Thursday, May 24, 2018





Considerations of energeia and dunamis in the Tract of the Kunstwerk 



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Whatever we decide, the question of the origin of the artwork turns into the question of the nature of art. 
But since it must remain open whether and how there is art at all, we will attempt to discover the nature 
of art where there is no doubt that art genuinely prevails. Art presences in the art-work [Kunst-werk]. 
But what and how is a work of art?


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The energia first praises the dunamis. So long as what is überhaupt, what is overhead, is the actuality of 
power (the potential as the actual as what is stored), everything moves in the ground first prepared by 
the Greeks. The Galilean sciences, which is no longer natural science (careful investigation of what 
comes forth of itself, and, ultimately, of the human being), but SCIENCE of NATURE (read = the full 
knowledge in advance of the world totality through mathamatical pure abstraction as method to be 
applied to the never investigated concrete given sphere which more and more disappears as a 
matter of possible careful consideration), never produce an end in the Essence of Technology that 
is Open as such. Rather, they bring the First Beginning with them into their culmination and 
perfection as completion of the a priori mathamatical physics as the fundamental ground of knowing.

Every time we speak of what “genuinely prevails” in the “work”, we think back into what at first is 
rigidly actus purus, qualified by Kunst. Art is already sensed as what is snatched back from the 
Philosophy of Überhaupt become World Picture as Energia without Power. Even the Power is 
thought as energia qua “a” pure Science of Nature.

Assumptions: In the work called Heidegger the pure Science of Nature is perpetually at play 
in the investigation as what is superimposed on all the thinking, even that prior to Plato. 
Nietzsche, in his refusal of the Science of Nature threatens to deprive the Technological 
Essence of its power to ground the thinking. The Nihilism, as pure Nihilism of Power, 
is set off against Power as pure actuality. Kunst could as readily be replaced by any 
subject matter, e.g., geology, forestry, gender fluidity studies, milk, cobalt skies, et al..    

Wednesday, May 9, 2018



The Question of the Irreducible For-Spring 




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As the artist is the origin of the work in a necessarily different way from the way the work is the 
origin of the artist, so it is in yet another way, quite certainly, that art is the origin of both artist 
and work. But can, then, art really be an origin? Where and how does art exist? Artthat is 
just a word to which nothing real any longer corresponds. It may serve as a collective notion 
under which we bring what alone of art is real: works and artists. Even if the word art is to 
signify more than a collective notion, what is meant by the word could only be based on the 
reality of works and artists. Or are matters the other way round? Do work and artist exist only 
insofar as art exists, exists, indeed, as their origin?

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The artificial and the given. How are we to see the strife between Heidegger and Nietzsche in this? 
The agency of the will of humans seems to be at work. The fact in the older sense means such an 
agent. In English this older meaning only survives in a few odd phrases such as the legal term 
“accessory after the fact”. There the fact is the criminal act. Fact was said in opposition to nature, 
it individuated. One sees by nature, one has the family one has and the country of one’s birth. 
The fact, in contradistinction to this, was the intelligence at work through the will. A willful act. 
In the polemic between Hobbes and Boyle over the vacuum, and with the Royal Society more 
largely, the meaning of fact which is now taken for granted was crafted. Fact was a name for 
the empirical description of experiment. It was said disparagingly by Hobbes, who upheld the 
necessity of the principle, distrusting empirics and induction. Such was the so-called origin of the 
fact. The fact is not a word, but it is an ergon. It is what apperception moves in as the crow solves 
difficult problems, not instinctively, or only with the body and the body's knowing, but, not as 
with what is available to free art. As what is there in the way it is as it is what it is. In the way 
the hammer is ready to get purchase on the nails, and take it from the wall. Not in the way the 
hammer is what is raw material for a fire and to be melted down and made into this or that 
metal ware. Or to be studied under the discipline of chemistry. 



Nietzsche, who did not speak English, knew nothing of facts. He spoke of appearances, and of truth. 
All the same he died under a monstrous mound of scientific texts. He knew, well enough, what the 
fact was as a technical notion, but he did not move in the region of its atmospheres, indeed, he did 
not move in its art. Only we move in this art. We who have known no searching in the fact for what 
is to be thought in this fact, we who live in this art, that of the sciences and their repeatability of 
isolated bits of the world, of established and checkable facts. The artist has long since become 
the important one, the one who matters, the patron no longer hires the artist to make what is 
needed, but buys the work without question. The artist, Hobbes, did not commit an “ignoble fact”, 
to use the old phrase, when he brought the fact. For he did not see it coming. Does the artist see 
what is coming? Who is this artist? The human being? This notion of the human as actor is waning.  
Phusis, the blind act, the crime and the knowing mind of man, art, and what is out ahead of itself. 
Do any of these still stand? Why do we ask about Nietzsche's notion of art? Why did Heidegger 
search it? What strange art guides us? What is irreducible in the art is its being what is. This can never be 
explained through historical study into its empirical, its factual, coming to be. Yet, origin? What does 
that say? Where is the origin here? 



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Tuesday, May 8, 2018


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Holzwege

I.
Der Ursprung des Kunstwerkes



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Origin means here that from where and through which a thing is what it is and how it is. 
That which something is, as it is, we call its nature [Wesen: knowledge]. 
The origin of something is the source of its nature. The question of the 
origin of the artwork asks about the source of its nature. According to 
the usual view, the work arises out of and through the activity of the artist. 
But through and from what is the artist that which he is? Through the work; 
for the German proverb "the work praises the master" means that the work 
first lets the artist emerge as a master of art. The artist is the origin of the 
work. The work is the origin of the artist. Neither is without the other. 
Nonetheless neither is the sole support of the other. Artist and work 
are each, in themselves and in their reciprocal relation, on account 
of a third thing, which is prior to both; on account, that is, of that from 
which both artist and artwork take their names, on account of art.







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“251. It must be taken into the bargain, if various clouds and disturbances—in short, 
slight attacks of stupidity—pass over the spirit of a people that suffers and WANTS 
to suffer from national nervous fever and political ambition: for instance, 
among present-day Germans there is alternately the anti-French folly, 
the anti-Semitic folly, the anti-Polish folly, the Christian-romantic folly, 
the Wagnerian folly, the Teutonic folly, the Prussian folly (just look at those poor historians, 
the Sybels and Treitschkes, and their closely bandaged heads), and whatever else 
these little obscurations of the German spirit and conscience may be called. 
May it be forgiven me that I, too, when on a short daring sojourn on very 
infected ground, did not remain wholly exempt from the disease, 
but like every one else, began to entertain thoughts about matters which 
did not concern me—the first symptom of political infection. About the 
Jews, for instance, listen to the following:—I have never yet met a 
German who was favourably inclined to the Jews; and however decided the 
repudiation of actual anti-Semitism may be on the part of all prudent and 
political men, this prudence and policy is not perhaps directed against the 
nature of the sentiment itself, but only against its dangerous excess, and 
especially against the distasteful and infamous expression of this excess 
of sentiment;—on this point we must not deceive ourselves. 
That Germany has amply SUFFICIENT Jews, that the German stomach, 
the German blood, has difficulty (and will long have difficulty) in disposing only 
of this quantity of "Jew"—as the Italian, the Frenchman, and the Englishman 
have done by means of a stronger digestion:—that is the unmistakable 
declaration and language of a general instinct, to which one must listen and 
according to which one must act. "Let no more Jews come in! And shut the 
doors, especially towards the East (also towards Austria)!"—thus commands 
the instinct of a people whose nature is still feeble and uncertain, so that it 
could be easily wiped out, easily extinguished, by a stronger race”


796 (1885-1886) The work of art where it appears without an artist, e.g., as body, 
as organization (Prussian officer corps, Jesuit order). To what extent the artist is only a 
preliminary stage. The world as a work of art that gives birth to itseIf-- 


797 (1885-1886) The phenomenon "artist" is still the most transparent:-to see 
through it to the basic instincts of power, nature, etc.! Also those of religion and morality! 
"Play," the useless-as the ideal of him who is overfull of strength, as "childlike." The 
"childlikeness" of God, pais paizon.'2


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What is prior here, in this case? It is energia. How is the pure act thought, in this case? 
Still as “knowledge”? So long as eidos means the grounding of all opinions, of what is 
relied upon (pistis), the philosophers want it to lead to knowing. I know that I do not know 
= (not in the formal mathematical sense) all opinion breaks down on examination, is lacking 
by the measure of contradiction, and, most of all, the demand of the “best” mode of behavior 
= the summons to bliss with the gods, the recognition of what is true like the knowing of a 
long not-seen face. Origin, how can that say “knowing”? Already we are skeptical, already 
this is impossible for our “race”. They who share morals in the older sense share that 
which, for the most part, in a setting, in that which one can point to, the reliable 
interpretation of the situation of the mortal there, of the being there, is, most of the time, 
constant. Plato = whatever a group thinks, an opinion that is no mere idiosyncratic error, 
must have something true about it. True, part of the wholeness of the earth. Origin, what 
is that? No longer as knowing, no longer as what revolves in the region of opinion. Where then?dunimas! That which has the amazing power, is the power, of bringing forth. 


However, dunimas comes too late. Phusis and idea are earlier so long as they say: earth and world.  
Dunamis is the way earth comes to support, it is the essence of earth, yet, it came later, after earth. 
Aristotle was “too lofty”, he already wanted to deny “the radically mysterious dispensation of fate” 
(Strauss), he wanted to speak of being in its valorous claim to bring forth as ORIGIN. Thinking,  
Denken, never rests in claims of origin. Already, in speaking of origin, we call Aristotle to task 
and say he must suffer the penalty for his error, which is what we peel back from, in order to 
reach thinking. The essence of Da-sein is thinking. And that means, not opinion in its movement 
to knowing, not Reason. Thinking is what thinks what one can point to, and what one reflects on, 
and what one dreams. This “somewhat” is for opinion the available being, for thinking it is what is let be.  


This expressionistic word, nonetheless, is the scutcheon which shelters a track of our own lifeblood. 
What is disgraceful, for the knower, in the move from doxa to episteme, binds, but does not betray 
thinking, lets its gates hold in the End of Metaphysics. Thinking thinks knowing, it thinks Reason, it 
thinks opinion, it thinks what stands in the phenomena, it thinks the modern fact, after the coinage 
of Hobbes and the Royal Society, it thinks truth and it thinks, thinking because thinking is also 
what is still available as what is thinking, and so pays the penalty for its error. Thinking still tries 
to know thinking, and so still asks of the "Ursprung"? This is because one still stands in the  
Destiny of Being as energia, which is supporting what is spontaneous in what is the passion 
of this thinking. Thinking does not seek to remove passion, as did rationality, but it lets passion 
in, since it seeks no knowing, but, acording to the earth as what is the ergon or art/craft of its Grund.




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