[lit-ideas] Re: The nothing noths

  • From: "" <dmarc-noreply@xxxxxxxxxxxxx> (Redacted sender "Jlsperanza@xxxxxxx" for DMARC)
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 21 Feb 2015 08:45:47 -0500

In symbols:
□ ͻ[[Λ]](Λ)
-- what D. P. Henry calls the 'quæstio subtilissima". 

In a message  dated 2/21/2015 12:35:25 A.M. Eastern Standard Time, 
omarkusto@xxxxxxxxx  writes:
Does "Das Nicht nichtet" simply mean "nothing is nothing"?

Well, no. Carnap once said:
i. Pirots karulise elatically.
Grice thus loved (i) that he invented a branch of philosophy called  
'pirotology'. I think Carnap's point is that 'noth' ('nichten', in German) is a 
verb that Heidegger INVENTED -- like 'pirot'. 
Granted, D. P. Henry does not find this problematic, since his axioms is  
that for any noun, there is a corresponding verb. His example to justify  
Heidegger's "The Nothing noths" is "The Deputy deputises". 
(Oddly, Wikipedia's entry on Henry only dwells on his drawing  machines).

"the mysterious Henry is surely right. There is such a logical system,  and 
it's called tautology."
Well, J. L. Scherb was regretting that D. P. Henry's commentary was too  
short. So Scherb proposes to make it explicit whatever Henry didn't. Mainly  
Scherb expands on the work of Stanisław Leśniewski -- 'prothetics', and 
provides  all the axioms, premises, and rules that yield "The Nothing noths" as 
a  tautology -- including

i. sol(Λ)
ii. ͻ[[Λ]](Λ)
Scherb argues that since D. P. Henry was into mediaeval philosophy he  
didn't much care for Heidegger (but I would argue that Heidegger's obsession  
with 'nihil' is scholastic and mediaeval, since the Graeco-Roman philosophers  
could think nothing interesting about nothing -- whereas the post-ancients 
did  have to refute the idea of creation with 'ex nihilo nihil'.
Scherb does notes that Henry never cared to *prove* his claim in  a 
canonical way (also that the claim may contains an ambiguity).
Scherb provides the required disambiguation together with the missing  
Stanisław Leśniewski's protothetic (that Grice quotes in "Aspects of  
Reason) is referred to by Ludger Honnefelder as providing a "new beginning to  
Stanisław Leśniewski's justification of "The nothing noths" can thus be  
regarded as an ontological supplement to Michael Friedman's essay on 
HeideggerL:  one CAN make use  of PRECISE logical tools in general way 
justifying a  
few of the central  statements of  Heidegger's  Fundamentalontologie.
Is nihilism involved?
Omar: "Here I would like to see some further clarification. (Or perhaps  
simply clarification) What is "nihilism" and how is it illustrated by the 
above  truism?"
Well, in Heidegger's  terms, the being of  beings discloses itself in the 
nullifying of  nothingness ("Das Nichts nichtet", "The Nought noughts", "The 
Nothing  noths")." This differs from Sartre's more superficial mode of  
existentialism: Sartre's nothingness ("le néant néantisant")  is not even the 
'death' of which Heidegger and Simmel speak  of. One could, though, relate 
Heidegger's metaphysics of nothing to  existentialist nihility or nihilism, 
that is, to a view which still treats  nothingness as negativity and as 
something outside of existence. In  Heidegger's metaphysics, nothingness is 
being viewed "from  the bias of self-existence as the groundlessness 
("Grundlosigkeit") of  existence lying at  the  ground  of  self-existence  and 
thus  as something lying outside of the 'existence' of  the self." 

Perhaps Heidegger was, like Gerhardt Hauptmann, being  influenced by 
Schopenhauer, and inspired by Schopenhauer's sense of the world's  absurdity, 
either regarded in a more nihilistic and gloomy manner, or regarded  in a more 
lighthearted, absurdist and comic manner (as in Flanagan and Allen).  
Similarly, the hollow, nihilistic laughter expressed by the Dada movement at 
turn of the century in the midst of the Great War reiterates feelings  that 
Schopenhauer's philosophy had embodied almost a century earlier. 

ps. The utterance by Anselm that D. P. Henry calls 'the ancestor' to  
Heidegger's "The Nothing noths" is "Necesse est nihil esse nihil" -- roughly, 
D. P. Henry's paraphrase, "Nothing must be nothing". More literally: It is  
necessary that (the) nothing is (the) nothing". 
In symbols:

i. sol(Λ)
ii. ͻ[[Λ]](Λ)
iii. □ ͻ[[Λ]](Λ)
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