After being turned down by a number of schools, Skarbakka realized what had happened, rectified the problems in his application process, and was accepted to a photography program at Columbia College in Chicago. Here he was turned on to the influences of the convoluted German philosopher Martin Heidegger, who described the experience of life as perpetually falling and our responsibility as human beings to master our own uncertainties.
Having struggled with the void left by rejecting the security of strong religious beliefs and a history of being confronted with and subsequently correcting mistakes, Heidegger’s perspective was a good analogy for the body of work Skarbakka was about to create.
who said of “Three Pairs of Shoes,”
“From the dark opening of the worn insides
the toilsome tread of the worker stares forth,”
and utterly unlike Derrida, whose note on that painting
questioned what “constitutes a pair of shoes and how
the elements of such combine different forms of reality,”
my mother said they show how hard some people work.
In NDPR, Sacha Golob reviews Chad Engelland's Heidegger's Shadow: Kant, Husserl and the Transcendental Turn.
Heidegger's later work remains transcendental in a very strong sense: as Engelland sees it, not only is later Heidegger engaged in an inquiry concerning the ultimate conditions of experience, that project is intelligible only if approached via the familiar transcendental framework offered in SZ, a story focused around a privileged subject-like entity. The result is that, as Heidegger himself poetically puts it, the early work is the step back necessary before the leap of the later writings (GA 65, p.305). This creates an enormously complex hermeneutic and pedagogical situation: Heidegger must 'either affirm transcendental philosophy and thereby distort his goal' -- since transcendental philosophy as standardly understood fails to push to the deeper level of questioning demanded -- or deny it 'and thereby occlude his point of departure'.
What is Heidegger's Shadow?: "the transcendental functions throughout Heidegger's career as the 'shadow' which he cannot jump over".
¶ 8:05 AM0 comments
Tuesday, July 18, 2017
In NDPR, Edward Baring reviews Jean Wahl's Human Existence and Transcendence, translated by William Hackett.
In response to Wahl's 1937 lecture, Levinas had written a letter criticizing Wahl's reading of Heidegger. For Levinas, the debate over whether transcendence required an end depended upon an "ontic" reading of Heidegger's thought, that is, one that presented his work as an analysis of entities. And yet this is what Heidegger had denied; for him, transcendence was ontological, allowing Dasein to move from an entity to its Being, from a chair to what a chair is. The ontological understanding of transcendence, for Heidegger, preceded and was indifferent to the ambiguity between transascendence and transdescendence, or between a religious and a secular transcendence. Wahl responded by arguing that Heidegger's ontology was always informed by the ontic, and thus that the indeterminacy of transascendence/ transdescendence was at work even there.
Without the ontological distinction between Being and Becoming, without the tragic worldview, without becoming aware of the implied theology of the contemporary historical sciences, and without overthrowing the optimism of modernity, we cannot read the ancients. In a sense, then, my thought retraces Nietzsche’s path. Heidegger is also influential but for the contrary reason. In contrast to Nietzsche, Heidegger is deeply Pauline: he tries to reclaim the Greek heritage for Christianity after Nietzsche showed that classical philology is subservient to Christianity. The Nay Science does something similar to this Nietzschean project for Indology. It is a critique of modernity as exemplified in what is basically a form of Rassenkunde (racial anthropology) masquerading as an Enlightenment science.
Aristotle, of course, is very influential for Christian theology, especially through St. Aquinas’s rediscovery. Heidegger also attributed his interest in philosophy to an early reading of Aristotle (via Brentano’s On the Manifold Senses of Being in Aristotle). The question of whether Aristotle already represents a deviation from Platonic thought, and whether this facilitates his reception in Christianity is a complex one. On the one hand, classicists like Lloyd P. Gerson and my friend Arbogast Schmitt read him sympathetically. This is in keeping with the neo-Platonic reading. On the other hand, we cannot deny differences like the criticisms Proclus raises of Aristotle’s notion of four causes.
The notion of Te Korekore may have been receding into obscurity in Aotearoa, but in the wananga of Europe a very similar idea was fascinating young intellectuals. Before the war the German theologian-turned-philosopher Martin Heidegger had claimed that the ‘question of Being’ had gone unasked for two and a half thousand years in the West. Heidegger complained that, ever since the time of Plato and Socrates, philosophers had confused Being with beings. Instead of wondering why and how anything at all existed, they had either taken existence for granted or appealed to some super-entity - Plato’s Forms, or the Christian God, or a scientific equation - to explain it. Heidegger insisted that Being was something different to ordinary beings, something close to and yet separate from the world.
On the other hand, Siasau’s new paintings are an attempt to remind his viewers of ‘Uli ‘uli va, the void that was pivotal to pre-Christian Tongan understandings of the universe.
Like Maori Marsden’s Te Korekore and Heidegger’s Being, ‘Uli ‘uli va is paradoxical. It allows beings to exist, but it does not exist in the way that a being exists. If we try too hard to describe it, in paint or in words, then it recedes.
In LARB Ani Kokobobo reviews Laurie Sheck's Island of the Mad.
In the spirit of these connections, as I read the novel I found myself recalling, time and again, a line from one of Martin Heidegger’s letters to Hannah Arendt: “We never know what we can become for others through our Being,” writes Heidegger to the young Arendt at the height of their affair. The line resonates with the novel both in its romantic and philosophical connotations. In Being and Time, Heidegger grounds Being in the world of everyday objects, what he calls Umwelt, or environment. Being encompasses the physicality of our world, and consciousness of Being — the quality of Dasein — is what distinguishes mankind. For Heidegger, the human self is inseparable from the phenomenology of the everyday.