Welcome to my Heidegger site.
It contains information on the German philosopher Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)
and links to related web pages in English.
Information at this site
The rest of this page has all the links ordered chronologically, with the most recent additions at the top.
Though Heidegger never escapes the Kantian correlation between thought and world, both composing half of any situation we can talk about, he would not treat the orange as simply an enduring core within the visible realm. For Heidegger there is always withdrawal (Entzug) behind all presence, and the name of what withdraws is Being.
A video presentation.
When Heidegger speaking to the heart of the charge of nihilism argues that “Only from the truth of being can the essence of the holy be thought” he suggests that one must hear language beyond logic in a mode that hearkens to melody, interval, the spirit of the word.
"Overcoming Metaphysics" provides the jumping off point for a wide-ranging critique and deconstruction of Western Metaphysics.
Given the inherently subjective nature of modern politics, the most appropriate response would seem to be withdrawal from the political realm altogether. Sure enough, much of Heidegger‘s work counsels the abdication of the political realm.
This crossing from technical knowing to erotic understanding is the experience of enowning itself, which recoils, at least in fantasy, into erotic enslavement of another. Ownership of another Self was seen as the primally erotic by Plato in the Phaedrus and Symposium at the beginning of metaphysics but lost in the swapping of the erotic horizon for the thanatic, particularly in Christianity, which from the beginning betrayed the erotic experience of life as love in its focus on death.
Hermeneutics is not to be construed as a form of theoretical comprehension or as a theory about interpretation. It is itself an interpreting, an announcing, a making known, and, as such, it is an interpreting that is also self-interpreting – hermeneutics is “the announcement and making known of the being of a being in its being in relation to…(me).”
This year's Institute for Hermeneutic Phenomenology is June 17–20, 2013, Indiana University. The visting philosopher is Andrew Mitchell.
The 2013 meeting of the Heidegger Circle is in New Haven, CT, May 2-5, 2013.
Sinn is a socially and historically constituted conceptual scheme, which functions as the background of all understanding.
[B]y comparing the sublime to an ontological mood of disclosure, rather than understanding it as an aesthetic experience, one is able to give an account which overcomes some—if not all—of the concept's metaphysical baggage bequeathed by Kant.
Clarifying phenomenology by looking at the phenomenon of life.
Heidegger derives his main point about the temporality, the “subjectivity” of the pure subject in Kant: it is not some fixed (innate) a priori transcendental unity, contained in a consciousness. Rather, it is the open temporality of relating to being that “affects our concepts and representations”.
Similar to all of Heidegger’s terms, Ereignis gestures to the possibility that the name has come, has become flesh in an experimental sense and one that cannot be reduced to the Pentecost of Christianity or the Shavuot of Judaism. That a spiritual-linguistic epiphany accompanies the creation of the word is suggested by the poetic context to which Heidegger’s key word for authentic experience—Ereignis—belongs.
Let us also acknowledge that one cannot read Heidegger without a kind of drunkenness, that particular drunkenness which German philosophical wines of the best vintage give.
Exploring the factical life through Heidegger's early courses.
For Heidegger in looking-toward being requires a looking-away-from coming-into-being and passing-away. As Heraclitus would say the harmonious structure of the world depends upon opposite tension like the bow and lyre. For Heidegger, "this is possible only if something is set above being, something that being never is yet but always ought to be." Being is the power that emerges and discloses.
[S]ocial man has no criterion by which to judge his behaviour other than that of society. This may seem like a good thing – in general - but its cash value is that the individual has given himself up to anonymous instrumentality, allowing it to govern his existence as an investment, or a managerial project.
[B]eing, time and space need human being for their eventuation. Hence, modern science's postulation of and insistence on the 'objective reality' of space and time is an illusion insofar as there is (i.e. It gives) objectivity only for subjectivity, and human being cast as subjectivity is only one particular historical casting of human being that still holds sway in our own epoch.
What we want to explore is never the fate of questioning in the wake of technology, that is: we do not ask how it fares with questioning in today’s technological world nor and indeed how to put technology as such in question (as if it could be) but and much rather we are concerned with the how, the practical know-how, of remedying or fixing whatever may be the untoward consequences of technology and just so that we can continue along as we are and have been.
It is only ‘properly speaking’ (eigentlich) that dao can be said to refer to Weg. This means that only when interpreted in the particular manner, or thought in its proper nature as Heidegger may ascribe to it, can dao come into relation with Weg. Weg is the standard against which dao is measured. The same consideration applies to the relation between Ereignis and dao.
Heidegger seemed to have become expecially frustrated that his earlier formulations were still not understood in the proper way - as he would often say, primarily because we who are accustomed to speaking of "beings" only as static "objects" and "facts" have lost the ability to "hear" the names of Being as the Greeks heard them.
New directions in hermeneutics and new possibilities for “the life of understanding” and “the understanding of life.”
The Collegium Phaenomenologicum will convene for its thirty-eighth annual session in the Umbrian town of Città di Castello from July 8–26, 2013.
Bret Davis, Dennis Schmidt, Daniela Vallega-Neu
[F]or Heidegger an ontology with ethical content is always bad ontology. This assumption represents a failure to encounter Plato's thought because the idea of the good cannot be adequately characterized as either purely ontological or an ontic value, as Heidegger's own indecision shows.
[I]f the current state of history is characterised by Seinsvergessenheit, it is impossible to ask directly after the Sinn of being, since our current conceptual scheme does not allow that question. And this explains Heidegger’s general philosophical strategy of creating a new conceptual repertoire, or, by reemploying an old conceptual repertoire, in order to give a more accurate description of Dasein and the world.
It was Heidegger in the twentieth century who argued that the metaphysical quest for presence was in fact irrational and based on a distorted understanding both of the Greek concept of being and of the way we engage with the world, which in its emphasis on reflection tends to sideline the pre-reflexive and physically embodied aspects of man’s—or Dasein’s—opening onto the world.
Translated by Andrew Mitchell
The transition from B&T and Heidegger's later thinking in plain language.
The risk run by dialectical thinking, whether utopic or negative, can be avoided only if one relates Heidegger's radical recovery of the question of Being to the critique of metaphysics as an ideology committed to insecurity and the domination that stems from it.
According to Heidegger, Aristotle‘s fundamental insight was this: "being-moved" (kinesis) is the basic mode of being. Further, Aristotle clearly understood that the central philosophical task was to articulate the different dimensions of "being-moved" that is physis, Being, the process by which beings appear or presence.
The Blind Brain Theory actually possesses the resources to reinterpret a number of the early Heidegger’s central insights, thrownness and ecstatic temporality among them. The focus here, however, is the Ontological Difference, and the kind of hermeneutic logic Heidegger developed in an attempt to mind the distinction between being and beings, and so avoid the theoretical sin of reification.
Was cybernetics the height of metaphysical humanism, as Heidegger maintained, or was it the height of its deconstruction, as certain of Heidegger’s followers believe?
The new translation
Translated by Richard Rojcewicz and Daniela Vallega-Neu
The transition from B&T and Heidegger's later thinking in plain language.
Heidegger’s tool‐analysis holds good for even the most stupefied forms of inanimate causation. But this means that the linguistic turn and all other forms of the philosophy of human access are shattered by Heidegger in a single blow. The relation between humans and the world is now merely a subset of the general relations between one withdrawn object and another.
It is of course highly significant that Being is now displaced as the transcendens schlechthin—"the absolutely transcendent"—in favour of the Es gibt. The giving and sending of both Being and Time and their mutual relations are now referred to by Heidegger as Das Ereignis which now becomes the focal concern of the essay.
This understanding-interpretation relationship having the notion of being-in-the-world in background is circular in the sense that all interpretations require the fore-structure of understanding and again all understanding is developed or projected through interpretation. This is what Heidegger calls the ‘circle of understanding’ denying any possibility of its being vicious.
[O]n the one hand, [Heidegger] clearly shares the concern of environmentalists and ecologists regarding humankind’s currently destructive relation to the Earth; on the other hand, he could not agree with the widely held view (e.g., Odum 1997) that the application of cybernetic principles to ecology provides a suitable theoretical framework within which this destruction may be overcome. This raises the important question of whether Heidegger’s thought makes possible the elaboration of a viable environmental philosophy that in some sense transcends cybernetics.
Granted that Heidegger allows for the possibility in Being and Time of an authentic human community, the ontological analysis of this authentic community is nonetheless enunciated in its distinction from a public world that would be capable of serving as an authentic ontological foundation for the political realm.
In Heidegger’s view, the danger of technology, including biotechnology, is not that something might go terribly wrong, but, quite the contrary, that everything will actually function smoothly.
An investigation into the theme of homelessness in Heidegger’s discourses.MORE
Insofar as the artwork instigates the strife between unconcealment and concealment in the setting up and setting-forth of world and earth it is a site of the happening, or “setting-into-work” of truth.
Heidegger suggests that for modern eyes, the “political” is the way in which history is accomplished, and as such is itself unquestioned. The failure to question the “political” belongs with its totality. The totality of the political is not simply based on the arbitrary wilfulness of dictators, but in the metaphysical essence of modern actuality in general.
Transcendence is the fundamental structure of the subjectivity of the subject. This is why in the traditional sense for Heidegger there is no transcendence: for him it is immanent in human existence.
The common threads in both thinkers and how to understand them together.MORE
The mineness of the memory is not inherent in a momentary act in the stream of consciousness. Instead it is the mineness of world-disclosure.
[T]here is an incipient distinction between ‘place’ and ‘location’ in Heidegger's late work. Heidegger articulates a relationship between the opening that allows an event of appropriation (Ereignis), which defines an epoch in the history of Being, and the dwelling of mortals in place (Ort), or among places, in which language plays a mediating role as the way in which Being speaks mortals.
Huebner’s critique of learning in social efficiency ideology is linked directly to Heidegger’s interpretation of the Cartesian world of objects, for if we are perceiving the classroom in such impoverished terms, focusing only on the objective features of the things we deal with, their present-at-hand attributes, their abiding presence, educators are missing the fact that things and people always reveal themselves in a larger context, within a context of meaningful relations, which cannot be reduced to the knowledge of things available to us by way of thematizing the world.
Heidegger shows that pathos is not an incidental concept or a mere “byproduct” of other concepts, such as substance (ousia) or being (to einai). Instead, Heidegger pulls pathos out of the (traditional) shadows and shows its intricate connection with the groundbreaking concepts of being, movement, disposition, embodiment, and logos.
The place of topology in Heidegger's thinking.MORE
[A]rt opens and readies Dasein for its authentic communal and historical Being . . . in the “work-being” of the great work of art as the Ereignis, the lighting and clearing event of truth’s happening (aletheia), the temporal event of appropriation of the historical destining of Being, which is facilitated by Dasein’s participation in and preservation of the great work of art.
Droysen defined history as the constant increase of the ethical world, an assumption Heidegger did not share and which, in his view, lacked any proof.
In order to avoid the epistemological preconceptions built into the traditional terminology of thinghood and to overcome the temptation to discuss entities as pieces of inert matter, Heidegger introduces a set of new concepts, the most important of which are the concepts of dealing (Umgang), concern (Besorgen), and equipment (Zeug).
What Heidegger misses in his description of the Hegelian "experience" as the path of despair (Verzweiflung) is the proper abyss of this process: it is not only the natural consciousness that is shattered, but also the transcendental standard, measure, or framing ground against which natural consciousness experiences its inadequacy and failure - as Hegel put it, if what we thought to be true fails the measure of truth, this measure itself has to be abandoned.
As time passes, so do our possibilities. The passing of time and indeed such restrictions are thus meaningful only for a being that lives with an understanding of a limit.
The more important thing to consider today is that in this age of modern mobility, worlds are more frequently reshaped and transformed than ever before. This should make us recognize that we are indeed standing on groundless grounds, for our worlds, we now realize, are not only mobile and malleable but temporary, because in fact they are entirely temporal. This, in the end, is what Malick’s Heideggerian cinema—as both a product and an investigation of cultural mobility—puts on display.
[D]espite Heidegger’s rejection of resistance as an argument for the self-existence of the external world, Dilthey’s notion of resistance is appropriated and transformed in Heidegger’s thinking of life’s phenomenality and facticity.
Returning to the Greek beginnings of philosophy in a manner more radically than Hegel's provides one way out of the encapsulation of the mind within the subject which consequently has to communicate with the world through re-presentations in its consciousness. Heidegger practises precisely such a return to Parmenides in some of his late and latest writings, which will be tapped here to consider whether, in comparison to Kant, Parmenides was in his right mind.
Digital ontology concerns our understanding of Being. We believe that we understand something in its being when we are able to re-make digitally. Within the digital casting of Being we look at humans as they are online instead of embracing the digital within the "life-world" (Husserl).
I introduce a hermeneutics of laughter and contend that the event of Ereignis receives its meaning from Gelotopoesis—the poetic act of laughter. Moreover, I claim that the echo of Gelotopoesis becomes the possibility of the transmission of tradition and is attested by a hypertonic boastfulness and a hypotonic irony.
Merleau-Ponty’s and Freeman’s account of how we directly pick up significance and improve our sensitivity to relevance depends on our responding to what is significant for us given our needs, body size, ways of moving, and so forth, not to mention our personal and cultural self-interpretation. If we can’t make our brain model responsive to the significance in the environment as it shows up specifically for human beings, the project of developing an embedded and embodied Heideggerian AI can’t get off the ground.
In the Ister lectures, Heidegger presents poetry as the primary linguistic means for allowing beings to emerge into appearance—not for purposes of usefulness or manipulation, but simply to let beings be. This includes the realization that what it means to be German remains rooted in the ground of what it once meant to be Greek. These issues of autochthony, for the poet and his people, allow Heidegger to revisit related concepts from Sophocles' Antigone.
[T]he present for Heidegger stands under the fate of the forgetfulness·-of-Bei11g. Nations do have a relation to objects in their wide-ranging activities and productions, but they have I011g since fallen from Being itself. Therefore we are "reeling, " when seen metaphysically.
Contrary to Heidegger's own view, both Hegel and Heidegger are, I shall claim, anti-Cartesians. (According to Heidegger, Hegel was the greatest Cartesian).
There is no doubt that technology allows humans to control the harshness of nature and gives us the ability to satisfy our needs and mitigate suffering. However, as is suggested in the ode, when we are completely ruled by techne, we lose all connection to the natural order in lieu of the prescribed order of technical control.
László Tengelyi has recently developed the idea of Sinnereignis (meaning-event) as a way of capturing the emergence of meaning that does not flow from some prior project or constitutive act. As such, it might seem to pose something of a challenge to phenomenology: the paradox of an experience that is mine without being my accomplishment.
While Heidegger recognizes that his thesis is an improper delimitation on the animal, at the same time he claims for the time being we will have to make do with this statement insofar as we do not have an “explicit metaphysical understanding of the essence of world” that could allow us to properly delimit the animal and its relation to world.
[C]are of the self concerns a certain openness within the closure of modern technologically conditioned experience; an openness that is resolutely indeterminate. This openness is not something that exists outside technology; rather it is technology’s very possibility, but considered in terms other than those prescribed by technology itself.
In the case of Heidegger's Parmenides, which presses a philosophical argument, it will be meanings to come, rather than events proper, that will be implicitly promised, predicted, hinted at, -- meanings rather than events in that the emergence, revelation, fulfillment of meaning is the philosophical "event" par excellence.
I call this doubly transformative moment the pedagogical truth event. In such events, we achieve a revolutionary return to the self that shows us how to step beyond our nihilistic late-modernity into a genuinely meaningful postmodern understanding of being.
School of Philosophy at The Catholic University of America
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philsophy's entry on
The purpose of the present article is to argue that it is not worth the time and effort to become familiar with Heidegger's life and writings for the purpose of learning how to argue the case for antianthropocentrism. Heidegger does not succeed in developing a convincing case for bis type of antianthropocentrism.
Heidegger maintains that while mourning rituals are necessary and may follow particular forms, mourning is a uniquely personal experience and one that only those who have had the experience can understand. The loss itself is indicative of the relationship we have with others and for Heidegger, this is what makes the loss so significant and impossible to understand until it has been experienced.
We know, or we think we know, what it means for something to be. But we find ourselves facing an impasse, an aporia, and an insurmountable difficulty now that the time has come for us to inquire about what it means that something, precisely, is.
Two recent books from
Email the author to read the rest: Daniel.Ferrer@cmich.edu
The naming of what Heidegger here called the “place of arrival,” or the naming of Ereignis, the “event of appropriation,” still presents a puzzle since it is not clear—even with our understanding of poetic “calling”—exactly how one might name something that is itself a process, an originary event, by whose occurrence (always partially veiled) naming is first made possible. And further, as we have already been told, the task of poetic language is not “naming” as such, but instead it is the figuring of the call of being as the play of lethe and aletheia.
Heidegger’s project is to get back to the original question of Being that was asked by the Greeks and to ask it in a more primordial way, which means that he must begin his investigation of Being in a “pre-theoretical” way. The traditional theoretical approach to the question of Being, according to Heidegger, regards the thinker and the object of its thought as being indifferently detached from one another.
The two sentences say the same thing: only in concrete existentiell appropriation of oneself as the act of questioning does questioning find its answer, namely, that the meaning of being is questionableness itself. Only in resolve does one enter Ereignis; only by taking up personally one’s own movement does one authentically discover the movement that is being itself.More Heidegger articles.
Heidegger writes that any experience, object, emotion or event can be understood within its context. Because There-being has a world and is its world, all innerworldly beings, all that exists for There-being, is in that world - in a particular way. Because There-being has the ability to understand any person or event as a sign, as meaning something, within the context of the referentiality of all persons and some things.
Heidegger criticizes all previous attempts to articulate the meaning and structure of the given, the life-world: they have all failed to reach the primordially given, the pragmata, the fundamental objects of human concern. This failure, to put it in non-Heideggerian terms, is the failure to articulate the fundamental attitude of religiosity permeating the perspective of the life-world.
In the very last sentence of the “Introduction” to The Second Sex, Simone de Beauvoir promises that the book will give her readers the means “to comprehend the difficulties with which (women) collide in the moment in which, trying to make their escape from the sphere hitherto assigned them, they aspire to participate in the human Mitsein.” But what is this “human Mitsein” in which women, according to Beauvoir, aspire to participate?
[F]or now it suffices to see that the concept ‘land’ originally bore a trace of the ontological meaning revealed in Heidegger’s understanding of earth. Indeed, one merely need recall J.S. Mill’s declaration that land is a gift to all when he writes, ‘No man made the land. It is the original inheritance of the whole species.’
Heidegger acknowledges that for Aristotle the zóon politikon is a speaking animal, but he is quick to project the teaching of Plato onto the speech of the zóon politikon. The speaking citizen does not overcome the inauthentic preoccupation that pervades the rule of the They in everydayness, and his deliberative speech in the public space of the polis is, Heidegger claims, trapped in ‘habits’, ‘fashion’, ‘immediate vogue’, ‘idle talk’.
There is thus for Foucault a fourfold shift, the question is no longer that ‘of truth, but of being; not of nature, but of man; not of the possibility of understanding, but of the possibility of a primary misunderstanding;’ and finally and with respect to science the shift has been ‘from the possibility of a science of nature to the possibility for man to conceive of himself.’ Thus Foucault has all along been speaking of Heidegger if indeed by way of Nietzsche and Hölderlin.
Heidegger calls his own way of philosophical speaking an unfolding (Entfaltung) of the guiding question of Nietzsche in view of his fundamental metaphysical position (Grundstellung). This unfolding stands under the sign of a confrontation (Auseinandersetzung) with the fundamental metaphysical position of Nietzsche, with his answer to the guiding question of philosophical thinking.
has a new book
Seven essays on how art can get us beyond the nihilistic ontotheology of the modern age.
Heidegger provides in a clue in one of the rare passages in Being and Time in which he uses the word action (Handeln) explicitly. Here Heidegger brings up the term ‘action’ merely to express his reservations about using the term, as he says that action “must be taken so broadly that ‘activity’ will also embrace the passivity of resistance”. For Heidegger, the term ‘action’ must be understood so broadly that it includes passivity as well.
Heidegger’s philosophy of technology, described in his Bremen lectures and discussed further at his seminar in Le Thor, in many ways paints a dark picture of our current mode of living in this world. We have become dependent on technology and now only relate to the world for the sake of how it can be applied.
[W]ithin the ontological ordering of Ge-stell, IT reveals the earth as the globe. The globe, nowadays both a ready-to-hand entity and a constitutive element of being-in-the-world, is a technological being in that literally and ontologically it is an outcome of the IT apparatus.
How does the god enter philosophy? he explains, “leads back to the question, What is the origin of the ontotheological essential constitution of metaphysics?” [...] God’s entering—or perhaps we ought to say his being dragged—into the ambit of human thinking is the determining event in the Western metaphysical tradition.
Jay Bernstein, Simon Critchley, Daniel Dahlstrom, Jennifer Anna Gosetti-Ferencei, Matthias Fritsch, Dimitir Ginev, Lawrence Hatab, Don Ihde, Leslie MacAvoy, Eduardo Mendieta, Yujin Nagasawa, Anne O'Bryne, Kelly Oliver Robert Scharff, Hugh Silverman, Peter Paul Verbeek
The very supposition that there is (or even could be) a single meaning of being in general is something that the later Heidegger argues we should transcend as part of the ontotheological legacy of Western metaphysics—along with the very idea of a creator God who stands outside the secular world, implicitly unifying the meaning of exis- tence (that is, both the meaning of the universe and of our own lives) from his God’s eye perspective or “view from nowhere”.
We are not beings, who are in a world, but always already in a world in our being, being-in-the-world. Similarly, the world is not constructed along mathematical, scientific lines, but encountered through experience and living.
The festival as bridal festival is thus thought by Heidegger as the most singular and unique, and at the same time most communal and universal Anfang and Ereignis through which the history of Dasein/humanity as Seynsgeschichte originates and issues, inherits and traduces itself.
The entire history of philosophy revolves around presence (i.e. false nearness) no less than science does. For Heidegger, the only way to think the essence of thing is to recognise that things have a ‘fourfold’ structure.
A new translation
Translated by Phillip Jacques Braunstein
Heidegger's last public university lecture before the end of World War II.
Proceeding to more Heidegger links:
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Last updated 2013/5/22