Friday, August 25, 2017

Will to Will as Genuine Philosophizing

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To inquire into δύναμις and ἐνέργεια, as Aristotle proposes to do

in our treatise, is genuine philosophizing. Accordingly, if we ourselves

have eyes to see and ears to hear, if we have the right disposition and

are truly willing, then, if we are successful, we will learn from the

interpretation of the treatise what philosophizing is. We will in this

way gain an experience with philosophizing and perhaps become more

experienced in it ourselves.

Anthropos, the human being, is supposed to, basically, be a questioning being. That is the essence of the human being, which is peculiar to it. Any being, then, that does not question, is no longer to be regarded as properly human. According to the universal, wherever we find a human, we find, at the same time, inquiring. This is the “Socratic” definition found in the Apology of Socrates. But, this which is in the popular mind the notion of the conceit about the “unexamined life”, belongs only to Plato’s text. An earnest probing into the human things is not an idealization, the Socrates by Plato, but rather it is a picturing of the aristos philosophos, the best philosopher. It is a concrete picture, which Strauss calls an exposition of the “life of a sage”. Everywhere in Plato’s philosophizing, the vulgar reader is given to the asinine notion that the views of Socrates are the Platonic teaching, or, what is the same, that Plato intended to present the views of his idol. Rather, Socrates is only given as the constant exponent of the aristos, which is the peak in the range of beings, when viewed according to the standard of high and low, but which is only part of the eidos, which is not complete without the low and the high parts. So that Callicles and Thrasymachus are equal, as parts, to Socrates or Prodicus. We are trying to see, in general, if you like, what “genuine philosophizing” is.

Philosophizing points, and has its weight in, the question about what it is. It asks: What is this? It moves in another direction than does an inquiry about how to do things. If one approaches the question of genuine philosophizing as though one where supposed to say what it is, in the ordinary sense, of an explanation sufficient for political understanding, one does not thereby put a straitjacket onto the subject. The political explanation, that of ordinary life, is not a definition. The definition is the aristos knowledge of some subject matter, or thing. It is the best orientation. Yet, the madman which is explained, in the basic political explanation, refers to the meaning of life. Which is to say, to the common sense understanding as told, one to another. When philosophizing is genuine, it recognizes this as the in medias res, which is that to which one is thrown, out of which one must consider the madmen, the political ones, in the primary understanding, as those who have not got to the ground. What is inconceivable, is then grasped as what is sane, against the political understanding. This is conceptualized as ousia, in the paradoxy of a view which takes all thinking to grasp concepts of percepts, things thought, of things seen. However this is not how Aristotle thinks, he thinks of ousia as neither percept or concept. 

When Carl Andre speaks of the meaninglessness of art, he speaks of ousia. The thing, thing being the vaguest reference to what we can point to, is without meaning. In this sense he thinks phenomenologically. When, the ergon of Heidegger thinks the words of Angelus Silesius, the flower has no why, it blooms because it blooms, it thinks ousia. For the novelist a brilliant ray of light dances on the petals, and warms the young flower. For the political man, a person with a green thumb buys some seed, and plants them. For the man of science the metabolic processes transfer energy from the tap roots, taken out of the soil, and from the heat in the light. The cause, then, in the mystical poetic Phenomenology of Silesius, is meaningless. Ousia is not the Truth (or, truth as the causal), it is a thing, thought in its "meaninglessness", but what we are trying to do is to see the truth of beings. In this we are moving ontically, yet, in the ergon of Heidegger, we are already on the look out for the event. In “becoming more experienced” we do not limit ourselves to becoming more true, as in what was said already in the last post, concerning the ontic notion of truth. Insofar as a sample space includes ousia, or the thing, or category, or the “work of art” which is meaningless, a definite Synthetic a priori is stricken according to the possibility of any coming forth. We must, then, keep watch over the extraordinary fact that the road of possibility is not some station called  δύναμις which has been all the time grasped by the road, such that the road belonged to the organization of the station.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Will to Will as a Question of Beings


Here we see clearly that the question concerning δύναμις and ἐντελέχεια is also a question about beings as such, but one that aims in another direction. Thus like the category question it revolves around the general realm of the question of beings, which is the only question that fundamentally interests Aristotle.


The implication, indeed, what has been said in the most obvious way, is that the path of the thinking found in the ergon of Heidegger is not yet aware of what “genuine philosophizing” says. It is something that we are meant to sense in the movement of the path of the thinking that thinks what Aristotle is saying, but from the methodos, at the same time, we are speaking in another way. 

Let us see what Aristotle has in mind, in a general sense, when he speaks of beings as ousia. What does Truth mean for Aristotle? In his teaching everything depends on becoming, as what gathers being in fullness. When someone has experience, is proven, they are truly a master of their art. So, when an apprentice has, by experience, learned the art of shirt making, they are able to produce good shirts. What that means according to Aristotle is that they have harmonized with the truth, so that through the experience of their apprenticeship they have come to be those who have the art of the shirt maker. The shirt, in its essence, is made according to that art. Thus, in being a master shirt maker, they have become the truth. The truth in this sense is a being. Here, we must notice, this is “a question about beings as such”. Thus, not about Being, but, about beings, does this truth speak to us. 

Insofar as we philosophize with Aristotle, we must set aside Aristotle, insofar as whatever we think of Aristotle, we may be mistaken. Yet, at the same time, if we do not think Aristotle in some way, we will never gain any experience of his thinking. In the sense in which the ergon of Heidegger guides our thinking, we come to think becoming as the truth of the being of beings. So that the proven master, who has come into wisdom, into truth, so far as the essence of a good shirt is harmonized in what he has become, is not true in the sense of the truth of being as such. In Becoming we see what becomes the mighty Principle of Reason. For this reason, man as man, is not the thinker of truth, but is that which thinks according to becoming. At the End of Metaphysics this is called Cybernetics and Power. 

Insofar as there is not, for instance, in the “art world” where a Pilar Ordovas or a Pascale Martine Tayou move, the truth in this sense, the truth is never arrived at. Since there are not proven artists, in the sense of such ones who can make an object according to an art that properly brings forward the sound or good object, e.g., the shirt as it is meant for the use of man. The kalon and the perfectio cease to hold. Experience is not supposed to harmonize with anything true, but rather it is called creative, after the Nietzschean usurpation of the prerogative of God. But this does not mean that man has become God, but rather, becoming has become more deep, and more large. Even infinite. Yet, the truth of being as such, is what is still thought as becoming, and this becoming is that truth. And this coming forward of the truth is the same thing as the concealment of the presupposed Being. The being of beings, and its truth, is what is perceptible in the concealment of Being.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017


Will to Will as Picture of Thought



But then where does this inquiry belong, if not in the framework of the category question? This is stated very clearly in the following sentence (9 I. 1045b32-35):
 ἐπεὶ δὲ λέγεται τὸ ὂν τὸ μὲν τὸ τὶ ἢ ποιὸν ἢ ποσόν, τὸ δὲ κατὰ δύναμιν καὶ ἐντελέχειαν καὶ κατὰ τὸ ἔργον, διορίσωμεν καὶ περὶ δυνάμεως καὶ ἐντελεχείας. "But since beings are said on the one hand (το μέυ) as what being, or being so and so or so much being (in short, in the sense of the categories), and on the other hand (τό δέ) in regard to δύναμις and ἐντελέχεια and ἔργον, so shall we also undertake a conceptually sharp elucidation of  δύναμις and ἐντελέχεια.”  


The translation puts most emphasis on the questioning. When λέγεται is given as “analyze” it suggests a prefigurement. We have “beings are said” rather than that they could be so analyzed. What analysis is can’t be left in the sense of a methodologically repeatable and reliable process, and so must not gain power over the thinking in such a form. They are, to be sure, so said. When one has a shoe, one asks, how large is that shoe? One can also say, is there only one shoe, or the pair? The saying of how many, and of what, are not part of symbolic logic. Rather their status as what is ousia, being as being alongside beings, and as being as the whole, first prevails in the logos as what is spoken in the market place. However, when the methodos thinks this, it wants to ask about the market place talk, with the force of thinking that thinks the primordiality of that logos. So the forcing back, as it were, to the phenomena, which is no marketplace of interesting ideas, brings the phenomenological into the logos. Since looking and saying are, according to the marketplace, two different things.    

The questions about how much, or how many, and what is it, occurring in daily dealings, reach a different primordiality in the question of the why as such. All human communities ask about the why, but only with the Greeks did the separation of cause and result come into so profuse and great a stream of discussion, and ponderous examination. Already the technical grasp of these matters in Aristotle is phenomenological, according to the text with the name Heidegger. Husserl granted the sense of this identification with his own approach. So the current investigation, in the methodos, has to consider the way Aristotle stands to the primordial, which in the thinking of Heidegger is explicitly found in Being (which is neither the being of beings, or the ontic many.) Aristotle never thought of Being, but, yet, he is here thought as closer to its origin, and so the force of his thinking acts more freely, and the Cave is less forbiddingly active in the subject matter. Such considerations should not be entirely forgotten as we follow, what, in one way or another bathes the thought in its radiance.    



We ourselves, when we repeatedly let the revolution of the ergon of the thought be rethought, do not let the thought that translation is interpretation rest. What this means would, as a conception, soon fall into the misuse of a mere professional practice, of which through training one would gain a technician’s mastery. If it is not a conception, but rather a thinking, it can not be coolly set off against translation as literal, and translation as for meaning. Or, translation for the natural grace of the classical tonality. The matrix of an analysis that suggests a system that has a life apart from the thinking, in the style of falling to assume that books contain knowledge, which they do not except insofar as someone who can understand them comes to them, and lets what they say speak, must be utterly set aside. The methodos is not the ergon, not the determination of something Willed, of the Will of Zeus! One must think back to the sense in which will is thinking the Greek βουλή as design, then as will of heaven, as Natural Law, falls back into the thinking of dunamis and energeia. 

The Nietzschean Will, is by no means the Power in the Essence of Technology, yet, insofar as Technology as Truth is thought according to a End of Metaphysics, it is ‘pictured’ so. Meaning that if one is in the blind habit, of Power, as the full sense of research towards the Effect, the modern world as such, in every respect, in its essence, yet, at the same time, one sets the claim, it is only this man, this Truth, that is so, one pictures. The picture is not a Will to Will, it implies no Übermensch.    

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Will to Will as Thoughtlessness

An inquiry about the categories, in fact the first category, has come
down to us as Book VII (Z) of the Metaphysics. But perhaps Aristotle
recalls precisely this treatise on οὐσία (which is also self-contained)
in order to suggest that the following treatise also pertains to the realm
of the question of the categories δύναμις and ἐνέργεια which are to
be dealt with now, would then be two additional categories that receive
special examination. This viewpoint suggests itself when we consider
the later and now common conception of δύναμις and ἐνέργεια,
possibility and actuality. For Kant above all, and since Kant, "possibility"
and "actuality," along with "necessity," belong among the
categories; in fact, they form the group of categories called "modality."
They are, as we say in short, modalities. But we do not find
δύναμις and ἐνέργεια in any of Aristotle's enumerations of the categories.
For Aristotle, the question δύναμις and ἐνέργεια, possibility
and actuality, is not a category question. This shall be maintained
unequivocally, despite all conventional interpretations to the contrary.
And this clarification (though admittedly it is once again only
negative) is the primary presupposition for understanding the entire


Power as ‘modality’ means that what belongs to every presentation, every experience, is established and rescued and presented as eternal. Modality is part of the apparatus of the Synthetic a priori, of what must be. The awareness of power in this sense is limited. A man in a cage thinks, how many uses could there be for this cage? They are unknown uses. Futurity. The being with no future, the animal, can only think according to the fixation of the need to get out of the cage. The cage is for man a cause, but for the animal it is fixation.  

The future is available to man as man is not subsumed under the categories when the Synthetic a priori is thought only according to time. The availability of time, rather than the fixation, is the sense in which all the talk of the ‘transcendental’ is justified with respect to this thinking. At the same time, since it is a Cartesian thinking, an ultimate doubt, nothing is established in the manner of a proclaimed perceptual structure. As with Husserl, everything is being thought in the ultimate doubt, and only being thought in the questioning that takes things up from the ultimate doubt, and lets them fall back into it, according to a standpoint. Every time one looks, the possibility, which is the exact same thing as futurity, is there for thought. Thought means a kind of knowing of essences, that is not a real knowing in the sense of taking hold of something that is reliable. The investigations of Dreyfus, though capable is some respects, were in error so far as they didn’t see the attitude of the thinkers with respect to the ultimate doubt, which is a questioning, when nothing builds up from it in the attitude of a positive knowing that is certain. 

The ultimate doubt, is not rightly understood if one thinks only of the dream. It would be absurd to deny the appearances of things, all that is asked is, does the adaequatio intellectus et rei hold?
Man as man is the the opening of Fate, because in futurity, in possibility, he enters into the becoming of what is. The human being is not therefore fixated on knowing an object that is permanent. Man as man is within the passage of the opening of becoming. Because this again suggests a ground that resists, one questions whether the revolutions, ricorsi, returns, conversiones, will go away.  

The conception of modality is experimental, it is a preparation for a seeking. When there is seeking there is already a “sample space.” What is thought as sample space, the space of the event that brings forward the data, as what is fixed by the conceptual ideal of the wissenschaft, is thought back into the thinking that is not “clear and distinct.” When the adequatio intellectus et rei is seen as the drawing back of the god into the human essence, under the Materialism, as in Marx, the inadequacy of any realism, based on the Necessary, becomes visible as a myth of the struggle of the human being. When the thinking, of what is essential, over and against what is “data,” for example, that the symbol ‘heads’ is a data point, but when the coin falls on the side, and rolls into blackberry vines, it is no data, the essence, the what is it?, comes into question as the wissen and the cognition, as Vernunft which is ‘too human.’ If the human is thought not as biologically limited, so that reason is not ‘inside,’ what stands around it, the principle of a materialism can not be thought as a necessary ground.
Man is not the adequate ground to mirror what truly is. At the same time, nothing else is thrown back behind the flow of the holding sway.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

The Failure to think Will to Will in the Greek Beginning


So much for a rough exposition of the beginning of our treatise. At the moment we are only trying to discover from these introductory sentences the realm of questioning in which the treatise itself is located. Do the sentences just discussed say anything about this? On the contrary. This is a mere summary of what was discussed in another treatise.


Here we must make an observation concerning what “will” means. As has been said already, the Greeks knew nothing of this notion of will. Why? As yet that is not at all clear to us. We thus give a very gross translation, which is nonetheless not altogether incorrect (though, even in the Jowett translation the actual text is given much more sensibly). From Walter Hamilton’s rendering of the Gorgias. Hamilton gives the word “will” when the text has doxa! More precisely, κατὰ τὴν αὐτοῦ δόξαν [469c] [This is in error, the text is at 467b rendered as will is  βούλονται, rather like the opening of Iliad, but the sense of the possibility of changing tones is still of use] . This is very useful to us, as we are “trying to discover from these introductory sentences the realm of questioning in which the treatise itself is located.” 

We have literally, ‘following (his) own opinion,’ but the text says he does ‘what he wills.’ If one follows, one does not will. To be sure. (True, one can always object that 'will' might say 'wish,' and that one follow one's heart's desire, one's wishes. And, in a certain sense, the use of the word will is simply old-fashioned in the manner of its usage. However, nonetheless, it is helpful to us, and, after all, perhaps not altogether out of keeping with the slip, as it were, into the modern way of thinking, we watch Hamilton make.) Though, one must be awake to the fact that, in the doxa there is an ‘object’ or goal which is aimed at. So that the problem of heaving up above empiricism, to praxis, through the effort of reflection, is touched on. In this sense we must consider what it is to be ‘drawn forth.’ To be drawn forth is to follow being, according to the thinking in the ergon of the work called Heidegger. This “opinion,” (doxa means also, for the Greeks, reputation), is what is thought, what is seen. What is of diverse energies, of fire, is the action of what is available. Or seems to be available, to the one between what is “gone” and what is “to be.” To follow doxa, is to follow what is predicted, or predicted or promulgated. Rather than strict logicality we have here a flowing. We enter here the sense in which being is called time, or, more properly put, thought as time. Yet so far as the doxa is the man, it remains at the Greek Beginning, and is not thought in the “deepening of the modern tradition.”

Thereby, in the leading of what one is open to, Socrates understands a man to be a slave to his doxa. It is much stranger, so to speak, to say that a man is slave of his will, or more incongruous. Nietzsche in fact does say that. The following of the doxa, is something wholly of another character. The radical difference between this and the technical reason, the Will to Will as what acts in the Essence of Technology, is not yet guessed at. So far we are preparing ourselves to sense that we are entering an utterly alien region. Sentiments of existence are unknown to the Greeks. They look towards the phenomena.