II. The Resonating [134-135]

69. Lived experience and "anthropology"4

The fact that "anthropology" is still today—or even again—made the center of worldview dogmatics shows, more convincingly than any historiological proof of lines of dependence, that mankind is once more endeavoring to place itself back completely on the Cartesian foundation. Whether anthropology is dressed in an enlightened/moral, psychological/natural-scientific, human-scientific/personalistic, Christian, or political/ethnic coiffure is a matter of utter indifference for the decisive question, i.e., for the question of whether the modern era is grasped as an end and another beginning is sought, or whether the decline that has been in effect since Plato is perpetuated and insisted on, which ultimately can still happen only through the conviction that one's lack of any presentiment is in fact an overcoming of the tradition.

It is thereby quite in order if the lack of a presentiment (not to say: lack of responsibility) extends so far that someone might put on airs claiming to have overcome the Cartesian philosophy, while at the same moment no contemporaries surmise anything of this play of the lack of presentiment. Just as at the time of neo-Kantianism, however, the current history of the age did not recognize the still quite considerable learning and careful work that was done, so today's age of "lived experience" will make even less of a fuss with respect to this boring and commonplace mock-up of its own superficiality.

70. The gigantic5

At first we must take our bearings from what is closest and characterize the gigantic, too, as something objectively present at hand, in order to let resound at all the abandonment by being and thus the predominance of the distortion (as machination) of φύσις. As soon as machination for its part is grasped in terms of the historicality of being, however, the gigantic reveals itself as "something" else. It is no longer the representable object of something "quantitative" without limit; instead, it is quantity as quality. Quality is here meant as the basic character of the quale, of the "what," of the essence, of beyng itself.

4. What is lived experience! How its reigning leads to the anthropological way of thinking! How lived experience is an end, because it unconditionally confirms machination.

5. Cf. machination.