The Beiträge zur Philosophie mandates a paradigm shift in Heidegger scholarship. In the face of (1) widespread disarray in the current model, the new paradigm (2) abandons “Sein” as a name for die Sache selbst, (3) understands Welt/Lichtung/Da as that which “gives” being, (4) interprets Dasein as apriori openedness rather than as “being-there,” (5) understands the Kehre as the interface of Geworfenheit and Entwurf, not as a shift in Heidegger's thinking, (6) interprets Ereignis as the opening of the Da rather than as “appropriation,” and (7) understands human finitude as what gives all forms of being and all epochs in the history of being. The conclusion alludes to the function of Mitdasein (“co-openness”) as die Sache selbst.
Alain Badiou's recent monograph on Deleuze argues that the latter does not ‘reverse Platonism’ but instead presents a ‘Platonism of the virtual’ which appears in his unswerving attention to the univocity of being, and for this reason Deleuze is not truly a thinker of multiplicity but of the One. But this interpretation, which is not unknown in Deleuze literature, rests upon a mistaken conflation of the univocity of being with the Oneness of being. This paper reconstructs the medieval Aristotelian debates around univocity and analogy as they relate to Deleuze's thesis, found primarily in Difference and Repetition, in order to show that Deleuze does indeed reverse Platonism and restore the rights of simulacra and multiplicity.
This paper describes Heidegger as a robust scientific realist, explains why his view has received such conflicting treatment, and concludes that the special significance of his position lies in his insistence upon linking the discussion of science to the question of its relation with technology. It shows that Heidegger, rather than accepting the usual forced option between realism and antirealism, advocates a realism in which he embeds the antirealist thesis that the idea of reality independent of human understanding is unintelligible. This reading is defended against Rorty's antirealist interpretation, as well as Dreyfus' depiction of him as a deflationary realist, and his assessment of background realism is contrasted with Fine's. Further, the robustness of Heidegger's realism is laid out across several texts from 1912 to 1976, in order to show that he is neither an instrumental realist nor an internal realist. Finally, the point is made that the development of his view concerning realism gives rise to a critique of objectivity that is now being similarly advocated by numerous thinkers from a variety of disciplines, and that this critique is inevitably ethical and political.
The title of this article refers to Beauvoir's essay Must We Burn De Sade? (1953/1952). Analogous to Beauvoir's essay on Sade, this article is something of an apology for Foucault. I use Beauvoir's essay on Sade to discuss Foucault's concept of ethics as an art of living. I conclude that the final Foucault's thought on ethics can be labelled a post-existentialism, combining postmodern thinking and the issues of freedom and commitment in an inspiring way. I argue, however, that the heuristics of Foucault's later work is undertheorized. Comparing Foucault's approach with Beauvoir's own concept of ethics as art of living shows hers to be superior in that it has a place for the emotions. The cold stoicism of the final Foucault only deals with emotion from the point of view of repression and sublimation. Foucault's post-existentialism must therefore be enriched with Beauvoir's concepts. I conclude that aspects of the theoretical frameworks of both Foucault and Beauvoir can contribute to the solution of some of the dilemmas of postmodern thinking with respect to politics and political theory.
This paper interprets Heidegger's frequently misunderstood criticisms of logic by presenting them in their historical context. To this end, it surveys the state of logic in the late 19th century and presents the main systematic conception of neo-Kantian logical idealism, noting Heidegger's own early involvement in these schools of thought. The paper goes on to present arguments from Heidegger's earliest lectures in which he develops both the phenomenology of everydayness and his criticisms of logic in an attempt to undermine the neo-Kantian conception. These two approaches turn out to be inseparable in Heidegger's thought. Heidegger's criticism of logic amounts to a rejection of the claim that the possibility of experiencing objects is entirely grounded in logical constitution by the spontaneous understanding. There are other, more fundamental modes of disclosing objects. Heidegger is defended against the charge or irrationalism. The paper ends by interpreting the most important logic-related claims of What is Metaphysics? and outlining a Heideggerian response to Carnap's famous criticisms.
The article deals with the recently published Besinnung, a work dating from 1938–1939, one among the “unpublished treatises” in Part III of Heidegger's Gesamtausgabe. It follows the Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) (1936–1938), taking up the same themes as that work, such as the last God, the first and the other beginning, etc. But whereas the earlier work, especially the notion of the last God, relates more to Schelling, this one muses on Kierkegaard. The article sets Besinnung within the context of related works of the same period, not only the Beiträge but also Metaphysik und Nihilismus and Geschichte des Seyns. However, Besinnung also breaks new ground, finding a deeper ontological distinction between Seyn and Sein as the basis for the earlier “ontological difference” between being and beings. The work is part and parcel with Heidegger's destructuring of metaphysics, which he sees as really a freeing up of the beginning, as also the issue of onto-theology. Thus it is integral with Heidegger's program of getting God out of metaphysics and being out of theology. It is in virtue of the meaning he attaches to Seyn (Logos) in Da-sein that it is possible for him not only to retrieve the meaning of the other beginning, the en-owning (Er-eignis) of Da-sein, and with it the meaning of the first beginning (in the two senses the phrase has in this work), but also thereby to recover the forgotten meaning of being (Sein). The approach to Seyn, with Kierkegaard, is not through the thinking (Denken) that thinks being, which cannot really get beyond beings and/or the Supreme Being of metaphysics, but through a thinking, a musing, that thinks through to (Er-denkt) Seyn. The article concludes with some reflections on the significance of Heidegger as theo-logian.
In a paradoxical manner, Heidegger's work is deeply tainted by his complicity with totalitarian (fascist) oppression, despite the fact that his philosophy, in its basic tenor, was always dedicated to “freedom” and resistance to totalizing uniformity. While acknowledging his early fascination with power struggles, the essay tries to show how, as a corollary of his “turning” (Kehre), Heidegger steadily sought to extricate himself from the tentacles of oppressive power (Macht) and manipulative domination (Machenschaft). The focus here is on recently published treatises of the 1930's. The conclusion inserts Heidegger's thought into the contemporary arena of global standardization.
This paper provides an in-depth analysis of Deleuze's interpretation of Bergson, based on his largely ignored 1956 essay, “Mergson's Conception of Difference.” In this essay, Deleuze first attacks the Hegelian tradition for misunderstanding the notion of difference by reducing it to negation and then uses Bergson's concept of duration – a flow of purely qualitative mental states – to formulate a notion of difference utterly “internal” to itself, that is, irreducible to negation. The paper argues that this temporalization of difference represents a permanent feature of Deleuze's philosophy – one particularly visible in his highly influential book on Nietzsche – and concludes that Deleuze's Nietzsche therefore appears molded by a Bergsonian imprint.
The three themes of perception, expression, and history proved to be significant and consistent concerns of Merleau-Ponty from his earliest to his latest writings. In turn, Merleau-Ponty was concerned to discover and show how meaning emerged within the context of each of these themes. My main goal in this essay will be to trace ways that Merleau-Ponty conceived of this emergence, and to how his conceptions underwent increasing sophistication from his earlier to later writings. In section I, I show how a kind of perceptual meaning arises out of an exchange between subject and object, perceived and perceived, and the visible and invisible. In section II, I show how expressive meaning arises out of an exchange between the spoken and speaking word, and the synchronic and diachronic registers of language. In these sections, I also point out that what starts roughly as binary dialogue (characterized by “consummate reciprocity”) between these matrices of meaning evolves into a more ambiguous interplay (characterized by such later ontological notions as “invisibility, reversibility, and the flesh”). In section III, I show how meaning arises in history out of an ambiguous interplay between past and present, ideas and institutions, the collective and individual, and the pre-determined and the free; and I suggest ways Merleau-Ponty might have integrated earlier scattered thoughts about meaning's emergence in history with his later ontology, had his work in these directions not been cut short.
This paper examines the therapeutic implications of Nietzsche's critique of ressentiment and revenge as our signature malady. §I examines the obstacles to a therapeutic reading of Nietzsche's thought, including his anti-teleological tendencies and the value he places on sickness. Then there is the energetic problem of finding resources to tackle ressentiment, given the volitional exhaustion of modern nihilism. Finally, the self-referential implications of Nietzsche's critique of slave values threaten to trap his thought in a futile ressentiment against ressentiment. If the impulse to “cure” or “redeem” us from revenge through critical destruction repeats the logic of revenge, then the challenge for a therapeutic reading is to think through the transformation of revenge on the basis of repetition.An agonal reading of Nietzsche's philosophical practice is proposed to tackle these problems in §II.In Homer's Contest (1872), Nietzsche describes the transference (Übertragung) of Hesiod's “evil Eris” – goddess of war and destruction – into the “good Eris” of the contest or agon: destructive impulses are affirmed as stimulants, but also transformed into culture-building forces through an agonal regime of limited aggression. By superimposing this regime, as a model for Nietzsche's textual confrontations, on their “unconscious text” of embodied ressentiment, a therapeutic perspective emerges, based on three principles: affirmation; mutual empowerment; and externalisation. The agon performs an affirmative transformation of revenge on the basis of a “fertile” repetition: destructive affects (as in ressentiment) are transferred into constructive deeds of mutual antagonism. Through Nietzsche's agonal discourse, a reactive regime of internalised aggression is externalised in active deeds of limited philosophical aggression – a therapeutic transformation of (self-)destructive into constructive, philosophical impulses.
This paper examines the role of Habermas's concept of the lifeworld in processes of reaching mutual understanding. This concept is shown to be ultimately too amorphous to bear the theoretical weight Habermas places on it. He conceives the lifeworld both as diffuse and holistic, yet also as structured; as a set of taken-for-granted and counterfactual presuppositions, yet also as a kind of knowledge. In the end, he presupposes what the lifeworld is supposed to explain: mutual intelligibility of subjects in interaction. These conceptual tensions affect the explanatory power of the lifeworld and the usefulness of the theory of communicative action for conflict resolution. Where conflict resolution is aimed at mediating radical disagreements with minimal concord between parties, presuming consensus may not be possible or optimal. The present analysis argues for the need to develop other means of establishing a sufficient level of background consensus against which communicative action can take place.
In Gadamer's hermeneutics the relationship of philology to philosophy and to the Geisteswissenschaften often became a focus of his hermeneutical reflection. In the first part of my contribution, I investigate and reconstruct this relationship in Gadamer's thinking. In the second part, I take up a recent debate about Gadamer in Hungary, and in connection with it offer a case study in which Gadamerian thinking is present in a twofold way: as that with which I am reflecting and at the same time what it is about – the object of this reflection. The first part comes to the conclusion that the interconnectedness of philology and philosophy, with each side referring to the other, is central to Gadamer's work; it is moreover the “element” in which Gadamer's writings move. It is the focus on the text as text versus a focus on the text as the mediator of a matter [Sache] that makes the difference between philology and philosophy. This difference may give rise to a kind of tension, and this is addressed in the second part of the paper, by way of showing a passage from Gadamer's work susceptible to philological objections.
The reversal in the relation of time and movement which Deleuze describes in his Cinema books does not only concern a change in the filmic arts. Deleuze associates it with a wider “Copernican turn” in science, philosophy, art and indeed modern experience as a whole. Experience no longer consists of an idea plus the time it takes to realize it. Instead, time is implicated in the determination, literally the creation of the terminus of any movement of experience. Deleuze describes this open movement structure as “determinable virtuality”. Because it is “determinable”, experience as a whole is neither actual nor actualisable. The whole is virtual. I use the phrase determinable virtuality as a kind of organizational device with which to organise a study of the reversal of time and movement in Deleuze's work. I study the concept of determinability as it appears in Deleuze's reading of the relation of time and movement in Kant's description of the whole of possible experience, or the Transcendental Ideas. In a following section I take up the idea of virtuality which I trace back to Duns Scotus who uses the idea of the virtual to distinguish between univocal and equivocal movements, forms of movement which, I argue, anticipate the kinostructures and chronogeneses, or movement and time-images which Deleuze places at the center of his work on cinema.
This article argues that Hegel read Lacan. Put less paradoxically, it claims that situating Hegel within a Lacanian paradigm results in an understanding of the future as still open and of history as not ended. Absolute knowing, on this model, is the recognition of the way in which history has developed, not a claim that it can advance no further. The article aims to persuade those who might otherwise dismiss Hegel – for example, persons au courant with poststructuralism – that he still can make a decisive contribution to current debates.
In this paper I attempt to further the case, made in recent years by Eva Gothlin, that readers interested in a philosophical return to Simone de Beauvoir's The Second Sex have good reason to heed Beauvoir's appropriation of central concepts from Heidegger's Being and Time. I speculate about why readers have been hesitant to acknowledge Heidegger's influence on Beauvoir and show that her infrequent though, I argue, important use of the Heideggarian neologism Mitsein in The Second Sex makes inadequate sense apart from an appreciation of the fundamental role played by her appropriation of Hegel's “master-slave dialectic” in that book. I suggest a way to square Beauvoir's Hegelian claim that human beings are fundamentally at odds with one another with her Heideggerian view that we are also all ontologically “with” one another. Finally, I sketch out a way of interpreting Beauvoir's employment of certain concepts from Hegel and Heidegger in the service of understanding, hence beginning to overcome, women's oppression.
Identifying self-empowerment as the normative core of the liberal democratic project, Habermas proceeds to dilute the revolutionary character of that project. After describing Habermas' views about legitimation problems in the West, the author examines critically Habermas' claim that democratic practices of self-empowerment must be self-limiting, arguing that under some circumstances (which cannot be specified in advance), more radical forms of self-empowerment may be justified. The author also argues that Habermas' own acknowledgement of the revolutionary character of liberal democracy, along with his criticisms of the manifestly unconstitutional circulation of power which characterizes existing liberal democratic states, may themselves provide the basis for a more radical conception of self-empowerment than Habermas will currently allow.
In Gadamer's hermeneutics the relationship of philology to philosophy and to the Geisteswissenschaften often became a focus of his hermeneutical reflection. In the first part of my contribution, I investigate and reconstruct this relationship in Gadamer's thinking. In the second part, I take up a recent debate about Gadamer in Hungary, and in connection with it offer a case study in which Gadamerian thinking is present in a twofold way: as that with which I am reflecting and at the same time what it is about - the object of this reflection. The first part comes to the conclusion that the interconnectedness of philology and philosophy, with each side referring to the other, is central to Gadamer's work; it is moreover the "element" in which Gadamer's writings move. It is the focus on the text as text versus a focus on the text as the mediator of a matter [Sache] that makes the difference between philology and philosophy. This difference may give rise to a kind of tension, and this is addressed in the second part of the paper, by way of showing a passage from Gadamer's work susceptible to philological objections.[PUBLICATION ABSTRACT
Without rejecting Simone de Beauvoir's often cited feminist agenda, this paper takes up her less frequently noted insight – that woman's existence as the inessential other is more than a consequence of material dependency, and political inequality. This insight traces women's subordinated status to the effect of a patriarchal desire that produces and is sustained by a political imaginary that is not economically grounded and is not undermined by women's economic or political progress. Taking up this insight, this paper reads Beauvoir, Freud and Sade through each other, to critique the myths of femininity. It argues that unless feminists of the 21st century follow Beauvoir's logic of ambiguity to challenge the ways in which sexed and gendered subjectivity is currently structured, the place of the inessential other will be preserved, and the feminist vision will be betrayed.