Monday, December 4, 2017

An Explication of Narration as a path towards the narrating of Narration in the Phenomenology of the Leading Question in the work with the title Heidegger 

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Is the time-honored character of this equation in itself sufficient
indication of the lucidity of what is equated, or indeed an argument
for the legitimacy of speaking this way? The fact that we ordinarily
speak this way cannot be faulted. That we do so when expressly
inquiring about beings is, however, to say the least, peculiar. Or is the
question really not about beings at all? Yet Aristotle and the philosophers
preceding him certainly do ask expressly about this. Or is this
simple questioning not enough? Is it only an initial approach that
subsequently comes to a standstill? Being and beings-still to make a 
distinction here or even to want to raise a question, is this not unwarranted, 
futile quibbling? Beings and ways of being we know; they delight and distress us, 
they cause us no end of anguish and disappointment; and, of course, 
we are beings ourselves. Let us stick to beings. What use is being?


"Beings and ways of being we know; they delight and distress us, they cause us no end of anguish and disappointment; and, of course, we are beings ourselves. Let us stick to beings. What use is being?"

The possible varieties of answers to the question How to Live?, though they offer us no rest, are easy enough, or, at least, not the hardest of all, to understand. The question, as it were, is quickly done posing itself, and at once we move on to an answer. Or, to finding our way to an answer through setting out a proper model of working out such an answer, for instance, by working out what rationality as a method of moving along in a problem, is. Ergo, we have much on our hands, but, at least, we can manage a bit there, and something to busy ourselves with is ready for us, and not only something, but a great task. Still, it seems odd that we bypass the most basic question, in order to ask something else, and yet, it is not as though this were done in order to conceal being, not explicitly. In fact, no one sets out to conceal being, yet, it recedes of itself. How is it now, something of this problem has reached us, and seems to flash along our path, and to quicken the Methodos? On the other hand, this is a narration that talks around the question, and even sets us further away. 

It was first of all Husserl who discovered narration, rather than logos. When Husserl challenges, because he first sees, logos as a rule, he does not open a field for ten or fifty new logics to come in, as if he were Stephen Wolfram, posting this and that formal logic as something that is not inconsistent. Even within the realm of informal logic, and argument, speech that is meant to sway one in one's being, one finds no Narration. In the basic sense, when one practices rhetoric, one always says something that leads one to draw inferences, one argues after a fashion (even if in mere enthymeme, and in no proper sylogistic style), either in order to gain some advantage, or to critique oneself. Let us argue, let us have a chance to convince you, are you willing? Dialectic itself is the short speech as what is, in a manner, a matter of rhetoric. Narration, for its part, as a close relation to being. When logos is at work, it is keen to point out that narration is one thing, and its referent another, or, on the other hand, that perhaps it merely “refers” to itself, to the word. What gives narration its character is that it does not suggest something more than it says, such that one is meant to draw some sensible inference, but it says something, and then, as easily, something else. It does not insist that it is speaking about the same being, at the same time, but it only speaks. Its character is not like that of the mystical clarity of the great poet, it does not set out to being a suitable apportionment of light and shadow, "the thrones" do not return from "afar", to power thinking, its Macht is much more modest. It is not a caretaker of ipsissimosity, of visions of grand and mighty deeds, of what is racing through over heated brains, of some quiet but sultry path along which women walk in the township of Röcken. Whenever we speak of a great poet, invariably we discover a hidden cache of immense erudition behind the seemingly simple speech, yet, Narration? 

Someone sees an extremely aged trunk, of a large tree, its canopy, high above, thrust forward in a strong wind. The wind shivered the many yellow and green and brown leaves, the youth looked up, and he felt the late autumn chill pass through the field. There, the gnarled trunk of the Sycamore tree was darkened as the sun passed behind the clouds, falling leaves knocked down by the wind fluttered and mixed their shadows with the growing pool of shade. Narration doesn't say, here, just now, we speak of a being, of a situation, but it comes along first this way than that way. It doesn't demand that ousia must have its full say. However, this is so simple that we are done with it, and want to know about something else, at once. That is, if we can even stand to listen once. How much more does one wish to hear about something tangible, that will lead to a transformation of the lived environment, to a manipulation of the available materials, to expansion of the possibilities of human life, to a busied creative activity that creates new capabilities and long term enrichment of human society as a whole. Narration, does it not mean fiction? 

The question what “use” is being is indeed suggestive. It seems like a piece of prodding, yet, must one take it as rhetoric, does it not, in a way, simply speak what one thinks already about the matter? That is the distinction, in the way it delimits itself, over and against argument and rhetoric, and blank statement with a pretended neutrality. At bottom it is a way of thinking, it is a movement in the perpetual constancy of decision, it is Phenomenology itself. The statement says to itself, perhaps I never spoke, it doubts itself. It asks, as if someone else asked, did that really happen like that? And instead of taking up a defensive posture, and at once asserting the availability of its own content, of its referent, it pierces the phenomena by resting. 

When we ask “What use is being?”, we, therefore, must not take this as an argument, that is designed to impassion us, and fill us with the idealism requisite to the hunt for being. Rather, what this word says, “What use is being?”, is that one finds oneself speaking being in the manner of what is therein said. Even less are we asked to find in the sense of “use” a polemic with the Cybernetic mining of all things, with the extraordinary process of imposing the standard of an increase in efficiency to all things that exist and to the human being.  

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