Heidegger

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Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 04:50 pm
Heidegger holds that the every day understanding of technology asserts two things: that technology is instrumental (a means to an end) and anthropological(something controlled by man). How does Heidegger argue that this is not the case using the four causes, the notion of revealing, alethia/poiesis, and destining? I was also wondering why is modern technology enframing?

Science is concerned with beings and nothing further according to Heidegger. Is the nothing a product of scientific/logical negation or is scientific negation grounded upon the nothing for Heidegger? How do we encounter this nothing? Why does Heidegger claim that the essence of the nothing is nihilation? What does that mean? Why does he claim that the metaphysics belong to the nature of man?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 09:53 pm
@CW146428,
CW146428;161867 wrote:
Heidegger holds that the every day understanding of technology asserts two things: that technology is instrumental (a means to an end) and anthropological(something controlled by man). How does Heidegger argue that this is not the case using the four causes, the notion of revealing, alethia/poiesis, and destining? I was also wondering why is modern technology enframing?

Science is concerned with beings and nothing further according to Heidegger. Is the nothing a product of scientific/logical negation or is scientific negation grounded upon the nothing for Heidegger? How do we encounter this nothing? Why does Heidegger claim that the essence of the nothing is nihilation? What does that mean? Why does he claim that the metaphysics belong to the nature of man?


I read Steiner's book on H and found it good. It covers quite a bit of ground, puts him in context. I don't feel expert enough to try to answer your many excellent questions. I feel that I could try on a few, but I'm sure that others are more qualified. Perhaps they will pop in....
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 10:06 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;161964 wrote:
I read Steiner's book on H and found it good. It covers quite a bit of ground, puts him in context. I don't feel expert enough to try to answer your many excellent questions. I feel that I could try on a few, but I'm sure that others are more qualified. Perhaps they will pop in....


Now that spring is here, I suppose I will be doing garden-work, and I understand that a heidigger is a useful tool, so I suppose I will get one.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 10:08 pm
@CW146428,
Oh, it seems that someone less qualified popped in. Let's just say that vegetarians don't give good advice on cooking steak....
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 10:16 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;161971 wrote:
Oh, it seems that someone less qualified popped in. Let's just say that vegetarians don't give good advice on cooking steak....


You have a problem with heidiggers? Have you used one and found it wanting? (Not that I would be surprised). In fact, there are some excellent cooks who happen to be vegetarians, and who in their own restaurant serve an excellent steak. You don't have to be fat to drive fat oxen. Another theory destroyed by an inconvenient fact.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 10:52 pm
@CW146428,
CW146428;161867 wrote:
Heidegger holds that the every day understanding of technology asserts two things: that technology is instrumental (a means to an end) and anthropological(something controlled by man). How does Heidegger argue that this is not the case using the four causes, the notion of revealing, alethia/poiesis, and destining?


One question at a time is best.
Is there a missing word or a grammatical error here? How does Heidegger argue that what is not the case?
 
CW146428
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 10:15 am
@CW146428,
How does Heidegger argue that the every day understanding of technology is incorrect
 
qualia
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 01:56 pm
@CW146428,
CW146428, I can't help with your investigation because I haven't significantly dealt with Heidegger's theory of technology. My knowedge at the moment pretty much amounts to a little self-reflection and the stuff I've read in Marx, Weber, Marcuse & Foucault. I have read Being & Time and am currently working through it a second time, so any questions pertaining to this work try a little shout out. With that said, I hope the following links aid your own enquiry. Yours, qualia.

Theory of Technology (scan down for essays on Heidegger).

The Question Concerning Technology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (a wiki intro on Heidegger's Technology critique)

The Question Concerning Technology (important essay by Heidegger himself)

In the anglo-saxon world of things Langdon Winner is a dominant theorist on the question of technology and his website can be found here:

Professor Langdon Winner - Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (you'll also find some of his reflections in the first displayed link above)
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 02:57 pm
@CW146428,
We are discussing "The Question Concerning Technology". Your questions all relate to that essay. Full text (i think its the full text) is available online. Here is that link again. I'll read through it today and tomorrow and make some comments as I go.

CW146428;162157 wrote:
How does Heidegger argue that the every day understanding of technology is incorrect


Below is the point in the text a few paragraphs in where H. begins his questioning of the every day understanding of technology as instrumental. Notice that he is not saying that this means that the instrumental understanding of technology is "incorrect" as you put it but rather that this understanding is not complete, it is not wholly true, it does not get to the true essence of technology.

Quote:
But suppose now that technology were no mere means: how would it stand with the will to master it? Yet we said, did we not that the instrumental definition of technology is correct? To be sure. The correct always fixes upon something pertinent in whatever is under consideration. However, in order to be correct, this fixing by no means needs to uncover the thing in question in its essence. Only at the point where such an uncovering happens does the true propriate. For that reason the merely correct is not yet the true.


So Heidegger starts off by making a distinction between the correct and the true. Kennethamy, setting aside for the moment your feelings about Heidegger, how do you feel about that distinction?
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 03:04 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;162197 wrote:


So Heidegger starts off by making a distinction between the correct and the true. Kennethamy, setting aside for the moment your feelings about Heidegger, how do you feel about that distinction?


What is that distinction he makes? Then I'll tell you what I feel about it (or rather, think about it. I doubt that my feelings will be engaged). Right now, I am taken aback by the news that Heidegger makes any distinctions at all.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 03:25 pm
@kennethamy,
Do you think there is a difference between saying something is correct and saying that something is true.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 06:58 pm
@Deckard,
Oh darn...
I just accidentally erased this post.
That will teach me not to try to quote from my own post.
Sorry folks. I think there might have been something valuable here once. It was rough draft at best but still not bad.

Basically all that I did here was trace the etymological/philological path that Heidegger made from "instrumental" to "revealing". The same can be had by reading the first half of Heidiggers "Questino Concering Technology" which again can be found here:

The Question Concerning Technology

Here's the shorter version that I half-articulated in a subsequent post:

Technology is not just about machines of course. Technology is also about methods and techniques. Techniques can be thought of a means to an end but that end is a revealing (aletheia) hence technology is a revealing. That is how we get from everyday understanding of technology as means to an end to the understanding of technology as a revealing (aletheia).
 
rhinogrey
 
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 07:23 pm
@CW146428,
CW146428;161867 wrote:


Science is concerned with beings and nothing further according to Heidegger. Is the nothing a product of scientific/logical negation or is scientific negation grounded upon the nothing for Heidegger? How do we encounter this nothing? Why does Heidegger claim that the essence of the nothing is nihilation? What does that mean? Why does he claim that the metaphysics belong to the nature of man?


Heidegger comes to a very specific conclusion regarding this issue in his "What is Metaphysics?" essay.

The Nothing is prior to negation. The negation flows from the nothing. The nothing is given. We encounter this nothing in moments of "anxiety." In anxiety, the nothing discloses itself to us. Heidegger is not referring to the common understanding of this term. He has in mind a technical and precise meaning, one which sets the stage for the possibility of Dasein realizing himself and thus becoming self-conscious:

Heidegger wrote:
...a peculiar calm pervades [Anxiety]. Anxiety is indeed anxiety in the face of... ,but not in the face of this or that thing. Anxiety in the face of . . . is always anxiety for . . . , but not for this or that. The indeterminateness of that in the face of which and for which we become anxious is no mere lack of determination but rather the essential impossibility of determining it. In a familiar phrase this indeterminateness comes to the fore.


The nothing nihilates as an essential component in the process of being becoming (Dasein):

Quote:
The nothing does not merely serve as the counterconcept of beings; rather it originally belongs to their essential unfolding as such. In the Being of beings the nihilation of the nothing occurs...In its nihilation the nothing directs us precisely toward beings. The nothing nihilates incessantly without our really knowing of this occurrence in the manner of our everyday knowledge.


The nothing is in the nature of man precisely because his being consists in a being held-out-into the nothing:

Heidegger wrote:
33. Only on the ground of the original revelation of the nothing can human existence approach and penetrate beings. But since existence in its essence relates itself to beings - those which it is not and that which it is - it emerges as such existence in each case from the nothing already revealed. Dasein means: being held out into the nothing.





34. Holding itself out into the nothing, Dasein is in each case already beyond beings as a whole. This being beyond beings we call "transcendence." If in the ground of its essence Dasein were not transcending, which now means, if it were not in advance holding itself out into the nothing, then it could never be related to beings nor even to itself. Without the original revelation of the nothing, no selfhood and no freedom.





35. With that the answer to the question of the nothing is gained. The nothing is neither an object nor any being at all. The nothing comes forward neither for itself nor next to beings, to which it would, as it were, adhere. For human existence the nothing makes possible the openedness of beings as such. The nothing does not merely serve as the counterconcept of beings; rather it originally belongs to their essential unfolding as such. In the Being of beings the nihilation of the nothing occurs.


 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 05:05 pm
@CW146428,
I do have a respect for H, but his style is not the epitome of user-friendly. Kojeve offers a fusion of Hegel, Marx, and Heidegger in one of my favorite books, or well collection of lecture notes, but all the same...

I'm interested in how we think of nothingness, infinity, and the Being of beings. Are we dealing primarily with conceptual or emotional content? Rorty's twist on Heidegger has convinced me of the value of some of Heidegger's thought. So I respect him as worth study. But I'm ambivalent about his style. Steiner compares his choked prose style to the texture of Van Gogh's paint. If memory serves, Heidegger highly regarded Dostoevsky, (acc to Steiner) and was a deep if eccentric reader of poetry. The notion that language is the house of being is something that clicks for me. On the other hands, I do have mixed feelings on the "indeterminate."

The concept of nonbeing makes excellent sense to me, at least in the way presented by Kojeve. In this sense, nonbeing is concept/memory/project which is more accurately described as non-spatial-being, and not simply as nonbeing. Sartre makes a similiar use, as far as I can tell. We can imagine the possibility of that which is not. Not only do we see what is around, we can contemplate what is not around. And this puts a hole in what is. For man is made of what could be as much and perhaps more than he is made of what "is. " And what really do we mean by "is"? In our casual language games the answer is obvious, but the philosopher arguably has the more difficult task of exploring this mysterious concept of being, existence, etc. And I think it's a noble and fascinating theme. Still, I only began to take Hiedegger seriously because of Rorty's excellent prose on the man. And Rorty was generous w/ criticism, even while insisting on Heidegger's significance. This is my favorite attitude in relation to the past. A desire for uncovering value without the need to buy the lot.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 06:32 pm
@CW146428,
CW146428;162157 wrote:
How does Heidegger argue that the every day understanding of technology is incorrect


From what I've read of and about Heidegger, I wouldn't go so far to say that the everyday understanding of technology is incorrect, but I think he feels it greatly oversteps its boundaries. Heidegger studied numerous natural sciences extensively before beginning to criticize them so you can assume he had the utmost respect for them.

We have come to a point in time where we value technology as an end, and no longer a means to an end. Science should not be looked at as possessing any value outside of improving the quality of human life, and this seems to parallel the rallying cries of the existentialists which feed of this aspect of Heidegger's philosophy.

This is what it means to say that technology has become concerned with beings and no longer Being. Going along with the four causes of Aristotle, technology is concerned only with the efficient and material causes of things and no longer the formal and final. Efficient causation is directed towards material construction and a formal cause gives purpose/teleology to whatever is the effect. Take the latter two out of the equation, and you sum up what is missing from the modern scientific method. We currently use a natural science that can get no farther than what is immediately appearing, but things contain much more than what they initially show.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 08:24 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;162550 wrote:

I'm interested in how we think of nothingness, infinity, and the Being of beings. Are we dealing primarily with conceptual or emotional content? Rorty's twist on Heidegger has convinced me of the value of some of Heidegger's thought. So I respect him as worth study. But I'm ambivalent about his style. Steiner compares his choked prose style to the texture of Van Gogh's paint. If memory serves, Heidegger highly regarded Dostoevsky, (acc to Steiner) and was a deep if eccentric reader of poetry. The notion that language is the house of being is something that clicks for me. On the other hands, I do have mixed feelings on the "indeterminate."

I'm reading a little "introduction to metaphysics" by Heidegger which was written about the same time as "The Question Concerning Technology" and you can tell style wise the similarities.

Here's a little clip that the Nietzschiophiles might find interesting.

Quote:
But being remains undfindable, almost like nothing, or ultimately quite so. Then, in the end, the word "being" is no more than an empty word. It means nothing real tangible, material. Its meaning is an unreal vapor. Thus in the last analysis Nietzsche was perfectly right in calling such "highest concepts" as being "the last cloudy streak of evaporating reality." [from Twilight] Who would want to chase after such a vapor, when the very term is merely a name for a great fallacy! "Nothin indeed has exercised amore simple power of persuasion hitherto than the error of Being" [from Twilight of the Idols]
Now if we can say anything about Heidegger we can say just that - he went chasing after that vapor called "Being" perhaps even found it a few times and indeed that is

This is also (perhaps) representative of Heidegger's relation to Nietzsche. We can't call Heidegger a disciple of Nietzsche; H certainly took N seriously but ultimately he disagrees with Nietzsche.

Chapter 2 begins with:
Quote:
If being has become no more for us than an empty word and an evanescent signficance , we must try at least to cpature wholly this remaining vestige of significance. With this in mind we ask first of all:
1. What sort of word is "being" in regard to its form?
2. What does linguistics tell us about the original meaning of the word?
Reco, is this what is meant by "language is the house of being"?

I realize I am drifting a little away from the OP but I'll drift back eventually.

---------- Post added 05-10-2010 at 09:36 PM ----------

MMP2506;162589 wrote:
From what I've read of and about Heidegger, I wouldn't go so far to say that the everyday understanding of technology is incorrect, but I think he feels it greatly oversteps its boundaries.

I'm just going to nit-pick here and reitterate that Heidegger didn't say every day understanding of technology was incorrect but rather he said it didn't get down to the essence of what technology really is i.e. the truth about technology.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 09:07 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;162655 wrote:

I'm just going to nit-pick here and reitterate that Heidegger didn't say every day understanding of technology was incorrect but rather he said it didn't get down to the essence of what technology really is i.e. the truth about technology.


And that is the essence of his whole philosophy. The everyday understanding we have concerning everything doesn't get us to the essence of anything. Hence the idea that a phenomenological reduction is needed to reach universal truth, and yes, that does include the essence of technology as well.

I would say that what technology essentially is, is a means for humanity to advance, and that is solely how it should be treated. Many people today live for technology instead of using technology to live.

---------- Post added 05-10-2010 at 10:13 PM ----------

Deckard;162655 wrote:

Reco, is this what is meant by "language is the house of being"?



I feel that is exactly the case.

In other words, Language is the vehicle for the true essence of Being.

Only Dasein/humans can understanding Being because only we can truthfully express ourselves linguistically.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 10:38 pm
@MMP2506,
Is Heidegger a philosopher or a philologist?

I don't know Being and Time so maybe this is just a stage but what I am seeing in these texts from the mid 50's is what I would call philology or a method of philosophizing that relies heavily on philology. But since philology is a discipline that been replaced by linguistics I'm not so sure I know what philology is except to say that perhaps for linguistic the sign is arbitrary whereas for the philologist this is not always the case. Heidegger seems to believe that the signs themselves might have the answer if only we can go back to the philosophical Ursprache i.e. the Greek.

MMP2506;162672 wrote:


I feel that is exactly the case.

In other words, Language is the vehicle for the true essence of Being.

Only Dasein/humans can understanding Being because only we can truthfully express ourselves linguistically.



I have some understanding of what Dasein is and why it is important - Dasein is a being that is aware of Being and thus interrogates and attempts to describe Being - Dasein is a being that asks questions like "Why are there somethings rather than nothing?" and I do understand that Language is necessary to ask such questions. This makes Language the vehicle or the house of Being ... but only for Dasein. Being would still be without Dasein and without Language.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 10:46 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;162655 wrote:

Now if we can say anything about Heidegger we can say just that - he went chasing after that vapor called "Being" perhaps even found it a few times and indeed that is


Speaking as a non-expert, I agree. I like some of his questions more than his answers. For me, "what is the Being of beings" is a transcendental question, and something that goes back to Aristotle's essence and accident. What makes a thing a thing? What is the "objectness" of an object? Well, I think it's nothing but "set theory" or the like. Concept are unification. In this sense, to chase the nature of being is philosophy. But I don't think Heidegger was doing that. He does seem to be an ethical sort of guy, a moralist at heart. I'm not saying he's a good guy, but that he seems concerned with ethics, even if in a roundabout poetic way.

---------- Post added 05-10-2010 at 11:55 PM ----------

Deckard;162655 wrote:

Reco, is this what is meant by "language is the house of being"?

I can only say what it has meant to me, which is that we see the world through eyes made of sentences. "The limits of my language are the limits of my world." Rorty liked to tie together Heidegger and Wittgenstein, as you probably are well aware of. Language discloses beings, let's say. Which is sort of Kantian. As if we have all sorts of worlds just waiting around to be disclosed by our perception-shaping metaphors of this theoretical pseudo-noumena. Being is the light that discloses beings is another line I remember, hopefully correctly. And this reminds me of consciousness, whatever consciousness is.

I don't see how Heidegger can transcend or escape metaphysics any more than Nietzsche. To switch to the poetic mode is not enough, as metaphysics were metaphorical from page one, in my opinion. I like Nietzsche more than Heidegger because he laughs and switches back on himself. I see Nietzsche as a plurality, who may like Whitman contradict himself but would have a witty line excusing this apparent contradiction. Also Heidegger had his fan club, whereas Nietzsche went it sickly and alone. And style matters, in my book. Nietzsche' style was not elitist. For all his ironic talk to the contrary, he was still after the Truth. But what philosopher isn't?

---------- Post added 05-10-2010 at 11:58 PM ----------

Deckard;162710 wrote:

I have some understanding of what Dasein is and why it is important - Dasein is a being that is aware of Being and thus interrogates and attempts to describe Being - Dasein is a being that asks questions like "Why are there somethings rather than nothing?" and I do understand that Language is necessary to ask such questions. This makes Language the vehicle or the house of Being ... but only for Dasein. Being would still be without Dasein and without Language.


I suppose from a physics viewpoint you are right. But what sort of being could we be talking about, if we take ourselves from the picture? Because it seems to me that Being as understood by humans is made of language organizing sensation. It's the old issue of using consciousness to imagine a universe without consciousness. I can't help but feel that it's like waking up dead.

---------- Post added 05-11-2010 at 12:03 AM ----------

MMP2506;162672 wrote:

I would say that what technology essentially is, is a means for humanity to advance, and that is solely how it should be treated. Many people today live for technology instead of using technology to live.


You make a good point. I can only say that human don't consciously live for technology, even if they do themselves harm by their dependence on it or thoughtlessness concerning it.

Do you think he's ultimately a sort of moralist concerning technology? Or how would you describe him?

---------- Post added 05-11-2010 at 12:11 AM ----------

MMP2506;162672 wrote:

Only Dasein/humans can understanding Being because only we can truthfully express ourselves linguistically.


Being is revealed by Discourse. Kojeve stresses that. And it's hard to tell how much is Hegel and how much Heidegger. For me the "real is rational" is just another prior conception of language as the house of being. Hegel called his philosophy science. It makes sense that WW1 would make science, or at least applied science, more questionable. Correct me if I'm wrong, but Dasein translate as There-being. Being is immersed always in the contingent. Time is the womb of our fantasies of the transtemporal. The circle is the spiral's closure fantasy? (It's amusing that pi is a slightly higher magnitude than e. )
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Mon 10 May, 2010 11:18 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;162710 wrote:
Is Heidegger a philosopher or a philologist?

I don't know Being and Time so maybe this is just a stage but what I am seeing in these texts from the mid 50's is what I would call philology or a method of philosophizing that relies heavily on philology. But since philology is a discipline that been replaced by linguistics I'm not so sure I know what philology is except to say that perhaps for linguistic the sign is arbitrary whereas for the philologist this is not always the case. Heidegger seems to believe that the signs themselves might have the answer if only we can go back to the philosophical Ursprache i.e. the Greek.




I have some understanding of what Dasein is and why it is important - Dasein is a being that is aware of Being and thus interrogates and attempts to describe Being - Dasein is a being that asks questions like "Why are there somethings rather than nothing?" and I do understand that Language is necessary to ask such questions. This makes Language the vehicle or the house of Being ... but only for Dasein. Being would still be without Dasein and without Language.


Well what Dasein most effectively translates to is "being-there". Therefore, to say that Being can be without being somewhere is again bringing up the question between the One and the many.

Aristotle believed that every category of thing needed at least one member. Therefore, the only time form could manifest itself is when it is accompanied with what he called passive intellect, or matter.

This is where I believe Heidegger is more of a Platonist because he seems to talk about Being as being independent from everything, but as no-thing. Being can exist on its own, but only can it be manifested into what we consider reality through Dasein and it does so because of beings ability to use language. Aristotle did have the idea of a Prime Mover though, maybe this was his idea of perspective-less Being?

This is what make language so essential to philosophy, because with the ability to syntactically communicate complex ideas comes the ability to make present what has come to be concealed. This is why he puts so much emphasis on "Alethea", or un-concealment, as he sees philosophical inquiry as a way to un-conceal what isn't immediately presented to us by talking about the way things are presented.

I agree with Heidegger here, as I see concepts such as God, the One, or Being as ways to describe what is independent from our realities, and therefore concealed from us. The only way to get to the One, is through the Word, aka. the Logos, Jesus Christ, Language. Remember Heidegger grew up a devout Christian and contemplated entering the priesthood. It isn't hard to find traces of Christian elements throughout his work.

---------- Post added 05-11-2010 at 12:49 AM ----------

Reconstructo;162713 wrote:



Do you think he's ultimately a sort of moralist concerning technology? Or how would you describe him?


One of the reasons I enjoy reading the continental philosophies so much is the evident ethical undertones that can be abstracted even when topic of inquiry wasn't focused on ethics at all.

In a philosophy that believes that objective truth can only be reached by trusting inter-subjective relationships, ethical activity becomes self-evident. In order to learn more about the world, we must do so through other people.

In this sense I consider him a radical realist who understands the importance of ethical inquiry even when discussing topics centered in epistemology.
 
 

 
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