Heidegger’s Bridge to Latency. Note Quote.


We can understand Heidegger’s choice of the term hermeneutics over alternatives as interpretation when we remember that implicit in the Heideggerian project is the effort to regain a grasp of being that has been lost in modern times and indeed since the time of Plato and Aristotle. One seeks the “hidden weight” of ancient words precisely in order to go behind what is self-evident in modern thinking. This special and intense listening Heidegger calls for is necessary in order to break away from the confines of the modern world view. Hermeneutics, it will be remembered, is the discipline concerned with deciphering utterances from other times, places, and languages–without imposing one’s own categories on them (the hermeneutic problem). It is significant that Heidegger attempts to sharpen his reflection by a conversation with a person from a radically alien world–a Japanese. The atmosphere of the conversation is an effort to understand the most difficult and ineffable conceptions–beauty, utterance, language. A Japanese tentativeness and delicacy pervades the dialogue, and one can understand Heidegger’s fascination with a people whose art strives for the letting-be of what is.

But the use of a Japanese dialogical partner is not the only indication of Heidegger’s effort to transcend the westernized, modern world view. Heidegger explicitly states that the careful listener will put in question “the guiding notions which, under the names ‘expression,’ ‘experience,’ and ‘consciousness,’ determine modern thinking. If one thinks of these conceptions as constituting the make-up of one’s “world,” then what Heidegger has in mind is that interpretation as hermeneutics should be “world-shaking,” a fateful message that shakes the foundations of thought. Only an interpretation that goes outside the prevailing conceptualities can move toward what Heidegger has in mind–“a transformation of thinking.” Unfortunately, the word interpretation fails to suggest a mediation from something outside and alien, but hermeneutics, since it customarily has reference to interpreting ancient texts in another language, has precisely this sense of relating to something essentially other yet capable of being understood.

The mediation Heidegger has in mind here is ontologically significant. It would seem to be a kind of bridge to non-being. The transcending of the already-given world is elsewhere in Heidegger even called the “step back”: a “step back” from presentational thought as such. This “step back” is a movement back from embeddedness in a set of fixed definitions of reality, in order to regain access to a certain realm of “latency” which we might also call our deeper sense of the meaning of being. Heidegger roots his thinking in a latency lying below the level of manifest consciousness. It is not nonbeing in the sense of a mere emptiness but rather a source of being for which the word “latency” seems rather apt. The mediation, in this case, is not between two well-lighted but incommensurate realms of being but between the well-lighted daylight of consciousness and something more like the mysterious night of what lies below and above consciousness. Heidegger clarified in his well-known letter to Richardson that this realm, as ontological nonbeing, is not the transcendental in the sense of Kant’s conditions for the possibility for phenomena but a kind of creative foundation and source for our being-in-the-world.


12 thoughts on “Heidegger’s Bridge to Latency. Note Quote.

  1. Excellent. And id say it is the destitution of spirit that defines modernity as that which persistantly thinks its mistake as the real solution.. a solution that H thought he could ‘teach’ people out of, but in truth, is actually where the idea of reincarnation and karma (etc…) come out of: because you can’t teach people into being of the sort that Heidegger talks about.

    I would even go so far to say that it was the idea that somehow we could teach other people into a correct understanding of being that defines, not so much what is modern, but what was developed as postmodern. And this is why I would say that postmodern is just a religious apology for the modern orientation up on things.

    We find then in our day right now, that we are coming to terms with the condition where the modern sort has no access to the being that Heidegger talks about. Being there so destitute attempts to affirm and confirm a reality by instituting more detail definitions of what might constitute a real being that it’s not the sort of Heidegger’s.

    We can say then with relative assurance that this is the kind of phase that is played out throughout human history, and we could probably find notices of this secular playing probably I would gas in the ancient texts such as the Vedas and others, keeping in mind that the cycle house to play out a few times before one becomes aware of the situation, and this is the reason why history has to post itself as a linear progress.

    • Beginning with the early Karl Löwith and Herbert Marcuse, Heidegger’s stress on approaching history through the history of philosophy was judged as distanc- ing his thought from the materiality of real historical processes, structures, and agents. In Heidegger’s analysis, however, philosophy does not signify a derivative or superstructural intellectual history; it confronts questions of how and formal- ly indicates the ways in which human beings exist, i.e., the basic comportment and disposition of human existence as being-there (Dasein) temporally in-the- world. Heidegger’s destructuring confrontation with the history of ontology and metaphysics has a critical and transformative dimension by engaging ordinary and everyday ways of behaving, as structured by tradition and average public life, rather than remaining in the intellectual “life of the mind.” Heidegger attempted to encounter the past not “as it was”—as a retrieval of the past in its past presence, the identity of pure unsullied origins, or of the “first beginning”—but from the non-identity and interruptive force of what he called the “other beginning,” which is accessible in its relation to and difference from the first. Instead of reifying the past in its empirical factuality, or reducing it to a construct imposed on it by the present, Heidegger articulates the dynamic temporal relationality of the historical as well as a different relation with history in which the present can encounter and respond to the past. Such historical responsiveness, a letting or releasement allowing beings to be imma- nently encountered and engaged on their own terms, would move toward the past phenomenologically as it shows itself from itself even as that past escapes and remains irreducible to present efforts—whether narrative or causal—to grasp and manage it.
      The last metaphysical (or better, eschatological) question to which Heidegger’s inquiry into the phenomenon of karma, or “ripening fruit,” arrives, concerns the origin of that strange experience, the primeval phenomenon of all religion: being-guilty.
      [The call of conscience] is the call of care. Being guilty constitutes the being to which we give the name of “care.” In uncanniness Dasein stands together with itself primordially. Uncanniness brings this entity face to face with its undisguised nullity, which belongs to the possibility of its own-most potentiality-for-being. … The appeal calls back by calling forth: it calls Dasein forth to the possibility of taking over, in existing, even that thrown entity which it is.

      • There is a lot to address there. Ill try to keep it to my point though:

        The over generalization of what constitutes humanity is indicative of the failure of enlightenment thinking that Heidegger can be seen to mark. It is not very difficult to see Dasien as a good description of what had been ‘given’ of many philosophers before him. Husserl, I would say, finalized a certain dichotomy, the problem for which I am not well read of all the minutiae authors and all the multitudinous ideas that philosophy can stem out into to make any argument extend into eternity, but it appears, at least, that Lowish was onto something. Still, Hiedegger can be seen to iron out the issues the Hursserl thought so neat. The sense that comes is not very foreign to Hegel, and it seems appropriate to understand Heidegger’s Nationalist Socialist curiosities to show that the sense of Spirit ‘had left the building’ after that.

        It is the overestimation of Desein that marks the destitution of spirit; consider Derrida’s work and then Badou. It is the overestimation of ‘beings-theres’ that evidences his ‘care’ as you (he) put it.

        Where Heidegger is likewise taken to be applying a lesson so that people might learn or otherwise understand hi m sufficiently to somehow ‘be there’ (however one might put it) likewise shows this historical mark. Many places in Heideggers writings (and indeed he was a teacher) evidences the lack of understanding the limits of his own work, id say. For we cannot reckon what Heidegger is saying as somehow ‘of himself’, as if he was saying something unique to his position of existence. We have include all that occur(-d, -s). We have to look at what happened after him. and we find people first attempting to make sense of the failure ((post-moderns), and then in light of Their failure, the more recent and contemporary authors that one one hand attempt to further reconilce the failure, and on the other, those who just gave up trying to (OOO, SR).

        Yes; in the Intro to my book I talk about how Hieddger was attempting to re-introduce a kind of knowledge that we have lost.

        But My point is that he couldn’t, and can’t, and no one can. The best anyone can do is verify to those who already know that their understanding is valid. In this, I might say that you did not learn anything about Dasien except that Hieddgger used a particular term (Dasien) and talked about the situation in a certain manner that you intuitively already understood.

        But this is not same case, say, at physics. If Heidegger was speaking about some . inclusive. manner of Being that all human have access to, in that certain sense or view, then ‘knowing’ about physics would occur in the same manner that understanding philosophical texts does (recall Plato’s ‘remembering’?) But this is not the case.

        I would guess that you were taught physics and the principles thereof (meth and such), just as I would have to work very hard to understand all that stuff that you apparently know very well.

        But Dasien describes (or inscribes) a different situation all together, such that Heidegger himself could not see his own contradiction, and indeed, the contradiction that played out in his very life (I’m thinking of his Nazi support).

        Ok Im done for now ;))

      • Authentic Dasein isn’t “distinct” from the world in any way – the possibilities one takes up and affirms as one’s own in authenticity are still worldly. It is only the way in which one takes up these possibilities (in the visceral light of one’s anxious acknowledgement of death) which differs. It is one thing, for instance, to go to university because your parents or teachers expect it of you and quite another to resolve to go on your own account in light of the recognition of your existential situation – to go in order to “do something with my [one] life”. While confronting death is a powerful and sobering experience, casting us back upon ourselves (or individualising us), it does not announce our separation from the world but only heralds our taking hold of our lives for the first time (lives which are still worldly).

        In Heidegger contra Hegel: The Phenomenology presents the demonstration of our ‘liberation from the opposition of consciousness’, and attainment of the speculative level of pure thought-determinations that is the only ‘presupposition’ of the Logic as such. It is in this sense that Science begins with the matter itself [Sache selbst], without any external reflections. Hegel’s project in the Phenomenology is therefore radically anti-foundationalist: Hegel rejects all (Cartesian or Reinholdian) foundationalism in favour of a self-constructing process through which the disparity between knowing and truth is finally overcome. As Hegel remarks, the Phenomenology describes the coming-to-be of Wissenschaft, a becoming that is ‘quite different from the ‘foundation’ of Science; least of all will it be like the rapturous enthusiasm which, like a shot from a pistol, begins straight away with absolute knowledge, and makes short work of other standpoints by declaring that it takes no notice of them’. In asserting absolute knowledge as the absolute presupposition of the Phenomenology, Heidegger appears not to have heeded Hegel’s important claim that the absolute as a result is also the ground of the whole process of its own becoming.

        Heidegger’s aim is clear: to continue the task of a critical Destruktion of the history of ontology through a confrontation between the Hegelian problematic of finitude and Heidegger’s own inquiry into finitude, and in so doing to provide the common problematic for a ‘thinking dialogue’ with Hegel on the question of Being.

        Although Hegel ‘ousted finitude from philosophy’ by sublating it within the infinitude of reason, this was only an ‘incidental finitude’, Heidegger claims, a conception inscribed within the metaphysical tradition that Hegel was forced to take up and transmit. As distinct from Kant, with Hegel infinitude becomes a more significant problem than finitude, since the interest of speculative reason is to suspend all oppositions within the rational totality of thought-determinations. In this sense, Heidegger understands the project of post-Kantian idealism to consist in the systematic attempt to overcome the ‘relative’ knowledge of finite consciousness (in the sense of object-dependent knowledge of otherness) in favour of the absolute knowledge of speculative reason (in the sense of a no longer ‘relative’ or object-dependent self-knowledge). As ab-solving or detaching itself from the relativity of consciousness, absolute knowledge detaches itself from relative cognition such that consciousness becomes aware of itself or becomes self-consciousness.

      • Im just saying: lets agree that we both understand H. What then? What does it mean? And particularly; if he is correct, how is it that, say Hegel, was incorrext?

  2. initially, Heidegger appears to decry the traditional, Cartesian, subject disconnected from the world, only tenuously linked with sensory perception, and instead posits the interrelationshipness of Dasein and the World, with the hammer and the ready at hand in the workworld for how we actually perceive things as Dasein.
    However, then he starts talking about authenticity, contrasted with inauthenticity, which is characterized by following social trends, fascination with the present, etc, and becoming the mindless social herd, the They. And this inauthenticity, which he appears to criticize, seems to have a lot of similarities with the workworld and stuff that he spends quite a lot of time talking up. The authentic self with its guilt, anxiety, call-of-conscience and being-towards-death seems to be essentially comprised of properties that allow the Dasein to individualize, in a way that is cut off from the everyday being-in-the-world. This is the opposition being hinted at.

  3. So there is an opposition; often i am concerned with this. Part if this is that The understanding (comprehension; knowledge;approrpiation; situation; etc) of Dasien, i see, bifurcates along that line: dasien and not.

    Grant me that i understand the situation he describes, Dasein. Within this i have the situation where an aspect or element of “My” situation of being there “does not understand”, or “does not get it”. Beyond some truth that says that this aspect does not exclude me from it nor it for me; grant that the situation is as it is as a condition of knowledge or we might say a condition of “being there”.

    The authenticity that Hp wants to talk about has to do or someone can be seen to result in World War II. At some level we have to take into account that World War II occurred in the context of a sort of pre-and post realization of “being there” in H sense.

    So Innoway I tend to want to say that by now 60 years later there is a situation where there are a few people who understand and an aggregate who do not but yet think that they can use the words of Heidegger to somehow bring that condition into their daily life I was somehow “being there”

    So it is this distinction that then allows for people to really talk about what is going on with this distinction. Not so much from the people who “don’t get it” but yet want to talk about all the details in deconstructions of what H has to say as opposed to what someone else might have to say.

    The significance of the situation of being there would half to preclude the people who are not really talking about the situation of “being there”, because being there has already been found out to lead to highly destructive situations, or at least the confusion involved in being there and then being there, lol, so to speak.

    So this somewhat convoluted situation that I’m describing very briefly right here involves the quantum descriptions in a manner that I think is significant. The ideas that you seem to play with so easily actually can be used to transcribe/describe this situation of “being there” and the situation of “being there but actually not really being there”, lol.

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