Re: Heidegger and the Political ? A Question from a newcomer

On Fri Apr 7 1995 Chris wrote:

>>It comes as little surprise to hear such arch-deconstructionists as=20
Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy >>falling back upon an Arendtian notion precisely=
because they follow Heidegger in his >>understanding of technology. More or=
less, she translates Heideggers thought into the language >>of economics,=20
which is important because Heidegger includes politics as part of=20
technology, >>whereas Arendt kept them distinct.


it was amusing for me to read, that you are prompt connecting my question on=
Heidegger and the political to such authors as Lacoue-Labarthe and Nancy=20
simply because I dont had them in mind and the question on the references=20
from Lacoue-Labarthe to Arendt followed immediately. I was surprised, that=
the following discussion focussed on this field, because I was thinking on=
names as Rainer Schuermann, Robert Bernasconi, Fred Dallmayr and J.P.A.=20
Pocock; all of them are teaching and publishing in the USA.=20
My question on Heidegger and the political is not arising from Heideggers=20
understanding of technology, but from the shifts, that occured in his=20
understanding of the notion *Welt* and the changes in the place, from which=
he speaks. In the lecture from 1927 *Die Grundprobleme der Ph=E4nomenologie*=
Heidegger wrote: *Die Aufkl=E4rung des Welt-Begriffs ist eine der=
Aufgaben der Philosophie. Der Begriff der Welt bzw. das damit gemeinte=20
Ph=E4nomen ist das, was bisher in der Philosophie =FCberhaupt noch nicht=
ist.* (GA 24, S.234). Here the question of *Welt* is definitely a question=
of philosophy and Heidegger expected the possibility of an answer within the=
language of philosophy. Afterwards named Heidegger in the lecture from=20
1929/30 *Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik* the three ways of trying to=20
clarify the phenomenon *Welt*: the way of *Sein und Zeit*, the historical=20
way in *Vom Wesen des Grundes* and the third way of comparison with the=20
animal and the thing. What was missing in these three ways? Heidegger=20
noticed it in GA 24, S.155: *Vor allem ist hierbei noch der griechische=20
Weltbegriff g=E4nzlich au=DFer Acht gelassen, der nur aus einer=
der griechischen Existenz dargelegt werden k=F6nnte*. In the first draft of =
*The Origin of the Work of Art* (published 1989 in *Heidegger-Studies*) the=
tone has completely changed. Heidegger speaks from *Welt* as *Spielraum der=
Offenheit* and another sentence, which is not in the *official* version of=
*The Origin of the Work of Art* connects the greatness of the work of art=20
with the power to destroy the *Publikum*. It is my opinion, that Heidegger=
has not only the sort of *Publikum* in mind, that was going in the museum,=
so the overcoming of aestetics is only one aspect, but rather the=20
*political* notion of *raesonierendem Publikum* and the corresponding form=
of *=D6ffentlichkeit* that was come into existence in the enlightenment and=
replaces in his polemic against the state the openess of a shared world,=20
which can only achieved by founding a republic and it was the great failure=
of German history in modern times, that they have not yet founded a=20
republic. Perhaps he also has in mind the story, told from Plutarch, about=
the founding of the old Roman covenant, wherein the *people* went outside=20
their cities to a holy place, digged a hole in the earth, what they called=
*mundus*, filled this hole with earth from home and erected on in the temple=
with the holy fire.
Heideggers question in the first version of *The Origin of the Work of Art*=
was the question of *who we are* and *who we are not* and this can be=20
understood as the question, wether the Germans are a *Publikum* or a *Volk*=
and one can be sure, that Heideggers notion of *Volk* in this text has=20
nothing to do with the totalitarian sense of *Volk*. So there are two steps=
in the shift from 1927 to 1935. The first ist, that the question of *Welt*=
has changed from a question of philosophy to a question of *We, the people*=
and the second is a difference from Kant, including a raising difference=20
from Plato, which is more explored in the following lectures on Kant,=20
finally in *Der Satz vom Grund*.=20
When I was asking about the step from Heidegger to Arendt, I was thinking on=
the similarity of Arendts and Heideggers answer to the experience of=20
totalitarism, that only an open and shared world can rescue us from doing=20
bad things.

Enough for today.
Boris Blaha

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