terça-feira, 11 de agosto de 2015

Charles Guignon on Heidegger’s conception of history

“What is most striking about Heidegger's vision of the "history of being" in the thirties is the soteriological and apocalyptic "metanarrative" that seems to underlie it. History is seen as a monolithic "happening" that, springing from primordial origins, passes through a "dark night of the soul" of forgetfulness, yet embodies the prospects for a redemption in the final recovery of its concealed origins. Just as "futurity" is basic to human temporality, so the future is definitive of history. As Heidegger says, "History as a happening is an acting and being acted upon which, passing through the present, is determined from out of the future and takes over the past" (1M 44, my emphasis).

This conception of history was already articulated in Being and Time. There Heidegger claimed that historiography must begin by projecting "monumental" possibilities for the future to serve as a basis for formulating our sense of where history is headed as a totality. This futural moment is unavoidable, for it is only in terms of some anticipated vision of the end state of historical development that we have a basis for selecting the events that can be taken as historically relevant in formulating our account of what history is adding up to. That is, we can narrativize the confusing array of events of the past in order to find some significance in them only on the basis of some conception of the future outcome of history. The projected sense of the possible achievement of history lets us see what should be "reverently preserved" from the past as the historical record of our culture's achievements (BT 447-8). This is why Dasein must "choose its hero" if it is to identify what is worthy of being retrieved from the past (BT 437) …”

GUIGNON, Charles B.. Introduction. In: _____ (Ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.

Conversations with History: Hubert Dreyfus, "Meaning, Relevance, and the Limits of Technology"

quarta-feira, 5 de agosto de 2015

Martin Heidegger: "Thinking can be translated as little as poetry can"

From Der Spiegel's 1966 interview with Martin Heidegger:

HEIDEGGER: [...] I am convinced that a change can only be prepared from the same place in the world where the modern technological world originated. It cannot come about by the adoption of Zen Buddhism or other Eastern experiences of the world. The help of the European tradition and a new appropriation of that tradition are needed for a change in thinking. Thinking will only be transformed by a thinking that has the same origin and destiny.
SPIEGEL: At exactly the spot where the technological world originated, it must, you think ...
HEIDEGGER: ... be transcended [aufgehoben] in the Hegelian sense, not removed, transcended, but not by human beings alone.
SPIEGEL: Do you allocate a special task specifically to the Germans?
HEIDEGGER: Yes, in that sense, in dialogue with Hölderlin.
SPIEGEL: Do you think that the Germans have a specific qualification for this change?
HEIDEGGER: I am thinking of the special inner relationship between the German language and the language and thinking of the Greeks. This has been confirmed to me again and again today by the French. When they begin to think they speak German. They insist that they could not get through with their own language.
SPIEGEL: Is that how you would explain the very strong effect you have had in the Romance countries, particularly in France?
HEIDEGGER: Because they see that they cannot get through today’s world with all their rationality when they are attempting to understand it in the origin of its essence. Thinking can be translated as little as poetry can. At best it can be paraphrased. As soon as a literal translation is attempted, everything is transformed.
SPIEGEL: A disquieting thought.
HEIDEGGER: It would be good if this disquiet would be taken seriously on a large scale and if it would finally be considered what a momentous transformation Greek thinking suffered when it was translated into Roman Latin, an event that still bars our way today to sufficient reflection on the fundamental words of Greek thinking.

The full translated interview, published after Heidegger's death in 1976, is available here: http://web.ics.purdue.edu/~other1/Heidegger%20Der%20Spiegel.pdf

Disqus - Prefigurations