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Heidegger: Thinking of Being
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Heidegger > Some quotes and notes from Lee Braver's <Heidegger - Thinking of Being>

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Lia | 522 comments Mod
Just a holding tank for terms and comments that I need to revisit later.

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Lia | 522 comments Mod
What is a "Hermeneutic Spiral"?

One has to start off with a basic, rough and ready sense of what, say, historical events are in order to go about the business of studying them. After a detailed examination, we gain a deeper understanding that can enrich and refine our initial definition, which can then enable us to do a better job examining the topic, and so on. I will be calling this the Hermeneutic Spiral

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Lia | 522 comments Mod
“pre-ontological” and “productive logic”

We rarely think about the fact that people and objects are completely different kinds of things which call for diverse actions because it’s so self-evident. Heidegger calls this kind of understanding “pre-ontological,” which just means that it’s not an express theory (32/12). It can become explicit when people undertake specialized studies of particular topics because each discipline carves out a particular type of being for its subject: language or historical events or atoms or arguments, for example. But even these disciplines take place on the basis of a pre-ontological understanding, what Heidegger calls here “productive logic” (30/10).

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Lia | 522 comments Mod
Science vs Philosophy: the kind of questions we ask

the vicious circle that Meno had posed as an obstacle that prevents inquiry is actually a virtuous spiral that enables us to learn at all. “What is decisive is not to get out of the circle but to come into it in the right way” (195/153). What Heidegger calls the ontological priority of the question of being in ¶3 means that any empirical inquiry into beings rests on more fundamental notions of what it means to be that kind of being, and ultimately what it means to be at all. Sciences are “naive” or “dogmatic” in that they presuppose these deeper understandings of being without subjecting them to investigation. That they do not do this deeper investigation is not a criticism; that isn’t their job. It is the task of philosophy.

message 5: by Lia (last edited Jul 20, 2018 09:40PM) (new) - added it

Lia | 522 comments Mod
Lee talks about the confusing difference between “ontic” and “ontological.” It's a little confusing so I looked it up on SEP instead

he draws two distinctions between different kinds of inquiry. The first, which is just another way of expressing the ontological difference, is between the ontical and the ontological, where the former is concerned with facts about entities and the latter is concerned with the meaning of Being, with how entities are intelligible as entities.

Which sounds a lot like Scientific vs Philosophical enquiries.

Ontic questions:

the central question of traditional ontology : what is there? Are there forms and universals or only particulars? Does God exist? Is there such a thing as substance or are there only properties? Is the mind physical? Do we have free will? Are we and everything else ultimately will to power? These are metaphysical questions; they are questions about entities, not about being. They are, in Heidegger’s jargon, “ontic ” as opposed to “ontological.” source: CC.

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Lia | 522 comments Mod
Why conduct the inquiry into being “concretely”

The Greeks defined humans as the rational animal these presuppositions have usually focused on our ability to think, but this concentration is just an artifact of the way philosophers approach the subject.

… Descartes ... says that he must cease all normal activities and retreat to a cabin where he can just sit in a chair by the fire and think. And lo and behold, what he finds there is that he is really just a thinking thing! ... This method prejudices the investigation by intentionally screening out the kinds of things we do the vast majority of the time…

… Plato similarly praises the activity of philosophizing because it takes us away from the mundane flotsam and jetsam of life, the insignificant and rather distasteful bodily processes that take up so much of our time.

Heidegger asks an intentionally naive question: if these activities are what we do most of the time, why filter them out when we want to understand ourselves? We spend vastly more time eating cereal and walking to the store and talking with our friends than we do contemplating triangles or ruminating on the nature of justice. Instead of screening them out, we should come up with an understanding of the self starting with these kinds of activities, what he calls our “average everydayness” (38/16). These common, daily actions and interactions should not be shunned since it is here that our understanding of being happens. This is one way in which, as he announced on the first page, he conducts the inquiry into being “concretely” (19/1).

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Lia | 522 comments Mod
Heidegger, Kant, and The Law of Transcendental Transitivity (LoTT):

Kant - The Law of Transcendental Transitivity: Kant argued, in what he called “the highest principle of all synthetic judgments,” that the features we use to structure experience will necessarily be found in everything we experience. (Kant 1965, A158/B197).

LoTT example: Since our minds organize our experience of the world in spatial relations, everything we will ever encounter through the senses will be in space.

Heidegger made 3 changes:
1 Heidegger broadens out the kinds of experience to include our mundane interactions with the world, limiting scientific experience (which Kant focused on exclusively) to only one kind of being: presence-at-hand.
2 Heidegger wants to show how time alone can account for all the ways we experience and understand the world and ourselves, as he starts to do in the second half of Division 2 (38/17). Whereas Kant has a wide assortment of forms, concepts, and ideas structuring experience, Heidegger thinks they can all be reduced to different forms of temporality.
3 Heidegger rejects Kant’s belief that behind the phenomena we experience there lies a noumenal realm of reality-in-itself which therefore limits features like space to just phenomena. For Heidegger, the world we experience is the world as it really is, so the features we “impose” on it are really there, rather than just subjective projections

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Lia | 522 comments Mod
Heidegger's answer to “the being-question”: time is the meaning of being.

That's it, we're done. This stuff is easy~ Pffff.

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Lia | 522 comments Mod
Existence vs Presence at-hand

When Heidegger says that our essence is existence, he doesn’t mean just being there in reality; that’s what he means by presence at-hand which is precisely what he is contrasting existence with.

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Lia | 522 comments Mod
Existence as a technical term

Existence is a technical term which denotes Dasein’s kind of being which has very specific features;

it is the whole point of the existential analytic to find and lay these out.

“There are certain structures which we shall exhibit – not just any accidental structures, but essential ones which, in every kind of Being that factical Dasein may possess, persist as determinative for the character of its Being” (38/17).

Where Sartre opposes existence to any kind of essence, Heidegger believes that existence has an essential, defining structure. That’s precisely what he’s after.

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Lia | 522 comments Mod
Setting the stage: Dasein’s being is at issue for it, ergo:

attempting to settle this issue by being a certain kind of person by interacting with other entities is why Dasein must have an understanding of being, which is why we are studying Dasein as the foundation of the study of being or ontology. This will make more sense as we go along.

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Lia | 522 comments Mod

Ownership:Authenticity translates the German word “Eigentlichkeit,” which is built on the root “eigen” for “own,” as in something that is one’s own.

I can only be authentic because my life is already mine: authenticity is founded on Dasein’s in-each-case-mineness (68/43).

Q: if our lives are always our own, then how could we not have them and thus be inauthentic?

A: authenticity is a kind of full actualization of the always present mineness. My life is automatically mine, but I don’t always own it or own up to it in the sense of explicitly laying claim to it, taking responsibility for it, truly making it my own.

Authenticity as Ethic: To become what we are is to grasp the nature of our existence and deliberately live in harmony with it. This gives the Existential Imperative an ethical dimension.

Heidegger is not recommending a concrete ideal (69/43).: Authenticity is a way of living whatever kind of life we choose; it functions as an adverb rather than a verb or a noun.

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Lia | 522 comments Mod
the essence of Dasein is its existence (67/42)

Sartre: existence precedes essence

Heidegger: our being is essentially at issue rather than set, requiring us to decide what kind of person to be.

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Lia | 522 comments Mod
Facticity and "always already"
We are always already a certain kind of person and any changes we might want to make necessarily start from a context of choices that have already been made that influence what I can do now. This is what he calls our “facticity” (82/56).
Facticity means that we have always already made a bunch of existentiell (that is, pertaining to a particular Dasein) choices, entangling us with the set of people and things involved in those actions.
Dasein’s facticity is such that its Being-in-the-world has always dispersed itself or even split itself up into definite ways of Being-in. The multiplicity of these is indicated by the following examples: having to do with something, producing something, attending to something and looking after it, making use of something. . . . All these ways of Being-in have concern as their kind of Being.


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Lia | 522 comments Mod
Lia wrote: " the essence of Dasein is its existence (67/42)

Sartre: existence precedes essence

Heidegger: our being is essentially at issue rather than set, requiring us to decide what kind of person to be."

Thinking about #13

Is self-interpreting the “essence” of Dasein?

In other words, am I allowed to say that the “virtue” (or excellence) of a Dasein is interpreting his essence well (or authentically.). Or would that go against Sartre’s interpretation?

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Lia | 522 comments Mod
More on that from CC:

to Aristotle, the essence of a human being is to be a rational animal. For Christian philosophers, the essence of a human being is to be created in the image of God. The implicit assumption behind each of these definitions of the essence of humanity is that human beings are ontologically homogenous with all other entities, differing only in virtue of possessing different essential properties.

We are different from lower animals, for instance, either because we are essentially rational or because they were created by God for us or because they are incapable of reflecting on their representations. On this traditional view, the history of different interpretations of humanity’s essence can be understood as an argument over which of the properties we possess is really the essential one.

Heidegger, however, takes this history as a sign that Dasein has an ontology fundamentally different from other entities. Namely, Dasein is an entity that interprets its own essence.

This seems to be arguing against self-interpretation as essential property. (But at the same time it makes me think he’s saying S-I is D’s essential property.)

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