[lit-ideas] Re: Tradition sedition

  • From: Mike Geary <jejunejesuit.geary2@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Sat, 13 Feb 2010 10:14:20 -0600

This is the last time I'm going to waste my energy trying to straighten you
people out about Heidegger.  I swear you folk try the patience of a saint.
In "Being and Time" Heidegger sets out the startling these startling truths:
(1) human beings have consciousness of their own existence and the existence
of things "out there", (2) existence is temporary and we know this, (3) each
one of us was taught how and what to think by the particular world we were
born into, (4)  we are the world we were born into, (5) most of us seem to
accept the world without question and being good boy scouts, get merit
badges and die. (6) some however get aberrant ideas whether through
psychosis or a genius gene and reinterpret an idea causing a new idea that
others misunderstand and so it goes the world of idea change. (7) as human
beings (says Heidegger) our first concern is with knowing existence,
examining what it means to exist.  Most people don't, they (says Heidegger)
live inauthentic lives -- rush hour traffic is full of them -- while those
who ponder existence are gathered in Starbucks sipping authenticity.

All the rest of Heidegger is crap.  A Nazi trying to glory the darkest days
of German history.

Phil, originality is rarely original, I think.  As you say, vocabulary is
limited, our time on earth to experience things is limited, it wouldn't
surprise me then to learn that all possibilities have been exhausted.  I
read somewhere a guesstimate that 300 billion people has existed since it
all began -- that's a lot of competition.  Of course, math and technology
are open fronts -- worlds I know even less about than philosophy.  Perhaps
there.  But even in the liberal arts, there a new combinations, new
sensibilities, new possibilities for those who don't know everything.

"Aletheia"  doesn't that mean, I don't know much art, but I know what I
like?  : )

Mike Geary

On Fri, Feb 12, 2010 at 8:00 PM, Phil Enns <phil.enns@xxxxxxxxx> wrote:

> Mike Geary wrote:
> "Authenticity, as I understand Heidegger's use of the term, refers to
> the self's relationship to the self -- it is the awareness that one's
> self is a unique self in the world and to some degree at least is free
> to decide its own identity.  The inauthentic soul is one who just goes
> along with the program (tradition, education, group values, etc.)
> never aware that their self is uniquely their own, that they are free
> to question everything. Their lives are given over to average
> everydayness.  If I'm right in my reading, I don't see anything very
> original in Heidegger.  Ten thousand poets and artists have said such
> long before him."
> I don't have my Heidegger texts at hand, so I can't quote chapter and
> verse, but for Heidegger it is not people who are authentic or
> inauthentic, but rather moments of experience.  Heidegger recognizes
> that most of our life is necessarily comprised of inauthentic
> experiences.  For Heidegger, inauthenticity is not a bad thing.  The
> problem comes when authentic moments are crowded out by inauthentic
> moments.  So, the later Heidegger spends his time warning us about the
> dangers of technology and trying to encourage us to open up ourselves
> to authentic moments, whether it is in reading the pre-Socratics, or
> Holderlin, or looking at a van Gogh.
> Given how much of Heidegger's work is devoted to commentary on the
> works of others, the question of originality is problematic.  I would
> never recommend people read Heidegger's writings on Nietzsche in order
> to better understand Nietzsche, but nevertheless Heidegger clearly
> positions himself as following after Nietzsche.  The same goes for his
> work on the pre-Socratics and the word 'Aletheia'.  Heidegger
> understands himself as standing in a fairly well-defined tradition.
> But then I have never really understood the whole 'originality' thing.
>  Given that a writer has to use a shared language and understanding of
> what counts as 'writing', and if being 'original' is to do something
> that hasn't been done by 'ten thousand poets and artists before', then
> I am not sure what would count as 'original'.  In fact, I do not
> understand what merit there is in being original, nor do I understand
> the significance of pointing out that someone is not original.
> Unoriginal and mostly inauthentic,
> Phil Enns
> Yogyakarta, Indonesia
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