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File: 1615510745768-0.png (86.94 KB, 380x328, ClipboardImage.png)

File: 1615510745768-1.png (305.71 KB, 216x1014, ClipboardImage.png)

File: 1615510745768-2.pdf (2.4 MB, 195x300, heidegger1977.pdf)


The Age of the World Picture

Essay by Heidegger.


A kind person shared with me a Heidegger dictionary. This is the entry on metaphysics, formatted (and some parts omitted).

'Metaphysics' comes from a Greek expression meaning 'the things after [meta] the physics', assigned by Aristotle's editors to his work on what he called 'first philosophy'.
First philosophy was to study
< 1. the features common to all beings [onta] (such as the fact that no being can both be and not be at the same time), and
< 2. the nature of the first or highest being, God or the unmoved mover.

Among Aristotle's reasons for allocating God to first philosophy are that God does not move or change, and so is not dealt with by physics, and that consideration of the highest being sheds light on all the rest. Heidegger regards 'metaphysics' as equivalent to 'ONTOLOGY'. But owing to its association with God, which persists beyond Aristotle down to Hegel, he often calls it 'ontotheology'.

The 'meta' in 'metaphysics' originally meant 'after', Heidegger argues, but soon came to mean 'across' or 'beyond', so that 'metaphysics' came to mean 'going beyond physical, i.e. natural things, i.e. beings'. This is similar to TRANSCENDENCE, except that metaphysics is primarily a philosopher's speciality, not something that every DASEIN does.

Heidegger initially approved of 'metaphysics'. Like 'ontology', it contrasts with 'epistemology', to which he is invariably hostile, and with science, which studies beings, but not BEING (or the NOTHING). It is equivalent to '(good) philosophy', what Heidegger himself does.

A metaphysical or philosophical question has two distin­guishing features:
< 1. It concerns the whole: we cannot consider e.g. freedom without raising the whole range of metaphysical questions. Unlike science, metaphysics goes beyond any par­ticular being or domain of beings to beings as a whole, the WORLD, and being itself.
< 2. The questioner is embroiled in the question or philosophy involves an 'assault' not simply on man in general, but on the questioner as an individual, going to his root. It attacks the questioner because he, like every Dasein, is a being in the midst of beings and implicitly transcends to beings as a whole: 'Metaphysics is the basic happening in Dasein'.

>Metaphysics addresses four main questions:

< 1. the nature of man;
< 2. the being of beings;
< 3. the essence of the truth of beings;
< 4. how man takes and gives the 'measure [Mass]' for the truth of beings, e.g. whether (as Heidegger supposes Descartes to have held) what is depends solely on what man can be certain of.

But it does not go so far beyond as to ask about being (or 'beyng'). Why should we ask about being? For several reasons:
< 1. Being is, or sheds, the light which enables metaphysics to see beings as beings. Since metaphysics does not look at the light itself, it does not understand its own essence: to understand metaphysics, we need to go beyond metaphysics.
< 2. Heidegger hardly suggests that the question 'What are beings?' exceeds man's capacities. But he often implies that being is too diverse to allow a single answer to the question, and - despite his aversion to 'epistemology' - that a prior question is: How does man, a finite being among beings, transcend beings, so as to ask what beings as a whole are?
< 3. Basic words such as 'being' change their meaning over history. For all its diversity 'western metaphysics' remains within the confines of the broad meaning of 'being' established by the Greeks: permanence and PRESENCE. To give an answer to 'What are beings?' that is not historically parochial and blinkered, we need to examine the history of 'being'.
< 4. Metaphysics is not simply a diversion for a leisured elite. It is the 'ground of western history'. The central feature of modern history, the TECHNOLOGY that engulfs the earth and threatens world and Dasein, stems ultimately from metaphysics, from Descartes's interpre­tation of nature as res extensa and the central position assigned to the subject and its representations.

Metaphysics cannot help our plight; it can only take us further in the same direction. A return to an earlier, more benign phase of metaphysics such as Thomism (Thomas Aquinas), is impractical, and also ineffectual, since any earlier phase of metaphysics has a tendency to malignancy: metaphysics is not in the control of individual thinkers, it is an impersonal force that takes them over, nor is it simply the metaphysic of will (to power) that is the ground of real NIHILISM, but metaphysics as such. So our only hope is to overcome metaphysics. This does not mean eliminating or ignoring metaphysics. We cannot do that: 'As long as man remains the animal rationale, he is the animal metaphys­icum'. We must try to go back into the GROUND of metaphysics. This may effect a 'transformation of the essence of man' and thus a 'transfor­mation of metaphysics'. Later, Heidegger speaks of 'getting over' (Verwindung) metaphysics rather than 'overcoming' (Uberwindung).


I found a summary of the essay (which might be biased, of course) which first has a blurb summarizing the essay then summarizes each paragraph. The language of the essay is very dense, so I think this helps to see if I'm on the right track.

I'll directly paste the paragraph by paragraph summary here:

I abstain from summarizing the very ending for now. It’s weird. Below is a page-numbed paraphrase of the essay.

115 – The metaphysical framework of an age determines it phenomenological experience of the world

116 – Five essential phenomena of the modern world

117 – Understanding the essence of science will yield an understanding of the essence of the whole modern age

117 – Neither Greek nor medieval science was “exact”, because of a different interpretation of beings

118-124 – Modern science starts from the assumption of a “fixed ground plan”, or a set of anticipatory expectations of in what way the world will appear, which obligates the observes to inquire into nature in only those terms, which as the becomes more absorbed, become idiosyncratic. Hence, specialization. This ground plan differs from science to science but the normativeness is essentially the same

124 – The self augmenting normativness of the essence of modern science

125 – Precedence of methodology over that which is (nature, history)

126 - Projection and rigor, methodology and ongoing activity, mutually require each other, constituting the essence of modern science, aka “research”

127 – The correspondence theory of truth is an expression of the objectification of nature, which is latent in all of metaphysics from Plato to Descartes to Nietzsche

128 - The enlightenment may correctly be understood as the time when man was freed from previous epistemological obligations (like church authority) to his own intellect, and therefore the rise of the predominance of the subject. But questioning after the essence of this situation leads us to see that this is simultaneously the acute rise of the object and the objective as well

128 – This means the subject becomes the ground and the standard, in the sense that is alone is what stands before ready and unconcealed, true and certain, as immediately valid.

129 – “World picture” indicates, not “picture of the world”, but “that the world is represented as picture”. It indicates that the world, all that is in being, is understood to be, only inasmuch as it is represented by man to himself as over/against himself, being set before him as an identifiable coherence

131 – For the Greeks man was beheld by the world, borne along by it. Modern man set the world up as over/against himself and as something to be observed by him. For the Greeks, to apprehend was to gather, save, catch up, preserve the presencing of truth, rather to forcibly extract it. As early as Plato’s understanding of beingness as idea, the subject/object distinction can be seen.

132 – What is new about the modern age is not this objectification of that which is, the essence of which originates at the beginning of metaphysics. Rather it is how this objectification has been taken up as man’s calling and as his foundation.

133 – Subjectivism in the sense of individualism is only possible in a mode of being in which man is a subject within the objective world. Indeed, the subjectivism becomes more acute inasmuch the world becomes more objectified, comes to appear more as something at man’s disposal to be conquered. The consummation of this, as in quantum physics, is that all sciences become “anthropologies”, that is to say, philosophical interpretation of man and in relation to man only. World-pictureness is identical with this.

Note Appendix 13

134 – The absence of being in the modern world, the shadow which indicates the concealed presence of light, takes the form of the gigantic and of the incredibly small (which are qualitative transformations resultant from quantitative change at a certain scale), which in its concealed-informativness calls out to us the concerning being.

136 – Genuine reflection is the key to understanding the essence of the world as picture.


Appendix 6 helps give context IMO, seems pretty important for making sense of the idea of World Picture in relation to the previous ways of thinking.

<What belongs properly to the essence of the picture is standing-together, system. By this is not meant tile artificial and external Simplifying and putting together of what is given, but the unity of strudure in that which is represented [im Vor­gesteilten 1 as such, a unity that develops out of the projection of the objectivity of whatever is. In the Middle Ages a system is impossible, for there a ranked order of correspondences is alone essential, and indeed as an ordering of whatever is in the sense of what has been treated by God and is watched over as his creature. The system is still more foreign to the Greeks, even if in modem times we speak, though quite wrongly, of the Platonic and Aristotelian "systems." Ongoiog activity in research is a specific bodying forth and orderiog of the systematic, in Which, at the same time, the latter reciprocally determines the ordering. Where the world becomes picture, the system, and not only 10 thioking, comes to dominance. However, where the system is in the ascendancy, the possibility always exists also of its degenerating into the superficiality of a system that has merely been fabricated and pieced together. This takes place when the original power of the projecting is lacking. The unique­ness of the systematic in Leibniz, Kant, Fichte, Hegel, and Schelling-a uniqueness that is iuherently diverse-is still not grasped. The greatness of the systematic in these thinkers lies in the fact that it unfolds not as in Descartes out of the subject as ego and substantia fin ita, but either as in Leibniz out of the monad, or as in Kant out of the transcendental essence of finite understanding rooted in the imagination, or as in Behle out of the infinite I, or as in Hegel out of Spirit as absolute knowledge, or as in Schelling out of freedom as the necessity of every par­ticular being which, as such a being, remains determined through the distinction between ground and existence.

<The representation of value is just as essential to the modern interpretation of that which is, as is the system. Where anything that is has become the object of representing, it first incurs in a certain manner a loss of Being. This loss is adequately perceived, if but vaguely and undearly, and is compensated for with corre­sponding swiftness through the fact that we impart value to the object and to that which I,. Interpreted a. objed, and that we take the measure of whatever is, solely in keeping with the criterion of value, and make of values themselves the goal of all activity. Since the latter is understood as culture, values become cultural values, and these, in turn, become the very expression of the highest purposes of creativity, in the service of man's making himself secure as subiectum. From here it is only a step to making values into objects in themselves. Value is the objectification of needs as goals, wrought by a representing self-establishing within the world as picture. Value appears to be the expression of the fact that we" in our position of relationship to it act to advance just that which is itself most valuable; and yet that very value is the impotent and threadbare disgUise of the ob­jectivity of whatever is, an objectivity that has become flat and devoid of background. No one dies for mere values. We should note, for the sake of shedding light on the nineteenth century, the peculiar in-between position of Hermann Lotze, who at the same time that he was reinterpreting Plato's Ideas as values undertook, under the title Microcosmos, that Attempt at an An­thropolollY (1856) which still drew sustenance for the nobility and straightforwardness of its mode of thinking from the spirit of German idealism, yet also opened that thinking to positivism. Because Nietzsche's thinking remains imprisoned in value repre­sentation, he has to articulate what is essential for him in the form of a reversal, as the revaluation of all values. Only when we succeed in grasping Nietzsche's thinking independently of value representation do we come to a standing-ground from which the work of the last thinker of metaphysics becomes a task assigned to questioning, and Nietzsche's antagonism to Wagner

becomes comprehensible as the necessity of our history.

(errors come from the PDF copy)


File: 1615518962934-0.pdf (3.37 MB, 194x300, Inwood – A Heidegger Dicti….pdf)

File: 1615518962934-1.pdf (3.36 MB, 199x300, Adorno – Ontology & Dialec….pdf)

Inwood's Dictionary & Adorno's Lectures


File: 1615521967661-0.zip (9.22 MB, Critical Inquiry 15.2 Symp….zip)

File: 1615521967661-1.pdf (10.39 MB, 194x300, Farias – Heidegger & Nazis….pdf)

File: 1615521967661-2.pdf (26.58 MB, 190x300, Wolin (ed) – The Heidegger….pdf)

• Critical Inquiry Symposium on Heidegger & Nazism, Winter 1989 (ft. Gadamer, Habermas, Derrida, Blanchot, Lacoue-Labarthe, & Levinas) [lots of high-handed equivocations]
• Farias [b/c he's not Faye and why not?]
• Wolin's Reader [primary sources. generally solid]
I appreciate that (1) how people with a vested interest in H.'s [totally, definitely, not at all]philosophy try to segregate B&T from his right-wing politics, as if he wasn't a hyperconservative, provincial, petit bourgeois little shit who wrote only and exactly that from day one. He may have moved even further right shortly after B&T was published, but still… & (2) that people (including H. himself) like to point to the Nietzsche lectures from 1936-40 as his "resistance" to the NSDAP. That may in fact be the case. I'm not sure if theorizing at more rarified and less crass fascism than the official Nazi line (a bar laying in a ditch) counts for much.


File: 1615523252541.pdf (8.21 MB, 191x300, Heidegger – Holzwege, 1935….pdf)

The German edtion if anyone can use it


File: 1615523792849.png (267.71 KB, 500x384, ClipboardImage.png)

>However, Heidegger sometimes seems to use the term ‘god’ or ‘divinity’ to refer to a heroic figure (a cultural template) who may initiate (or help to initiate) a transformational event in the history of Being by opening up an alternative clearing. These heroic figures are the grounders of the abyss, the restorers of sacredness. It might even be consistent with Heidegger's view to relax the requirement that the divine catalyst must be an individual being, and thus to conceive of certain transformational cultural events or forces themselves as divinities (Dreyfus 2003). In any case, Heidegger argues that, in the present crisis, we are waiting for a god who will reawaken us to the poetic, and thereby enable us to dwell in the fourfold. This task certainly seems to be a noble one. Unfortunately, however, it plunges us into the murkiest and most controversial region of the Heideggerian intellectual landscape, his infamous involvement with Nazism.

from the standford encyclopedia of philosophy (I realize it has a lot of trash/unreliable takes), found it interesting.


These are my notes so far.

Pages refer to the PDF in OP.

——— First page ———–

1 - Each era has a metaphysical context through which things are understood. Similar (BUT DIFFERENT) to Focault's episteme (Focault uses the term épistémè in a specialized sense to mean the historical, non-temporal, a priori knowledge that grounds truth and discourses, thus representing the condition of their possibility within a particular epoch) and Marx's historical materialism (specifically the development of the history of philosophy).

>The totalizing logic of metaphysics involves the view that there is a single clearing (whatever it may be) [here clearing means "a mode of bringing-forth" (truth, beings, meaning)] that constitutes reality. This renders thought insensitive to the fundamental structure of Being, in which any particular clearing is ontologically co-present with the unintelligible plenitude of alternative clearings, the mystery.

Heidegger is making a stronger claim that metaphysics in the modern age is basically a blinding force that doesn't allow us to see anything that isn't already contained in the current metaphysical "frame", which is basically synonymous with technology.

2 - Techonology is the result of metaphysics "completing itself". This mode of "bringing-forth" or "revealing" begs us, in ways, to apply modern science in order to create modern technology. If "machine technology remains up to now the most visible outgrowth of the essence of modern technology, which is identical with the essence of modern metaphysics." then "Machine technology remains up to now the most visible outgrowth of the essence of modern metaphysics."

>For Heidegger, these dual features of enframing are intimately tied up with the idea of technology as metaphysics completing itself. He writes: “[a]s a form of truth [clearing] technology is grounded in the history of metaphysics, which is itself a distinctive and up to now the only perceptible phase of the history of Being”. According to Heidegger, metaphysics conceives of Being as a being. In so doing, metaphysics obscures the concealing-unconcealing dynamic of the essential unfolding of Being, a dynamic that provides the a priori condition for there to be beings.

>The history of metaphysics is thus equivalent to the history of Western philosophy in which Being as such is passed over, a history that, for Heidegger, culminates in the nihilistic forces of Nietzsche's eternally recurring will-to-power. The totalizing logic of metaphysics involves the view that there is a single clearing (whatever it may be) that constitutes reality. This renders thought insensitive to the fundamental structure of Being, in which any particular clearing is ontologically co-present with the unintelligible plenitude of alternative clearings, the mystery. With this totalizing logic in view, enframing might be thought of as the ordaining of destining that establishes the technological clearing as the one dominant picture, to the exclusion of all others. Hence technology is metaphysics completing itself.

^ From what I get, technology blinds us to think it's the only clearing, and in a way, machines represent the result of this exclusionary mode of thinking. That is, the only way to "bring-forth" or "reveal" things is through technology, because the esssence of modern technology is identical with the essence of modern methaphysics.

3 - In modernity, art stops being a form of "bringing-forth" and passes on to be "a life experience" by becoming aesthetics, because technology is the only acceptable mode of bringing forth.

4 - In modernity, culture emerges. I didn't get the rest. Why is culture the realization of the highest values? Why does it nurture itself and why does it become "the politics of culture"? What is the meaning of this paragraph?

——— Second page ———–

5 - In modernity we lose gods. Before we had metaphysics that dealt with the "details" of chrsitianity, but now that technology has become the only mataphysics, the previous metaphysics are dead. And also, in a way, previous metaphysics led to the periodic death of these "fake" God/gods, since they were merely using the periodically changing metaphysics of their time.

>The Christian God is now dead or dying, killed off by, and partly responsible for, the metaphysics and technology that threaten humanity's survival. To survive this danger we shall, like every preceding age, need a new god or gods - the number is yet to be decided (LXV, 437) - 'the last god, quite different from the gods of the past, especially the christian god'. The last god is the 'truth of beyng', not beyng itself.

Who knows what beyng is lol.

6,9 - Translation and paraphrase: "If we succeed in [understanding] the metaphysical [basis] that provides the foundation [of modern science], then the entire essence of [modernity] will have to let itself be [understood] from out of that [basis]". In other words: we need to understand the metaphysical underpinnings of modern science to understand the essence of modernity.

10 - We can't interpret "old" science with modern standards because they were using entirely different modes of thinking when developing them. So to say that they are "less correct" than today's is a meaningless sentence because the comparison is not on equal ground. "Therefore, if we want to grasp the essence of modern science, we must first free ourselves from the habit of comparing the new science with the old solely in terms of degree, from the point of view of progress."

——— Third page ———–

11,12 - Scientific fields has a "context" of sorts (the ground-plan) from which knowledge stems. Nature is expected to appear in a certain manner. It then becomes normative through scientific advances in the field.

13 - [Hakuna]"Ta mathemata means for the Greeks that which man knows in advance in his observation of whatever is and in his intercourse with things" and in this form, physics is mathematical in a deeper sense than merely the mathematics of phsyics. This also applies to the study of many different things "the corporeality of bodies, the vegetable character of plants, the animality of animals, the humanness of man." It applies to numbers, and because numbers are always-already-known they appear to be the only obvious instance of "ta mathemata".

Here I make the reflection that if you follow this line of reasoning, then metaphysics is identical to "ta mathemata" because "ta mathemata" represent the sphere in which science can exist, as I understand it.

"Every event must be seen so as to be fitted into this ground plan of nature [physics understanding of reality]. Only within the perspective of this ground plan does an event in nature become visible as such an event." Meaning that no event is possible outside physics, and all events must be submitted to the understanding of physics.

"The humanistic sciences, in contrast, indeed all the sciences concerned with life, must necessarily be inexact just in order to remain rigorous.[…] the historical sciences is not only of another kind, but is much more difficult of execution than is the achieving of rigor in the exact sciences."

Here I make another reflection, how would one reconcile this with Marxism. Did Marx want to introduce an inexact rigurous science? Is rigorousness a desireable feature of humanistic sciences, or is it forcing an inexact science into a metaphysics that requires exactitude. Fields of research that are considered liberal, such as behavioral economics, have this obsession with regidity which gives them "scientific results" that end up being useless and basically bunk.


more info on this Heidegger dictionary?


It's this one: >>5125 by Inwood.


oh damn. I’ve been seeing Inwood’s name around a bunch in German philosophy. seems like he knows a great deal.


File: 1615601094164-0.pdf (5.44 MB, 199x300, Inwood – Phenomenology of ….pdf)

File: 1615601094164-1.pdf (4.66 MB, 199x300, Inwood – Philosophy of Min….pdf)

File: 1615601094164-2.pdf (1.88 MB, 198x300, Inwood – Philosophy of Min….pdf)

File: 1615601094164-3.pdf (35.58 MB, 199x300, Inwood - A Hegel Dictionar….pdf)

I think his main focus is Hegel. His Blackwell Hegel dictionary got me through my first reading of the Miller ed. 'Phenomenology'. Since then his own translation has come out and i like it quite a bit more. I hope he translates more of the Encyclopaedia


you should upload some of these PDFs on libgen because I think they aren’t there.


I've read that Inwood's translation of Phenomenology is superior to the equally recent Terry Pinkard translation. Is that true? I really wish Oxford would release a paperback if that's the case.


Also seconding this; I tried finding a copy of above aforementioned but couldn't find it anywhere. Thanks.


Slowly, here are my notes on the next 4 pages.

——— Fourth page ———–
14 - What I think this paragraph is saying is that solid theories lead to good experiments. In the middle ages, due to how religion developed in Catholicism, knowledge engaged with the theories at the level of words (or symbols) instead of the objects of experimentation themselves. In modern times with the modern "scientific method" our knowledge is now predicated on change. "[As Aristotle first understood,] the observation of things themselves, their qualities and modifications under changing conditions, and consequently the knowledge of the way in which things as a rule behave".

"But physical science does not first become research through experiment; rather, on the contrary, experiment first becomes possible where and only where the knowledge of nature has been transformed into research. Only because modern physics is a physics that is essentially mathematical can it be experimental." Here he's re-iterating this point on metaphysics, on how it sets the sphere of the possible. Experimentation is only possible once the sphere of metaphysics has been expanded to include the phenomena of experimentation.
——— Fifth page ———–
——— Sixth page ———–

15 - "Historiographers sucks yo". Here he's applying the previous idea about theory coming first and opening up the possibility of experimentation to the study of history. "The sphere of historiographical research extends only so far as historiographical explanation reaches." And since hsitoriographical explanations tend to focus on mostly big events because that is mostly the only form in which history is intelligible, then historiographical research will mostly account for big events at the expense of history itself. "It is not that historical research denies what is great in history; rather it explains it as the exception."

——— Seventh page ———–

16 - "[Specialization] is not a necessary evil, but is rather an essential necessity of science as research. [It] is not the consequence but the foundation of the progress of all research." Basically that specialization excludes fields of knowledge because it must study things as "object-spheres". This is reminscent to something I've read about Hegel's Logic. There's also something to be said here about each branch of science having it's own "ground plan" which might even be mutually exclusive.

17 - Research requires institutions because they are an ongoing activity. Institutions in turn "validate" and give prestige to the research.


Trying to figure out the structure of ¶1 (mostly stupid repeating and rewording).
"Metaphysics grounds [begründet] an age ¿epoch?"
i.e. Metaphysics gives an age the Grund upon which {the age} is « essentially formed [Wesensgestalt] ». "Essentially", because an age's Grund "holds complete dominion over" ¿determines through? ¿dominates through? "the phenomena that distinguish the age." An age could be defined nor even its phenomena apprehended without a ruling consistency. The Grund is total and there is no outside from which to even notice other phenomena. Even the phrase "other phenomena" makes little sense.
This the constitution of a Grund through which an age is formed occurs through two metaphysical operations:
1b. a specific interpretation [Auslegung] of what is [des Seienden]
2b. a specific comprehension [Auffassung] of truth [der Wahrheit]
¿Happily? there are two different related metaphysical operations, both of which concern essences. As such they may in turn ground a way to apprehend the phenomena of an age from within it
1a. "Reflection [Besinnung] is accomplished concerning the essence [das Wesen] of what is [des Seienden]"
2a. "a decision [Entscheidung] takes place regarding the essence of truth [über das Wesen der Wahrheit]."
The specific interpretation [Auslegung] of what is [des Seienden] can be reflected.
The specific comprehension [Auffassung] of truth [der Wahrheit] can be decided.
Given the openings afforded by 1&2a it is a matter of courage [Mut] problematize, or make out as "most deserving to be called into question"
1c. "the truth of our own presuppositions [Voraussetzungen]"
2c. "the realm [Raum] of our own goals [Ziele] "



All of these are on libgen lol


The other Inwood that you'll find on libgen is a pretty dope Hellenist (though he participates in the analytic vice that has paralyzed so much of the study of classical philosophy)

I havent read Pinkard's nor have the capacity to judge the quality. I just preferred Inwood to Miller. Cambridge has a formidable translation machine for these assholes (e.g. Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer) and what I have read of the Cambridge 'Logic' ed. has been good. It seems that after translating all the major works and lectures in the s.20th, Oxford in the s.21st has been focusing on getting the Hegel's lectures re-dealt with (I imagine new manuscripts came to light or there was a breakthrough in text-establishment). This means giving the major works to over Cambridge at least for a while. I am enraged that Inwood's translation of the Aesthetics Lectures is in a Penguin Classics and the best (as far as i know) 'Philosophy of Right' is in a OWC; neither series uses ink good enough to withstand even gentle erasing, the paper is acidic, and the margins too small. Considering that Hackett can make competitively priced books with good ink on acid-free paper there is no excuse! Unfortunately Hackett hasn't really gotten its skin in the game with the krauts. Its ed. of Kant's Critiques is idiosyncratic and was quickly made obsolete by the Cambridge series.


Preface: A Philosophical Fantasy – Steven Shaviro. 2009. in « Without Criteria: Kant, Whitehead, Deleuze, and Aesthetics » (MIT)

This book originated out of a philosophical fantasy. I imagine a world in which Whitehead takes the place of Heidegger. Think of how important Heidegger has been for thinking and critical reflection over the past sixty years. What if Whitehead, instead of Heidegger, had set the agenda for postmodern thought? What would philosophy be like today? What different questions might we be asking? What different perspectives might we be viewing the world from?
The parallels between Heidegger and Whitehead are striking. Being and Time was published in 1927, Process and Reality in 1929. Two enormous philosophy books, almost exact contemporaries. Both books respond magisterially to the situation (I’d rather not say the crisis) of modernity, the immensity of scientific and technological change, the dissolution of old certainties, the increasingly fast pace of life, the massive reorganizations that followed the horrors of World War I. Both books take for granted the inexistence of foundations, not even fixating on them as missing, but simply going on without concern over their absence. Both books are antiessentialist and antipositivist, both of them are actively engaged in working out new ways to think, new ways to do philosophy, new ways to exercise the faculty of wonder.
And yet how different these two books are: in concepts, in method, in affect, and in spirit. I’d like to go through a series of philosophical questions and make a series of (admittedly tendentious) comparisons, in order to spell out these differences as clearly as possible.

1. The question of beginning
Where does one start in philosophy? Heidegger asks the question of Being: “Why is there something, rather than nothing?” But Whitehead is splendidly indifferent to this question. He asks, instead: “How is it that there is always something new?” Whitehead doesn’t see any point in returning to our ultimate beginnings. He is interested in creation rather than rectification, Becoming rather than Being, the New rather than the immemorially old. I would suggest that, in a world where everything from music to DNA is continually being sampled and recombined, and where the shelf life of an idea, no less than of a fashion in clothing, can be measured in months if not weeks, Whitehead’s question is the truly urgent one. Heidegger flees the challenges of the present in horror. Whitehead urges us to work with these challenges, to negotiate them. How, he asks, can our culture’s incessant repetition and recycling nonetheless issue forth in something genuinely new and different?

2 The question of the history of philosophy
Heidegger interrogates the history of philosophy, trying to locate the point where it went wrong, where it closed down the possibilities it should have opened up. Whitehead, to the contrary, is not interested in such an interrogation. “It is really not sufficient,” he writes, “to direct attention to the best that has been said and done in the ancient world. The result is static, repressive, and promotes a decadent habit of mind.” Instead of trying to pin down the history of philosophy, Whitehead twists this history in wonderfully ungainly ways. He mines it for unexpected creative sparks, excerpting those moments where, for instance, Plato affirms Becoming against the static world of Ideas, or Descartes refutes mind–body dualism.

3 The question of metaphysics
Heidegger seeks a way out of metaphysics. He endeavors to clear a space where he can evade its grasp. But Whitehead doesn’t yearn for a return before, or for a leap beyond, metaphysics. Much more subversively, I think, he simply does metaphysics in his own way, inventing his own categories and working through his own problems. He thereby makes metaphysics speak what it has usually denied and rejected: the body, emotions, inconstancy and change, the radical contingency of all perspectives and all formulations.

4 The question of language
Heidegger exhorts us to “hearken patiently to the Voice of Being.” He is always genuflecting before the enigmas of Language, the ways that it calls to us and commands us. Whitehead takes a much more open, pluralist view of the ways that language works. He knows that it contains mysteries, that it is far more than a mere tool or instrument. But he also warns us against exaggerating its importance. He always points up the incapacities of language—which means also the inadequacy of reducing philosophy to the interrogation and analysis of language.

5 The question of style
A philosopher’s attitude toward language is also embodied in his style of writing. Heidegger’s contorted writing combines a heightened Romantic poeticism with the self-referential interrogation of linguistic roots and meanings. It’s a style as portentous and exasperating as the mysteries it claims to disclose. Whitehead’s language, to the contrary, is dry, gray, and abstract. But in this academic, fussy, almost pedantic prose, he is continually saying the most astonishing things, reigniting the philosophic sense of wonder at every step. The neutrality of Whitehead’s style is what gives him the freedom to construct, to reorient, to switch direction. It’s a kind of strategic counterinvestment, allowing him to step away from his own passions and interests, without thereby falling into the pretense of a universal higher knowledge. Whitehead’s language exhibits a special sort of detachment, one that continues to insist upon that from which it has become detached: particulars, singularities, and perspectives that are always partial (in both senses of this word: partial as opposed to whole, but also partial in the sense of partiality or bias).

6 The question of technology
Heidegger warns us against the danger of technological “enframing,” with its reduction of nature to the status of a “standing reserve.” He demonizes science, in a manner so sweeping and absolute as to be the mirror image of science’s own claims to unique authority. But you can’t undo what Whitehead calls the “bifurcation of nature” by simply dismissing one side of the dichotomy. Whitehead’s account of science and technology is far subtler than Heidegger’s, in part because he actually understands modern science, as Heidegger clearly does not. For Whitehead, scientific and technical rationality is one kind of “abstraction.” This, in itself, is not anything bad. An abstraction is a simplification, a reduction, made in the service of some particular interest. As such, it is indispensable. We cannot live without abstractions; they alone make thought and action possible. We only get into trouble when we extend these abstractions beyond their limits, pushing them into realms where they no longer apply. This is what Whitehead calls “the fallacy of misplaced concreteness,” and it’s one to which modern science and technology have been especially prone. But all our other abstractions—notably including the abstraction we call language—need to be approached in the same spirit of caution. Indeed, Whitehead’s reservations about science run entirely parallel to his reservations about language. (By rights, Heidegger ought to treat science and technology in the same way that he treats language: for language itself is a technology, and the essence of what is human involves technology in just the same way as it does language).

7 The question of representation
Heidegger mounts an incessant critique of representationalist thought. As we busily represent the world to ourselves, he says, we do not allow it to stand forth in its Being. Whitehead similarly criticizes the way that Western philosophical thought, from Descartes onward, has excessively privileged “clear and distinct” conscious perception (what Whitehead calls “presentational immediacy”), ignoring the ways that this perception is always already grounded in our bodies, and in the inheritance of the present from the past (through the process of what Whitehead calls “causal efficacy”). But there’s a big difference here of emphasis. For Heidegger, representation is the problem: one finds it everywhere, and one must always be vigilant against it. For Whitehead, this concern is exaggerated and misplaced. In everyday life (if not in post-Cartesian philosophy) representation plays only a minor role. Even when we do represent, we are also feeling our bodies, and feeling with our bodies. The Heideggerian (and deconstructionist) critique isn’t wrong so much as it isn’t all that interesting or important. Rather than insisting on critique, therefore, Whitehead shows us how the world is already otherwise.

8 The question of subjectivity
Heidegger polemically questions the rampant subjectivism of the humanist tradition. He seeks to undo the illusion of the autonomous, essentialized ego, with its voracious will-to-power. Of course, this aggressive questioning is the flip side of Heidegger’s ontological privileging of Man as the “shepherd of Being,” and as the site where Language manifests itself. The subject must be understood as an effect of Language, because Language is what calls to us and interrogates us. Now, nothing could be more foreign to Whitehead than this whole polemic. As before, this is not because Whitehead is concerned to defend what Heidegger is attacking, but because his interests lie elsewhere. Whitehead does not see the subject as an effect of language. Rather, he sees subjectivity as embedded in the world. The subject is an irreducible part of the universe, of the way things happen. There is nothing outside of experience; and experience always happens to some subject or other. This subject may be human, but it also may be a dog, a tree, a mushroom, or a grain of sand. (Strictly speaking, any such entities are what Whitehead calls “societies,” each composed of multitudes of “actual occasions,” which themselves are the subjects in question.) In any case, the subject constitutes itself in and through its experience; and thereupon it perishes, entering into the “objective immortality” of being a “datum” for other experiences of other subjects. In this way, Whitehead abolishes the ontological privileging of human beings over all other subjectivities. This doesn’t mean, of course, that the differences between human beings and other sorts of beings are irrelevant; such differences remain pragmatically important in all kinds of situations, and for all sorts of reasons. But in undoing the ontological privilege of being human, Whitehead suggests that the critique of the subject need not be so compulsive a focus of philosophical inquiry.

If Whitehead were to replace Heidegger as the inspiration of postmodern thought, our intellectual landscape would look quite different. Certain problems that we have been overly obsessed with would recede in importance, to be replaced by other questions, and other perspectives. What Isabelle Stengers calls a “constructivist” approach to philosophy would take precedence over the tasks of incessant deconstruction. Whitehead’s thought has a kind of cosmic irony to it, which offers a welcome contrast both to the narcissistic theorizing to which the heirs of Heidegger are prone, and to the fatuous complacency of mainstream American pragmatism. Whitehead’s metaphysics is a ramshackle construction, continually open to revision, and not an assertion of absolute truths. It stands outside the dualities—the subject or not, meaning or not, humanism or not—with which recent theoretical thought has so often burdened us. Whitehead both exemplifies, and encourages, the virtues of speculation, fabulation, and invention. These may be opposed both to the dogmatism of humanistic or positivistic certitudes and to the endless disavowals, splitting of hairs, and one-upmanship that has characterized so much recent academic “theory.”


For a second I thought that the one on the pic is Luka


>All of these are on libgen lol
Oh, I must be blind then. Thanks again


File: 1616259861413.png (189.05 KB, 916x885, ClipboardImage.png)

wtf is going on here

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