Prof. Martin Heidegger (1889-1976)

"A spectre is haunting Western Philosophy – the spectre of Martin Heidegger....

Professor Heidegger is obviously correct that we find ourselves, apparently as mortals, [always already...] thrown into the world. We didn't ask to be here; we find ourelves already stuck here, with no warrant for expecting anything in future.

I do not think, however, that this thrownness has anything to do with "earth", under whatever interpretation of that term. Only a peasant is bound to the earth, and a university professor with a lederhosen fetish may imagine he is. No wonder Prof. Heidegger liked Vincent van Gogh's painting of peasant shoes, which appear to examplifiy his "blut und boden" thesis.

In the 1955-1956 lecture course published as The Principle of Sufficient Reason (Der Satz vom Grund), Heidegger writes of abstract art: "The techno scientific construction of the world launches its own claims on the creation of all beings that force themselves into its light. (Google search)

A Kandinsky painting ('example, supra) shows no connection to earth: it is a world that floats in space, spiritually, like, physically, astronauts do. I doubt Prof. Heidegger knew about Kandinsky's paintings and that if he did, I expect he did not like them. I think Prof. Heidegger was a Kitshmensch: a man with banal esthetic predilections, like Lawrence Welk's champagne music making, although Mr. Welk may not have naively bought the product he was selling (may not have ate his own dogfood).

Martin Heidegger (1933).
das Man?

I speculate Prof. Heidegger's Nazism w no aberration. Had he been less gullible, he might not have fallen for Adolf Hitler, but only becaue Hitler was not a good enough Fuhrer, not becaue he was a Leader. Raised a Catholic, always a Catholic? i never read him saying that Dasein is a being that/who is a judge of Being (Sein). Rather that we should grovel before Being. Why? If we can think it we can (must...) judge it. If we can't think it, it just cannot be a desideratum, period.

Addendum: Reading Giorgio Agamben's "The Open", I am wondering how well Prof. Heidegger understood higher animals' living experience. I could accept "world poor" in a general way, but the clarification of this here does not seek right to me. Heidegger's instinct-captovated animal seems not all that much better then Rene Descartes' clockwork animal. What is the living experience of a cat watching the world thru a living room window?

I don't think Prof. Heidegger knows about house cats. And I don't know about orangutans. Also: Is it possible that animal "experience" (whatever it is) and human experiencing may converge at least sometimes in the respective creatures' hours of death?

Stones, animals and humans

Professor Heidegger famously said: "A stone is worldless, animals are world poor and humans (Dasein, whatever) are world-shaping." THis is probably oversimplifying if one compares a beeto a cat. But from my experinece of people I htink the classical Greeks were onto something when they believed the line between the human and less than human ran not along a species line but within the species of "homo sapiens" itself. Most people are world-shaping in such ways as following the directions on a frozen "TV dinner" to peel back a corner of the top plastic wrap to vent it and then heat it in the microwave for 7 miuntes on high and then remove the tok wrap after letting it sit for a minut befor eating it. this has change the shape of the world Bt so too a beaver building a dam in a astream of a bird building its nest or maybe the latter of more not less?

Isn't what Marcel Duchamp did when he made a standard issue male urinal or a bottle drying rack be an artwork by saying they were, something apparently without any close precedent in human l=histoty "world shaping" in a different way?

Ans "das Man" ("the them") really addresses it. I seem to recall Prof. heidegger wrote about "fallenness into th they". But it seems to me tht the active kind of "world shaping" is rising above something. My contention: Only understanding can be eunderstood; everything else can be less or more explained

There seems to me to be divide batween humans (whatever nme one wishes to use here) who shape the or their world in modality the first above and those who shape in in the second, and that the second builds on the first. Das man falls somewhere. The kids in St. Paul's Illiberal Day Carcel for pubsecent male virgins except-for-omerta-sanitary-services-for-jocks may some of them litereally jst been part of the team. But other s were more nical about it and wer playin gth came to get into agood college or whteer. The coaches may have been playing the game at a higher level (or not), and I reflet on it all as sociological material to study. But maybe soe of the coaches literally "were" coaches while other saw coaching as their want to make out in life. Where to draw the line between than self-accountablly wodlr shaping living and → and what? Only understanding can be understood. But I live with all these kind of people / persons.... and they occasionally make me feel better but often hurt me more.

I hypothesize that most people live lives little richer than the higher animals. But if we may underestimate the lives of some higher animals (see here), then the people do not come off totally bereft after all insofar as they have an emotional (not just "sentimental") dimension. A big problem is people who cause trouble for others and sometimes for animals too.

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BMcC signature seal stamp. Modelled on 18th century messenger's letter box in collection of Suntory Museum, Tokyo. Japanese write poems and prayers on slips of paper which they tie into knots like this shape although with longer legs. Prayers are often tied to branches of trees which can look like they are covered with snow. "Symbol of a symbol, image of an image, emerging from the destiny that is sinking into darkness...." (H. Broch, "The Sleepwalkers", p.648) Always remember. Add value. (This image created not later than 21 May 2003)
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