Re: authenticity again

On Thu, 15 Jun 1995, Lois Shawver wrote:

> This is in response to Christopher Morrissey's recent note:
> You bring so much of your Other to your reading of me that I just don't
> know where to begin to discuss this. This is so easy to do in this
> medium. I do it myself. You don't know anything about me, or my
> scholarship, or my particular way of approaching Heidegger, except the
> little I have said, and you make sense of that, of course, by your
> understanding of the way others approach Heidegger. And there are plenty
> of interlocutors out there who disparage Heideggerrian philosophy because of
> his supposed moral depravity. That is not what is most interesting to
> me, however. I believe Heidegger was a great philosopher, that he has
> left ideas that have shown up in the writings of many since him, from
> Sartre, to Derrida, to Lacan. I am not inclined to read him with the
> primary goal of understanding how he became the Nazi sypathizer, and that
> is not my purpose here.
> There is your Other, and what you say next shows your frustration with
> this Other.
> about being among the chosen few who dare to
> > think the Seinsfrage (everyone else being blind slaves), so what?
> Is it just that you are going to treat me as someone to argue against,
> when you want to say what you have in your mind to say?
> Again, who are you talking to?


He's talking to me. But instead of responding with a reasoned argument,
Mr. Morrissey intends to dismiss my argument out of hand. At least I
read a book in which Heidegger says: 1. there are grades to truth 2. the
highest grade of truth is revealed to the philosopher 3. the philosopher
is the one to whom the ontological difference is revealed through asking
the Seinsfrage 4. those who do not understand being as being are those
chained to the wall 5. one becomes free by philosophizing. Furthermore,
Heidegger uses language reminicient of Being and Time in describing how
one becomes free, specifically, he equates existing and ek-sisting with
the philosophical life. Thus, I attempted to connect this text to an
earlier discussion in this group concerning authenticity and das Man.

There are reasonable objections one can make to this. The one that
springs to my mind is that by 1931, Heidegger had taken a new path other
than that of 1926, but that some residue remained behind, which, because
it has been taken into a new context, cannot thus be set back into that
of 1926. It is clear, for instance, that Nietzsche is decisively
influencing the new path. The philosopher in the 1931 text is clearly
modelled on Zarathustra, a fact made clear when one is familiar with: 1.
that Heidegger was intensively reading Nietzsche at the time and 2. Thus
Spoke Zarathustra itself. Further, because the depiction of the
philosopher resembles what Heidegger himself is doing, one can infer that
Heidegger has chosen his hero and it is Zarathustra. One could object
that this Zarathustrian element deflected Heidegger from his earlier
concern. Otto Poeggeler, for one, makes this argument.

Clearly, I don't agree with this (well, not entirely anyway). Others may
not agree with either me or Poeggeler. Arguments would be in any
case welcome - arguments, not arrogant dismissal.


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