Re: "The Fourfold"

[email protected] responded to my posting about the fourfold:

>> In this mailing list I (BMcC) have previously cited a question the Der
Spiegel
>> interviewers asked Heidegger in the "Only a God Can Save Us" interview. I
>> think it is relevant to repeat it here, with the notation that Heidegger
did
>> *not* respond to the question: "Evidently you experience an opposition in
>> your person which is such that many of the by-products of your activity
can
>> really only be explained by the fact that, with various parts of your
being,
>> which are not concerned with your philosophical core, you cleave to many
>> things which you as a philosopher know have no substance -- concepts, for
>> example, like 'homeland.' 'roots,' or the like...."
>
>Since this question is framed in terms of a substance-accident opposition
that
>belongs to metaphysics, wouldn't he think that the question is simply badly
>put?

My first reaction here is to borrow a phrase from psychoanalysis and say that
since we cannot bring Heidegger himself before us to interrogare him, we are
operating "beyond the basic rule" and can only offer speculations. But then
speculate we may, and my speculation is that Heidegger didn't answer the
question because it hit too close to home. I take the interviewers to be
accusing him of being a hypocrite (that is *a* sort of substance-accident
distinction, isn't it? A kind of emphatic illustration of the proposition
that all revealing is also concealing?). What seems to me manifest is that
Heidegger exposed himself to such an accusation by his repeated use of
peasant-romantic imagery (I also seem to have heard somewhere that he liked
to dress up in German-ethnic costume -- am I wrong here?).

I seem to "smell" here an instance of a person being put on the spot and
squirming when called to an accounting for his/her uncensored expression of
fantasies which he/she thought he/she could get away with unimpeded. No one,
for instance, would have been able with the least plausibility to ask Husserl
such a question.

Perhaps the question does belong to metaphysics. If it does, Heidegger's
assertion in the interview that "Only a god can save us" also seems to belong
to metaphysics, and Heidegger apparently didn't

>think that the question is simply badly put

in *this* case since, instead of keeping silence, he enunciated the words
himself. (I would have liked him to say, e.g.: "Only reflective thinking can
save us." -- which would *not* have been metaphysical <--this remark
indicates "where I'm coming from" here).

>ordinary peasant life is inauthentic.

I'd like page references for where Heidegger says this. I don't think it's
from "The Origin of the Work of Art", for instance.

If it quacks, I'm inclined to ask: If it's not a duck, why is it
impersonating one? The reporters' question seems to me to remain unanswered
and, a fortiori, unrebutted.

Brad McCormick


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