Monday, July 30, 2018

Fearful Solitude with the Text as Means to the Subject Matter of Thinking


These days, airplanes and radios belong among the things that are closest to us. When, however, 
we refer to "last things," we think of something quite different. Death and judgment, these are the 
last things. In general, "thing" applies to anything that is not simply nothing. In this signification, the 
artwork counts as a thing, assuming it to be some kind of a being. Yet this conception of the thing, in 
the first instance at least, does not help us in our project of distinguishing between beings which 
have the being of things and beings which have the being of works. And besides, we hesitate to 
repeat the designation of God as a "thing." We are similarly reluctant to take the farmer in the field, 
the stoker before the boiler, the teacher in the school to be a "thing." A human being is not a thing. 
True, we say of a young girl who has a task to perform that is beyond her that she is "too young a thing." 
But this is only because, in a certain sense, we find human being to be missing here and think we 
have to do, rather, with what constitutes the thingliness of the thing. We are reluctant to call even 
the deer in the forest clearing, the beetle in the grass, or the blade of grass "things." Rather, the 
hammer, the shoe, the ax, and the clock are things. Even they, however, are not mere things. 
Only the stone, the clod of earth, or a piece of wood count as that: what is lifeless in nature and 
in human usage. It is the things of nature and usage that are normally called things.


The artwork? How could it be a thing? Of course, if we leave our senses and become foolish, 
the artwork is what is hung on the wall, it is what is there as corpuscular compound, it is the 
dispersion of mass in the interpretation of the physics of entropic energies calculable and in 
motion according to nature, nature dimly still taken over from the genuine past, that of the being 
of western history become the planetary extension of technology into the region of human power. 
On the other hand the artwork names the non-thingly, which is only an expedient of language. 
Rather, it names where it happens, i.e., being. In the last sentence, the “it” names the where of 
being as it is, as what happens. Such a where, firstmost draws us to think of a transcendental 
condition, but it is no such thing, for it is simply there without theoretical assistance from a 
doctrine of experience. Most of all it is not experience, for experience names the distanciation 
of man and what comes forth in mere nature. Being, as the artwork, therefore does not name a 
agental cause, and yet, most of all, it makes one think of such a cause, so far as one does not 
think the where as being and so of thinking.

“Yet this conception of the thing, in the first instance at least, does not help us in our project of 
distinguishing between beings which have the being of things and beings which have the being 
of works.”

What the guidance of the thread here says is: phusis rolls back to its primordial state, it no longer 

gives the thing as what is qualitied according to the ways of Aristotle. Phusis here is being drawn 
over and against art in this sense: Truth, science, what seeks findings concerning what everything 
depends on. Phusis as science is not nomos. Nomos, the economic, society as sheer leveling, 
naked being, no longer phusis as the natural, what is documented, what is monied, what has 
connections to power, the leveled being as what the manufacture driven by profit hoops in its 
region. Phusis here speaks with phusis as art: purely aesthetic, morality becomes moralism, 
Freud: the moralist who makes all humans “adjust”, such that morality can no longer be morality, 
but becomes arbitrary formation of beings, and aesthetic criteria determine the conception of one’s 
office in being, of one’s mode of existence. So far, here, we are breaking down the history of 
being without setting it aside. The methodos, as what wants to hear the ergon of Heidegger as 
the mere nomination or titling of the text above, must radically shrink back from all opinining 
that would seek to know better than the guidance by the work. Instead, the methodos should 
attempt to enter the art of the text.

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