of a collective subject elevated to an ultimate instance. Between Aulis and Berlin, the political, regional code is exalted into a trans-regional, encompassing self-assertion. Hence the Heidegger of the Contributions, having just recovered from this properly modern hyperbolic self-assertion and from normative subjectivity, devoted himself to recalling the counter-law by which the singular always subverts such subsumptive instances. Under thetic self-assertion he recalled a certain singularizing, no longer factual, but functional No.

“Other thinking” tries to bear in mind the lesson learned from legislating through hegemonic fantasms. It is impossible to deny denial in ultimate referents since the necrology of their destitutions can be documented just as much as can the genealogy of their institutions. Hence the step back from theses and decrees leads from a simply subsumptive Yes to a conflict in which the No is adjoined to the Yes so as to fracture its power of subsumption. Thus it is a functional “No.”

Here is what we have for legislative assertions instituting an epoch: “The ordinary Yes is immediately and thoughtlessly maximized into this pure and simple Yes that lends to every No its measure” (BzP 246). Heidegger thus distinguishes between two Yeses. One is usually tacitly or explicitly pronounced in the face of what is the case. Yes, she is beautiful; yes, right now I think so; yes, my country. It is a constative yes by which we give our assent to what is. The correlative No, we can add, is the strict counterpart to it: No, she is not as ugly as her mother; no, I am not singing right now; no, I am not French. The other Yes results from an operation that is more complex than constatation. First of all, there is only one—it is the schlechthin {pure and simple}Yes, he says. Afterwards its correlation to the No changes into a determination because this Yes makes something “out of every No.” For its part, the No remains multiple, but the Yes takes on the position of an ultimate instance for all the constative Yeses and Noʼs. Finally, what the single Yes does to the multiple Noʼs is to impose its measure on them. This is a complex operation, for unicity, determination in the final instance and measurement are nothing phenomenal. They are no longer gleaned from what shows itself as being the case. The Yes-measure—the assertion of an ultimate referent—results (and this now is the key word) from a maximization beginning with an assent in the face of some thing that shows itself. The Yes-measure is aufgesteigert. It becomes thetic, assertoric. For Heidegger, the fidelity to phenomena ends with this operation and speculation begins. To say that one can repudiate—namely, particulars—only after having affirmed—namely, a universal—is precisely the subsumptive operation, an operation in which one posits as law an assertoric Yes in relation solely to which every No is a No. The “oblivion of being” is summed up in the No thus made secondary.

It is worth noting that, for Heidegger, such legislative maximizations are never formal in the sense of taking the form of a neutral structure. They always elevate a content. In this operation one passes from the “yes, she is beautiful” to the fullness of the kalokagathia; one passes from the “yes, I think so” to the thickness of the cogito; and from the “yes, my country” to the über alles. . . .

It is just as worthwhile to note that, in this critique of assertoric maximization, the possibility of a Yes phenomenologically anterior to every negation never arises

Reiner Schürmann - Broken Hegemonies