Philosophy is episteme ratio, knowledge held in the thinking we do with speech. Today we still pursue philosophy, and thinking, this way. We may not always do so.
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
A Short Word on the Difficulty of Finding the Concept of the Human in the Face of the Radical Beauty of the Eros of Being
Before and nearby the turn of the 20th century the question about the human being was asked decisively in such a way that it made itself inadequately answerable to its own essential questioning. The question asked could no longer give what was necessary, whereas before, the answer was sufficient. When the Evolutionary view and the Christian view of the essence of the human being in connection with the Philosophic view were raised, necessity for an answer that would relieve thought of its difficulties positioned itself in the work we call Heidegger. In all such matters the rubric under which the question is elaborated and asked is not decisive, but the best expressions of a perilous reality jell under a few titles which are then regarded as the names of the great philosophers.
The Beautiful is not the Good (cf. Plato’s Banquet or Symposium). The most beautiful attempt to come to a confrontation with the question of the human being as yet known is that of Heidegger. The Beautiful is the thing which is determined by the greatness of the task (cf. Nietzsche). The tasks set by the one who performs the deeds drawn to what is its eros is the noble task. The eros condescends only to be the matter that is already before the seeker. Heidegger is the text that concerns the thinking of the human being as Being.
The human being when thought of as natural being is the subject of the forces of nature and of death. When the human being becomes confusing it does not know if it is the spirit of its own concept, the perimetric ‘nature’ invented in the metaphysics of the 17th century, as the subject of modern science, or if it has some other place. The idea of Freedom becomes confused or mixed in a muddled way with the human being. The border ground of what the human being is becomes a fierce chasm that stretches out and swallows the sensitive and the thoughtful who with strange peculiarity notice the perilous necessity and are drawn towards its Element. What is the Element? What is the ground of the order of all things when the Element ceases to give the ego or the body any due? If ego and body are general concepts, devoid of necessary essentiality, and come before the mind as manners of intelligibility, the ridiculous softness of the thinking, constantly unable to reach concrete relief bestows a hallowed danger on itself. It is without justification, and no science can snatch it from the grip of perilous fancy, only whoever is called then can from its grip bother with it. (Parenthetically, one recalls, in lighter tones, the fable Hannah Arendt wrote concerning Heidegger.)
If this approach begins to understand Heidegger better than he himself, should it wish to become serious, it must first confront Heidegger under this understanding. And only then would the thought of the Good with respect to this which is between whoever can think it and the ground of the thinking where it survives, come to the question of what the human is.