|a Heideggerian individuation
flourishing, Contributions to Philosophy:
from enowing. and Considerations
|---November 2015 / December 2020|
|gary e. davis
November 19, 2015
I’m removing references to the professor’s review of another Heidegger scholar’s recent work (which was another bad reading of Heidegger’s private notebooks) which led to
our exchanges. (My friend isn’t one among those who are fundamentally misreading Heidegger’s 1930s.) Because there was previous context to my discusion here, this may seem to be thematically abrupt. [Nov. 18: Notes in brackets are added today to explain some allusions and to add points.] | Dec. 28, 2020: And notes are added today. |
What has resulted is something that leaves and returns to a conversation—an actual letter—as if echoing the hermeneutical role-distancing that is integral to the letter. And what was supposed to be a preface to reading von Herrmann’s summary of Contributions to Philosophy becomes a discussion that presumes his discussion. Sorry. But maybe this can be worth your while anyway.
November 4 and 18, 2015
I’m surprised to find your interest in [C. G.] Jung at the beginning of your publishing life—apparently near-to-mind with philosophical theology [which is the professor’s first area of publishing], as well as with Heidegger [early on, too]. Wonderful! That’s quite a numinous beginning. [And that’s integral to why I’m writing this. So,...]
I surmise that you have an appreciation of hermeneuticality, so to speak, that many Heidegger scholars likely would not have: as a matter of pastoral relations (intimate
[The following four, oddly-motivated paragraphs were implicitly improvising a brief sense of learning curve as therapeutic process. An emancipatory interest serves an intrinsic interest in individuation, which is academically modeled in terms of “development” notions, but is lived as self formation.]
Commonly, one thinks of philosophy as a therapeutic.
But minds luckily born into opportunities that avoid what calls for a therapeutic might well grow into actualization of their own potential rather freely (the Inner Child flour-ishes all along), fleshing out their life cycle, and loving in old age to marvel at the novelty of new generations, as we all belong together in an endless quest of being. [Education is basically enabling, rather than therapeutic; so, philosophy is, to my mind, not basically therapeutic, inasmuch as individuation has gone well. This echoes Heidegger’s interest, at his high conceptual level, in anticipating an “Other Beginning” in Contributions and other work that deconstructs the metaphysicalist tradition of Western philosophy.]
But what calls for a therapeutic—who unwittingly, unconsciously calls for emancipation from shadows (e.g., willfully misunderstanding, willfully misreading)—wouldn’t see one-self as calling for that. A teacher might see it, a friend, a therapist. But likely a haunted-ness is too easily evinced in being with others (not yet being-with), and so one turns away from focus (tends to be dissociative)—typically by keeping “things” vacuous (or presum-ing that prima facie meaning is what matters). Oneself, in unconscious calling for release (e.g., impatience with taking time for thinking), turns away into insistent presentness of “no problem,” nothing to explain. It’s commonly called “being in denial.” | Dec. 2020: This kind of theme is integral to both Being and Time and Contributions. |
The experience of having disclosed one’s stereotypicality—even archetypicality—is a sojourn of recurrent frights, amazements, mournings, hope, etc.
Gradually, one is born again. One comes into one’s own—at last! And the sojourn of futurity is no longer overridden by its sojourn through the past; rather the sojourn of
a moment of meta-hermeneutical prospecting, re: teaching, authoring, doing therapy
A kind of differentiability is in play with hermeneutical action: One is in a janus-faced position of—so to speak—channeling the mysterious text for the sake of a distinct time
Pragmatically, there may be for a hermeneutical calling—pastoral counseling, teacher (not lecturer—teacher), therapist, artist—an integral role distance (Dec. 2020: Work to work) in the most genuine interaction. In developing critique, one may need to quasi-inhabit or impersonate a pathology (Dec. 2020: Work), in order to understand it. Carrying out a public role (Dec. 2020: interpersonal) competently may be unrelated to representing one’s genuine stances (Dec. 2020: self identical).
Heuristically, there’s a dyadic interplay with 3 poles: the interaction of what’s to be thought (Dec. 2020: Work) and translation of that by the translator (Dec. 2020:which is usually the author “translating” Work into situational presentations or particular works); and the interaction of translator (or authorship, i.e., author of the particular work) and appropriative event of furthering another’s individuation (Dec. 2020: or audience influence).
more treated letter / conceptual prospecting
November 4 and 18, 2015
I have just now rendered a pathway of sorts: From living in denial through enowning one’s historicity to living in a new vision of one’s ownmost potential, one’s ownmost way carried through into the life that’s truly one’s own (like Jung’s sense of high individuation in the second half of life), looking to inspiring futurity to which We all belong.
All that, I believe, is a proximally-fair rendering of the pathway in Contributions to Philosophy: [Contributions is divided into six parts—“Echo” to “Last God”—all consid-ered to belong together as a singular “jointure” or pathmaking. Though I’m rendering an individuational sense, above and below, of what Heidegger prospects as a discursive evolution in historically-generative Time, I would argue that what pertains to “one’s” living (my focus here) pertains equally to Ours. In particular, one’s “ownmost” humanity belongs to Ours, and Ours is potentially one’s own.] | Dec. 2020: The notion of ownmost is employed throughout Contributions’ development of enowning. The sketch below isn’t
Echo: facing the haunts of one’s living in denial (but there relative to professional philosophy).
Playing Forth: enowning one’s historicity—and history really (not the faux history
Leap: enowning one’s potential in visions of lusciously-futural being, as if philosophy, too, may be born again.
Grounding: fleshing out a lastingness of one’s ownmostness, so to speak—and as if
Ones to Come: They can be only enabled in the near term, imagined beyond one’s horizon, met fresh in teaching, brought into their own launching, as best that teaching can enable, yet to where, who knows.
Last God: an archetype of the end of transcendental-horizonal thinking.
This last insertion goes to the heart of the rift between Heidegger and Husserl. Transcen-dental-horizonal thinking—e.g., the Kantism of the German mandarins that Heidegger analyzes in Being and Time and other work—leads to the egoistic will to power that cul-minates in giganticism. [Proximally and commonly, an egoistic sensibility perceives and reads egoistically, such that a non-egoistic Other may easily seem unethically duplici-tous; or deserving of being read as acting in bad faith. The egoist needs proximal inte-gration of the other; otherwise, suspicion is easily read into the other. The psyche is not essentially egoistic, so egoism requires repression that is projectively identified as the suspicousness of the non-egoistic other. Husserl, Karl Jaspers, and Karl Löwith exemplify this relative to (in the face of) Heidegger’s administrative Moment.)
So, being-historical thinking—Emad [the translator of Contributions] calls it enowning-historical thinking—belongs, at best, to the thinking of a life-in-its-time, taking to heart its Time, being exemplary of that (or living with the egoistic concealment of possibilities and consequences of “thinking”-in-concealment).
Aspiring to enown being-historical thinking requires undaunted humility. I believe that Heidegger showed that. His most flourishing work remained unpublished. But it is immensely difficult to sustain in daily life a necessary concealment of high flourishing among others who have no idea what work is flourishing. The writer becomes a character in others’ dramas. Heidegger writes somewhere in Ereignis (The Event[—an unpublished book-length manuscript compiled a few years after Contributions]) to the effect that love of solitude must be integral, in order to do the work. So, it’s all for “the few and the rare.”
There must be great risk of loneliness when one’s justification of life (a high register of inquiry and conceptual prospecting) lives outside its times, like sustaining enthralled living in a world sustained by photographs. [The thoughtful letter, as genre of writing, can’t live in a world of spontaneous email, let alone smartphone “texting.”]
I recognize that Heidegger, in Contributions, was trying to capture a vision of the integrally role-distanced (hermeneutical) pathmaking that his career was—was, because, by 1938, he writes appendices to Mindfulness that read like that of a man who thought he wasn’t going to live much longer, there being quite retrospective at the mere age of 49 or so. | Dec. 2020: The final part of Contributions seems to trail off into notes that couldn’t be elaborated in 1938, nor afterward. |
Clearly, Being and Time is a visionary moment (written in a short period—albeit, in view of lecture-course drafts) of enowning a conception of pathmaking. Contributions is the next version. Being-historical thinking was the implicit horizon of Being and Time.
I feel a sense of Heidegger’s prevailing therapeutic interest in Mindfulness [which was compiled after Contributions to Philosophy], as if it was an excursion overridden by
And History of Beyng [compiled after Mindfulness] is clearly spirited by “Playing Forth” (I anticipate; the English translation becomes available this week, coincidently)—no longer involved with a “destruction” of tradition [which was his anticipated aim in the late 1920s], rather seeking an appropriation of tradition’s fateful recurrence in new individuations of potential, such that one is called into enowning one’s historicity in one’s historicality. (Metaphysicalism[—paradigmatically: transcendental-horizonal thinking, in the tradition from Kant through the Kantism of his time to Husserl; metaphysicalism] isn’t rejected; it’s re-appropriated in yet another life’s enowning of one’s historicality, now to be on the way to post-metaphysicalist thinking.)
Ereignis, The Event [compiled after History], is “ponderings” [Heidegger called them], which looks like a play within the “Leap.”
Country Path Conversations [after Ereignis] looks like an experiment in dramatizing pathmaking [i.e., “Grounding” as specific interactional pathmaking; it’s a narrative between three indicated characters: Guide, Scientist, and Scholar] as accessible, literal course of interaction, where Heidegger is puppeteer of role-distanced interplay, imper-sonating all the enowned temporal roles of being future-oriented (guide), being present-oriented (scientist), and being historical (scholar). [Heidegger’s being-historical thinking includes historiographical perspectives, i.e., being historically oriented; but altogether, being-historical thinking is the entire transformative endeavor from “Echo” onward.]
I see a clarity of pathmaking and meta-pathwaying in Heidegger’s impersonations of enowning/Appropriating across posthumous ways-not-works. [Heidegger famously indicated that his Gesamtausgabe—literally “total output,” which we standardly call collected works—was “Ways, not works.” A summary of Contributions is implicitly a prospectus of Heidegger’s writing agenda afterward—which was fundamentally under-mined by the war years, leading—on the other side of The Abyss—to what he wrote
I see role distance as integral to his being “Heidegger.” Unquestionably, Heidegger was always aware of his role-distanced presence as “Heidegger.” Any dramatic teacher might also. More than once, he cautioned that there was no “Heideggerian philosophy.” When he wrote in Considerations [i.e., the “black notebooks”], he was in a resonance of ambi-valent role distance that was longstanding. “They say” was already integral to Being and Time and for his deconstructions of tradition afterward. [“They say” that “metaphysics” is X, but actually that is a concealment of meta-physics itself, i.e., “metaphysics” (which is foundationist conceptualism—ultimizing transcendental horizonality) conceals meta-physics (conceptual inquiry after physics, for epochs regarding a certain conception of physics as the starting point for all philosophical inquiry).]
Your [...] article on [that] recent book used a quote or two from Considerations [i.e.,
People who don’t keep journals obsessively may look at the Considerations as confes-sional rather than as literal workbooks (and shelters for venting, and for othering stances that are to be framed). [The notion of othering is meant to be analogous to reframing
I wondered why, in your [...] article, you felt need to venture that Heidegger is “flawed,” as if he were so in some way that makes him culpable—evidently because he didn’t rebel against local thick necks (be a martyr?) or leave Freiburg philosophy to them. He was framed (by Jaspers, originally—a man who felt humiliated by Heidegger’s fame, before 1932, who also gave to Hannah Arendt her sense of “The Story” of who “Heidegger” so “mystically,” to Jaspers, “is”). [The real story is quite an odyssey, from the bitterness of Karl Jaspers, Karl Löwith, and Eduard Baumgarten in the 1920s through the reliance of later scholars—Hugo Ott, especially—on earlier, motivated “evidence,” to the need of contemporary markets to have juicy stories by hurried biographers who didn’t have time to understand what was going on. The real story is juicier than anyone (but me?) has bothered to constellate. The ultimate culprit is opportunistic, then embittered, Eduard Baumgarten. Heidegger isn’t culpable for anything. But it’s a long story.]
I’ve long felt that Heidegger’s career is essentially about teaching—how philosophical pathmaking may best enable others’ self-actualization (albeit inevitably relative to Heidegger’s own times). The emancipatory interest that was clearly causing Heidegger’s leap into university administration indicates a centrality of calling for philosophy to be reborn into being the leading light of higher education that it no longer was in Germany. To Heidegger, higher education was to lead Germany out of the Depression, and curri-culum reform was to be led by the Philosophy Faculties across Germany (aligning uni-versities for ground-up reform, not for top-down, Berlin-led domination). Implicitly, Heidegger was calling for a philosophy of higher education that puts teaching at the center of enabling the “regioning of that which regions” (Country Path Conversations): homelands, dwellings, individuations, that-which-regions itself. | Dec. 2020: Those aspects of teaching are implicitly integral to Contributions. Here's a secret: The fourfold in Considerations of earth, world, man, and gods is the same as the later fourfold of earth, sky, mortals, and divinities. Is that our Earthanity, our planetary humanity, our mortality, and our ultimate values in need of us? Now see the four in generative mirrorplay through Dasein. |
I’m glad to have your books; you engagingly write to bring students into engagement with Heidegger exemplarily. But I can’t tell from your articles how, to your mind—as you kindly responded to me—“The question that you pose is complex and would require a lengthy answer.” The question I posed was: “What do you think of that notion: being-historical thinking?” Your enjoyable passage from your forthcoming essay renders being-historical thinking only relative to Heidegger’s sense of philosophy being historical, rather than relative to the scale of Ereignis itself [i.e., the scale of Appropriative enowning or enowning Appropriativity], which focuses on living (janus-faced) antici-pation of enactive contribution to historicality of pathmaking, which is—as they say— paying forward, rather than primarily paying respects to the past (or doing philosoph-ical therapy). [I know that’s dense. Being-historical thinking includes enowning one’s historicality—being historical about life. But retrospective interest is, for Heidegger, relative to futural potential for lasting contributions to one’s times.]
Accordng to Heidegger, in his important lecture “Time and Being,” “...the essential structure of Appropriation was worked out between 1936 and 1938” (Time and Being,
Therefore, distinguishing “Being” from “Being itself” [which the professor does in his book passage that he referred me to—and which is the ultimate point of his discussion]
Heidegger asserts in the “Summary” [of Heidegger’s seminar on “Time and Being” in On Time and Being] that “Being, by coming to view as Ereignis [Enowning/Appropriating], disappears as Being”) [Your] “itself” [of “Being itself”] is for Heidegger the 6-fold path-making that gives “Being”... | Dec. 2020: The grammar there is intended: It gives that which is called “Being” in its various modes of the history of metaphysicalist thinking. | ...(i.e., the quote marks cannot be removed anymore[; the capped word ‘Being’ is permanently in frames: It “becomes hermeneutically translucent only when it is interpreted” through Enowning/Appropriating itself]). It gives “Being” itself: 6-fold pathmaking is no longer centered on “Being” [i.e., no longer oriented by the sway of that which was called Being —beyng (Dec. 2020: In Contributions: “be-ing”) called into play, playing forth across epochs of the history of beyng. “Being” belongs to epochs of ever “greater” withdrawal from originary potentials and primordial futurity, which beyng-historical thinking of Appropriating/Enowning sets forth to antedate].
For Heidegger, a primordially new beginning is anticipated: primordially-futural enown-ing/Appropriating—a pathmaking that, for most lives, is not appealing, not feasible (and nonsense to read about). Mostly, one lives from being-in-denial (“Echo,” for those living in questions of “Being”) to “god”-knows-where. But the where remains provincial.
Yet, for ones to come—for thinking fortunate to grow up without domination by “Being”; and who can envision what Heidegger anticipates—pathmaking (even originary potential) that begins in their ownmost leap of individuation and grounding of a highly-aspiring life span—can play forth a life that is largely without repetition of metaphysicalist history. Inasmuch as one can avoid hegemonic historicality in individuation, in one’s writing of one’s ownmost historicity (which is unlikely), we are each cultural being, too, as well as potentials for authentic activity or original lives. | Dec. 2020: Heidegger’s dismissiveness toward modern culture and values is relative to his venture to surpass that in thinking, not to negate the virtues of modernity. | Can authentic historicity prevail over default historicality? Can originary conceptual work avoid metaphysicalism? Time tells—for those to come.
So, I think that there’s more to “Time and Being,” [and then, the book by Heidegger titled] End of Philosophy, and Contributions to Philosophy than might appear [to the professor]—and far, far less to the Considerations [i.e., nothing incriminating] than is mirrored in the reactionism that is prevailing. No wonder the Considerations are at nearly the end of the GA [Heidegger’s “total output”]. Soon, MIT Press will publish a big anthology of opinion on the Considerations, still without reader access in English to the notebooks themselves. The business of framing Heidegger is thriving. [I’ve read the lead essay of the book by the editor of the book, Jeff Malpas; and I’ve read Peter Trawny’s contribution. I’ve also spent too many hours, over many years, arguing with scholars who trade in bad faith and ill-informed reading. It’s trade, alright: teaching-contract sustainability, etc.]
Heidegger’s cynical remark in the  Spiegel interview [posthumously published 1976], that hundreds of years may pass before he’s understood, feels prescient, though the remark is vanity, of course. [He was regularly a sarcastic guy; I can provide plenty
Be fair. © 2020, g. e. davis.