Re: authenticity again



On Fri, 16 Jun 1995 [email protected] wrote:

> Wouldn't it be a fundamental mis-taking of H's project to read
> authenticity into a subject who would then "be" in an authentic way?
> Isn't B&T itself a meditation on precisely how this kind of subjectivity
> is the product of the grounding error of the metaphysical tradition (i.e.
> Parmenides formulation Being=beings)?

Well, that's my question, and I'm not sure. Do you think that in B & T
Heidegger was already aware of the way in which Dasein emerged from as
much of a grounding error, as you put it, as was the consciousness of Das
Man? It seems to me that Heidegger started the ball rolling towards our
current postmodern deconstruction of metaphysics, but I'm not sure how far
this went in B & T. And I do believe that many have been inspired by a
more value-toned reading of Heidegger. My reading now suggests that this
is a central topic Heidegger is struggling with, that it threatens always
to undermine his deconstructions, and he has a difficult time deciding
whether to use the implications of ordinary language in the construction
of his ideas, or to try to purify them of all evaluative contamination.

And so he says things like:

In citing such evidence we must avoid uninhibited word-mysticism
Neverthless, the ultimate business of philosophy is to preserve the
force of the most elemental words in which Dasein expresses itself,
to keep the common understanding from levelling them off to that
unintelligibility which functions in turn as a source of pseudo-
problems (p.262).

and then a few pages later things like:

'Because Dasein is essentially falling, its state of Being is
such that it is 'untruth'.' This term, like the expression
'falling', is here used ontologically. If we are to use it in
existential analysis, we must avoid giving it any ontically negative
'evaluation' (264)

I have just pulled these passages out in passing, but in so many places
he seems to be struggling with whether to preserve the evaluative
connotation of ordinary meaning in his theory, or to abandon it, usually
opting, it seems to me, to abandon it, but struggling with it, and
haunted by the concern that he may not have succeeded, that his project
might be itself deconstructed in the way that now occurs to me, that is,
that there is an underlying value system that drives some of his
ontological theorizing.

Do you understand the passages that I just cited differently than I do?


The reason I ask is because H
> seems to take on in the works just following B&T the grounding issues of
> subjective being (the Transcendental Imagination in the Kant book, and
> the Will to Power in the Neitzsche books, for example). And so in
> reading H maybe we have to look elsewhere for his deployment of authenticity.

In order to what? To understand the way his project developed after B&T?

> And then your question, Lois, seems to me to need an answer that comes
> from somewhere else -- namely, what kind of community does H think his
> ontology will found? I think its a hard temptation to resist to read B&T
> as a "how to" book -- that's part of the banana peel. In a way Sartre
> did it, and when I audited Hubert Dreyfuss's B&T course ten or so years
> ago, he was doing it (which in part is why I think he was having so much
> trouble getting through the book). This happens because, as somebody
> suggested in an earlier discussion I was involved in here, the subject is
> probably harder to get rid of than H thought. (That, or something like
> it would be Derrida's argument).

Perhaps the most important point here is not what Heidegger's intentions
were, or what he had in mind when eh wrote B&T, but whether it is
possible to make a coherent reading of this work without understanding
authenticity as a value. You believe that is possible?

..Lois Shawver
Oakland, Calif


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