Re: shoes and people and chairs

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Tom, original: quotation marks
Steve, responds: asterics
Tom, interacts: triple dash

Tom says:

"I think it's important that still, even as he moves into the "poetic",
in TOWA concerning the shoes, the shoes are understood in terms of work,
lonliness and work. From the workshop examples, the "hammer" onward,
Heidegger really fails, I think, to open up the primary space of the
social world."

*Yes, I would agree; and I think this is one of the several major
differences between Heidegger and Sartre. For Sartre, instrumentality,
as part of the meaning of an object, is not given beforehand, but is
contingent upon one's project.*

--- Ok, well, for Heidegger it might be the same thing, and
only in "lostness" or "fallenness" is the object there
first. Also, the priority has a temporal/structural factor
which is often not mention: the giving of the example, the
object in its order of appearance in the book by these
writers (Being and Time, Being and Nothingness.) In this
respect, where does Sartre's chair come in? (I don't know.)
In this respect, I would favor Heideggerian "thrownness" to
Sartrean "choice", or Nietzschean "artistic self creation".
And, in this regard, trownness and equiprimordiality don't
really suggest a priority to the object, but rather a being
thrown into being altogether in the equiprimordiality of the
ecstases, the world, things in the world, projection, and so
forth. This doesn't make Heidegger any more personal, but I
would use Heidegger as a point of departure rather than
Sartre. Departure is the key word, by the way, and that's
why I'm active on a list called "list-proposals", with a
view towards getting going lists which have more of a
thematic heading than a Proper Name. The reason is, if we
get clear on this problem, how can we move out of the orbit
of the structure: "Heidegger says, Heidegger omits, Sartre
in contradistinction to Heidegger..." and *into*: Ok, let's
keep "thrownness", but let's get psychoanalytic or social in
some other way, let's fuse Heidegger and Levinas. I honestly
believe that what holds back *that* discussion is the

*If there is a social source, it is one
that is always in question, precisely through the individual's choice
of a project, which includes the way in which one includes others, and
sees oneself seen by them. While he couches this (one's
Being-for-others) in terms of antagonism, anxiety, or shame, this is
essentially for the sake of example, in order to make the structure of
what he is looking at clear. But the structure that he describes has
plenty of room for the "gentler" feelings, and opens itself to all the
intentions the peasant woman might have toward or with respect to whom
she is returning to across the fields.*

---This is like the prevalent and quite hidden notion that
the fight or flight psychology is just the same as any other
when broaching the question of justice. I think, on the
contrary, that there is no good reason to think that the
phenomenology of fear will necessarily reveal structures
which will be the "same" as a phenomenology of love, of
boredom, etc, any more than the same structure will be
revealed by studes of antagonism, anxiety or shame. On the
contrary, I think that when you move into love and other
things, the structures might in fact change dramatically.

* In a sense, Sartre does not
leave room for considering an object (like shoes) authentic -- arrived
at when the peasant woman does not think about them as she walks.
Authenticity accrues to the project itself, which gives the shoes and
other things their meaning, within that authenticity. For Sartre, one
chooses authenticity (or not) in and among one's relations to others;
on Heidegger's account, authenticity accrues by following his
(Heidegger's) project, of letting being be, of gelassenheit. When you
say that Heidegger's account fails at this point that the Mitsein does
not include that sense of going to the world of others, of one's
primary relationships, I think you are suggesting Sartre's argument.*

--- No, for Heidegger the business of authenticity does
not have to be touched by Heidegger's ontology, I
think. The play of equimprimordiality and the structure
of resoluteness in thrown projection is much more
"authentic" than Satrean choice of project, which is
quite an illusion, it seems to me. I would fuse
Heidegger and Sartre in this way: I'd keep a certain
Heideggerain funamental ground (thrown projection) and
then speak of "distensions" in which there are big
moments or passages, "tubers" if you like, of choice,
but not the binarism of Sartre. The difference between
resolutness and choice is that in resoluntess there is
a sense of gathering and movement, accruing, finding,
remembrance, interpretation, whereas with Sartre, the
sense of "choice" parallels the logic of the gross act.
The gross, isolable act is accessible in very short
range circumstance (to sit on the chair or not sit on
the chair), but in major life movements, I don't think
it's adequate at all. The Heideggerian "binarism" is
very close to not being a binarism, but two stages of
the same thing, which I find much more organic.

Again, this doesn't make Heidegger any more social in
my book.



"It is only after one ceases to reduce public affairs to the business of
dominion that the original data in the realm of human affairs will appear, or,
rather, reappear, in their authentic diversity." -- Hannah Arendt

Crises of the Republic; lying in politics, civil disobedience on violence,
thoughts on politics, and revolution. Hannah Arendt [1st ed.] New York,
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich [1972] pages 142-143

Tom Blancato
[email protected]
Eyes on Violence (nonviolence and human rights monitoring in Haiti)
Thoughtaction Collective (reparative justice project)
521 Main Street
PO Box 495
Harmony PA 16037

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