'A' Dasein?

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Twirlip
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 12:28 pm
I still haven't got around to starting to read Heidegger properly - I've still only dipped into his books - but I'm having a look at the first few pages of Mark Wrathall, How to Read Heidegger (2005) at amazon.co.uk. It starts with a quotation from Being and Time, including these words:
Quote:
Dasein exists. Furthermore, Dasein is an entity which in each case I myself am.
This makes good (albeit mysterious or mystical) sense to me, especially bearing in mind Wrathall's advice (pages 8 to 9):
Quote:
We use an author's description to lead us to the subject [the right word in this case! - ed.] under discussion, and we use our own apprehension of that subject as the clue to deciphering the author's description. As we move back and forth between the description and the thing described, our understanding of both is enriched. That is precisely how one must read Heidegger - let his descriptions teach you how to see things even as you let the things themselves guide your interpretation of his terms.
So far, so good (for this Dasein, at least).Very Happy

But then he writes (page 11):
Quote:
He calls the kind of entity that we humans are 'Dasein'. [...] He is not saying that humans have Dasein, he is saying that we each are a Dasein. We are a Dasein because of the way we exist in the world.
Also (page 12):
Quote:
Dasein's most basic and essential comportment is a comportment towards being. This means that very (sic) particular thing grows out of a certain style or manner of existing in the world and, in acting, Dasein relates itself to that understanding of its being. This ultimately means, as we shall see, that Daseins, unlike other entities, are capable of taking responsibility for the way they exist in the world.
I haven't got Heidegger's orginal (and tortured) German in front of me, and I'm not even searching through his English translations, because that's a major job that I'm not ready for yet. So I have to ask if the way Wrathall is using the word Dasein here is in accordance with how Heidegger uses it. Particularly, does Hedeigger ever write of "a Dasein", like this? Similarly, does he ever form the plural, "Daseins", like this? It seems to me to be a very different thing to write "I myself am [Dasein]" than to write "I am a Dasein". The latter seems a much more commonplace usage, not very different from (or more mystical than) writing the platitude "I am a human being". Even if Heidegger does sometimes write like this, is it not against the background of writing in the more mysterious way, where, although I am Dasein (and so are you), Dasein is not me (or you)? It seems to me that by using the more commonplace form right away, like this, Wrathall in danger of obscuring Heidegger's mystical meaning altogether. Or am I just imagining that meaning?
 
jgweed
 
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 01:04 pm
@Twirlip,
Dasein is central to understanding Heidegger's philosophy and its phenomenological method. One way to think of the term is to understand it as referring to the unique way in which humans are in the world, "disclose" the world, and perhaps the primary of which is to give meaning to it and to itself. The primary discussion of Dasein can be found in Section 9 of Z&Z, and the quotation from p.11 seems as handy as any. Dasein is, in one sense, the conditions for the possibility of humans existing in the world.
To answer the final question, it would take some time to examine the complete text and search for every mention of Dasein to determine if it is actually used in the singular, but I suspect it could be so used in many circumstances.

One begins reading Heidegger with a simple definition, but this definition takes on a life of its own as he adds layers of significance to it. His exposition is, to make an analogy with music, akin to a theme with variations in which the restatement at the end includes both the original and all the variations as well.
 
MMP2506
 
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:53 am
@Twirlip,
Don't think of Dasein as a thing to be understood. In fact, its radically a No-thing, that can only be partially grasped upon feeling it. It's akin to the Ancient Greek idea of the Logos. The Logos flows through everyone, and only once one understands the Logos, can one truly be happy allowing it to flow through them. Dasein is present everywhere, however, one can only be content when one accepts it.
 
Pepijn Sweep
 
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 01:22 am
@MMP2506,
MMP2506;129577 wrote:
Don't think of Dasein as a thing to be understood. In fact, its radically a No-thing, that can only be partially grasped upon feeling it. It's akin to the Ancient Greek idea of the Logos. The Logos flows through everyone, and only once one understands the Logos, can one truly be happy allowing it to flow through them. Dasein is present everywhere, however, one can only be content when one accepts it.


Comes from DaBein (can't find Beta-key...)
In German now written as Dassein hopefully!
Splits in Das Sein, aneutral state of being

Written as Da sein it would mean somewhat 2 B ( T:thats-enough:Here
 
Understanding
 
Reply Thu 22 Apr, 2010 07:01 pm
@Twirlip,
I read the book by Dreyfus concerning "Being and Time." Daessin is. I believe that would be the type of answer you would get if asking Dreyfus for a definition. It is also described as a no-thing... almost as if it were merely a potential... without specific form. The body has form, but the body is not Daessin.
 
Dasein
 
Reply Mon 26 Apr, 2010 08:42 am
@Pepijn Sweep,
[QUOTE=Pepijn Sweep;129581]Comes from DaBein (can't find Beta-key...)[/QUOTE]
Pepijn Sweep;129581 wrote:

In German now written as Dassein hopefully!
Splits in Das Sein, aneutral state of being

Written as Da sein it would mean somewhat 2 B ( T Here


Pepijn Sweep;

"A neutral state of being" doesn't quite capture what Heidegger is pointing to. "A neutral state of being" turns be-ing into an object and adds an instruction of 'how to be'.

More accurately "da sein" is "there be-ing" or "be-ing there". "Be-ing there" gives you 'no-thing' to hold on to. The tendency of "humans be-ing" is to objectify be-ing so we can have some comfort in our ability to grasp something and prove its existence by 'constructing a combination of characteristics' (concepts).

We have a tendency to find comfort/certainty in the illusion we have created.

Heidegger points to be-ing by spelling it this way "be-ing". Spelling be-ing the traditional way, 'being', increases our tendency to interpret our 'selves' as an object. Heidegger expresses it succinctly when he says "be-ing is, a being is not".

I have been reading Heidegger for 15 years and have read many of his books. I have read "Being and Time" and "The History of the Concept of Time" over 70 times each. In his early writings Heidegger represented be-ing with 'being'. Later on he represented be-ing with 'be-ing'.

A word of caution when you read somebody's interpretation of Heidegger or someone's "Guide to Reading Heidegger". You have to 'listen' diligently to what you are reading. It is easy for a writer (and reader) to confuse 'being' with 'be-ing'. The only way you will know that you did is when you (figuratively) shake your head and hear yourself say (internal speaker) "What? What did I miss?" and then you will go back a few paragraphs to look for what you missed.

I direct your attention back to the definition above. "A neutral state of being" implies that you are a 'thing' called a being and that this 'thing' can have 'different' states of being. When asked to prove the different 'states of being' you will 'construct a combination of characteristics' (concept) and you will use that concept to prove your premise. If you use the same terms everybody else uses you will assume that they know what you are talking about. This is how we got philosophy and psychology.

As you go through the process described immediately above you won't even notice that while you are describing 'being' you are 'be-ing'.

Heidegger speaks to 'be-ing'. It is a totally different conversation than speaking about 'being' which is why reading Heidegger is difficult.

The world speaks to you about 'being', who to 'be', how to 'be', and what to 'be'. All of the philosophers I have read spend their time promoting their own 'combination of characteristics' (concepts) and they never address 'be-ing'.

Once you make the 'leap' from 'being' to 'be-ing' an interesting thing happens, all of a sudden all the other philosophers are addressing 'be-ing'.

Dasein (be-ing there)

---------- Post added 04-26-2010 at 10:02 AM ----------

MMP2506;

I know what you mean, let me attempt to point to it in a different way.

The tendency of "humans be-ing" is to objectify be-ing so we can have some comfort in our ability to grasp something and prove its existence by 'constructing a combination of characteristics' (concepts).

That being said, I direct your attention to what you said in your post.

"In fact, its radically a No-thing, that can only be partially grasped upon feeling it." When you say "it's radically a No-thing" you create an elusive object out in front of you called "it's" and then you label this thing "No-thing" whereby turning "No-thing" into something. In addition you then add that 'it' can "only be partially grasped upon feeling it".

What gets overlooked is that while you are trying to explain Dasein (be-ing) you are 'be-ing' (Dasein).

Another example:

You said; "It's akin to the Ancient Greek idea of the Logos." "Discourse" or "discoursing" is the closest definition of "logos" that we have. "Discourse" is not an "Ancient Greek idea" that can "flow through everyone". Discourse is what you do while you are be-ing. Notice the propensity we have to objectifying everything.

Who you are is the conversation we are having. We are un-covering be-ing as we are discoursing about Dasein (be-ing). Who you are is be-ing and there is no "thing" to hold on to and that makes everybody uncomfortable. Get over it.

Let go of what you're holding on to and be. This is what the word "faith" points to.

Dasein (be-ing there)
Also see: http://www.philosophyforum.com/philosophy-forums/existentialism/2971-living-authentic-life-9.html
 
Dasein
 
Reply Tue 27 Apr, 2010 10:19 am
@Twirlip,
I just re-read what I wrote in the above posts. It's amazing how you can see things that you didn't see when immersed in the writing.

Anyhow, I said;
"The tendency of "humans be-ing" is to objectify be-ing so we can have some comfort in our ability to grasp something and prove its existence by 'constructing a combination of characteristics' (concepts)."

Additionally I said;
"When you say "it's radically a No-thing" you create an elusive object out in front of you called "it's" and then you label this thing "No-thing" whereby turning "No-thing" into something. In addition you then add that 'it' can "only be partially grasped upon feeling it".

What I noticed is that when I put these two thoughts together I realized that in our overpowering desire to "have some comfort in" "grasping something and proving its existence by 'constructing a combination of characteristics' (concepts).", we create an "elusive object" out in front of us and call it "it's". Then we add 'mass' to the 'elusive object' (the illusion) by saying it can 'only be partially grasped upon feeling it".

To simplify the observation in other words: we experience our 'be-ing' and then create an 'elusive object' to occupy ourselves with so we can avoid experiencing our 'be-ing'.

We live in a world of people 'be-ing', avoiding 'be-ing' and blaming everybody else for the 'distraction' they've created.

No wonder the world is insane! The emperor's not wearing any clothes!

Dasein (be-ing there)
 
qualia
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 08:58 pm
@Dasein,
As I understand it, Heidegger asked himself what is the meaning of being? And before formulating a coherent answer, he went back to see what the philosophical tradition had to say on the matter.

Substances
He understood that tradition had predominately conceived being in terms of what is essentially the idea of Aristotelian substances, self-sufficient entities with properties or categories. This perspective persuades one to frame being in terms of a subject-object dichotomy.

For example, and for the sake of argument, the subject could be a 'hammer' and it is predicated as, say, 'being a metal blob at one end, wood the other' etc. The upshot of substance theory leads to a twofold enquiry into being. Firstly, the search for an ultimate, or fundamental basic substance to all things; and secondly, the idea of the predicate calculus, that in theory if you can represent all the predicate-properties to all the subject-substances, you have effectively described all being.

Presence-at-hand
Heidegger considered substance ontology a worthy pursuit, especially in the natural sciences, and called it presence-at-hand, or present-at-hand. But Heidegger realised that this kind of ontology just didn't work for all kinds of being. So, presence-at-hand couldn't be the big O ontology.

Readiness-to-hand
Heidegger realised that even if you understood all the presence-at-hand properties of the hammer, you still haven't got at what it is to be the hammer. It couldn't be a hammer, for example, if there weren't other stuff in existence, like nails, and planks of wood. Further more, there must also ibe some kind of entity with the ability and foreknow to make and use a hammer, an entity with skills, practices, values and neccessities.

Clearly, there seems to be another ontological feature to being which 2000 years of philosophical tradition had completely overlooked, namely tools or equipment, what Heidegger calls readiness-to-hand.

Readiness-to-hand demonstrates that the idea of self-sufficient substances (an atomistic perspective) is limiting. Equipment not only highlights a towards-which (a task in hand), a final-towards-which (the goal of that task) and for-the-sake-of-which (the task of hammering, for example, is for the sake of housing), but also alludes to a type of being capable of making such stuff, and needing to make such stuff. The atomistic persepctive must now make room for a more holistic understanding of being.

Dasein
With an understanding of readiness-to-hand, Heidegger understood that the being which could make such equipment could neither just be present-at-hand (but could be if so desired), nor readiness-to-hand (but could be). A third feature of being was required.

If you recall, tradition had understood humans in terms of substance. For Descartes humans were essentially a mental substance called res cogitans, for Kant humans were some kind of transcendental substance. Even today, there are many modern philosophers such as Ryle who understand humans as a kind of thinking-intentionality-thing, we could even be brains in a vat!

Heidegger would accept none of this. We are beings whose way of being is activity, we are by taking up practices and readiness-to-hand, we take a stand on being, what it means to be and we make an issue of it through our activities. Heidegger calls this being Dasein.

Being and Time Page 32.12 (Macquarrie & Robinson) "Dasein is an entity which does not just occur among other entities. Rather it is ontically distinguished by the fact that, in its very being, that being is an issue for it." Kierkegaard said much the same thing, just a lot more abstracted, "the self is a relation that relates itself to itself."

In other words, we have some sense of what it means to be human.

3 Ways of Being
So, essentially for Heidegger there are three ways of being. Presence-at-hand; Readiness-to-hand; and Dasein. And each are modes of being. Heidegger does note that there may be other ways of understanding being, and that these ontological features may not be suitable for primitives or other cultures, so this need not be considered a universal statement, an absolute condition, just one that probably exhausts the ways of being in our cultures.

Hope this helps a little.
qualia
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Fri 30 Apr, 2010 10:08 pm
@Twirlip,
that's great. Very clear exposition, thanks. I too am interested in this idea of 'substance' in the way the great tradition has always spoken of it. Actually I believe it is quite a mistaken notion. The Buddhist perspective is that there are no real 'substances' insofar as a 'substance' is an unchangeable essence or being. This is because nothing is ultimately unchangeable or self-existent; its existence is contingent upon conditions. When the Western tradition assigned 'intelligence' to 'substance' and conceived it as 'spiritual substance' it went seriously astray, because there is no such thing or stuff. Heidegger recognizes this, but does not adopt the apparently opposite view of materialism, as many modern philosophers have. So his 'dasein' is a way of apprehending 'being' as it discloses itself in reality, as distinct from an abstract notion of 'spiritual substance'. It is much nearer to the Buddhist understanding in this regard.
 
Dasein
 
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 01:43 pm
@qualia,
Qualia;

Everything you have written is great stuff and your 'evidence trail' is impeccable. Since I have already agreed that your 'evidence trail' is impeccable, approaching the 'content' of what you have written would be a waste of my time, and yours.

The sheer size of your response prohibits me from 'picking through' everything you said. However, I would like to 'nudge' you in another direction with regards to your 'perspective'.

Most people don't take into account their POV (point-of-view) as a factor in a conversation such as this. POV is such a 'blind spot' that humanity is reduced to declaring their 'self' right and defending their position 'to the death'.

If you are one of those people who say they are 'right' and you want to keep defending your position, you may not want to read any further. Reading further will only produce an opposite 'position' for you to take and produce a 'flurry' of activity to provide evidence for your position.

Speaking of 'position', I'd like you to imagine that you are standing in the center of a football stadium (soccer, American, or Australian). Look around at all the seats. As you look at the seats you notice that the seats in front of you are divided into sections. You focus in on one of the sections and you notice that the seats are occupied. You narrow your view to the seat in the center and recognize Martin Heidegger is in that seat and he is surrounded by seats 'occupied' by 'substances', 'Dasein', 'being', 'be-ing', 'presence-at-hand, present-at-hand', 'hammer hammering', 'readiness-to-hand, etc. In the next section over you see Immanuel Kant, next to that is Rene Descartes, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Socrates, Plato, etc.

You turn around and look behind you and notice that your parents are sitting in a section surrounded by 'children are meant to be seen and not heard', 'do your homework', 'you're grounded', 'stop picking on your sister', 'do your chores', etc. In the sections surrounding that section you see teachers, friends from school, neighbors, high school girlfriends/boyfriends, coaches, college professors, employers, the pope, leaders of your country, your wife, your children, your dog, etc.

You stand there noticing everything around you and another 'perspective' sneaks in the door. You notice that the stadium is real, the seats are real, and the 'occupants' in the seats are real. You also begin to notice that the stadium, the seats, and the occupants wouldn't be there if you weren't standing in the middle of the stadium.

Monumental question #1: Were the seats filled before you got there, or did you 'fill the seats'?

The answer to both questions is "yes".

"Were the seats filled before you got there?" requires that you 'make agreements' with one of the occupants of the seats called 'history'. These 'agreements' you make produce the 'effect' of you identifying your 'self' with the 'occupants in the seats' and defending that choice until the day you die. Ultimately you have no 'ability to respond' to situations in your life because 'you' have to 'consult' with all of the agreements and 'react' to the situation. You have relinquished 'control' over your life.

"Did you fill the seats?" The answer is a resounding "yes".

You began your expose' with;
"As I understand it, Heidegger asked himself what is the meaning of being? And before formulating a coherent answer, he went back to see what the philosophical tradition had to say on the matter."

I am questioning "As I understand it". I am questioning "As I understand it" because everything you have written following "As I understand it" is evidence of proof of 'understanding'.

You even attempted to present 'your' understanding and Heidegger's understanding as the same by speaking for him when you said "He understood that tradition had predominately conceived being', "Heidegger considered substance ontology a worthy pursuit", and "Heidegger realized that even if you understood all the presence-at-hand properties of the hammer".

Please don't waste even a nanosecond of your time to start to compile an argument for the last paragraph. Unless we are extremely diligent in our speech we all have done this. It is our "blind spot". We don't examine how we assume that our 'understanding' is the same as the 'authority' we have named and therefore if our 'understanding' is the same then the 'authority' agrees with us. I do think it would be valuable to notice if you find your self defending your understanding instead of reading on.

To minimize confusion let me point out that I am not questioning your understanding or your ability to understand. Let's stay 'on point' here.

Let's step back into the stadium again, shall we?

"Martin Heidegger is in that seat and he is surrounded by seats 'occupied' by 'substances', 'Dasein', 'being', 'be-ing', 'presence-at-hand, present-at-hand', 'hammer hammering', 'readiness-to-hand, etc." You can look at the 'section' that Heidegger is sitting in as his own stadium. Were the seats filled before he got there or did he 'fill the seats'? You don't know, do you? All you 'know' is that there are 'occupants' sitting in the seats that surround him. Who was Heidegger 'be-ing' while he 'filled those seats'? Do you 'know' what 'he' was 'seeing' when he used the word 'substances' to point to what he was seeing? Early in his writings he used 'being' to point to what he was seeing. Later on he used 'be-ing' to point to what he was seeing. What caused him to shift from an object called 'being' to using the word 'be-ing'. What was it that 'showed up' for him differently? When did he stop 'agreeing with history' and everybody else in 'his' stadium and step out?

You said;
"Heidegger realized that even if you understood all the presence-at-hand properties of the hammer, you still haven't got at what it is to be the hammer. It couldn't be a hammer, for example, if there weren't other stuff in existence, like nails, and planks of wood."

I say;
That even if you understood all the presence-at-hand properties of Heidegger, you still haven't got at what it is to be Heidegger. And, yes, like nails and planks of wood, Heidegger couldn't 'be' Heidegger without 'substances', 'Dasein', 'being', 'be-ing', 'presence-at-hand, present-at-hand', 'hammer hammering', 'readiness-to-hand, etc. He 'filled the seats'.

I also say;
That even if you understood all the presence-at-hand properties of 'you', you still haven't got at what it is to be 'you'. Just because you have the ability to "understand all the presence-at-hand properties of Heidegger" and everything else in the stadium, doesn't mean that you can extrapolate that 'you' are a 'collection of properties'.

Now the adventure really begins.

I quote your post here;
Being and Time Page 32.12 (Macquarrie & Robinson) "Dasein is an entity which does not just occur among other entities. Rather it is ontically distinguished by the fact that, in its very being, that being is an issue for it." Kierkegaard said much the same thing, just a lot more abstracted, "the self is a relation that relates itself to itself."

Dasein is not an entity! 'You' are participating in this conversation because 'be-ing' is an issue for you and "understanding all the presence-at-hand properties" doesn't provide you with any resolution or clarity!!

As long as you are 'standing in the stadium', your life will be about the stadium, the seats, and the occupants. It is the definition of the word 'stuck'. You will be stuck in the stadium, explaining the seats, and defending the occupants. You will go to the grave having 'lived' a predictable outcome, oh joy!

"Standing in the stadium", explaining the seats, and defending the occupants is your way of telling the world "See, I'm in the middle of a stadium and I'm not wrong!" So what!

Life begins when you step out of the stadium. Gee! You are you (GURU). Get over it.

Dasein (being-there)

 
qualia
 
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 06:33 pm
@Dasein,
Jeeprs, thank you for your post. I agree that there must be clear correlations between Heidegger's thinking and that of Buddhist (Zen, Tao) philosophy. I can't really comment at this stage for I don't have sufficient grasp of either disciplines, but there is suggestion that Heidegger's holistic approach, his understanding of being, nothingness and so on, were influenced by the Buddhist tradition and that his notion of being-in-the-world, for example, is quite possibly lifted straight from Kakuzo's Book of Tea.

---------- Post added 05-01-2010 at 07:35 PM ----------

Dasein, thank you for your thoughtful post. Clearly, as indicated in your opening, the self-interrogation of point of view, one's active and critical stance to it, is lacking in much discourse.

By way of thought, it is possible that we all have this inate ideological category slumbering away in some swamp of our unconsciousness which serves as a reality filter, conditioning everything we perceive and think. It is not a specific category, more a brain function which makes it possible for the developing human organism to adapt itself to its historical, societal and environmental circumstances.

To this extent, I think we all have an absolute tendency to be mastered by a point of view, an ideology, a way of seeing, perceiving, evaluating and understanding the world. Just as we can learn new languages, we can also learn new ways of thinking, understanding, and perceiving, but we cannot escape from seeing the world in some given manner.

This blind spot alluded to, this point of view which I think is a kind of backgrounding, can be foregrounded when we try, for example, to interrogate the basic structure of an enquiry per se. Firstly, something is always interrogated and the result of which is something discovered. Secondly, the enquiry is always about something, it has direction and thus some prior conception of that which is already sought. Thirdly, enquiry is a human activity and can be carried out in myriad ways. Enquiry, then, and the disclosure of this enquiry is a reflection of the enquirer and so it follows that there can be no neutral perspective to begin any enquiry.

Questioning and the disclosure which follows, then, is gunked with prejudice and presuppositions. In such a state of affairs, what more could we demand from another, other than to start somewhere, but with the humility to set up the narrative provisionally?

Regarding the notions raised of presence and readiness, if I have followed your own enquiry closely enough, I think we are already on the same page which leads me to the final assertion of your post. The analogy of the stadium.

If "[t]he essence of Dasein lies in its existence" (Heidegger, Being and Time, P37.42: Macquarrie & Robinson), then it follows that Dasein has no other defining characteristic other than expressing a given way of taking a stand on being, of making an issue of it through activities, and so on.

If this is a correct interpretation of Heidegger's writing, then your twofold suggestion that, being "stuck in the stadium" results in "
go[ing] to the grave having 'lived' a predictable outcome" and that
"life begins when you step out of the stadium" (Dasein), suggests that there is possibly a more essential way of being, namely, of stepping out.

Whether your claim is correct or not, and I have no reason to dispute it, perhaps at this junction we could raise the suspicion that there really isn't any one right answer to how we should take a stand on our being. Because in the history of discourse we have so many ideas and theories about this feature of life, maybe the best we can offer is that Dasein is capable of having lots of understandings on what it means to be a human being.
 
Dasein
 
Reply Sat 1 May, 2010 09:08 pm
@Twirlip,
Qualia;

I am using this introductory sentence to direct your attention to the "blind spot", once again.

The humorous thing about the sentence above is that it proclaims itself to be an "introductory sentence" while it fails to "introduce" anything. It is not an "introductory sentence", it is a "request" for you to bring your attention (all of your faculties) back to the "blind spot" which we were conversing about in an earlier post. While it does 'open' the next phase of our conversation, it is not an 'opening' unless it is 'opening' something for you and me to view. And, it is not an 'opening' unless some possibility 'opens' up for you (in Spain) and the evidence of the 'opening' 'shows up' in your writing (here in Albuquerque, New Mexico).

I bring this to your attention so that you and I can make the distinction 'semblance' (pretense, pretending). Much of life is about 'pretending' to know what you are talking about and to 'bully, bluff, and bluster' your way through life. The only one you can bullshit is the one who is bullshitting himself.

You said;
"Clearly, as indicated in your opening, the self-interrogation of point of view, one's active and critical stance to it, is lacking in much discourse."

What is fascinating about this sentence is that there is no "self-interrogation of point of view" while "self-interrogation of point of view" is being represented by "self-interrogation of point of view".

Bluff, bluster, and bullshit. Qualia, put down your sword, I'm not attacking you here. I am using what you said though.

It seems that bluff, bluster, and bullshit excuses us from 'doing the work' of 'opening' or 'introducing' anything to anybody. "Self-interrogation of point of view" becomes nothing more than a 'shield' to fend off those who would question. The unspoken agreement in life is "If you don't call me on my bullshit, I won't call you on yours".

In a previous post I stated;
"More accurately "da sein" is "there be-ing" or "be-ing there". "Be-ing there" gives you 'no-thing' to hold on to. The propensity of "humans, be-ing" is to objectify be-ing so we can have comfort in being able to grasp on to something and prove its existence by 'constructing a combination of characteristics' (concepts).

Qualia, I consider you to be a very intelligent person. However, what I am addressing here has nothing to do with 'intelligence' or what people consider to be 'intelligent'.

I invite you to re-read what you wrote, differently. Observe the 'position' you have taken.

"By way of thought, it is possible that we all have this inate ideological category slumbering away in some swamp of our unconsciousness which serves as a reality filter, conditioning everything we perceive and think. It is not a specific category, more a brain function which makes it possible for the developing human organism to adapt itself to its historical, societal and environmental circumstances."

"To this extent, I think we all have an absolute tendency to be mastered by a point of view, an ideology, a way of seeing, perceiving, evaluating and understanding the world. Just as we can learn new languages, we can also learn new ways of thinking, understanding, and perceiving, but we cannot escape from seeing the world in some given manner."

"This blind spot alluded to, this point of view which I think is a kind of backgrounding, can be foregrounded when we try, for example, to interrogate the basic structure of an enquiry per se. Firstly, something is always interrogated and the result of which is something discovered. Secondly, the enquiry is always about something, it has direction and thus some prior conception of that which is already sought. Thirdly, enquiry is a human activity and can be carried out in myriad ways. Enquiry, then, and the disclosure of this enquiry is a reflection of the enquirer and so it follows that there can be no neutral perspective to begin any enquiry."

Why are you presenting your 'self' as a professor (an authority) standing in the front of the room hiding behind a podium? What are you hiding from? I suspect that even though you have done an incredible job of putting all the words together and have created an incredible presentation, you also recognize that something is missing and that you don't want anybody to find out that you don't know what you're talking about.

Moving on to one last thing you said;
"If "[t]he essence of Dasein lies in its existence" (Heidegger, Being and Time, P37.42: Macquarrie & Robinson), then it follows that Dasein has no other defining characteristic other than expressing a given way of taking a stand on being, of making an issue of it through activities, and so on."

"If this is a correct interpretation of Heidegger's writing, then your twofold suggestion that, being "stuck in the stadium" results in "go[ing] to the grave having 'lived' a predictable outcome" and that "life begins when you step out of the stadium" (Dasein), suggests that there is possibly a more essential way of being, namely, of stepping out."

When you "step out" of the stadium you discover that there is no "essence of Dasein", there is no "existence", "Dasein has no other defining characteristic", that you can't "take a stand", and that there is not "a more essential way of being, of stepping out".

You are not 'a combination of characteristics' (concept). You already "stepped out" when they cut the umbilical cord. You can't "take a stand" because you are the "stand" you have already taken. This is what it means to "have faith" in your 'self'.

There is only 'you' 'be-ing'. You are 'naked' standing in a world of 'naked' people lying about being 'naked' - I am LMFAO!!!

Dasein (be-ing there)
 
qualia
 
Reply Sun 2 May, 2010 06:46 pm
@Dasein,
Dasein wrote:
When you "step out" of the stadium you discover that there is no "essence of Dasein", there is no "existence", "Dasein has no other defining characteristic", that you can't "take a stand", and that there is not "a more essential way of being, of stepping out"....You already "stepped out" when they cut the umbilical cord. You can't "take a stand" because you are the "stand" you have already taken.


Thank you for the reply, Dasein. Just a few thoughts:

If one has 'stepped out' (of the stadium) as soon as the umbilical cord is cut, how then, as you suggested, does one get 'stuck in the stadium'?

If you are correct that there is no essence to Dasein and no existence, how then do you interpret Heidegger when he writes in Being and Time (P37.42) "...we choose to designate the being of this entity as existence [and]...to avoid getting bewildered, we shall always use...the term existence, as a designation of being...solely to Dasein. The essence of Dasein lies in its existence"?

Finally, if, as you have said, Dasein is not an entity and does not take a stand on its being - which I have argued can also be taken to mean making an issue of it through our activities - how do you think we should understand Heidegger when he writes in Being and Time (P32.12), "Dasein is an entity which does not occur among other entities. Rather it is ontically distinguished by the fact that, in its bery being, that being is an issue for it...And this means further that there is some way in which Dasein understands itself in its being and that to some degree it does so explicitly"?
 
Dasein
 
Reply Sun 2 May, 2010 10:05 pm
@qualia,
Qualia;

You asked;

"If one has 'stepped out' (of the stadium) as soon as the umbilical cord is cut, how then, as you suggested, does one get 'stuck in the stadium'?"

You pose a very interesting and critical question. I don't know if I can answer it to your satisfaction but I am willing to attempt it.

One "gets stuck in the stadium" because of a lack of faith in oneself. From the moment we are born we are encouraged to 'place false Gods before us'. (don't get hung up in the metaphor) The first gods (people we look up to) we create are mom and dad, brother & sister, grand ma and grand pa. Then we start looking up to our teachers because of their knowledge and replace mom and dad, brother & sister, grand ma and grand pa with the new gods. Our high school teachers replace our grade school teachers, our college professors replace our high school teachers. We look up to policeman, fireman, politicians, presidents, priests, popes.

You cultivate the 'habit' of looking for answers outside of our 'self' (the people in the seats). This is what 'life' looks like as you pass through on the way to death, and we don't question it because there is not other possibility presented to us. Ultimately the only person on the planet that has any ability to make a contribution to you is 'you'. You are never encouraged to trust in your 'self'. The 'world' doesn't support you in having faith in your 'self' so we hang out in the 'stadium'.

You select 'gods' that you outgrow and you outgrow them because you are the only one who can lead you to where you want to go. You are the one who 'fools' yourself into thinking that someone outside of your 'self' has anything to contribute to you and 'you' are the one who gets 'disappointed' by them and then dismisses them. When you dismiss the 'last god' you are left standing on your own and you realize that you should have been listening to your 'self' all along.

David Blaine says that babies don't need magic; they already live being astonished and amazed. Adults need magic to remember being astonished and amazed. The moment the umbilical cord is cut, you are outside of the stadium, being astonished & amazed by the wonder of it all and life is 'wonder-ful'. Being 'outside of the stadium' is a burden and a lonely place to be so we step into the 'stadium'. So, to alleviate the weight of the burden and to dismiss the loneliness, we step into the stadium and join the crowd.

One day you look around and you realize that the people around you are a 'reflection' of your 'self'. You notice that when you 'recognize' courage in another you are assigning your definition of 'courage' to them. If you asked them if they were being 'courageous' most likely they would ask you "What the hell are you talking about?" What they did is what they did; it doesn't show up as courage until you point it out to them. You assign courage to them because it is you 're-cognizing' the courage in your 'self'. The old adage 'it takes one to know one is true'. You can't recognize qualities in others without those qualities first residing in you. If you didn't have courage, you couldn't see it in others.

Courage, love, respect, and honor is who we are. They are what we 'bring to the party'. They are not something that is happening in the 'reflection'. These qualities you assign to the 'people in the seats' instead of 'having faith' in your 'self'.

What I am pointing to is this; we live our lives with one foot in the 'world' (the stadium) and one foot in be-ing our 'self'. You are 'be-ing' your 'self' while standing in the stadium.

You also said;

"If you are correct that there is no essence to Dasein and no existence, how then do you interpret Heidegger when he writes in Being and Time (P37.42) "...we choose to designate the being of this entity as existence [and]...to avoid getting bewildered, we shall always use...the term existence, as a designation of being...solely to Dasein. The essence of Dasein lies in its existence"?"

When you read Heidegger you are reading a representation of life. IT IS NOT LIFE!!! When you read Heidegger you're required to bring your 'life' to the conversation by bringing your 'self' into the conversation as you are having it. When you read Heidegger as if it is a collection of concepts, you remove 'you' from the conversation. You are no longer considering 'you' as you really are. When you remove you from consideration then the concepts are not accurate and no longer relevant.

You can't just sit back and accumulate a bunch of 'concepts' and hope that 'life' will show up somewhere down the line. You can't present your 'self' as someone who knows what they are talking about just because you 'understand' the concepts and can put them together in a sentence.

You also asked;

"Finally, if, as you have said, Dasein is not an entity and does not take a stand on its being"

A 'concept' is a 'construct', a combination of characteristics. Dasein is a concept which points to you, be-ing there. You, be-ing there is not something that can be wrapped up in a neat little package with a bow and call it an 'entity'. Dasein is not an 'entity'. You are not an 'entity'. You have to 'sacrifice' who you think you are so you can 'be' who you really are. The only way I know how to do that is by you and I 'dismantling the stadium' until you see the 'illusion'.


Lastly, you quoted 'Being and Time'

"Dasein is an entity which does not occur among other entities. Rather it is ontically distinguished by the fact that, in its very being, that being is an issue for it...And this means further that there is some way in which Dasein understands itself in its being and that to some degree it does so explicitly"?"

By now it should be very clear to you that you 'are not of this world' (the stadium) and that in your very be-ing, that be-ing is an issue for you. 'You' (Dasein) do understand your 'self' in its 'be-ing' and to some degree you do it explicitly, whether you know it or not.

Dasein (be-ing there)
 
qualia
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 05:48 am
@Dasein,
Thanks for the reply, Dasein. Very interesting and very informative. I've had a little think, and although what will follow may be a little off topic, I wonder if it really is possible to ever 'step-out-of' the stadium or the crowd you have mentioned, and even if we could understand our human condition in these terms, we still couldn't significantly become unstuck from it. I know you haven't said we could ever flee away from the stadium, but I wonder to what extent it means we could ever have one foot in self and the other in the world. Let me explain....

We could argue that Dasein
is not only split between consciousness and the unconscious, thinking and unthinking, say, but working along Marxian lines, the un/consciousness itself is already a false being, an ideology.

This means that any level
of subjectivity, self-reflection, making an issue of, can only be done after Dasein has already been determined by the Other, writ large, what I think Heidegger calls the They. To this extent, Dasein will merely mirror the active systems and structures and their promise of play and possibility already in place from which Dasein comes to choose, judge, desire and think.

With alienation as total and an essential structural feature of modern society, there is no possibility of synthesis with Self or Other. Dasein is completely alienated, intersected by myriad structural and systematic determinations of which it is merely an effect with the general ability to misunderstand itself and the social events and phenomena to which it is subordinated. The importance of Dasein is decentered, its freedom is merely an illusion, its life is already-always subordinated to impersonal systems and structures. In a breath, the age of Dasein was over.

If we understood any mode of self-reflection of Dasein, we must bring forward the notion of the primacy of language in which it conducts some of this reflection, if not a large part of it. From here we could argue that there is no world outside of language. Dasein per se imposes arbitrary categories and signs of meaning and most often believes in them if only to avoid being confronted with bewildering chaos, confussion and meaninglessnes.

Evidently,
there is no intimate link between a word and thing, and even if in some limited cases this were the case, the system of language necessitates moving beyond the instance and into the realm of categories, types, universals, abstractions, lexicon words, all signs pointing to no-thing. In this context, one could assert that even the sign that is 'Dasein' is such an abstraction, such a no-thing.

Language, then, cannot be reduced to merely a system of naming things 'out-there' and in consequence, we have no way of knowing about any reality outside of our signs, outside of our arbitrary signifiers and signifieds.
How could we know there was an out-of-the-stadium if our very conceptual framework allows no such possibility of its happening? I think Heidegger came to understand this condition as facticity, something so evasive and fundamental, so embodied in our way of being that we could never be not-in-the-world.

Of course, this suggestion is situated at the level of method, and not necessarily my own. A point of view about the primacy of the system, from which Dasein is necessarily excluded or decentered as an explicative value and placed within a web of complex relationships.

One could, as say a practising phenomenologist, still turn to the consciousness and ask a Dasein to describe the experience as lived with the hope of extracting an answer, or one could, study a system and marginalise any description a particular Dasein provides, thinking that it is already subordinated to the system.


With a little more argument we could cultivate new grounds from the perspective of Dasein's essential emptiness, and as such, we would offer a critique of any humanistic representation of the human condition and the persuassion that any type of anthropology, sociology, phenomenology, psychology, philosophy could ever provide a firm foundation for human knowledge on the basis of first person perspectives. With this said, the elimination of Dasein in its radicality does not stop this thesis from being a metaphysical and ideological one.
 
Dasein
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 09:43 am
@qualia,
Qualia;

There is 'you' and there is the 'world' (the stadium). 'They' (occupants of the stadium) will always 'a-tempt' to tell you to 'live in the 'real' world' and 'they' will always be right. The 'stadium' is 'real'.

Life is over for you because long before you and I met over the internet you made the 'choice' to make distinctions between 'you' (self) and 'world'. You are a 'distinction' maker, we are all distinction makers!!

In the 'Instants' (more on 'Instants' in the thread you started called "Existential Time" (when I finish my post), anyhow, in the 'Instants" that unfold your life 'you' will uncover distinctions. The 'distinctions' you uncover is where you stand. Where you 'stand' will 'show up' in time (see the thread on "Existential Time"), this is what is alluded to when people say "take a stand".

'You' are the stand that 'shows up' as you uncover distinctions in the 'Instant'.

This is where it gets 'scary' (?). I use the word 'scary' because in 'clarity' there is only 'you'. There is nobody to give you any answers and there are no 'combinations of characteristics' (concepts) to hang on to. With clarity you know everything you need to know about the 'stadium'. You understand everything that the occupants of the stadium have to say. You realize that you know what they are talking about while they don't even know that they don't know what they're talking about. You realize that you know what the concepts, constructs, and the 'combinations of characteristics' point to and in the same 'Instant' you know 'life' is not the concepts, constructs, and the 'combinations of characteristics'. If you attempt to tell the 'occupants of the cave' (remember Plato?) they will try to stone you to death. What are you gonna do?

When you step out of the 'stadium' (cave) there will come a time when you will 'give yourself permission' to step back into the 'stadium' (cave). You can and will distract your 'self' by telling your 'self' that because of the huge number of people participating in the 'they', 'they' must know something that you don't and you will 'knuckle under'. You will 'believe', 'promote', and 'defend' somebody's concepts to keep from 'be-ing' outside of the 'stadium'. You will join a religion, become an alcoholic or a drug-user to keep from 'be-ing' outside of the 'stadium', you will 'hide' in your job, in your toys, and in your house to keep from 'be-ing'. Because you are a "distinction maker" you will eventually re-cognize that you have always seen past the 'smoke and mirrors', and again, you will 'stand' in a 'clearing' (clarity).

Eventually (it could be now, you decide when) you will tire of the 'stepping into and out of the stadium (cave). You will finally realize that you have nothing to offer the 'occupants of the cave' and that the 'occupants of the cave' have nothing to contribute to you.

When that time comes you will finally recognize that the 'stadium', the 'seats', and the 'occupants' never existed and then 'you' will be in 'heaven'. You are whole and complete just the way you are. Heidegger makes a distinction between 'complete' and 'finished'. You are 'complete', but you ain't 'finished', baby. LMFAO

Dasein (be-ing there)

PS. I reserve the right to use some of this response in the thread called "Existential Time" - LOL
 
jeeprs
 
Reply Tue 4 May, 2010 05:31 pm
@Twirlip,
There is an explicit parameter in Buddhist philosophy which is not mirrored, as far as I can see, in these discussions of Heidegger. That parameter is renunciation. Where this is relevant is in relation to the 'stepping out' or 'leaving the cave'. In the Buddhist tradition, joining the Sangha is renouncing the comforts of home and social convention. The Buddhist lay adherent does not leave home, but observes the 5 precepts and practices meditation in order to realize a degree of renunciation within the context of ordinary society.

Is there a counterpart to this idea within Heidegger's philosophy?
 
qualia
 
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 06:58 am
@jeeprs,
My objection, Dasein, is to the notion that we are ever capable of stepping-out-of (the cave, world), moving-away from the dominance of the they, raising hope with the allusions to Plato's man leaving the cave, or as jeeprs has succinctly framed it 'the parameter of renunciation'.

I accept that we are not mindless zombies or brainwashed idiots. We are consciously aware of our freedom - regardless of whether we have a free will, or not - and can act within it. Most of us are aware that we are choosing our responses to a given situation and by virtue of this act obliged to assume responsibility.

However, it appears that the inclusion of this freedom or responsibility at this subjective level is one of the very conditions which make it possible for the system in its totality to function.

Without the assumed notions of one's freedom and responsibility, the hope of ever stepping-out, the perfect systems of incarceration wouldn't be possible. We are free to fashion our life within the framework of the language we have been brought up in, free to exchange commodities, signs, free to alienate and commodify ourselves, free to be bombarded and dominated by the prevalent ideas and images - not just those of the media, but via our very acts, our very possessions, properties, habits - associated with a way of living. Even a given rejection of a number of these standards or features of everyday life are merely a reflection of the system in place and framed within the framework oppossed.


This seems the perfect humanistic ruse. We are free to condition ourselves within these frameworks that we already find ourselves subject to. We are are free to work on our own conduct, to discipline ourselves and bring ourselves into order, even if it is a mere confrontation with certain characteristics of this order. We are free to internalise the choices already expected of us or open to us, and free to know without any degree of negative force what is the right and proper thing to do, and thus to know what to do even before being told to do it.

Today, these perfect systems of incarceration are no longer the prisons or death camps, but society itself, our work place, schools, universities, factories, offices, shops, malls, streets, cities, houses, equipment, all calling forth routine activities and standard ways of being and choosing.

We are free to goven ourselves, free to fall in line within this carceral body which already has its certain excluded walks and certain safe walks which happen to direct the vast majority of beings towards, say, an education, banal acts of consumption, passivity, mindless occupations, political apathy, indifference, exhaustion, obedience, nihilism, the production of waste, filth and conformity.

We are free to act within a system which happens to already have its own way of doings things, its techniques and disciplinary practices, its supervisors and monitors of performance and behaviour which already call forth appropriate and standardised forms of behaviour and choice.


We could argue that we live today in a framework of total domination, a sinister Orwellian practice of power circulating through all our institutions and activities which already suggest the constraints and avenues in which one may freely function and choose.

Our freedom is our slavery. And as any other humanistic prison system tries to maintain, individuals need no longer be exposed to the death camp motto that only work makes you free, but that the destiny for most who get out of line, who haven't quite internalised the grand scope of their free choice choosing, is to be normalised, standardised, worked into some twelve step program, exposed and dominated by soft ideas and images associated with a good and normal way of living and then, in time, absorbed into the system. For those not quite freely choosing, Rousseau thought it a good idea that they be forced into their freedom, the wayward McMurphy was lobotomised to be free, today, you are sent to school, to work, to get a career, join a club or religion or ideology, to the local shopping or sport centre.


Sure, we are the free, the morally responsible, we have the possibility of stepping out of the world which we are already in. And how could it be otherwise? For in the ultimate analysis - laying determinism to one side - we have chosen. We aren't the brainwashed, we are the self-aware and so like the gypsies and Jews were once free and could make their free choices in the death camps, in the gas chambers, we, too, are free and can make our choices to which we are ultimately held responsible.

Perhaps the grand irony of the discourse of free choice and responsibility, of stepping out, is that the individual is still held up as a free spirited entity capable of self-determination and moral responsibility. But this type of discourse remains totalitarian, for it asserts that one is free to the extent that they choose, but then reduces this freedom to an entity which completely disappears when not aware of itself, and is objectivily non-existent, or at best disappearing within the violence of systems, structures, codes, signs and things per se.

This kind of humanistic discourse, the idea of stepping-out, renunciating, Plato's cave man, helps conceal the considerable pressures and mechanisms of power that render that fleeting ghost of Dasein, self-aware freedom and so on, a docile, obedient, pliable and disciplined body. As Heidegger wrote in Being and Time, "Everyone is the other, and no one is himself".
 
Night Ripper
 
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 07:10 am
@Twirlip,
This thread makes me want to puke. I have never seen so little communication with so many words.
 
Dasein
 
Reply Wed 5 May, 2010 09:06 am
@qualia,
Qualia & jeeprs;

It would be in your best interest to read through what I am about to say and let it sit. 'Reacting' is not in your best interest. 'Reacting' will knock you 'off center', cause you to 'conclude' something, and force you to 'create an argument' to defend your 'conclusion'. It could take you years to come 'back to center' from this.

This is the nature of all 'reacting' and the subject doesn't matter. We 'conclude' (refuse to think past something), spin out of control in our righteousness, and gradually make it back to 'center' to attempt to recover our 'self'.

I remind you of what I said in an earlier post;
"More accurately "da sein" is "there be-ing" or "be-ing there". "Be-ing there" gives you 'no-thing' to hold on to. The propensity of "humans, be-ing" is to objectify be-ing so we can have comfort in being able to grasp on to something and prove its existence by 'constructing a combination of characteristics' (concepts)."

The inclination to "grasp on to something and prove its existence by 'constructing a combination of characteristics' (concepts)" removes you from consideration. You are no longer considering you as you really are. When you remove 'you' from consideration the 'concepts' you acquire (through "understanding") are no longer valid, they are irrelevant, and they don't satisfy your 'hunger'. So 'life' for you is about acquiring 'concepts' and complaining that the 'concepts' "don't satisfy you", and then acquiring more 'concepts' which don't satisfy you, and on and on and on. One day you will tire of 'chasing your tail', you will give up your quest, and you will die an angry person wondering what all of that was about.

I am writing a book about all of this. The book is for me, it is my exercise in sorting all of this out. I may or may not attempt to get it published. I remember something someone told me. It went something like this. "If you were to introduce a pickpocket to Jesus Christ, the only thing the pickpocket would notice is Jesus' pockets." I now know what it means. LOL

That fact that you are asking about 'Renunciation' after all of the reading and writing demonstrates perfectly what I have been saying all along about 'concepts'.

There won't be a chapter called "Renunciation".

The entire book and everything I've written in these posts is about 'Renunciation'.

The reason you are 'having a problem' with 'Renunciation' is because you are trying to 'fit' all I have said into your 'concept' of 'Renunciation'. What I am saying will never fit into the confines of your 'concept'.

I suggest you 'do the work' and write a book for yourself (it took me 15 years and reading "Being & Time" and "History of the Concept of Time" by Martin Heidegger over 70 times each).

There is no satisfaction in 'answers' and 'concepts'. As long as you persist on the path that you're on, nobody can help you.

Dasein (be-ing there)

---------- Post added 05-05-2010 at 09:17 AM ----------

Night Ripper;160328 wrote:
This thread makes me want to puke. I have never seen so little communication with so many words.


Night Ripper;

If it only "makes you "want" to puke", you should read some more.

Dasein (be-ing-there)
 
 

 
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