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.
Heidegger insists that the phenomenological question of method is not a question of the appropriate methodological system, but of access, how to find the way to a “factical” life experience. A phenomenology of religious life, he writes, should not be a theory about the religious, conceived of as an object of study in the standard mode of a science of religion, but rather as a way of entering in understanding the religious as a form of meaning-fulfilment or enactment.
Heidegger also came to grasp autochthony as the name for an understanding of history as a destiny [Geschichte als ein Geschick] to which we primordially belong and through which we are appropriated by the gift-giving power of being (what he would term Ereignis).
Heidegger proceeds to assign an ontological status to the relation between people and state: that is, what it means for a particular people to be must be established through its state. While he leaves open the question of what a people in general is, he claims that the state is not just ‘grounded in the Being of the people’ but is the Being of the people
Dying understood as that essential proneness to collapse just is the preciousness of life.
Translated by William McNeill and Julia Ireland
Lecture course winter semester 1934-35 (GA 39).
In improvising from latent possibilities, those that are dormant in Greek mythology may be as relevant for Heidegger's thinking of Ereignis as is the violence he does to Greek etymologies. Heidegger doesn't posit some “golden age” in which aletheia, for example, was actually experienced as unconcealment, but that interpretation can be exchanged for our usual understanding of truth in such a way that adequatio gives way to an improvised having-been where a latent possibility becomes an actualizable potential.
This can be couched in the following terms: philosophy is all right, but in this intellectual marriage demanded by Wheeler, it is science the one with preeminence when it comes to the postulation of existing objects. Escaping the Cartesian mindset does not impose on us an obligation of forsaking the grounds of a scientifically informed philosophy. We are, after all, Muggles, and must abide by nonmagical methods and by the constraints they impose.
Influenced heavily by Dreyfus’s pragmatization of Heidegger, Agre too understands Sein und Zeit as providing a phenomenology of ordinary routine activities, and believes Heidegger’s Analytik des Daseins can provide useful guidance for the development of computational theories of interaction.
Call for papers
The 2015 issue of Gatherings: The Heidegger Circle Annual will be devoted to the topic of Reading the “Black Notebooks.” Papers on any aspect of the Black Notebooks will be considered for this special issue. The deadline for submissions has been extended to February 1, 2015. Please direct all submissions electronically to the editor, andrew.j.mitchell (at) emory (dot) edu, with “Gatherings” in the subject line. Authors need not be members of the Heidegger Circle.
Six essays on the primacy of Being in Heidegger's thinking,
continuing the case for the overarching importance of Being for Heidegger begun in Engaging Heidegger.
I claim that the notion of Anwesen only came to express Heidegger’s own positive conception of being around the mid-forties and after a complex and relatively long process correlative, on the one hand, to the evolution of his use of the term ‘Wesen,’ and to his reappropriation of the Presocratics, on the other
Heidegger’s reflection on the essence of technology cannot claim to be already an alternative way of bringing forth, but is primarily concerned about the right way to come into the hermeneutic circle, to move in the circular course of the challenging of man and nature in the technological age and at the same time to hold back in order to experience the essence of technology.
[I]nsofar as all language is historical, the objectification of language itself at any particular time imposes a stasis in an historically fluid phenomenon. The "loss of Being" incurred when it becomes the object of representing means restriction of a genuinely historical manifold to what has been spoken or imagined to have been spoken in a particular language.
From Yale University Press
A new edition of
Taylor Carman on Image and Shadow: Heidegger on the Limits of Scientific Representation.
Against the current English favorite of “enframing,” I therefore propose an etymological translation of Ge-Stell from its Greek and Latin roots as “syn-thetic com- posit[ion]ing,” where the Greek-rooted adjective ‘synthetic’ adds the note of artifactuality and even artifi ciality to the system of positions and posits.
Heidegger’s account of his fundamental concept, the Ereignis, the opening of the Open (Sheehan, 2001: p. 5; Wheeler, 2011: § 3.1, 3.2.) provides a far better model of Wittgenstein’s point in Z608 [p. 608 of Wittgenstein’s Zettel]. The paper argues, first, that Z608 is not making a sudden inexplicable venture into verboten neural theorizing, but is describing something akin to Heidegger’s Ereignis, and, second, that comparing Wittgenstein’s and Heidegger’s respective views illuminates them both.
Speakers: Peter Trawny (Bergische Universität Gesamthochschule Wuppertal), Bettina Bergo (Université de Montréal), Robert Bernasconi (Pennsylvania State University), Martin Gessmann (Hochschule für Gestaltung, Offenbach am Main), Sander Gilman (Emory University), Peter E. Gordon (Harvard University), Michael Marder (University of the Basque Country, Vitoria-Gasteiz), Eduardo Mendieta (Stony Brook University), Richard Polt (Xavier University), Tom Rockmore (Peking University)
Heidegger remained silent about sex but this silence reveals itself as a moment of interruption: an interruption which, if we will have the patience and the acumen to hear Heidegger’s silence, will work to announce a certain “non-said” that takes on many forms and determinable contours – a non-said that has been omitted, repressed, denied, foreclosed and even unthought.
[B]ecause of the central role that Heidegger grants to mood (disclosive affectivity) as a primordial way of disclosing Being-in-the-world, and because it is impossible to think mood without also thinking the lived body, Heidegger has actually placed the latter at the very center of Dasein’s disclosedness. Heidegger’s account of mood thus entails and highlights, rather than neglects, the ontological significance of the body
Heidegger is unequivocal in indicating that human activity cannot address Ge-stell’s danger. Yet, he says that the piety of thinking which is questioning and the reflection on art may save us from it. In this regard, Heidegger does not anymore advocate a restraint in the human use of technology
[T]he turn consists in grounding our understanding of Being in a realist manner. For this purpose Heidegger introduces the concept of destiny (Geschick), which simply means that we each find ourselves in what is ultimately a completely groundless and thus arbitrary understanding of Being, which is simply there. The event (Ereignis) has no source, no agent – this is Heidegger’s interpretation of the death of God.
Ereignis is much more than an event: it is a fact, that which is always already done (factum). Appropriation is that which “is already operative in our case, even before we were.” What is more, it is the fact, the “Urfaktum” or “thing itself,” without which there are no other facts, events, or happenings in the human realm.
From Bloomsbury Academic
A new book of essays
With contributions from François Raffoul, Eric S. Nelson, Ted Kisiel, Dermot Moran, Thomas Sheehan, Richard Polt, Robert Bernasconi, Françoise Dastur, Alfred Denker, Sean Kirkland, Holger Zaborowski, Emilia Angelova, Frank Schalow, Peter Trawny, Ullrich Haase, Leslie MacAvoy, Peter Gordon, Peg Birmingham, Andrew Feenberg, Scott Campbell, P. Christopher Smith, Dennis Schmidt, Gregory Schufreider, Gregory Fried, William McNeill, Andrew Mitchell, Lee Braver, Andrew Bowie, Anne O'Byrne, Kevin Aho, Daniela Vallega-Neu, John McCumber, Gregory Schufreider, Iain Thomson, Ben Vedder, Patricia Glazebrook, John Russon, Kirsten Jacobson, Hans Ruin, Daniel Dahlstrom, Wayne Froman, Iain Macdonald, Jill Stauffer, Leonard Lawlor, Janae Sholtz, Leslie MacAvoy, Tina Chanter, Robert D. Stolorow, Bret Davis, and Alejandro Vallega.MORE
In general, Heidegger’s concept of Gelassenheit is interpreted as ‘indifference’ to ethical duties, as a quietism that withdraws from the world. What these authors fail to see, is that Heidegger does not embrace quietism, but puts into question this whole distinction between active and passive.
The Event, in contrast to the Framework, is thus in noway a ‘violent’ mode of revealing, but allows things to come forth in theirdifference and unity, in their distance and their nearness. Unlike the Framework,the Event allows the fourfold to appear in terms of the mirroring interplay, the‘round-dance’, of the elements that are brought to appearance within it.
Hölderlin's poetry holds the potential to determine the possibility and manner in which Dasein appropriates its historical "essence," and enacts its destiny, which first manifests as authentic possibility in the Ereignis, as Dasein's historical relation to Being is first "spoken" and inaugurated through the language of poetry.
[P]osthumanist theory is both inspired by Heidegger and pushes off from him. In other words, what links the various posthumanisms is a common, Heideggerian-inspired attempt to overcome the logic of binary oppositions of humanistic anthropocentrism that departs from Heidegger’s insistence that doing so requires and must emanate from a primordial inquiry into the question of the meaning of being.
Ereignis would be Being as the revelation of Being to itself qua the thinking of Being by human beings (i.e. the region of itself which is clear to itself). Heidegger’s rendering of Being as Ereignis is antihumanistic inasmuch as it configures human beings as the place of Being qua event, but not as the conceptual/ethical centre of the universe and/or history. Simply put, Being in itself transcends human beings.
Of this event, in which both being and the human are appropriated each to the other, Heidegger writes that it “is that realm, vibrating within itself, through which man and being reach each other in their nature”—making clear that this event is indeed a realm, a bounded domain, a topos, rather than purely and ex-clusively temporal.
In: Environmental & Architectural Phenomenology
According to Heidegger, memory, in its original sense, is not just a thinking or recalling of past events as we are used to taking it. Moreover, it is a thinking and at the same time a thanking of past, future and now, a meditative state of heeding that which is gathered and compressed in the living present.
For both, philosophical investigation is a way of bringing what we already prereﬂectively understand into the light of thematic explicitness. And what both philosophers bring into thematic explicitness are aspects of our context-embeddedness and of our ﬁnitude.
Heidegger contends that the world wars are events in the history of being. There is nothing mythological or mystifying in this claim. They are events in the total mobilisation of all entities—all human and natural resources—in accordance with what is today.
Call for papers
8-11 May, 2014
St. Petersburg, Florida
And it’s that strange combination of esoteric, almost mystical texts (like “Die Kehre”) with scathingly direct political texts (like “Das Gestell”) that makes Einblick in das, was ist (along with, say, “Überwindung der Metaphysik” and “Zur Seinsfrage”) among the most important (and most neglected) of Martin Heidegger’s post- Kehre texts. And also among the most difficult to translate.
From Philosophy Today, Fall 2013
The word Ereignis, which becomes the keyword of Heidegger‘s thinking from the mid-1930s on, is here appropriated from Hölderlin‘s hymn "Mnemosyne," which speaks of the sich ereignen, the "coming to pass," of the true
Call for papers
22-25 May, 2014
Heidegger argues that we must attempt to determine the concept of poverty in world insofar as it relates to the "phenomenon of world," but not in a manner that would hierarchise this relation.
[W]e must Be-with—that is, attune to—the other’s existentialanxiety and other painful affect states disclosive of his or her finitude, thereby providing thesefeelings with a relational home in which they can be held, so that he or she can seize upon his or her ownmost possibilities in the face of them.
To relinquish a traditional Christian account of being and assert a kind of visionary naturalism in its place, which is what I think Heidegger achieved, he needed a philosophy that could speak for the beauty and truth of an immediate experience of being not mediated by intellect.
A philosophical investigation of the shamanic drum.
An adventure in thought.MORE
The very aim of exercise is, according to Heidegger, to cancel deliberation as to the realization of the desired result. Since it is the result that is decisive in τέχνη, the delivery of the result demands the smoothest procedure of the process of production, which is implied to be without deliberation, mechanically following rules or principles.
The difficulty for Heidegger, in attempting to assimilate Aristotle’s philosophical terms into his historical worldview, is that Aristotle’s ontology is not just unhistorical, but anti-historical. History was not deemed philosophically significant by the Greeks, as they did not believe that being resided there.
A new book of essays
With contributions from Daniel O. Dahlstrom, Walter Brogan, William McNeill, Richard Polt, John Sallis, Krzysztof Ziarek, Daniela Vallega-Neu, Robert Bernasconi, Dennis J. Schmidt, Jeffrey L. Powell, David Farrell Krell, Françoise Dastur, Peter Hanly and Christopher Fynsk.MORE
But there is a Heideggerian supplement to the abground not found in Bohr: the event of lighting-up or dis-closure, an appearance of the everyday world. Heidegger problematizes “world,” rather than taking it for granted.
What Heidegger seems to want to teach us is not either how to become philosophers or how to be with one another in a concrete manner but, rather, how to remain in dialogue with ourselves while being with others or how to become philosophers in the company of others.
Mary-Jane Rubenstein on metaphysics and ontotheology.
Richard Capobianco on Heidegger on Hölderlin on 'Nature's Gleaming'.
Heidegger and 'The Greek Experience' of Nature-Physis-Being.
Translated by Richard Rojcewicz
Das Ereignis, Heidegger's notebook from 1941-2 (GA 71).
In situating where and how works of art, carry, disclose, or open up truth, we come to recognise that the work of art posits the question of man. As Heidegger submits: "Being needs man and is not without man."
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.
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Last updated 2015/02/11