Towards Another Heideggarian Discourse (Update September 1, 2010)

Revision History December 2007
Revision 1 August 30, 2010
Section ii)
Revision 2 August 31, 2010
Section iii)-(1)-(c), (d), (e) and (g)
Revision 3 September 1, 2010
Section iii)-(1) – much of section 1 has changed

Note: These thoughts have been loosely formulated and as such will probably change a lot over time but, for me, that IS philosophy.

Some time ago I was reflecting on those I know that have gone into professional philosophy. I always admired that profession but I also observed a conundrum at work in the act of being paid to be a philosopher. It appears that the need to publish and receive acclamation from one’s peers produces a timidity on the part of scholars; a stifling of creativity; a reluctance to think out loud and invite dialog without knowing where it will go or even if the course one has set on is valid at all. Perhaps this is something Socrates may have hinted at with regard to the sophist. In any case, in the interest of playful philosophy or perhaps tragic philosophy I have written a partial outline of some new avenues post Heidegger that may at least be given in the spirit that was Heidegger’s robust and creative thought albeit, without the intellectual vigor…

From the end of the lecture “Time and Being”…

“What remains to be said? Only this: Appropriation appropriates. Saying this, we say the Same in terms of the Same about the Same. To all appearances all this says is nothing. It does indeed say nothing so long as we hear a mere sentence in what was said, and expose that sentence to the cross-examination of logic. But what if we take what was said and adopt it unceasingly as the guide for our thinking, and consider that this Same is not anything new, but the oldest of the old in Western thought: that ancient something which conceals itself in a-letheia? That which is said before all else by the first source of all the leitmotifs of thinking gives voice to a bond that binds all thinking, providing that thinking submits to the call of what must be thought.

The task of our thinking has been to trace Being to its own from Appropriation – by way of looking through true time without regard to the relation of Being and beings.

To think Being without beings means: to think Being without regard to metaphysics. Yet a regard for metaphysics still prevails even in the intention to overcome metaphysics . Therefore our task is to cease all overcoming, and leave metaphysics to itself.

If overcoming remains necessary, it concerns that thinking that explicitly enters Appropriation in order to say It in terms of It about It.

Our task is unceasingly to overcome the obstacles that tend to render such saying inadequate.

The saying of Appropriation in the form of a lecture remains itself an obstacle of this kind. The lecture has spoken merely in propositional statements.”

Martin Heidegger

With this in mind…

a) A Possible Heideggarian Resolution (a sketch) – Phenomenology Revisited

i) Definitions

(1) Being when used here is Ontology, the study of Being as predominately meant by Heidegger

(2) being(s) when used here refers to ontic, particular beings

(3) Sorge (Care) is the temporal structure of Dasein’s throwness

(4) Dasein is the ontological level of human being

(5) dasein(s) is the ontic, individual human being

(6) existentiell pertains to individual understanding of oneself `along the way’ B&T, pg 33

(7) traditional ecstasies is the thrown ontological structure of dasein as `ahead of itself’, the `back to’ and the `alongside’ (ontically future, past, present)

ii) Martin Heidegger’s monumental work Being and Time provided an incredible analysis of Dasein (the `there’ of being, human being). Fundamental to Heidegger’s analysis of the Being of human being is Sorge. Sorge is the structure that constitutes Being temporally in its thrownness. Heidegger calls this `ecstasies’ (Greek root combining ek—`outside’, with stasis—`to stand’). The traditional ecstasies is Dasein’s `ahead of itself’, the `back to’ and the `alongside’. This is not an abstract theory about how Being might be thought. Sorge is thought from facticity. Facticity is the practical observations (phronesus) of how humans beings are in the world (Sorgensumsicht). In Being and Time, Being is thought from the ground up where `ground’ is how dasein (individual human beings) experience their being-in-the-world, and pre-cognitively understand Being. This structure is at the core of Heidegger’s analysis and should beg the question, are there any other important experiences of temporality that dasein experiences that are decidedly different from the ones Heidegger discusses and yet, structurally significant for Being? If so, could this impact the `turn’ of Heidegger in which Heidegger himself puts his earlier work, Being and Time, in question? It seems that as Heidegger looks more and more at the nothing from which Dasein is thrown what comes to the fore undermines any possibility for truth (aletheia) and his decisive notion of the possibility for authenticity is cast into a deep and bewildering darkness – Ereignis. This outline is a preliminary sketch and thought experiment into how Heidegger’s analytic might be phenomenologically adjusted to account for Ereignis. In order to do this, two new temporal `ecstasies’ are introduced “Nothing Time” and “Dream Time” and the traditional understanding of ‘ecstasies’ is modified. Much of Heidegger’s traditional analysis will still stand in what is called “Awake Time” but differences will be investigated. Note – The two new ecstasies are first given ontically as existentiell `experiences’ of dasein and then suggestions are made as to why this may be thought as ontologically significant with regard to the temporal ecstasies of Dasein.

I would also add that Heidegger never finished his project of Being and Time. While the final division of Being and Time was never written, Heidegger did leave notes about what it would contain. Heidegger was an Aristotelian scholar. He thought of Aristotle as the first and vastly misunderstood (vis-à-vis the Latin and Christian reading of Aristotle and the misreading of ousia) phenomenologist. However, Heidegger did take exception with Aristotle on the notion on time. He referred to his conception as the common conception or vulgar conception of time. This is time thought in terms of ‘now’ moments. He thought that time read through Aristotle was thought in terms of the ecstasies of being-present (parousia). I would content that if a phenomenologist wants to factually about the temporality of dasein you would have to think about how we experience temporality. We certainly have an experience of the future, the present and the past but these are not the only way we experience temporality. Why wouldn’t we as after the temporality of dreams? Why wouldn’t we question the temporality of dreamless sleep? Could it be that these common experiences give us a hint of where Heidegger may have gone in the final division of Being and Time? Could this lead us in the direction of ereignis?

iii) Three Important Temporalities of Dasein

(1) Nothing Time – “Whoever sees God dies. In speech what dies is what gives life to speech; speech is the life of that death, it is “”the life that endures death and maintains itself in it.”” What wonderful power. But something was there and is no longer there. Something has disappeared. How can I recover it, how can I turn around and look at what exists before, if all my power consists of making it into what exists after?” The Gaze of Orpheus, Literature and the Right to Death, Maurice Blanchot, page 46

(a) The temporality of “nothing time” is what dasein experiences under anesthesia. The patient remembers counting backward and opens their eyes to find they are in the recovery room. The temporality of “nothing time” is what dasein experiences when they close their eyes momentarily to sleep and open them to find that the entire night has passed. This happens more with children. [Note: This could actually be called dreamless sleep. In the stages of sleep every night there is REM where dreams occur and there is deep sleep which is the “nothing time” spoken of here. It happens every night but because there are other stages of sleep the example is clearer from what was given.] The phenomenological experience of this temporality is nothing, no duration. It strikes one as having been only when one awakes from it (if one does). The experience of nothing time is only recognized after it has passed and only tangentially. It gets pieced together as a radical disjuncture epso facto. Worldhood is non-existent for nothing time. There is no retreat of beings. Neither is there any awareness, much less a subject that even recognizes nothing time.

(b) For nothing time, Sorge as constituted as ‘primordial time’ (pg 277 B&T), as traditional ecstasies, is non-existent. The entire existential structure of Being with its ontic manifestations is null. While death may be the possibility for (pg294) the absolute impossibility of Dasein, nothing time cannot be ‘ahead of itself’ or ‘towards and end’. It can only be surmised when dasein rises again into Being, when it’s roused as Sorge .

(c) Ontically, in nothing time, there is no responsibility or decision, accountability is an absolute impossibility. There is no such phenomenality as being-towards-nothing-time as in being-towards-death as Dasein’s ownmost possibility (page 294). However, it is non-relational in a way that even being-towards-the-end is not. Being-towards-the-end is an existentiell possibility of Dasein. Nothing time is not a ‘sway’ of Dasein but a rupture, a black hole that the everydayness of Dasein must cover over. It is an existentiell rupture of dasein. The throwness of dasein as void is highlighted by nothing time. The possibility for dasein as nothing is shown (aletheia) from the ontic capacity for dreamless sleep. Nothing time points to the steresis of Aristotle as semblance.

[Note: “Heidegger says that the basic category of steresis dominates Aristotle’s ontology. Steresis means lack, privation. It can also mean loss or deprivation of something, as in the example of blindness, which is a loss of sight in one who by nature sees. Steresis can also mean confiscation, the violent appropriation of something for oneself that belongs to another (Met. 1022 b33). Finally, Aristotle often calls that which is held as other in an opposition of contraries a privation. Heidegger will point out in his later essay on Physics B1 that Aristotle understands this deprivation as itself a kind of eidos. Thus, steresis is the lack that belongs intrinsically to being. According to Heidegger, with the notion of steresis Aristotle reaches the pinnacle of his thinking about being. Heidegger even remarks that Hegel’s notion of negation needs to be returned to its dependency on Aristotle’s more primordial conception of the not.” Heidegger and Aristotle The Twofoldness of Being by Walter A. Brogan, page 19]

(d) There is no authentic ontology that can be thought from the ontic of nothing time. Nothing time is the radical exteriority that cannot be captured ontologically except as inauthentic. Being has no foot hold in it. There is no light or clearing that can be cast into it, there is no ‘in’ or ‘out’. It can be posited or gleamed only after the fact (inductively) in its recovery into being as only a false ‘not’. As steresis, the time of nothing time is an absolute achrony, an in-between. A false synthesis is only made possible from the falsity of the ‘not’ of awake time (discussed later) of “Being”, as lichtung (clearing) within Being. Being can only totalize nothing time as its light must rise from itself with no penetration into the event horizon of nothing time. For nothing time all information is lost and can only be recovered on it’s hitherto. Nothing time is the absolute zero degrees Kelvin of Dasein. From the light of Being, nothing time is the temporality of mysticism. Nothing time is not ‘my’ time. Light (lichtung) and its absence (apousia) can only change it (totalize it), it cannot capture it. It cannot even be thought as nothing without covering it over. Nothing time as third person, an it, is already a reductio ad absurdum, a covering over of what is aimed at.

(e) From the clearing of Being, nothing time is what is meant by the inauthentic (verfallen) form of time known as the ‘now’ moment. This ‘vulgar concept of time’ is the semblance, the covering over of sheer exteriority that undoes dasein. Dasein assigns an everyday notion of time to it’s (nothing time’s) non-existence. Thus Dasein escapes into a supposed linear succession of ‘now’ moments to account for the radical rupture of itself. The ‘now’ moment, the present, is the in-between being-towards the past and the future. It is kairos, fullness of the moment of being that being can never own, that eternally escapes Being. The ‘now’ is not chronos as Aristotle thought in Physics IV. From the beginning, the covering over is shown by the Sophists that took over kairos. Nothing time can never be recalled only hinted at by induction (epagoge) without light or its ‘not’. It is interesting to note that the ontic of nothing time has no ontological category. This is something that Heidegger would think would violate the whole notion of ontic and ontological. The contradiction is due to the fact that the ontic experience of nothing time can never be captured by the light (lichtung) OR ‘not light’ without eradicating it, totalizing it. The type that is indicated by the finite and the ‘not finite’ (infinite), the mortal and the ‘not mortal’ (immortal), nature and ‘not nature’ (the divine), master and ‘not master’ (slave) is not of the same type as the facticity of nothing time and the rupture of ontology. If the equivocation of these two types is maintained then an essential (wesen) differance (allusion to Derrida) is recuperated back into the canonical narrative of metaphysics. The anarchistic break of metaphysics is lost and taken back into the semblance (phainomenon) of Logocentrism. There is no authentic ‘showing’ of the ontological from the ontic in the case of nothing time.

(f) [possible avenue] Nothing time makes possible the erasure of the trace (deconstruction). The rupture of ontology makes possible the violence of the arche. [Ereignis actually opens the way for post modernism but this analysis may not only give resolve to the Heideggarian dilemma but also give some voice to the concerns of deconstruction, viz. the dynamic of the play of multiple texts.]

(g) [possible avenue] Need to explore how metaphysics, Being as suspended from nothing, is related to nothing time.

(h) [possible avenue] Since nothing time leaves an ontological rupture in Being it opens up Being to the possibility of radical alterity, an alterity that is not even yet an ‘It’. This rupture may allow the kairos of the Other. As such, the radical alterity, the achrony of the he or she that Levinas points toward. The covering over, the neutralization, is the primal violence that eradicates the other. It steals the time of the other as ‘my time’. It sublates me and other. This is the averagness of Das Man. The gap opened in ontology may hold open the possibility for Ethics. In this sense, the Ethical cannot be derived (i.e., from ontology). The radical disruption of the ontic and the ontological in this case is maintained as the Ethical. If this rupture is not maintained then the light (and its ‘not’) becomes the techne of production, the origin (arche) of Being, and Aristotle’s beginning ends in the quiddity of technology, standing reserve; all have become the foundry of nihilism, alienation is the telos of human being. The Decision is narcissistic alienation or the opening Levinas has made, Ethics. [This also depends on the discussion below about how all of these temporalities coalesce with each other. It needs to be fleshed out more here.]

(2) Dream Time – “The void that hollows out is immediately with the mute and anonymous rustling of the there is [ilya], as the place left vacant by one who died is filled with the murmur of the attendants…The there is [ilya] fills the void left by the negation of Being.” Otherwise Than Being or Beyond Essence, Emmanual Levinas, page 3 – 4 “…it is no longer this inspiration at work, this negation asserting itself, this idea inscribed in the world as though it were the absolute perspective of the world in its totality. It is not beyond the world, but neither is it the world itself: it is the presence of things before the world exists, their preservation after the world has disappeared, the stubbornness of what remains after everything vanishes and the dumbfoundedness of what appears when nothing exists. That is why it cannot be confused with consciousness, which illuminates things and makes decisions; it is my consciousness without me, the radiant passivity of mineral substances, the lucidity if the depths of torpor. It is not the night; it is the obsession of the night; it is not the night, but the consciousness of the night, which lies awake watching for a chance to surprise itself and because of that is constantly being dissipated. It is not the day, it is the side of the day that day has rejected in order to become light. And it is not death either, because it manifests existence without being, existence which remains below existence, like an inexorable affirmation, without beginning or end – death as the impossibility of dying.” The Gaze of Orpheus, Literature and the Right to Death, Maurice Blanchot, page 47

(a) The temporality of “dream time” is what Dasein experiences during sleep. Dream time has a feel of duration but there is no traditional ecstasies, no sense of a stretch of time. Dream time is the temporality of writing and the infinite rearrangement of signs. Dream time has Worldhood but without Logos. It is as if Being were cut into a million pieces and thrown into the wind. It is the time of Ilya. Sense and meaning are random and arbitrary; there is only apeiron (chaos); as logic is a random sign so is contradiction. Logocentrism is meaningless. It is as if emotion, profundity, language, history, desire, hate, fear, anxiety, responsibility and decision are all random ‘symbiotic’ syntax. Profound sense and confusion simultaneously reign supreme. The ‘there’ and the not-‘there’ are simultaneously present. The temporality of dream time is disjointed and without consistent narrative. It is multiple narratives without coincidental temporalities. Temporalities without synchronicity, without unity although they can whimsically play at this. Dream time is broken and when dasein awakes can only be remembered, if at all, in pieces in the mode of interrogative. Dream time does not concretize human experience. It only floats human experience randomly. [Dream time is the necessary `symbiotic’ underside of Being. – reminiscent of Blanchot, Scene of Writing. It is the necessary `unconscious’ for `conscious’, the mystic writing pad. Research suggests that hypnosis engages the dream time activity of the brain. This activity operates normally in waking life, i.e., when people drive cars, listen to Bush ;-), etc. It makes people susceptible to suggestion, i.e. marketing, politics.]

(b) Dream time is the temporality of writing, the time of the poet, the representation of the artist (Salvador Dali).

(c) For Being, Dream time is what is meant by the inauthentic form of time known as ‘everydayness’, the possibility to be lost, fallen from ones ownmost, confused and set adrift, the possibility for the random. [It seems to give a phenomenological basis for `everydayness’ – the Das Man is a dream, inauthenticity has its structural roots in this new ecstasies.] However, Being can recover dream time as possibility (i.e., for authenticity), to wake from sleep. [Actually, this more of the hermeneutic of dream time from the perspective of Being (awake time).] It is a temporal contrast to the traditional ecstasies discussed by Heidegger.

(d) In deconstruction, dream time is the possibility for the self-destruction of any narrative. The seeds of the texts demise are always “there” and in its margins. The narrative is understood in the awake time (spoken of below) but the counter texts and other texts are recessed into the temporality of dream time.

(3) Awake Time – “Only an entity which, in its Being, is essential futural so that it is free for it’s death and can let itself be thrown back upon it’s factical “there” by shattering itself against death – that is to say, only an entity which, as futural, is equiprimordial in the process of having-been, can, by handing down to itself the possibility it has inherited, take over its own thrownness and be in the moment of vision for `its time’. Only authentic temporality which is at the same time finite, makes possible something like fate – that is the say, authentic historicality.” B&T, page 437.

(a) Much of this analysis is already done in Being and Time as Sorge. [Note: Need to flesh out confusions of these temporalities here in Heidegger’s analysis.] His analysis concerns itself primarily with awake time. This is the temporality of Sorge (Care). The traditional ecstasies that constitute “the phenomena of the future, the character of having been, and the present” B&T, page. 377

(b) Nullity is a confusion of the traditional ‘ecstasies’ and nothing time.

(c) Everydayness is confusion the traditional ‘ecstasies’ and dream time.

iv) The Overlap of Temporalities

(1) Heidegger’s traditional analysis of ecstasies is the convergence of the ‘ahead of itself’, the ‘back to’ and the ‘alongside’ are primarily the analytic of awake time. Equiprimordial to Heidegger’s traditional ecstasies is nothing time and sleep time. With the addition of these fundamental temporalities to Heidegger’s analysis the analytic of Dasein can find a firmer post-turn and post modern footing. Just as the three traditional ecstasies Heidegger discusses converge as the temporality of Dasein with each retaining its own specificity so too does dream time and nothing time converge as ‘equiprimordial’ with the other three. They retain their uniqueness as well. They cannot be absorbed into the analytic of Sorge because they violate the basic structure (i.e., ‘ahead of itself’, the ‘back to’ and the ‘alongside’) of the traditional analytic.

(a) The new analytic is not de-severance as Heidegger discusses with regard to spatiality. De-severance brings region near and far. However, just as the convergence of the tradition ecstasies can give way to the ontic notions as ‘living in the past’ or ‘living for the future’ or ‘living in the now’ so too can the equiprimordial ecstasies of dream time and nothing time give way in awake time to the temporality of the work of art or the mystic relation with (secret) God.

(i) Much like calculus with differentiation and integration

(2) These `not’s are all seated in the temporality of awake time, Hegelian idealism.

(a) The ‘not’ of awake time is nothing time and dream time.

(b) The ‘not’ of dream time is the nothing time and awake time.

(c) The ‘not’ of nothing time is dream time and awake time.

(3) The overlaps

(a) Nothing time and awake time in the mystics, in deconstruction (as trace), in Levinas (as Other given by the face of the other), in poetry (as radical distance), in religion (as in-effable, the God of unknowing)

(b) Nothing time and dream time in Dali

(c) Nothing time, awake time and dream time confused as the history of metaphysics

(d) Dream time and awake time in Levinas’ analysis of insomnia

(e) Awake and dream time in lucid dreams

(f) Ontology as phenomenology, dialectic of space (Hegel), as metaphysics

(g) Ontic/Ontological, authentic/inauthentic, metaphysical/exteriority – all can be analyzed in terms of these three temporalities

v) Other temporalities

(1) There are other temporalities that bound and overlap the new analytic of Dasein. The other temporalities gird, underscore, make possible the ontic and ontological conditions for Being and allow the new analytic of Dasein. This is not meant as an objective present-at-hand lapse into a confused metaphysics and mere theorizing. This needs to be worked out but any temporal analytic of Dasein and Being must itself be worked towards a completeness that includes overlapping albeit less influential and varying temporalities of wesen (environment). These temporalities cannot be dismissed out of hand or ignored; they ‘ripple’ into the very fabric of Being.

(2) Types [If phenomenology can find another connection with science other than the one Heidegger gave viz., correctness, propositional correspondence viz. the metaphysics of presence (present-at-hand and idea for Plato) it may be that science can add some authenticity to Being and structural agreement in phenomenology or… not. The criticism against Heidegger and nature’s exclusion may be overcome]

(a) Quantum

(b) Nature/Life/Evolutionary

(c) Geological

(d) Astronomical

(3) De-severance Overlaps of other temporalities with Dasein.

(a) TBD [How would this work? If the work of Levinas de-centralizes the totalitarian aspects of Being viz. the face of the other, this could be seen as a Copernican type revolution in the Heideggarian analysis not to think Being as present-at-hand but to think the relationships between Being and Ereignis.]

vi) All of the temporalities previously discussed are meant by Ereignis. [Much work remains to be done here]

(1) The turn of Heidegger, the gap from Being and Time to Enowning are brought about by the gaps in the traditional analytic found in Being and Time. The work of Being and Time is too rich and has impacted philosophy too much to simply dismiss. However, the gaps in the analytic even lead Heidegger to question the whole analytic in Being and Time.

(2) When metaphysics confuses these temporalities [i.e., nothing time, dream time and awake time] we get such notions as ‘abstract’ [i.e., not ‘grounded’ in awake time] and ‘concrete’ [i.e., ‘grounded’ in awake time], ‘profound’ [i.e., the lichtung, light of Being in awake time] and ‘mundane’ [i.e., the underside, night of Being in awake time, can’t fit in logos/logic], ‘real’ [i.e., awake time, logos] and ‘illusion’ [i.e., dream time].

(3) Aletheia unconceals but requires dream time to cover over [dream time is the concealment and from the ‘perspective’ of awake time the root of semblance] – it is concealment in awake time.

(4) Metaphysics requires nothing time. [see What is Metaphysics]

(5) For Hegel, idealism requires the dialectic of temporalities. [i.e., the ‘not’ that overcomes the contradiction of thesis and antithesis so that it can re-instate them both into the higher level of synthesis requires awake time for the contradiction to stand, for Ideas to eternally reinstate/inscribe themselves into history/logos. This may give some sort of phenomenological basis for a ‘perspective’ of Hegel (??)]

Any thoughts, ideas, contributions or simple mockery would be appreciated…Mark

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