Heidegger’s rethinking of truth as a disclosive event that opens up a sense of being and allows for the appearing of beings as such has been a crucial insight for so many thinkers influenced by his work. The same holds for his insight into how attunements are constitutive of senses of being and his attempt at thinking out of fundamental attunements. This essay addresses not only what Heidegger writes about attunement, truth, and errancy (Irre), but also how they play out in his own thinking. I will be focusing on Heidegger’s non-public writings in the 1930s and 1940s, which I take to include not only what I call his “poietic” writings (Contributions to Philosophy and the volumes following it) but also the Black Notebooks. What animates my questioning is my belief that what one may call Heidegger’s errancies, especially in his Black Notebooks, have their seat in a blindness connected to the ways attunements dispose his thinking. Indeed, I believe that all of us are subject to what one may call “dispositional blindness” and errancy. This, however, does not take away from the fact that attunements are at the same time disclosive or revealing and that they can be freeing and transformative.
In what follows, I will first trace how Heidegger’s understanding of attunements from Being and Time to Contributions acquires more and more a historical determination, which will become relevant for the question of the relation between as they play out in Heidegger’s thinking. This will be followed by the question of the difference between attunements that are grounding and attunements that are not grounding and how this relates to Heidegger’s thinking of truth and errancy. We will see that, whereas grounding attunements (Grundstimmungen) disclose a sense of being as such, non-grounding attunements (Stimmungen) are disclosive with relation to specific things and events. This difference in attunements relates to Heidegger’s understanding of truth and errancy in that truth as such is disclosed through fundamental attunements, whereas errancy (which always belongs to truth) addresses relations to things and events. The difference between grounding and non-grounding attunements thus concerns the difference between being and beings. I will then take a closer look at how errancy is operative at a dispositional level (at the level of attunements) in Heidegger’s non-public writings, which will lead me to problematize how determinations arise from attunements and how attunements themselves might be determined by lineages and bodily dispositions.
When tracing Heidegger’s thinking of attunements from Being and Time to Contributions, one can notice how attunements acquire more and more a historical dimension. In Being and Time, the notion of attunement is addressed interchangeably as Befindlichkeit or Stimmung (GA 2: §29). Attunements reveal our thrownness into possibilities of being; they reveal the “there,” the Da of Dasein, and at the same time are disposing in relation to how we find ourselves to be in relation to things or events. Just as through the notion of Dasein, Heidegger rethinks human being as non-subjective, as ecstatic, and relational, in the notion of attunement, Heidegger rethinks what one would commonly call feelings or emotions as non-subjective, i.e. not as “interior” properties of a human subject but as fundamentally relational. We don’t own and in that sense “have” attunements, but attunements overcome “us” prior to any sense of I or the representation of an object. Thus, when attunements, for instance, reveal specific things as desirable or as a threat,1 the desire or threat mark the situation or relation to a threatening thing and not a subjective response to an object. Attunements such as fear and desire need to be distinguished from fundamental attunements, which reveal not a specific relation to this or that thing, but being as such. Indeed, fundamental attunements let our relation to particular things and events retreat and reveal the sheer “that” of being and nonbeing and thus the possibility of being and nonbeing as such. This is what Heidegger shows in his analysis of Angst in Being and Time.
The way Heidegger writes about Angst in Being and Time does not indicate an intrinsically historical dimension; Angst rather singularizes (vereinzelt) Dasein onto its own being-in-the-world and its ownmost possibility of being (GA 2: 249/187), a singularizing that, again, should not be misunderstood in terms of a subjectivity but as a groundless and exposed finding oneself to be in the face of nothingness (death). In the 1929–30 lecture course titled The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, Solitude, however, Heidegger discusses another fundamental attunement, namely “deep boredom” (tiefe Langeweile), that begins to harbor a historical dimension. The “that” of being, which this fundamental attunement discloses, receives an epochal qualification. The development of the question of boredom, as it is offered in this lecture course, begins with boredom related to things and then progressively treats deeper senses of boredom until speaking of deep boredom, which carries a distinctive temporal sense.
Heidegger’s analysis reveals how deep boredom is constituted by “being left empty” (Leergelassenheit) and “being held in limbo” (Hingehaltenheit). The emptiness of deep boredom is not a specific emptiness left by someone or something. Rather, beings as a whole are indifferent and don’t offer any possibility of engagement.2 In deep boredom our relation to things is held in limbo but in such a way that by disengaging us from our relation to beings the possibilities of engagement that are left unexploited become manifest. Beings “refuse themselves,” writes Heidegger. He then interprets the being-left-empty and being-held-in-limbo in the refusal of beings temporally. In the refusal of beings there occurs a “spellbinding” or “entrancement” (Gebanntsein) of time (with its unitary horizon of past, present, and future). Thus, deep boredom reveals time as harboring possibilities that are yet to be decided.3 These possibilities “press forward,” writes Heidegger. They are, however, not possibilities only of a singularized Dasein, as the analysis of Angst in Being and Time suggested. The analysis of deep boredom closes by thematizing it in terms of the “fundamental attunement of our Dasein” (GA 29/30: 238/160). “Our Dasein,” writes Heidegger, our “being there,” not mine, or “one’s.”
At this point in the lecture course, the analysis of boredom receives a more explicit historical or epochal determination; the emptiness of boredom figures emphatically as a “plight” or “need” (Not), one that becomes the plight of an age and a people: the “absence of an essential distress [Bedrängnis] in our Dasein as a whole” (GA 29/30: 244/163, tm). There is, then, something announcing itself in deep boredom, in the plight of the refusal of beings as a whole. What announces itself is that there must occur the decision to break the entrancement of time such that Dasein can be there in the moment of decision. Only thus can Dasein live up to the plight, be open for it (GA 29/30: 246/165), and acquire true knowledge regarding its proper possibilities.
In Contributions to Philosophy (written 1936–38) Heidegger will be much more explicit about a historical possibility and necessity that fundamental attunements harbor. He interprets the plight and distress revealed by the epochal fundamental attunement that necessitates his thinking as being rooted in machination and “lived experience,” and he traces the history of machination back to its roots in what he now calls the “first beginning,” i.e. Greek thinking (GA 65: §§50, 51, 61). Furthermore, the possibilities announced in the acknowledgement of the plight of the refusal of beings as a whole are now cast as the possibility of the other beginning.4
The grounding attunement of Contributions Heidegger most often mentions is restraint (Verhaltenheit) and he finds in restraint, oscillating as part of it, shock and diffidence (Erschrecken and Scheu).5 Restraint has an internal dynamic and tension that recalls the constitutive elements of deep boredom, namely, being left empty and being held in limbo. But now Heidegger elucidates restraint, shock, and diffidence in terms of the history of beyng: Shock occurs in the acknowledgement of the plight of being’s epochal refusal. In shock, thinking is drawn back and unsettled from customary life and the abandonment of beings by being reveals itself.6 Everything appears groundless and empty. In restraint, there occurs a turn toward the refusal such that the refusal is held in hesitation and one is held “in limbo,” in this no longer or not yet being. What is revealed, thus, is a sense of being as refusal, and this is interpreted as an epochal event.
When comparing Heidegger’s thinking of attunements in Contributions to Philosophy to Being and Time one can notice not only how in Contributions, attunements have acquired a stronger historical determination; it is also noteworthy that Heidegger meditates only on fundamental attunements, i.e. he does not inquire into attunements relating to specific things and events, as he did in Being and Time and in the 1929–30 lecture course. This is consistent with his attempt to think and speak from the event, i.e. from out of an inceptive opening of an epochal sense of being in such a way that this opening happens at the same time, precisely in thinking, as thinking sustains the disclosure of truth in a grounding attunement.7
In so far as attunements relate to specific things or events, they don’t disclose being and nonbeing as such or possibilities of being as such; they are rather disposing in relation to specific things and events. This suggests that they belong to the realm of what Heidegger calls “errancy.” In everyday life or whenever we are not unsettled by fundamental attunements, we err. We err because we are absorbed in things and events in such a way that we do not think and act out of an event of disclosure of the truth of being.
Heidegger begins to think the intrinsic relatedness between truth and errancy in “On the Essence of Truth” in 1930. Although his conception of truth and errancy changes slightly with the years, he will always continue to think that errancy belongs to truth. In the 1930 essay, Heidegger distinguishes two forms of untruth that belong to the essence of truth. The more primordial sense of untruth he calls “mystery,” the concealment of beings as a whole.8 Mystery names the truth of being and not of beings (GA 9: 193/130).9 The second sense of untruth is errancy. In errancy humans relate to beings or things in such a way that they remain stuck with them; they turn away from the mystery of being and take their directive or standard from the most readily available things. Thus errancy tends to conceal the mystery or truth of being.
Errancy cannot be removed, says Heidegger. We always relate to this or that thing and event; our being is always a being with beings, which tends to conceal the truth of beyng, i.e. the experience of being and nonbeing as such. Errancy cannot be removed, but it can be known such that by knowing of errancy humans may not be led astray and therefore may remain open to the concealment of beings as a whole. This knowledge is not so much a cognitive act as a state of being. (I will say more about this below.) Not to be led astray by errancy does not mean that one is correct about this or that thing or event, but that one remains alertly open to the concealment of beings as a whole.
Although one may be led to conceive of errancy as something negative because less originary, the fact that it is constitutive of truth lets it appear in more “positive” terms. In Contributions, where Heidegger writes little about errancy but plenty about the “distorted essence of truth” (das Unwesen der Wahrheit), we can find this almost heroic reference to errancy: “Only the cool boldness of thinking and the dark errancy of questioning lend ardor and light to the fire of beyng” (GA 65: 430/340). In the volume following Contributions, titled Besinnung, Mindfulness, Heidegger begins to distinguish errancy from distortion, assigning a more primordial role to errancy than to distortion. Here the positive sense of errancy with respect to the truth of beyng becomes even more pronounced. Heidegger interprets and repeats a passage from the ancient Greek poet Pindar that begins with the phrase: “The truth (clearing) of beyng is the beyng of errancy” (GA 66: 11/7, tm). Not only does errancy need to be sharply distinguished from falsity (a notion that presupposes truth as correctness), but errancy is now also distinguished from distortion. Distortion (Verkehrung literally means being turned in the wrong direction) addresses a falling for beings and their exclusive predominance and thus a concealment of a more primordial sense of truth. Errancy, on the other hand, now names a relation to beings that does not necessarily mean that one falls for beings in such a way that one forgets truth.10 Thus we need to differentiate, on the one hand, truth (with its errancy) and on the other hand, distortion through beings and the drives or emotions associated with them.
Heidegger seems to suggest that although beyng-historical thinking is prone to be turned toward beings because errancy cannot be removed from the clearing of truth, still being-historical thinking can hold the distorting prevailing power of beings at bay, and the latter manifests itself in a reckoning with causes such as “drives, inclinations, pleasures, and delectations.”11 Heidegger suggests that one can prevail against such powers: “What is true occurs [ereignet sich] only in the truth: that we belong to its essential occurrence, that we know the danger of distortion as being rooted in it [in truth] and that we do not let enter what is distorted in its unfettered power and don’t fear it, steadfast in the venture of beyng” (GA 66: 12/8, tm).
Thinking can keep the distorting power of drives and inclinations at bay because thinking knows about errancy. Looking at Heidegger’s understanding of knowledge (Wissen) in Contributions to Philosophy and the subsequent volume Besinnung (Mindfulness), we can see that this understanding has not shifted essentially from what he said at the beginning of 1934 in an address given at Freiburg University to 600 beneficiaries of the National Socialist “labor service” program:
Knowledge means: in our decisions and actions to be up to the task that is assigned to us, whether this task be to till the soil or to fell a tree or to dig a ditch or to inquire into the laws of Nature or to illumine the fate-like force of History.
Knowledge means: to be master of the situation into which we are placed.12
It is clear from this passage that, for Heidegger, the meaning of the word Wissen appears to connote a disposition and decidedness: mastery of a situation.
Yet what if not only errancy but also distortion took place precisely there, in this “knowledge,” in this resoluteness toward what one identifies as being essential or true? What if distortion was not about being blinded by beings, i.e. by things and events, as Heidegger thought? What if prior to all concrete relation to things, attunements disposed us toward thinking and acting in ways that may turn out to be destructive or distorting, attunements that cannot so readily be separated from drives and inclinations? What if our lived bodies carried lineages of inclinations and resistances that co-determine attunements through which we find things and events to disclose themselves to us?
What I am suggesting, then, is that there are possibly harmful aspects of what Heidegger calls “knowledge,” aspects that he failed to see. I am also suggesting that Heidegger’s “fundamental attunements” harbor dispositional elements related to aspects, for instance, of bodily being he does not question and does not want to question. I suspect that Heidegger’s attempt to think non-subjectively and his related aversion to biological or psychological approaches to thinking have something to do with this.
But prior to considering further errancies in Heidegger’s thinking, we may want to take into account a shift in Heidegger’s attitude toward questioning and knowledge, a shift that occurs around 1941–42. While in Contributions and Besinnung a decisional language is prominent and with it a resistance against machination and lived experience, in 1941 the attunement of his writing changes. It is no longer an issue of resisting machination, steadfast in the clearing of truth, but rather the issue is to let machination pass by and to follow “the silent voice of being” (GA 71: 283/246, tm).13 Departure, pain, poverty, and dignity become prevailing attunements in Heidegger’s thinking; rather than a questioning response, thinking now becomes a thanking.14 It is as if Heidegger attempted to hollow himself out, to purge all will from his thinking, and to be nothing but a thankful response to being.
What is particularly striking, though, is that the polemics in his Black Notebooks don’t follow that shift in attunement. While in his writings of the event he lets go of the resistance against machination, his Black Notebooks of the same time continue with critical remarks and polemics against his contemporaries as he shuffles all political standpoints and ways of thinking and behaving into the same interpretative pool: everything ends up being a form of machination, rooted in the oblivion of beyng.15 And since, for Heidegger, the oblivion of beyng and before that, the withdrawal of being and machinational disposition of everybody and everything are the origin of what happens with things and events, the withdrawal of being and machination appear more important to address.16
Nonetheless, we should not confuse the content of the Black Notebooks with Heidegger’s more philosophical, non-public writings. It is evident that Heidegger differentiated between, on the one hand, the non-public writings that range from Contributions to The Event (those I call “poietic writings”) and on the other hand, what he titled “Considerations” (Überlegungen) and “Notes” (Anmerkungen) in the Black Notebooks. This becomes especially clear in 1941–42, since in the earlier writings there are more overlaps (especially between Mindfulness and the Black Notebooks). In On Inception and The Event from 1941–42 there are no anti-Semitic remarks and Heidegger hardly ever mentions the Germans. In the Black Notebooks, on the other hand, nationalistic reflections abound, together with troubling remarks on world Judaism and the abundant critiques of Christianity, Americanism, Socialism, and Russian Bolshevism.
I believe that this difference has much to do with attunements and the way Heidegger’s thinking lets itself be determined by attunements (and here it is helpful to recall that the German word for “determination,” Bestimmung, contains the word Stimmung, “attunement”). In The Event Heidegger’s attuned thinking gathers toward the imageless source of being, toward the silent voice (Stimme is also akin to Stimmung) that is like an echo without origin, such that the determinations that arise here are nothing concrete in the common sense. He speaks of the event as inception, enduring the pain of departure, as he calls it, dwelling and articulating the not yet differentiated differencing out of which words may arise. He attempts more radically to let go of all representational thinking, and to let thought arise from what is appropriated in the event of appropriation. This leads him to refrain from engaging beings, i.e. things and events in a more common sense. In the Black Notebooks, where Heidegger does engage concrete things and events, one senses more common inclinations and especially aversions – attunements in a less fundamental sense than he would wish.
The decisive question to ask here, is, I believe, how determinations arise from attunements, since even in his poietic writings Heidegger does not only and always dwell in that originary spacing of the not yet spoken word but comes to articulate at least some things: for instance, his reconstruction of Western history as the history of the abandonment of beings by being; his interpretation of metaphysics as questioning beings representationally; the way he traces the arising and outbreak of machination; the fact that he situates the beginning of Western history with the Greeks and indicates that it is the German people who may be the ones through which a second beginning might arise (GA 94: 27/21).
When one follows Heidegger’s meditative reflections in the non-public writings especially of 1941 and ’42, there are moments in which his thinking turns toward the most concealed dimension of being, hovering in the not-yet- and no-longer-begun inception of being. In these moments there are not many determinations arising in his attuned thinking as he repeatedly thinks beyng as the event in which truth first is cleared, with emphasis on the clearing of concealment prior to any specific thing or event one may speak about.17
The Black Notebooks of those years (GA 96) are different in that here Heidegger often is looser with language, adheres far less to silence and concealment, and makes political remarks that lack sophistication and differentiations. If we apply Heidegger’s own standard of originary thinking to these more political remarks, we must say that they lack fundamental attunements but abound with more common “inclinations.” What is troublesome in this context is that he tries to think what happens around him beyng-historically, i.e. he mixes what he calls inceptive thinking into his interpretations of contemporary events. He often takes ready-made concepts – Americanism, Judaism, Christianity, Socialism, Bolshevism – interprets them beyng-historically, and attacks them driven by “attunements” and “dispositions” that he clearly does not appear to reflect on and that cannot simply be attributed to beyng in its historicality. He thinks in broad strokes rather than in terms of particular things and events; any particularity gets inscribed into his preconceptions of machination and lived experience.
In short, as Heidegger turns to concrete political events, he errs, and this errancy cannot be purified from distortions. But what is distorted here is perhaps less something like the truth of beyng than the very attunements that dispose his thinking.
Heidegger’s lack of sense for the particularity of things and events appears to me like the flipside of his insistence of thinking being as such and not the being of this or that thing. Thinking things, concrete things in their particularity, was precisely what he refrained from. “Uniqueness” and “singularity” are words he reserves for the occurrence of beyng as such. For sure, beyng occurs always with beings such that beings are constitutive of the particularity of a site of being, but ultimately what matters for Heidegger is not the singular thing, not this or that particular constellation of things or events, but historical beyng or the world a thing shelters and conceals.18
Let me return, in conclusion, to what I called above a decisive question: How do determinations arise from attunements? I believe that this is tied to another question: From where do these attunements arise?
According to Heidegger, fundamental attunements arise in a middle-voice manner, without agent, without ground, and unsettle us from our customary relation to things. They are disclosive in a fundamental way. Furthermore, once fundamental attunements begin to harbor a historical dimension, for Heidegger this historical dimension is understood strictly as that of beyng in its historicality, and any particular event gets inscribed into the narrative of the history of beyng. What I have begun questioning above is the distinction between fundamental attunements and other attunements that are disclosive with respect to particular things and events. My sense is that what Heidegger says about the relation between truth and errancy applies as well with respect to the relation between fundamental and non-fundamental attunements, i.e. even in fundamental attunements there remains at play a relation to beings, to things and events – a relation Heidegger is not reflecting on much with respect to his own writing – as he attempts to purge any subjective element from thinking and be nothing but a thanking response to the silent call of beyng. Said otherwise, precisely in his effort not to be misguided by beings and more “subjective” attunements, Heidegger fails to cultivate an awareness of them, which leads him to be blind to some of his own errancies.
I believe that the relation to beings that fundamental attunements carry also includes something Heidegger has taken into account only rarely in his writings: the body, the body in particular of the one who finds herself to be attuned in specific ways. The attuned body carries its own histories and lineages; it delimits – shelters, one may say – a site of being that weaves together a multiplicity of attunements, histories, and lineages.19
What I am suggesting here (and I am aware that this constitutes a departure from strictly Heideggerian thinking) is that attunements, and this includes Heidegger’s attunements, cannot be simply disconnected from things, events, and embodied lineages. Our own particular histories, i.e. the histories we embody, play more or less into disclosive attunements. In the case of Heidegger, the Black Notebooks make this more clearly evident. It is here that Heidegger seems to me to be particularly blind with respect to how his meditations and polemics carry determinations arising from attunements that cannot simply be attributed to beyng in its historicality. We thus can learn from Heidegger not only about the determining role of attunements but also of the blindness and danger attunements can carry with them.
In Being and Time, §30, Heidegger gives the example of fear (Furcht) and distinguishes the “of what” (das Wovor) we are afraid, fearing, and the “about what” (das Worum) of fear. It is no accident that he does not write “the thing we fear” and “the thing about which we are afraid,” since the relational directions of fear precede a thinking in terms of represented things. (The Stambaugh translation, which uses “what we are afraid of” and “that about which we are afraid,” might be misleading here.)2
Since this boredom does not refer to anything specific, one cannot find an example for it (GA 29/30: 203/135).3
Heidegger writes: “Time entrances [bannt] Dasein, not the time which has remained standing as distinct from flowing, but rather the time beyond such flowing and its standing, the time which in each case Dasein itself as a whole is” (GA 29/30: 221/147) Entranced by the horizon of time, Dasein is compelled into the “extremity of the moment” (Spitze des Augenblicks) as that which properly makes possible (GA 29/30: 227/151).4
The initiation of the other beginning requires a more originary apprehension of the first beginning. See, for instance, section 85 of Contributions.5
See section 5 of Contributions.6
Humans are “taken aback by the very fact […] that beings are and that being has abandoned and withdrawn itself from all ‘beings’” (GA 65: 15/14).7
Coming from Being and Time, section 122 of Contributions may be helpful to understand the turn in Heidegger’s thinking which ultimately roots in the way the truth (disclosure and concealment) of being itself occurs as a turning (Kehre). He speaks of the disclosure of the truth of being as “appropriating event”: Ereignis. Heidegger’s thinking understands itself to be thrown (we may also say necessitated) by being and in this throw “appropriated” by being (ereignet), brought into its own, yet in such a way that this appropriation occurs only insofar as thinking enters into the disclosive movement and sustains it.8
What Heidegger thinks here in terms of mystery relates to what in Being and Time he thinks as the possibility of the impossibility of being in being towards death.9
This more originary untruth is not yet the originary concealment Heidegger will think in Contributions (see GA 65: 352/278).10
Heidegger writes that errancy is grounded in the “dignity” of the clearing of truth and is the ground of distortion (GA 66: 112/94).11
“Triebe und Neigungen, Lüste und Vergnügen” (GA 66: 12/8). It is telling that Heidegger does not use the notion of Stimmung (attunement) here, but rather words suggesting a primacy of subjectivity in terms of bodily pleasures. Thinking in terms of the body (and of life) is something Heidegger mostly refrains from, perhaps precisely because it suggests a primacy of human subjectivity.12
“The Self-Assertion of the German University,” in The Heidegger Controversy: A Critical Reader, ed. Richard Wolin (Cambridge: mit Press, 1993), 58.13
For further insight into this shift in Heidegger’s thinking see Daniela Vallega-Neu, “Heidegger’s Reticence: From Contributions to Das Ereignis and Toward Gelassenheit,” Research in Phenomenology 45: 1 (2015): 1–32.14
On departure, see GA 70: 24–26; GA 71: 122–23/104–5, 126/107, 132/112, 147–48/127–28, 152/131, 193–94/164–65, 221/190, 233–34/201–2, 236–40/203–7. On pain, see GA 71: 68/55, 169–70/144, 190/162, §257. On poverty, see GA 70: 132, 175. On dignity, see GA 70: 38–39; GA 71: 168/143, 243/209, 249/215, 277/241, 282/245. On thinking becoming thanking, see GA 71: 286/248, 308/268, 313–15/272–74, 328/284–85.15
See, for instance, GA 96: 114 and 125. For the relation between Heidegger’s poietic writings and the Black Notebooks, see Daniela Vallega-Neu, “The Black Notebooks and Heidegger’s Writings of the Event (1936–1944)” in eds. Ingo Farin and Jeff Malpas, Reading Heidegger’s Black Notebooks 1931–1941 (Cambridge: mit Press, 2016), 127–42.16
This is how he can come up with, for most of us, unthinkable remarks like the following from 1945: “The terror of ultimate nihilism [the ultimate oblivion of beyng] is even more uncanny than the massive presence of the hangmen and of the concentration camps” (GA 97: 59).17
See my essay “Heidegger’s Reticence,” cited above.18
I believe that even in “The Thing” (GA 79: 5–23/5–22), Heidegger does not think a thing in its particularity but the notion of “the jug” as expressing a certain “essence” (Wesen) of things in so far as they gather the fourfold. As Mitchell writes, “things are all jugs”: Andrew J. Mitchell, The Fourfold: Reading the Late Heidegger (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2015), 14. I argue that Heidegger does not think “concrete” things or singular things in their particular happening as well in the last section of my essay “Heidegger’s Reticence.”19
In Chapter Five of The Bodily Dimension in Thinking (Albany: suny Press, 2005), I developed the thought that Heidegger’s account in Contributions of how being needs to be sheltered in a being (Seiendes) in order for the truth of beyng to occur needs to be supplemented by thinking the “body” (Leib) as a site of sheltering. Merleau-Ponty’s notions of institution and sedimentation would also be useful to develop this thought further. Merleau-Ponty means by institution “those events in experience which endow it with durable dimensions, in relation to which a whole series of other experiences will acquire meaning, will form an intelligible series or a history – or again those events which sediment in me a meaning, not just as survivals or residues, but as the invitation to a sequel, the necessity of a future.” See “An Unpublished Text by Maurice Merleau-Ponty: A Prospectus of His Work,” trans. Arleen B. Dallery, in Merleau-Ponty, The Primacy of Perception, ed. James Edie (Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1964), 9.
Daniela Vallega-Neu - "Attunements, Truth, and Errancy in Heidegger’s Thinking"
Originally published in Gatherings 2017.