[lit-ideas] The nothing noths

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Mon, 16 Feb 2015 18:00:43 -0500

My last post today!
Or is it Heideggeriana?
Grice once referred to Heidegger as "the greatest living philosopher".  

In a message dated 2/16/2015 2:23:33 P.M. Eastern Standard Time,  
jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx writes:
I have not begun to read  Heidegger  or to contemplate his sermons 
sufficiently enough to pass  judgment on what he preaches.

So let's revise what C. B. posted.
"Bultmann and Heidegger were colleagues at Marburg in the 1920's".
"They attended each other's seminars; and Bultmann appears to have been  
caught up along with the others who quickly recognized Heidegger and his  
teaching as something extraordinary."

Bultmann said that, reading Heidegger, "thinking has come alive again, the  
intellectual treasures of the past, long believed to be dead, have been 
made to  speak again."
Bultmann: "And it has been found that they bring forth very different  
things than one sceptically assumed."
Bultmann: "There is a teacher."

Bultmann: "One can perhaps learn thinking."
Bultmann "One can perhaps learn that thinking, that springs as a passion  
from the simple fact of being-born-into-the-world."

"'Now,' Bultmann said to Heidegger, 'you must, like  Augustine,  write your 
"Confessions" -- not in the least for the sake of  the truth in your 
Heidegger's face turned to a petrified mask and he left, impolitely,  
without saying a word.
Another quote: "Some say that Heidegger's philosophy is a thing of  evil;  
not only is it 'de-humanizing', but it has corrupted much of 20th  century 
This was I think Carnap's idea, and Ayer. Ayer, in Vienna, learned from  
Carnap, and brought to Oxford the idea that Heidegger's "Nothing noths" was a  
breach of logical syntax (metaphysics as nonsense).
Another quote:

"why philosophy has allowed itself to be corrupted by  the 'Heidegger case'.
-- for the ascription of the quotes vide C. B.'s post, "Permission". 
Ayer refers once to "a Heidegger" in his 1935 book. Ayer might be  
particularly interested in Heidegger seeing that Ryle (Ayer's tutor) had  
"Being and Time" for the journal "Mind":


"as there is no place in the empirical 
world for many  of these 'entities', a special non-empirical 
world is invoked to house them.  To this error must be 
attributed, not only the utterances of a Heidegger,  who 
bases his metaphysics on the assumption that 'Nothing' 
is a name  which is used to denote something peculiarly 
P. L. Heath expresses it pretty well:

"The universe at large is fringed with nothingness, from which indeed  (how 
else?) it must have been created, if created it was; and its beginning and  
end, like that of all change within it, must similarly be viewed as a 
passage  from one nothing to another, with an interlude of being in between. 
 thoughts, or others like them, have haunted the speculations of nullophile 
 metaphysicians from Pythagoras to Pascal and from Hegel and his followers 
to  Heidegger, Tillich and Sartre. Being and non being, as they see it, are  
complementary notions, dialectically entwined, and of equal status and  
importance; although Heidegger alone has extended their symmetry to the point 
of  equipping Das Nichts with a correlative (if nugatory) activity of 
noth-ing, or  nihilating, whereby it produces Angst in its votaries and 
hilarity in  those, such as Carnap and Ayer, who have difficulty in parsing 
"nothing" as a  present participle of the verb "to noth.""
"If sentences such as "The nothing noths" and "Numbers speak silently" do  
express propositions, then one ought to be able to have de re knowledge by  
acquaintance with the propositions they express."

ps.: C. B. in "Re: Reading Heidegger": 
"if you have not read Heidegger in German, you 
have not read  Heidegger."
Well, Carnap read it in German ("Das Nichts nichtet"); Ayer translated. 
"If you have not read Heidegger in German, you have not read Heidegger" --  
but his translator. 
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