Some time ago, I wrote myself into a corner in a chapter from Pantheon, in which a character was forced to solve a conundrum: he had to stay at a location, safeguard a highly sensitive museum, but prevent interlopers from coming inside, while not showing himself to them, or destroy them, or the critical objects of desire. The more I thought about this, the less confident I was at solving this Gordian knot. After all, if the aforementioned options prevented all possible solutions, then somewhere there was an assumption that made the conclusion false.
I’m quite interested in the possible avenues of philosophizing out of the mood of insomnia — how it shreds the so-called default state of the self — and whether insomnia can show us a more acute state of consciousness that is no longer slave to the conventional understanding of the world. Speaking from experience, insomnia helps me understand the darker aspects of existence (anxiety, angst, dread, despair, etc) and relate to writers like Beckett, Cioran. Continue reading …Insomnia
Every ‘why’ question is a subset of the ultimate question: Why is there Something and not Nothing instead? If you can think yourself and the world away, if you can say no, then you are acting in the dimension of the nothing. There is such a thing – the Nothing. We are, Heidegger says, “a placeholder of the nothing.” (What is Metaphysics, p. 38) The transcendence of human beings is therefore Nothing. Continue reading Nothing.
If philosophy cannot guide our conduct, much less change behavior, then why should we bother read philosophy at all? Curiosity, perhaps? If philosophy can help guide conduct, then let’s look at conduct. At the bare minimum, our actions are the result of character, which is what we fundamentally will as motivation. Then it follows that a change in motives will result in a change in action. Then it is reasonable that philosophy can at least produce a change in the information we have about the world that is relevant to how we act.
Apologies on the late addition. Hopefully it’s not too garbled, and please feel free to discuss anything that strikes your fancy!
Dasein & Authenticity
At first Heidegger says Dasein exists. Sure, sounds great. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Heidegger claims that there’s a basic difference between being and existing. Dasein doesn’t JUST exist. It’s that ONLY Dasein exists. Other things, objects like furniture, cars, books, etc., are, but they do not exist in the strict sense of the word. Existence only comes into play with the realization of being. When a being becomes conscious of its own being, it begins to exist. Continue reading Being and Time: Part 1, Division 2
Exposition of Task of a Preparatory Analysis of Dasein, or Bare-Knuckled Brawl with Dasein
In The first division of part I of Being & Time, Heidegger attempts a transcendental analysis by finding the necessary conditions for some phenomenon – the Dasein – much like Kant did in his Critique where he analyzed objective experience.
He opens the chapter with the first sentence: “we are ourselves the entities to be analyzed.” Continue reading Being and Time: Part 1, Division 1
(for part I go here)
Knee-deep into ontological shit
I feel there’s plenty to mine from the first part of the introduction. On p. 16, Heidegger says that Dasein has a number of positions:
- Ontic: the special position is ontic, in which existence determines this being in its being.
- Ontological: Dasein is itself ontological, based on its existence. Dasein is the ontic-ontological condition of all ontology.
- Dasein is ontologically primary being that precedes all Being that is the object of inquiry (or questioning).
Yeah, so? This piece is actually quite thought-provoking. That is, if you can handle the number of beings and ontologies and onticalities and existences… Continue reading Being & Time: Introduction (part II)
No self-respecting student of Continental philosophy can speak with any credibility unless they’ve studied the juggernaut of the 20th century Being & Time! I am about to set out on a journey but I may not return the same, if at all. Continue reading Being & Time: Introduction
Over the years of studying philosophy, I’ve seen quite a number of classifications that categorize them. I’ve come across an interesting one in Rorty’s seminal Philosophy & the Mirror of Nature, in which he distinguishes systematic and edifying philosophers. The distinction founders on those whose work is constructive and those that are reactive. Continue reading Systematic? Edifying? You decide!
The essential goal of existential psychoanalysis (EPA) is its emphasis on a person’s fundamental project. This project is not to be confused with Sigmund Freud‘s libidinal cathexis, nor is it Martin Heidegger‘s sein zum tode. Nonetheless, the method of EPA is quite similar to Freud’s, where there is an attempt to look past the complementary or secondary aspects of the person’s personality, and towards the primary project. Continue reading Brief exposition of existential psychoanalysis