Heidegger

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kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 03:37 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;162843 wrote:
Well there is Faith which is a very different thing from Descartes cogito. The cogito acts more as a beginning point..there is nothing more certain, there is no truth I am more certain of, than that "thinking is" (never mind whether or not there is an I doing it) and radiating out from that most absolute certainty all else is less certain, that is I am less certain of all truths beyond that truth or contingent upon that first truth.

Certainty is subjective.
Truth is objective.
The first truth Descartes was certain of was that there was thinking going on. And this thinking he wrongly or rightly attributed to some I. But that thinking might just as well be attributed to something more inclusive than the I. We need not trust anymore in the subjective I than in the intersubjective WE.

---------- Post added 05-11-2010 at 04:08 AM ----------


Maybe he didn't.


One kind of certainty is subjective. "Certainty" in the sense of confidence that a proposition is true. But a different kind of certainty is objective. "Certainty" in the sense of the impossibility of error. They should not be confused.

Descartes was certainly talking about the second (objective) kind of certainty. He was not interested in the first (subjective) kind of certainty.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 03:41 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;162852 wrote:
One kind of certainty is subjective. "Certainty" in the sense of confidence that a proposition is true. But a different kind of certainty is objective. "Certainty" in the sense of the impossibility of error. They should not be confused.

Descartes was certainly talking about the second (objective) kind of certainty. He was not interested in the first (subjective) kind of certainty.


He was a rationalist so I would argue that the Cogito was the center of certainty for Descartes. To be even more critical, Descartes might have even placed certainty in the realm of God, as it was his belief that God places the knowledge of the outside world into our Cogito, thus creating certainty.

This is why dualism cannot work without some type of function for the word God. I use it to function for inter-subjectivity.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 03:52 am
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;162855 wrote:
He was a rationalist so I would argue that the Cogito was the center of certainty for Descartes. To be even more critical, Descartes might have even placed certainty in the realm of God, as it was his belief that God places the knowledge of the outside world into our Cogito, thus creating certainty.

This is why dualism cannot work without some type of function for the word God. I use it to function for inter-subjectivity.



Most things are in God's realm. Certainty probably the least of them. What else you write here may, for all I know, be true. But, I really would not know.

By the by, Descartes was certainly a Rationalist, but paradoxically, he was certainly not a rationalist.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 04:03 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;162858 wrote:
Most things are in God's realm. Certainty probably the least of them. What else you write here may, for all I know, be true. But, I really would not know.

By the by, Descartes was certainly a Rationalist, but paradoxically, he was certainly not a rationalist.


Well if you may not know, then it is possible that I may be mistaken myself. This leaves no other place than God, as it is only God that can make what is not known to become known. This is the essence of rationalism, you can come to certain truths without the need of experience, and you can only do so through God, and this aspect of rationalism is very evident in the writings of Descartes.

This is why I see inter-subjectivity as functioning for a God concept, and it works just as well in most other philosophies when you do the same.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 06:01 am
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;162860 wrote:
This is the essence of rationalism, you can come to certain truths without the need of experience, .


That's Rationalism, not rationalism.
 
Pyrrho
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 08:58 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;161970 wrote:
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.


A Heidegger is not a useful tool, even in a garden. Or perhaps especially in a garden.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 10:29 am
@Pyrrho,
Pyrrho;162945 wrote:
A Heidegger is not a useful tool, even in a garden. Or perhaps especially in a garden.


Yes. I realized that as soon as I tried to use it. It has no function (as you would expect). It is a scam. (The term, I believe, is 'heidigger").
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 01:28 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;162810 wrote:

Understanding Dasein allows for the ability to abstract this concealed understanding or experience of reality, and overcome the ontic, inauthentic, existence that we have been left with since Descartes.


Steiner mentioned this, and it was something that I could relate to. To see reality as contingent is to be shocked by it again. "Why is there something rather than nothing?" has an emotional content. I relate Sartre's nausea to this, except that this perception of the "miracle" of being would be the positive version.

One might say that we have an encrusted perception. If the scales are peeled from our eyes, all existence drips with "God" or the "infinite," etc. I doubt anyone can stay like this, but I've definitely experienced it. I guess this contrasts with a vision of the world as a collection of resources good only for transforming into products.

---------- Post added 05-11-2010 at 02:32 PM ----------

MMP2506;162814 wrote:
Without inter-subjectivity, you can't reach an objective truth.

I agree. And it seems that "objectivity" is founded on inter-subjectivity. I think we determine what part of our experience is private and waht part public precisely by talking with others. For instance, the sorting of dreams or paranoia from objective reality"
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 03:02 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;162878 wrote:
That's Rationalism, not rationalism.


Can you rationally explain to me the difference between the two?

It doesn't matter what you call Descartes, because the truth is he needed some sort of God to function within his philosophy. Whether he is a Rationalist or a rationalist or an empiricist, he believed the Cogito needed God in order to understand the Res Extensa. To me, this suggests that in Descartes' philosophy, God is needed for certainty.

kennethamy;162970 wrote:
Yes. I realized that as soon as I tried to use it. It has no function (as you would expect). It is a scam. (The term, I believe, is 'heidigger").


If you are a skeptic, solipsist, or materialist, then you are quite right, Heidegger has no function for you. People adhering to these paradigms are usually quite content to continue living in a world filled with contradictions and irrationalities. If you rightly discover, however, that these paradigms are all missing something very important, then Heidegger supplies a groundbreaking way out of the darkness.

Usually scams exist as a way to produce a profit, and I don't think Heidegger's bank account is necessarily overflowing with cash at the moment.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 03:06 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;162810 wrote:


Prior to Descartes' idea of a closed Cogito separate from the exterior world, ideas of consciousness were described under the term soul, and the soul was always something that was developed within a community and never isolated from the exterior world. Descartes unsuccessfully left philosophers in either solipsism or naive materialism, and both had drastic effects on the attitude of the entire Western Culture.



Prior to Descartes was St. Augustine who wrote:

In respect of these truths, I am not at all afraid of the arguments of the Academicians, who say, What if you are deceived? For if I am deceived, I am. For he who is not, cannot be deceived; and if I am deceived, by this same token I am. (City of God, Book XI, Ch. 2)

Where we find words reminiscent of the Cogito, closed and all. The idea of a private person in society, but still independent of society, is much older than Descartes. In fact, it might even simply be true!
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 04:10 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;163097 wrote:
Prior to Descartes was St. Augustine who wrote:

In respect of these truths, I am not at all afraid of the arguments of the Academicians, who say, What if you are deceived? For if I am deceived, I am. For he who is not, cannot be deceived; and if I am deceived, by this same token I am. (City of God, Book XI, Ch. 2)

Where we find words reminiscent of the Cogito, closed and all. The idea of a private person in society, but still independent of society, is much older than Descartes. In fact, it might even simply be true!


How do you infer from the above statement that Augustine was suggesting a closed Cogito? When he says "In respect to these truths", which truths are being discussed? That would have bearing on the exact meaning of the rest of the quote.

The Catholic tradition never could suggest that individuals were separate from the community because the church itself is the community. This is why excommunication from the church is so devastating. Hence, the importance of communion, and the emphasis on praying to saints. For Augustine, not only are you necessarily connected to other live souls, but some souls who have passed away as well. To suggest that Augustine ever spoke of a closed Cogito is a huge reach, and I've taken several classes on theology that lead me to believe that could never be the case.

Descartes came up with the idea of an isolated Cogito because he disagreed with the scholastic tradition, so it would be irrational to think he took the idea from them.
 
qualia
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 07:06 pm
@MMP2506,
This will be a little about Cartesian ideas in relation to Heidegger. It is no way exhaustive. I hope it isn't going to derail the thread, but more positively, hope it may highlight a number of concerns raised by Kennethamy whose pertinent questions I don't think have always been clarified as charitably as they could have been.

Okay. I think one of Heidegger's main critiques is to tweak out a basic structural problem in Cartesian philosophy per se (which can also be traced in the likes of Searle, Husserl, Satre, and good, old fashioned A.I.). It is about the relationship between the external world (res extensa) and the human mind which contributes meaning, intentionality, function predicates, and so on, (res cogitans), to that external world.

After drawing our attention to some of the more fundamental problems and misconceptions this perspective has in trying to understand the world (see section 12 and 13 of Being & Time), he moves on to critique the Cartesian notion of Spatiality, or Spatial Contiguity, viz. the subject-object relationship.

Heidegger never says it is wrong to understand the world in these terms, in fact, in many practices, such as the sciences, it is really quite the best thing to do. H's critique is that this perspective just misses out too much detail. It is too simple, too elementary to grasp human existence and comprehension in and of the world. For H, ontologically speaking, humans do not construct an understanding-interpretation of the world from the Cartesian position alone, namely, that of theoretical contemplation and cognition of substances.

Humans are already "absorbed in the world" (P80.54), plunged into it, so much so, that any talk about putting ourselves into the Cartesian position and say, giving function predicates to substances out-there, and then thinking we have arranged all our ontological knowledge, or the vast array of common-sense and coping knowledge "is misleading" (p96.67).

In the early chapters of Being and Tiime, Heidegger maintains that whatever we're going to talk about, we are already-always in the world. We are coupled to it, coping with things, doing things, using things and not always thinking about it. To this extent, we, as babies, children and adults, have pre-theoretical understanding; precognitive, unthinking yet extremely skillful and yet ruleless ways of going about much of our coping business; we have intelligibility; know-how of things without the need to know-that or to be contemplating stuff; we have skillful coping and skillful thinking without needing to intellectually understand what is going on. We have a way of dealing and coping in the world which is not something always believed or with formal rules or carried out with much if any thought. This is the background which H believes 2000 years of philosophy have completely overlooked.

So, of the Cartesian mind-body dichotomy? If it positions itself as if there were some self-sufficient (Descartes) substance called mind who like some transcendental god-thing, could be a detached observer of the world, who contemplates his ball of wax (Descartes), his billiard table (Hume), or his ship moving down river (Kant), and then writes up his reflections into the persuassion that he has significantly come to understand the world, is incomprehensible, a bewitching metaphysic, simply because being in the world is the essence of human existence. We, the mind, can never step out of it, never be the spectator as such, the closed off Cogito, simply because we are always-already an actor within it. It is the persuassive notion of a Cartesian spectator which according to H, has distorted much understanding of ontology and human existence in the world.

Hope this has helped to some degree :popcorn:
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 07:48 pm
@qualia,
qualia;163177 wrote:
This will be a little about Cartesian ideas in relation to Heidegger. It is no way exhaustive. I hope it isn't going to derail the thread, but more positively, hope it may highlight a number of concerns raised by Kennethamy whose pertinent questions I don't think have always been clarified as charitably as they could have been.

Okay. I think one of Heidegger's main critiques is to tweak out a basic structural problem in Cartesian philosophy per se (which can also be traced in the likes of Searle, Husserl, Satre, and good, old fashioned A.I.). It is about the relationship between the external world (res extensa) and the human mind which contributes meaning, intentionality, function predicates, and so on, (res cogitans), to that external world.

After drawing our attention to some of the more fundamental problems and misconceptions this perspective has in trying to understand the world (see section 12 and 13 of Being & Time), he moves on to critique the Cartesian notion of Spatiality, or Spatial Contiguity, viz. the subject-object relationship.

Heidegger never says it is wrong to understand the world in these terms, in fact, in many practices, such as the sciences, it is really quite the best thing to do. H's critique is that this perspective just misses out too much detail. It is too simple, too elementary to grasp human existence and comprehension in and of the world. For H, ontologically speaking, humans do not construct an understanding-interpretation of the world from the Cartesian position alone, namely, that of theoretical contemplation and cognition of substances.

Humans are already "absorbed in the world" (P80.54), plunged into it, so much so, that any talk about putting ourselves into the Cartesian position and say, giving function predicates to substances out-there, and then thinking we have arranged all our ontological knowledge, or the vast array of common-sense and coping knowledge "is misleading" (p96.67).

In the early chapters of Being and Tiime, Heidegger maintains that whatever we're going to talk about, we are already-always in the world. We are coupled to it, coping with things, doing things, using things and not always thinking about it. To this extent, we, as babies, children and adults, have pre-theoretical understanding; precognitive, unthinking yet extremely skillful and yet ruleless ways of going about much of our coping business; we have intelligibility; know-how of things without the need to know-that or to be contemplating stuff; we have skillful coping and skillful thinking without needing to intellectually understand what is going on. We have a way of dealing and coping in the world which is not something always believed or with formal rules or carried out with much if any thought. This is the background which H believes 2000 years of philosophy have completely overlooked.

So, of the Cartesian mind-body dichotomy? If it positions itself as if there were some self-sufficient (Descartes) substance called mind who like some transcendental god-thing, could be a detached observer of the world, who contemplates his ball of wax (Descartes), his billiard table (Hume), or his ship moving down river (Kant), and then writes up his reflections into the persuassion that he has significantly come to understand the world, is incomprehensible, a bewitching metaphysic, simply because being in the world is the essence of human existence. We, the mind, can never step out of it, never be the spectator as such, the closed off Cogito, simply because we are always-already an actor within it. It is the persuassive notion of a Cartesian spectator which according to H, has distorted much understanding of ontology and human existence in the world.

Hope this has helped to some degree :popcorn:


I agree with the entire post, as it is a very fine depiction of Being-in-the-World, but I fail to see where it would tie into any of Kennethamy posts.

I have been under the impression that Ken has been arguing for the existence of an isolated Cogito that is independent from the exterior world. If I am mistaken, I hope he corrects me.

The idea of Mitsein for Husserl and Being-in-the-World for Heidegger are key components of any approach towards continental philosophy. In these concepts, especially for Husserl, the Subject-Object dichotomies are not necessarily done away with, they are just put into a larger context. Namely the World.

Later on, with Merleau-Ponty, you will see a more radical attempt to do away with the dichotomy all together, but that is in lieu of a completely whole reality which I think he feels cannot be consistently and rationally talked about as a reality which can be separated.
 
qualia
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 08:17 pm
@MMP2506,
Thanks a lot MMP2506. I guess you're right, and I hope I haven't messed up your discussion. I think I was mainly trying to address the question Kennethamy raised back on page 3 (I think) about the rough ground which accordingly wasn''t being clarified enough. I immediately - and perhaps wrongly - interpreted this notion of rough ground as H's background and have tried to give a little clarification of it. Why it is important and how it acts as a cornerstone to H's critique. I was also under the suspicion that perhaps the cogito-mind was gradually being understood as some kind of closed off, self-sufficient, independent entity and tried to raise the suspicion that after H's critique it perhaps isn't too helpful to think in these terms, even if clothed in other disguises, namely, those of the normative-capitalist-liberal understanding of "private person", "independent of" etc (page 5). I don't know anything about Merleau-Ponty, or very little, but one day will try to make my way through something by him. As I understand, H didn't really ever mention the body and M-P tried to get this back. Thanks again, MMP for your kind words.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 08:33 pm
@qualia,
qualia;163191 wrote:
Thanks a lot MMP2506. I guess you're right, and I hope I haven't messed up your discussion. I think I was mainly trying to address the question Kennethamy raised back on page 3 (I think) about the rough ground which accordingly wasn''t being clarified enough. I immediately - and perhaps wrongly - interpreted this notion of rough ground as H's background and have tried to give a little clarification of it. Why it is important and how it acts as a cornerstone to H's critique. I was also under the suspicion that perhaps the cogito-mind was gradually being understood as some kind of closed off, self-sufficient, independent entity and tried to raise the suspicion that after H's critique it perhaps isn't too helpful to think in these terms, even if clothed in other disguises, namely, those of the normative-capitalist-liberal understanding of "private person", "independent of" etc (page 5). I don't know anything about Merleau-Ponty, or very little, but one day will try to make my way through something by him. As I understand, H didn't really ever mention the body and M-P tried to get this back. Thanks again, MMP for your kind words.


No problem, it is always nice to find another who has reached any level of understanding at all concerning the writings of Heidegger. It helps to assure that I am not crazy for thinking that I do.

You are right about Merleau-Ponty and the body. He seems to me to be taking a very Aristotelian approach, and making the body (passive intellect) as something that is intrinsically part of the self (active intellect). Heidegger never really did touch a whole lot on the subject of the body, and I don't think it was because he didn't think it was important, he just seemed to see all things as being reduced simply to Being. I often feel compelled to compare the relationship between Heidegger and Merleau-Ponty to that between Plato and Aristotle. Both as far as their philosophies go, and for their personal relationship as well. But that of course hinges on how you read Plato, and I read him a bit more one-worlded than most.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 09:52 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;163097 wrote:
Prior to Descartes was St. Augustine who wrote:

In respect of these truths, I am not at all afraid of the arguments of the Academicians, who say, What if you are deceived? For if I am deceived, I am. For he who is not, cannot be deceived; and if I am deceived, by this same token I am. (City of God, Book XI, Ch. 2)

Where we find words reminiscent of the Cogito, closed and all. The idea of a private person in society, but still independent of society, is much older than Descartes. In fact, it might even simply be true!


The quote comes from Book XI Ch 26.
The chapter's title is intriguing "Of the Image of the Supreme Trinity, Which We Find in Some Sort in Human Nature Even in Its Present State."

Augustine is talking about the Trinity as reflected in human nature. This trinity is Existence, Knowledge of Existence and the Love of Both.

The Cogito really only covers two of these three. Existence and knowledge of existence.

But Augustine says that "the love of both" is of "equal moment"

"And when I love these two things, I add to them a certain third thing, namely, my love, which is of equal moment." - (Augustine same chapter)

Love or "caritas". I don't know Latin but I took a look at the original Latin and Augustine uses "amor" rather than "caritas". I'm not sure what the difference is or what if any significance there is to it.

In Heidegger it is usually translated as "care".
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 10:17 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;163215 wrote:
The quote comes from Book XI Ch 26.
The chapter's title is intriguing "Of the Image of the Supreme Trinity, Which We Find in Some Sort in Human Nature Even in Its Present State."

Augustine is talking about the Trinity as reflected in human nature. This trinity is Existence, Knowledge of Existence and the Love of Both.

The Cogito really only covers two of these three. Existence and knowledge of existence.

But Augustine says that "the love of both" is of "equal moment"

"And when I love these two things, I add to them a certain third thing, namely, my love, which is of equal moment." - (Augustine same chapter)

Love or "charitas".

In Heidegger it is usually translated as "care".


Very interesting. And as you see, he makes it clear that the love, or the relationship, between both is of equal importance of either one separately. Its funny, Ken actually ended up in quite a contradiction by using that quote out of context.

Existence=Father
Knowledge of=Son/Word of God
Love for both= Holy/Uniting Spirit

I might even go so far to say that only the knowledge of existence pertains to what Descartes would consider the Cogito.

Existence is simply what Heidegger would refer to as Being, and the only way we experience Being is in a particular Dasein. We never experience pure Being.

Knowledge of Existence is the Word of God, as it is only through language/reason that we can reach these truths which pertain to existence. But these truths we reach do not fully exhaust Being as it is a reality that can never be exhausted.

Inter-subjectivity is shown, by being represented by Love, to be equally as important as the two other parts of the trinity. Only through a love, or as you rightly mentioned "care", for others, can we share and strengthen these truths.

Thanks for background.

Have you ever looked into the philosophy of Duns Scotus? His philosophy of being was instrumental in Heidegger's development, and he uses "Being" much in the same way as Augustine and Heidegger.
 
Deckard
 
Reply Tue 11 May, 2010 11:42 pm
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;163223 wrote:

Have you ever looked into the philosophy of Duns Scotus? His philosophy of being was instrumental in Heidegger's development, and he uses "Being" much in the same way as Augustine and Heidegger.

No, I'm not all that familiar with Duns Scotus. Here's a very good article on bnet that traces the rise of the everyday understanding of technology back to Scotus sometimes rival Ockham. Also lots more about Augustine - Heidegger connection and, yes indeed, it's the Trinity again.

Also regarding the OP the first several paragraphs provide an excellent synopsis and explanation of The Question Concerning Technology.

Heidegger, Augustine, and Poiesis: Renewing the technological mind | Theology Today | Find Articles at BNET
 
 

 
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