Re: shoes and people and chairs

Tom wrote:

"I would use Heidegger as a point of departure rather than
Sartre." "OK, let's keep "thrownness"... "

Well, Tom, I get this gremlinesque urge to throw Sartre at you. For
departure, for instance: "human reality is nothing but an
undertaking." But it doesn't matter; I just thought that your own
"bent" toward the sociality of the peasant woman walking home in the
dusk, and thinking, as an example you had raised of what you were
saying, would have been more at home in the space opened
by Sartre, then outside the space you indicate is left closed by
Heidegger. I'm not building fan-clubs here.

But you ask, "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 ... etc."

and I wonder, are you really trying to construct "a philosophy" by
such cannibalizing -- like putting together old cars? I much prefer to look
at philosophy as an art form, and these texts as works of art. You
can't take a piece of a Mondrian out and put it in the middle of a
Kandinski, to finish it. But talking about the space Mondrian leaves
in is an endless and worthwhile discussion.

But having said that, let me contradict it, or deconstruct it as a
question. There is the social, and the dialogue that we have, and the
multifacited discussions that go on. Ah, there, the art form paradigm
is already decentered. Let me approach it from a different point in
your last post.

You raise the question of a phenomenology of fear, or love, or
whatever. And there, I think I'll pull Sartre back from you. I don't
find a phenomenology of fear, or anxiety, or shame, or love in Sartre;
I think those are the terms in which he couches his phenomenology of
the subject, and its relations to others. It is in this sense that the
structure of the account he gives of something like shame or anxiety is
more important than the content of the particular "issue", "event," or
"emotion" that he uses to build an account of that structure. (I put
quotes on all those words because it is unclear which discourse, or
discipline, they are being used in in this dialogue I am having with
you). I guess if carried to its logical conclusion, this kind of
reading of Sartre would have to conclude that there is no binarism in
his ontology, in the same way one would say there was none in Heidegger
(except that between the transcendental signifier and the rest of the
discourse). I'll let you ask me about Being-in-itself, if that
presents a problem in my last sentence.

I have to admit that I find it amusing that in the current time,
so much discussion dead-ends about the question of the social, social
relations, an ontology of the social, and an ethics, while many who
end up thus deadended can only fulminate, to the point of obviating
any possibility of a critique, when confronted with a particular
thinker who spent a lot of time addressing just such questions.

Well, okay, what about the social? Should we pick a piece out of
Heidegger, and put it in the middle of Levinas, so as to complete that
latter canvas. Does Sartre's ethics provide us with more of a
"how-to-book" than BT (as Michael alludes)? I don't think we can do
that either. But just as sartre uses certain issues as the content of
his narrativizations, the terms by which he builds, sculpts his
ontology (yes, I think philosophy is really a form of sculpture,
rather than painting), we use the literature at hand as a way of
speaking about the social, the terms one can use, the moments of a
dialogue that is going to be about its own subject -- not regardless of
the terms used, but not in obedience to those terms either. In other words,
I would think one engages in critique not in an eclectic, or
cannibalistic manner, but as a mode of dialogue, as the language of a

that is, besides the non-contestation that occurs when I mention that
your reading of the peasant woman's walk home at dusk steps outside
the space Heidegger had reserved for her, as unthinking in order to
give authenticity to her shoes, and can be spoken of more harmoniously
within a Sartrean discourse -- besides that, what else happens?


--- from list [email protected] ---


Partial thread listing: