proves that Heidegger's thought is through going philosophical fascism
Hmm, yeah, Adorno's style is quite thetic, I wouldn't really call it a proof, more a thesis. You'd probably enjoy Thomas Bernhard's "Old Masters" - it contains quite a few rants against Heidegger.
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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:25 pm

emaho wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 4:19 pm
I couldn't find the english translation of this passage online (and neither the German original, btw.) but since we're discussing a German philosopher here, a German quote by one of his critics is hopefully not out of place:
Daß Heidegger am Wahrheitsbegriff ...
Ernst Tugendhat, Selbstbewußtsein und Selbstbestimmung, Seite 243 (Last paragraph of lecture no 10)

(Maybe somebody has the english edition, Self-consciousness and self-determination?)

I think this is it:
The fact that Heidegger still retained the concept of truth (though in the illusive mode suggested) can be regarded as evidence that even his derationalized conception continues to be imperceptibly sustained by a relation to reason. The consequences of this derationalized conception of choice and the derationalized concept of truth, however, can be seen in a speech that Heidegger gave in November 1933. The speech was given in support of Hitler prior to the national referendum on Germany's withdrawal from the League of Nations. It begins in this way: "The German people are called upon to choose by their leader [Führer]. But the leader does not demand anything of the people; rather, he offers the people the immediate possibility of the supreme free decision: whether the people as a whole will claim their own Dasein, or whether they will fail to claim it. Tomorrow the people choose nothing less than their future." And it then continues: "What kind of an occasion is this? The people recover the truth of their will as Dasein, for truth is the disclosure of what makes a people certain, clear and strong in their acting and knowing." These quotes indicate that Heidegger's Nazism was no accidental affair, but that a direct path led from his philosophy—from its derationalized concept of truth and the concept of self-determination defined by this—to Nazism. Nonetheless, we would be relinquishing philosophical insight if we did not want to learn what we can from Heidegger for this reason. The point is to recognize precisely the position that led to irrationalism, and not to throw the baby out with the bath water.
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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by emaho » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:40 pm

Bingo! :thanks:

How on earth did you manage to find that?
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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by dzogchungpa » Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:44 pm

emaho wrote:
Sun Oct 08, 2017 11:40 pm
Bingo! :thanks:

How on earth did you manage to find that?

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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by DGA » Mon Oct 09, 2017 2:01 am

Well, Badiou insists that Heidegger is an EVENT, and he attempts to show his math in making this claim, so you know you have to take it seriously.

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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:39 pm

In case anyone wanted to actually find out what in Heidegger may be worthy of their appreciation, I wholeheartedly recommend David Michael Levin (later David Michael Kleinberg-Levin). "Gestalt Gestell Geviert: The Way of the Lighting," Chapter Four of Philosopher's Gaze, may be a good way to start:

http://publishing.cdlib.org/ucpresseboo ... nd=ucpress

Philosopher's Gaze works best when read in toto, but, as Levin says, its chapters work also as standalone texts.

Kleinberg-Levin is a contemporary phenomenologist whose main influences (phenomenology/hermeneutics aside) are the Frankfurt School (whom he, by and large, follows) and poststructuralists (who in the end seem to be his negative influences -- the influences he "overcomes" in the heideggerian sense of the word).

If you prefer good ol' no-holds-barred plain Martin-bashing, I will not be trying to stop you. Even if I wanted to I do not have the time :-)
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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by dzogchungpa » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:07 pm

treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:39 pm
Kleinberg-Levin is a contemporary phenomenologist whose main influences (phenomenology/hermeneutics aside) are the Frankfurt School (whom he, by and large, follows) and poststructuralists (who in the end seem to be his negative influences -- the influences he "overcomes" in the heideggerian sense of the word).

Apparently he did a dark retreat at Tsegyalgar.


treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:39 pm
If you prefer good ol' no-holds-barred plain Martin-bashing, I will not be trying to stop you. Even if I wanted to I do not have the time :-)

Poor Martin.
If you focus on an object, you are not meditating. - Dudjom Rinpoche

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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by DGA » Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:52 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:07 pm
treehuggingoctopus wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 7:39 pm
Kleinberg-Levin is a contemporary phenomenologist whose main influences (phenomenology/hermeneutics aside) are the Frankfurt School (whom he, by and large, follows) and poststructuralists (who in the end seem to be his negative influences -- the influences he "overcomes" in the heideggerian sense of the word).

Apparently he did a dark retreat at Tsegyalgar.
reported here:

https://darknessretreats.wordpress.com/ ... k-retreat/

I wonder if he remains a Dzogchen practitioner.

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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by treehuggingoctopus » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:19 pm

He writes about the dark retreat in his The Opening of Vision. While I do not know whether he still practices, in his writings he is rather consistent -- there is no major break between his first trilogy (The Body's Recollection of Being/The Opening of Vision/The Listening Self) and his last trilogy (the one ending with the book on Beckett).

I have yet to read a book of his I do not like but, well, I like continental philosophy. If you do not, you will probably not like Levin in the least.
. . . there they saw a rock! But it wasn't a rock . . .

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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by emaho » Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:27 pm

dzogchungpa wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:07 pm
Poor Martin.
What does "poor" mean again?
"Do yourself a favor and get out of Samsara!" Dudjom Rinpoche, Counsels From My Heart

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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by dzogchungpa » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:22 pm

emaho wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 10:27 pm
dzogchungpa wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 8:07 pm
Poor Martin.

What does "poor" mean again?

Dude, leave the snarky remarks to me. :smile:



Anyway, Levin also seems to have been close with everyone's favorite coiner of absurd neologisms, Herbert Guenther, writing the foreword to his "Wholeness Lost and Wholeness Regained" and being referenced several times in that book as well as "The Teachings of Padmasambhava". In fact, according to the acknowledgements section of the latter, he introduced Guenther to phenomenology and encouraged him in pursuing the "phenomenological-hermeneutical" approach taken in that book.
If you focus on an object, you are not meditating. - Dudjom Rinpoche

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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by jkarlins » Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:58 pm

Heidegger seems like one of those Western thinkers who doesn't make any sense.

Maybe they're not supposed to make sense. Maybe their project is more about word games than are very thorough and complicated.

A lot of "those guys" seem like almost impossible to read, require commentaries and/or professors to explain them. At that point, I tend to ask, why would I give them any time, if they can't be understood without so many layers of explanation and support?

Which starts to sound like I'm saying, hey, write some philosophy for dumb people. But what I think I'm saying is something more like, there doesn't seem to be much there to begin with.

Jake

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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by Wayfarer » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:10 am

I was cautiously interested in Heidegger, due to the enthusiasm for him of some posters that I respect on philosophy forums. I read a number of articles about him, online encyclopedia extracts, one of his essays and some other extracts. Never tackled Being and Time. He has some important insights, but the fact of his membership of the Nazi Party, his treatment of his predecessor, Edmund Husserl, and the fact that he never formally recanted his involvement with Nazism, made me decide not to invest the time in trying to understand him better.

Also, it's a sad fact (in my opinion) that the tradition of Western philosophy has more or less collapsed under its own weight. The verbosity and obscurity of German philosophers (Kant, Hegel, Heidegger) is such that you can have roomfuls of learned scholars, all of whom fundamentally disagree about what they actually mean. I think this is because Western philosophy became severed from any idea of philosophical 'praxis' which you still find so brilliantly preserved in Buddhist culture.

Nevertheless, I am finding there are elements in Western (actually the Platonic) tradition, which I am very drawn to. I think there are original ideas of great importance in that tradition.
In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities; in the expert's mind there are few ~ Suzuki-roshi

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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by jkarlins » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:28 am

Yup, that makes a lot of sense. Collapsed under its own weight seems like a good description to me.

As far as other thinkers, they are out there. Your mention of the Ancient Greeks seems like a good example- some interesting stuff. I'm not really knowledgeable enough to say a lot more at this point.

The other thought I had, and this is a little out there- because so much of this tradition is supported by academia and the mechanisms of many texts and oral explanations, it seems like there are the actual writings, one's personal understanding, and the accepted academic explanations.

The second one is important, but could be very eccentric or personal.

The third one is what people like me pick up in classes- limited by my own understanding and laziness, but also a kind of boiled-down version of things usually- based on reading essays about essays about essays, based on textbooks sometimes, and a teacher's more or less accurate summaries and attempts to give context.

What I find interesting is that this third part is kind of its own thing. It exists almost separate from the text and the author's ideas. This could be good or bad, depending, I guess.

Jake

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Re: Confrontation with Heidegger

Post by emaho » Wed Oct 11, 2017 12:51 am

dzogchungpa wrote:
Tue Oct 10, 2017 11:22 pm
Dude, leave the snarky remarks to me. :smile:
Dude, I'm still a Dudette. :smile:

Anyway, the passage I quoted above is the concluding paragraph of three chapters of examination and discussion of Heidegger's philosophy from the point of view of analytical philosophy. Ernst Tugendhat had written his habilitation thesis about the concept of truth in Husserl and Heidegger and then later "converted" to analytical philosophy, so he is actually very competent in Heidegger's philosophy and he is certainly not bashing him. The English translation seems to be very good and these ~80 pages are a very good read.



(Not that I wouldn't enjoy a good Heidegger bashing though... :twisted: )
"Do yourself a favor and get out of Samsara!" Dudjom Rinpoche, Counsels From My Heart

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