This paper provides a reading of Heidegger's work on the question of animality. Like the majority of discussions of this topic it utilises the 1929–30 course The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics, but the analysis seeks to go beyond this course alone in order to look at the figure or figures of animals in Heidegger's work more generally. This broader analysis shows that animals are always figured as lacking: as poor in world, without history, without hands, without dwelling, without space. The article shows how all these claims are grounded upon the most fundamental distinction: that the human is the zoon logon ekhon. In Heidegger's analysis this is not the animal rationale of metaphysical thought, but the living being that has and is held by logos, speech. Looking at how the logos became ratio, the paper notes how the way that animals do not calculate is the sole positive accreditation of animals in Heidegger's work.
This essay analyzes the time of human activity. It begins by discussing how most accounts of action treat the time of action as succession, using Donald Davidson's account of action as illustration. It then argues that an adequate account of action and its determinants, one able to elucidate the ``indeterminacy of action,'' requires an alternative conception of action time. The remainder of the essay constructs a propitious account of the time and determination of action. It does so by critically drawing on Henri Bergson's notion of duration and Martin Heidegger's notion of the teleological dimensionality (past, present, and future) of existence. Whereas Bergson provides valuable insights into the continuity of activity, Heidegger illuminates the determination of action. Combining their insights yields an account of the time of activity that supplements succession with a nonsuccessive temporality: the time of activity is an overlapping continuum of action performances each of which is structured as coming towards an end starting from a motivating state of affairs. The essay concludes with brief thoughts on what justifies calling the nonsuccessive dimensionality of existence a kind of time.
Judith Butler's recent work expands the Foucaultian notion of subjection to encompass an analysis of the ways in which subordinated individuals becomes passionately attached to, and thus come to be psychically invested in, their own subordination. I argue that Butler's psychoanalytically grounded account of subjection offers a compelling diagnosis of how and why an attachment to oppressive norms – of femininity, for example – can persist in the face of rational critique of those norms. However, I also argue that her account of individual and collective resistance to subjection is plagued by familiar problems concerning the normative criteria and motivation for resistance that emerge in her recent work in new and arguably more intractable forms, and by new concerns about her conceptions of dependency, subordination and recognition.
This article begins with a critical discussion of the commonly used phenomenological term "self-affection," showing how the term is problematic. It proceeds to clarify obscurities and other impediments in current usage of the term through initial analyses of experience and to single out a transcendental clue found in Husserl's descriptive remarks on wakeful world-consciousness, a clue leading to a basic phenomenological truth of wakeful human life. The truth centers on temporality and movement, and on animation. The three detailed investigations that follow-of sensations and dynamics with respect to affectivity and movement, of the experiential connection between affectivity and movement, and of the defining features that Husserl identifies as "the sphere of ownness" -show specifically how temporality and movement are linked and how animation is at the heart of what is called 'self-affection'. They show further that Nature in the form of the felt dynamics of life itself warrants substantive and assiduous phenomenological elucidation.
The article asks how phenomenology, understood as a philosophical method of investigation, can account for gender. Despite the fact that it has provided useful tools for feminist inquiry, the question remains how gender can be studied within the paradigm of a philosophy of a subject. The article explicates four different understandings of phenomenology and assesses their respective potential in terms of theorizing gender: a classical reading, a corporeal reading, an intersubjective reading and a post-phenomenological reading. It concludes by arguing that phenomenology can extend its analysis to the question of gender only if its method is radically revised.
The topic to be addressed in this paper, that is, the distinction between the "concept" of time and the being of the clock, divides into two parts: first, in the debate between Albert Einstein and Henri Bergson, one discovers the ground for the diverging concepts of time characterized by physics in its opposing itself to philosophy. Bergson's duree or "duration" in opposition to Einstein's 'physicist's time' as 'public time,' one can argue, sets the terms for Martin Heidegger's extending, his ontological analysis of Da-sein, as human being-in-the-world.
The present paper uses the theme of dialectic and dialogue to begin unraveling the similarities and differences between the hermeneutics of Paul Ricoeur and H.G. Gadamer. Ricoeur is shown to distance himself from Heidegger by insisting on a dimension of explanation and distanciation (which he sometimes identifies with Plato's `descending dialectic') that cannot be reduced to, or absorbed by, understanding and appropriation. This same move, however, leads him to reject Platonic dialogue, with the attendant prioritizing of oral conversation over the written text, as a model for hermeneutics. Ricoeur therefore sees in Gadamer's recourse to such a model a regression to the problematic position of Heidegger. Yet the conception of philosophy as dialectical and dialogical which Gadamer finds in Plato is capable of responding to Ricoeur's objections. Where the fundamental difference between the hermeneutics of Ricoeur and Gadamer emerges is in the question of whether experience is fundamentally dialectical and whether language is inherently dialogical.
According to some interpreters, Foucault's encounter with the Greek and Roman ethics led him to reconsider his earlier work and to turn away from politics. Drawing mostly from Foucault's last and hitherto unpublished lecture course, this paper argues that Foucault's turn to ethics should not be interpreted as a turn away from his previous work, but rather as its logical continuation and an attempt to resolve some of the outstanding questions. I argue that the 1984 lectures on parrhesia should be interpreted as Foucault's philosophical apology, as an attempt to defend himself against the charges of moral and epistemological nihilism, which were raised in response to his earlier work. In his last lectures, the Nietzschean Foucault somewhat surprisingly describes his earlier work as authentic Socratic philosophy and as ethical practice of freedom. In the conclusion, I assess the plausibility of Foucault's apology and speculate in which direction his work might have developed, had it not been cut off by his death.
This paper proposes an interpretative framework for some developments of the philosophy of nature after Kant. I emphasize the critique of the economy of nature in the Critique of judgement. I argue that it resulted in a split of a previous structure of knowledge; such a structure articulated natural theology and natural philosophy on the basis of the consideration of the order displayed by living beings, both in their internal organisation and their ecological distribution. The possibility of a philosophical discourse on nature that is neither mathematical nor theological stemmed from this shift. I call “hermeneutics of nature” such a program, since it aims at unpacking an immanent meaning in nature that is not explicated by the sciences of nature, which are dealing with the laws of nature. The Naturphilosophie, undertaken by Schelling, as well as the philosophies of nature of Hegel and Schopenhauer, are several realizations of this program. I highlight the structural traits that they share, such as a pregnant sense of conflicts in nature, an emphasis on the riddles of gender, and above all a prominent status given to organisms as a clue to the meaning of nature. Finally, I try to sketch the ramifications of this hermeneutics of nature in contemporary philosophy, especially phenomenology, and argue that the coming philosophy of nature, as shown by the attempts of syntheses between phenomenology and ecology, seems to depart from this hermeneutical program.
The paper discusses Heidegger's early notion of the “movedness of life” (Lebensbewegtheit) and its intimate connection with Aristotle's concept of movement (kinēsis). Heidegger's aim in the period of Being and Time was to “overcome” the Greek ideal of being as ousia – constant and complete presence and availability – by showing that the background for all meaningful presence is Dasein, the ecstatically temporal context of human being. Life as the event of finitude is characterized by an essential lack and incompleteness, and the living present therefore gains meaning only in relation to a horizon of un-presence and un-availability. Whereas the “theological” culmination of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics finds the supreme fulfillment of human life in the semi-divine self-immanence and self-sufficiency of the bios theōrētikos, a radical Heideggerian interpretation of kinēsis may permit us to find in Aristotle the fundamental structures of mortal living as self-transcendent movement.
This survey seeks to delineate the present situation and climate for translating Heidegger into English after the disastrous translation in 1999 of the Beiträge, Heidegger's second magnum opus after Sein und Zeit. The 13 translations that have appeared since then tend to handle Heidegger's neologisms in less ludicrous and more lucid ways and continue to find ways to bend the highly restrictive rules imposed on translations by Heidegger's literary executor. There are still errors of omission and commission in the German originals that carry over into the translations. A few of the English translators add to the errors of omission and commission but the majority tends to be competent and conscientious, generally producing good results. Yet even the best translators slack off in their production of the permitted glossaries, which are indispensable for demarcating Heidegger's terminology in the time period involved and provide the reader with a starting basis for an index, which is prohibited.
Throughout his authorship, Kierkegaard appears remarkably uninterested in the tradition of Christian mysticism. Indeed, in the only two places in the authorship where he broaches the topic directly, the discussion is disclaimed in such a way as to suggest that Kierkegaard really has nothing to say about it at all. However, attending to the successive incarnations of the character(s) named “Ludvig” throughout the authorship – an appellation that harbors an especially self-referential dimension for Kierkegaard – the present paper attempts to elucidate what may, with due reservation, be referred to as the mystical element in Kierkegaard’s thought. The ultimate yield of this endeavor is a vision of “mysticism” that is more act than thought oriented, and a vision of the author “Kierkegaard” that is more delightful than melancholy.
The ethics expressed in Kierkegaard’s Works of Love has been subject to persistent criticism for its perceived indifference to concrete persons and failure to attend to the other in their individual specificity. Recent defenses of Works of Love have focused in large part on the role of vision in the text, showing the supposed “blind” empty formalism of the emphasis on the category of “the neighbor” to serve a normative model of seeing the other correctly. However, when this problem is viewed in the broader context of Kierkegaard’s phenomenology of moral vision, two further, thus far unanswered, problems emerge: How can we see the other and the moral demand they represent at the same time, and how can we see the other and our own condition at the same time? This paper draws on other Kierkegaardian texts to show how Kierkegaard’s model of moral vision allows for the simultaneity in vision necessary to overcome these challenges.
In his 1972 essay "The Incapacity for Conversation" ("Die Unfahigkeit zum Gesprach") Gadamer takes up the question of whether changes in society have made it such that we are losing our ability to participate in dialogue. By the end of the essay he argues that this is not the case and that the claim that someone is incapable of dialogue is merely an excuse for not listening to the other person. Over the course of the essay Gadamer provides a clarification of what exactly counts as a conversation and of how conversation is connected to friendship.
This paper explores the relationship between Kierkegaard's theory of “indirect communication,” his employment of that method in the pseudonymous literature, and his explicit comments on the Teacher in Philosophical Fragments. My interest is principally in a pedagogical method able to serve as a solution to the problem of will formation, and so my assessment of Kierkegaard's theory and performance is essentially ethical in nature. I argue that there is at least an ambiguity, if not a contradiction, to be found in the above relationship and that as a result, in its current form, Kierkegaardean pedagogical devices do not appear to be able to offer an adequate solution.
This article begins with a critical discussion of the commonly used phenomenological term “self-affection,” showing how the term is problematic. It proceeds to clarify obscurities and other impediments in current usage of the term through initial analyses of experience and to single out a transcendental clue found in Husserl’s descriptive remarks on wakeful world-consciousness, a clue leading to a basic phenomenological truth of wakeful human life. The truth centers on temporality and movement, and on animation. The three detailed investigations that follow – of sensations and dynamics with respect to affectivity and movement, of the experiential connection between affectivity and movement, and of the defining features that Husserl identifies as “the sphere of ownness” – show specifically how temporality and movement are linked and how animation is at the heart of what is called ‘self-affection’. They show further that Nature in the form of the felt dynamics of life itself warrants substantive and assiduous phenomenological elucidation.
In this paper, I explore loneliness as a primordial call to find accord with the self that, as Kierkegaard claims, is born of spirit. I put Kierkegaard’s Anti-Climacan formula, “the more consciousness, the more self,” to work by examining lamentation over loss of the innocent days of youth as symptomatic of primordial loneliness. In loneliness, I argue, we confound loss of naivete (a developmental change) with loss of innocence (a spiritual failing). While each person is fated to lose naivete, no person loses innocence by developmental necessity. Each person loses innocence by his or her own hand in freedom.
In his 1972 essay “The Incapacity for Conversation” (“Die Unfähigkeit zum Gespräch”) Gadamer takes up the question of whether changes in society have made it such that we are losing our ability to participate in dialogue. By the end of the essay he argues that this is not the case and that the claim that someone is incapable of dialogue is merely an excuse for not listening to the other person. Over the course of the essay Gadamer provides a clarification of what exactly counts as a conversation and of how conversation is connected to friendship.