question of Western thinking: beingness (being) and thinking (as representational conceptualizing [vor-stellendes Be-greifen])” (GA 65: 128/101, tm).3 The representational object is a being that is always related back to a subject (the representer), and insofar as this subject is likewise always understood as a “living” subject, then that being is always related back to life: “The being counts first as extant, insofar as and to the extent that it is included in and related back to this life, i.e, is experienced in life [er-lebt] and becomes lived experience [Erlebnis]” (GA 5: 94/71, tm). Life here is understood biologically, which is to say, by a science determined by research and objectification: “The mechanistic and the biologistic modes of thinking are always only consequences of the concealed machinational interpretations of beings” (GA 65: 127/100). In the Contributions to Philosophy, Heidegger connects lived experience with the Roman conception of the human as animal rationale: “Why the human as ‘life’ (animal rationale) (ratio—re-presentation! [Vor-stellen])” (GA 65: 129/102, tm). This brief note avers that in the metaphysical determination of the human as animal rationale, the animal becomes the subject of lived experience and the rationale becomes the representing faculty. They work together in the form of the modern human who has an irrational (animalistic, in this oppositionally determined sense) and addictive craving for lived experiences that are pre-packaged and objectified (represented) for consumption.
Under the reign of machination, experience itself is objectified. The human is delivered over to a sham world of objectified experiences that may be hoarded and possessed. They are available for the taking by the intrepid adventurer. Heidegger mentions “movies” and “seaside spa resorts” in this regard (GA 65: 139/109, tm). The drive to possess or have experiences (the Germans tellingly say “make” experiences) can also be seen as the exacerbation of the Greek understanding of the human as ζῷον λόγον ἔχον, where the ἔχον, or “having,” is equiprimordial to the definition and institutes a reign of possession in the very definition of the human (we shall return to this in considering the mortals in chapter 5, below). The critique of Erlebnis and the life (Leben) it fosters is fueled by Heidegger’s opposition to biologism, anthropology, psychologism, and culture. The role of the human within the domain of machination is to be driven about as though an animal acting on instinct, from one superficial experience to another (cf. GA 65: 98/78). The human as subject of Erlebnis becomes the possessor of the world, a status that likewise calls for the further representational objectification of that world. Such a life insulates one from the distress of abandoned being. Within the epoch of modern machination, the human becomes the greedy consumer of objectified experience.
3 Similarly, the diagrams in sections 64 and 65 of the Contributions also show the link between machination and lived-experience (GA 65: 130/102–3). Sections 61– 68 detail the role of machination and lived experience in the Contributions as supplemented by the argument of “The Age of the World Picture.”