Tuesday, January 3, 2017







It what follows we will make an excursus, in order to better inform ourselves about the larger thought which brings the subject matter of aletheia to thought, so that it first becomes what can be thought. We will start with the first paragraph of the eleventh part of the book called in English The Principle Of Reason, which is also called the eleventh hour, as it was part of a lecture series.  

 Supposing that far more Winter Sun is Necessitous 



Image result for Zumthor









One is advised to consult:












The first paragraph, in the Lilly translation, starts: We are trying to get a view into an epoch of the history of being, an epoch which, when measured historiographically, is called "modernity." [Versuchen einen Blick in diejenige Epoche der Seinsgeshicte zu tun, die, historisch, gerechnet, die ^^Neuzeit^^ heisst.]



It goes on:



This serves our intention of clarifying that and how a withdrawal of being simultaneously reigns in the Geschick of being. Seen in terms of being, this means that being lasts as the withdrawing proffering of the temporal play-space for the appearing of what, in response to the Geschick and its bidding, is called “beings.” What in Greek is called ta onta [*this is given in Greek letters in the text], in Latin ens, in French l’ĂȘtre [*One should remember that Leibniz often wrote in French], in German das Seiende [beings] has in every case already been decided by the epochal clearing and lighting of being. Incidentally, it is no accident that the Greek language speaks most clearly and distinctly when it names what we call Seiende [beings] in the neutral plural. For beings are always individually occurring beings and thus multifarious; contrary to this, being is unique, the absolute singular in unconditioned singularity.        




*our own additions 




We do not intend to make a detailed discussion in the manner of a reading, which interprets the text, going along from word to word, discovering the inflection and what is kept and guarded in the text. Instead we are treating the text “as if” it spoke plainly--in fact it does. All we want to do here is paraphrase in order to bring the thing into clarity. Clarity can always become captivation, such that something stands in it without the chance break away. But clarity is also something one should absorb in order to take part in the Fate of the methodos, so as not to be permanently outside it. 



The last sentence uses “being” to say Being: “unconditioned singularity”. What we chiefly want to understand is that the “unconditioned” here is not really thought, but it is the ultimate presupposition of the experience of the essence of Seiende, which is “the Geschick and its bidding”. Spinoza says, god is the same as what has for its essence the need to exist. Or, much better put, he says: what one can not conceive as being without existence is god. Here I refer to the beginning of his Logic, and I have made a mess of the saying there. But one might refer to them. The point is, that if we make a mess of the sayings, and then strain to make them intelligible, without clarity, it can teach us something, but the clarity itself is not a sky full of poisonous colour.  



Look more clearly: the essence of body is spatial extension. Whatever else changes in a body, size and colour, smell and use, it has extension: the same with the Fate of beings. The Fate says, I am the essence of these beings, what always accompanies them. So, there is a essence of beings, which is a moment or epoch of the Fate, presupposed as what is the unconditioned, the unconditioned can not be being as, e.g., as Fate, or as the being of beings. 



In learning this well enough to rehearse it, we risk captivation. Now anyone at all, the smallest capacity, can learn all this (along with a selection of captious objections designed to undermine it). So the suitable addition of reticence has to come not from the logos of assertion, form these sentences, but from a thinking over what they say. In the thinking we make no distinction between what lies before us and what passes within. I.e., between what is there for the senses and what is imagination or only sound as words within. Because the thinking is a modified form of the concept of experience, as a saying about cognition, this cognition, for instance logistical thought which thinks over how to handle a problem in the way a crow can solve a complex problem, and execute the instructions it cognizes, but thought is not to be executed in the same manner. Cognition and thought both speak to what is given, in Descartes sense: whatever is there, it is thought (even if chaotic phantasm or dream). The poetic is supposed to be the clearest form of thought. Poetic does not refer to poems, but to the poetic as what in great poetry speaks most clearly. Far more clearly than any logic. The flower is supposed to bloom “because it blooms”, and not for a why. This means that in the poetic there is no essence that points to transformation or time. In Leibniz, which is a claim about the modern era, that “epoch of the history of being”, which becomes ourselves, i.e., this is meant to be a giving expression to what is, and not a philosophy as a “for Leibnitz”. The why must be in each thing for thinking, but for the poetic, which is the clearest form of thinking, there is only the because. And the because folds back on itself. It lets us think what is most empty of content, but still speaks the phenomena.  





“Geschick” is Fate: but what worries us is that we might not take on this fate as a demand, but shirk it. In other words, the whole paragraph is worried that we will not take the task to be what is highest and greatest. In this sense we are always threatened with the delusive character of any thinking, with the standstill in a thinking that has taken itself for something far more than what it is. The argument reads: only in this epoch has being become questionable. Become means, it no longer is a becoming, but it is now irreversible. This is the medieval schema known to Spinoza, what natures and what is natured. But being is not thought as nature, it is presupposed out of the experience of the Fate of beings, as one essence of beings, but not thee essence of beings. Thee essence would be the Truth that untruthed or, better, de-truthed in Nietzsche. In the same sense that Truth de-truths, the logos de-logos(es), the account as what knows what it is saying, and is not nonsense, de-accounts. But it strictly gives an account at the same time, just as it is now while we read. Thus in all that follows we must see the unbounded clarity as what is absorbed by the abyss of darkness. But the two serve thought in so far as thought is drawn to think, in the sense that someone who has a cloak, someone who is equipped with thought, doesn’t wear the cloak, but lugs it around, like a equipment or capacity. 




We are trying to get a view into an epoch of the history of being, an epoch which, when measured historiographically, is called "modernity." 





“Measured” has to make us uneasy, because we are supposed distrust all but ratio, and ratio is nothing but what Spinoza says, when he speaks of what must be conceived in any experince. It is Gott. Only the mystic can speak of what can’t be spoken of, by way of a calling back, out of what is experince given to the few, but when Gott says: the essence of being, this is no G-d. This is obvious, such that the devout Jew always understands Spinoza according to this thought: Atheist but not so. For what is beyond the conception speaks like a pan-oceanic water, that from the waste and the wilderness that was “in the beginning” the lightning moved. The lighting moving, in this context, cheats and says: Zeus. Thus we say Zeus, when we would not say it. Zeus in this sense is the hidden one behind the lightning that lights what is cleared. Which is to say, in this thinking we are considering the basic sense that intelligibility is never natured, as apart from what natures. The presence, as of any essential difference, is at the same time what is ready-to-hand as the thing before one. This demand comes out of the reception of what is reticent, out of what refuses to soak the world after pouring out of the poetic “because” which is no why. The essential difference is a why, but the why already speaks of the ratio: as what holds out beside all beings, as, for instance: a law of nature. The laws of nature can be passed off as mere writing, but they must speak to something there, in what is intelligible. The stepping back in what becomes questionable about the principle of causality, and so to the laws of nature, into the unintelligibility, is a fundamental evasion of what becomes the knell of thought in the call to think.






We are trying to get a view into an epoch of the history of being, an epoch which, when measured historiographically, is called "modernity." 




Why should we try to call out to something measured at all? It’s because from the essence of beings, we only get that essence, and not something else. This makes us think there are other essences, unfolding in the Fate. In the “radically mysterious dispensation of Fate”, as Strauss called it. Radically mysterious means: and not like the absorption of Fate in the Historical Philosophy, that becomes Marxism, that claims objectivity. It claims objective confusion, in the sense that the resolution of the classes into the ultimate “homogeneity” without contradiction, is objective only in that it hypothesizes a teleology as mere concept, and not as nature in it pushing forward, as a faith in the correct understanding of observation of the beings by the subjective men. Here one must note, it is manifestly more sober to think with Strauss: radical mystery. 




Therefore the reckoning, gerechnet, is a arrangement which claims a sense that is born of a greater gift for seeing in the region of what is absorbed. In the Historial. This claim is wholly justified in abstraction, and most of all as the beginning of an “as if”. Socrates says, in everything the experts are the few, few have knowledge in every sphere, and many are ignorant. Thus, the great philosophers claim to see far more. They claim it because it is their duty to make their gift available to the others. It is always so that the ones who don’t see are clamoring in a mob, and the expert is more rare, but at the same time, what is thought becomes more and more part of the thing grown into by the world as though part of its essence. Yet, here, the essence is supposed to be the signal, the knell. Here, one should still recall Strauss has attempted to be a philosopher, which is to say, in his greatness, he has attempted to be a philosopher, whereas, philosophy is supposed to be obliterated in the knell that calls all essences into the thing that Spinoza had already devoted himself to in the Haskalah. In fact Strauss rejects, which is a crude word, but let us say it that way for the nonce, Spinoza, in his reaching back into the Natural Law, to the Roman Law. Strauss precisely ‘rejects’, as it were, it is not so simple, the Historial. The claim about the “epoch” is more loaded than it first appears. 





Here the consideration is not simply, was there a absorption, such that the basic intelligibility of things changed for Da-sein (one should not understand here an implication, only the intelligibility, and not something more). But rather, Strauss says, some things remained in the absorption of reason, as it flowed along the banks of history. Whereas the essence of being is something else in this epoch, of “the history of being”. This is to show that the question of the direction of the call which is a knell is not easily to be disambiguated from other movements of thought, where those thoughts are not just the thoughts of anyone, but of the serious thinkers. 




Anything seen, is always seen as a kind of thing, that is, along with the intelligibility about the essence. But each kind of thing is seen as part of the things that have reason, so that reason is part of what is seen according to this “epoch”. Which means, it is not that someone has imposed a schematic claim about a manner of gaining knowledge, or a requirement for how knowledge is to come. But rather, in what is given, there is reason. However, how does this let aletheia stand, as what was supposed to be, before the light of Hellas, “Seen in terms of being, [...] means that being lasts as the withdrawing proffering of the Time play-space for the appearing of what, in response to the Geschick and its bidding, is called “beings.””  









Aletheia calls for nothing else but the thinking of time as the because of the poetic, which is the most clear thought. So, when there is no reason, and also not the arbitrary (i.e., the irrational), but only the because, aletheia is at “play”. Still, that says, we deal with a “proffering” of Being. Aletheia is supposed to be a way of “proffering”, of putting forward. It remains to think this concretely, it is exampled by Heidegger, but the examples can as easily mislead us. In all thinking examples are not enough, they more readily, in their concreteness, mislead us into complacency. The sight of any example is the same as the place of the leap of the essence of all thought, and of the being of beings.

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