Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Re: Heidegger vs Descartes: The Case Against The Cogito

Expand Messages
  • Joseph Polanik
    ... 1. Situation BaT section 12 [H:53-60], opens with Dasein is an entity which in each case I myself am , an echo of section 9 where Heidegger wrote We are
    Message 1 of 6 , Feb 27, 2008
    • 0 Attachment
      Anthony Crifasi wrote:

      >Joseph Polanik wrote:

      >>jimstuart51 wrote:

      >>>jPolanik wrote:

      >>>>so, how do I determine that I am a dasein instead of a mind, or
      >>>>spirit or soul or a group of neurons or a quantum phenomenon?

      >>>Heidegger gives reasons for thinking that I am a Dasein in B&T. He
      >>>also gives reasons for thinking I am not an immaterial soul or a
      >>>group of neurons or a quantum phenomenon in that text.

      >>in an earlier post you referred me to sections 12 and 13 or BaT. in
      >>these sections Heidegger talks a lot about dasein as
      >>'Being-in-the-world'. now, clearly, the human body is in the world. it
      >>is a physical object like any other. we eat food and the atoms from
      >>the food become incorporated into the body. bodily waste products and
      >>the body itself after its death are recycled by the physical universe
      >>into other entities.

      >What you are describing is what Heidegger says he does NOT mean by
      >Being-in, at SuZ 54. He does not mean a physical thing inside the
      >physical universe. He calls what he means "Being-alongside," which he
      >describes at Suz 54-55.

      1. Situation

      BaT section 12 [H:53-60], opens with "Dasein is an entity which in each
      case I myself am", an echo of section 9 where Heidegger wrote "We are
      ourselves the entities to be analysed".

      if I translate these statements into the first person, I get something
      like "I am myself this entity" or, more simply, "I am *this*" --- the
      awareness that prompts the next question: how do I determine that I,
      this entity that I myself am, am a dasein instead of a mind, spirit,
      soul, a group of neurons, a quantum phenomenon or whatever?

      here, knowing that I am *this*, I am seeking that which I inquire about
      when I ask 'what am I?'.

      2. Being-In the World vs Being-Alongside the World

      I'm not sure it helps to distinguish 'in' and 'alongside' in relation to
      the various meanings of 'world' that Heidegger defines in section 14 ---
      particularly when it is still undecided 'what' is in/alongside the
      world[usage 1-4].

      Heidegger writes:

      "The entity to which Being-in in this signification belongs is one which
      we have characterized as that entity which in each case I myself am
      [bin]. This expression 'bin' is connected with 'bei', and so 'ich bin'
      ['I am'] means in its turn 'I reside' or 'dwell alongside' the world, as
      that which is familiar to me in such and such a way. 'Being' [Sein], as
      the infinitive of 'ich bin' (that is to say, when it is understood as an
      existentiale), signifies 'to reside alongside ...', 'to be familiar with
      ...'. 'Being-in' is thus the formal existential expression for the Being
      of Dasein, which has Being-in-the-world as its essential state." [Bat p.
      80]

      this analysis may remind you of an earlier thread in which the origin of
      the existential construction was discussed. I will try to summarize.

      the 'absolute signification' of the verb to be as that phrase is used by
      the OED is what linguists call an 'existential construction'. there are
      two formats for the existential construction; but, they are analyzed in
      a similar fashion.

      the first format looks like a sentence containing a subject, a copula
      and no explicitly stated complement. examples would include 'I am', 'you
      are' and 'it is' or 'God is'. the second format has a placeholding
      subject such as 'there' and the actual subject appears shifted to the
      complement position.

      an existential construction asserts that its subject 'is' but doesn't
      say what it is. so, 'an even prime number is' means the same as 'there
      is an even prime number'; but, doesn't tell you whether numbers are
      realities of type 2 or type 3 (I'm just going to assume you won't try to
      find '2' under a rock somewhere).

      according to the OED, the existential construction as we know it had its
      origin in statements like 'there is a tree in the garden' when the
      connection to an actual location was severed.

      so, when Heidegger analyzes 'ich bin' and concludes that it means 'I
      dwell alongside' he is reverting to the etymological history of the
      existential construction as if that governed anyone who says 'I am'.

      ironically, Heidegger *did* catch a glimpse of the significance of the
      existential construction: the necessity of a [root-predicate]-typology.

      "In the assertions 'God is' and 'the world is', we assert Being. This
      word 'is', however, cannot be meant to apply to these entities in the
      same sense, when between them there is an infinite difference of Being;
      if the signification of 'is' were univocal, then what is created would
      be viewed as if it were uncreated, or the uncreated would be reduced to
      the status of something created." [BaT p. 126]

      of course, my theory is that the 'naked is' (the existential
      construction) asserts the root predicate only. it is left to us to
      decide what [root predicate]-type is appropriate in a given case; and,
      that accounts for the multi-vocal 'is'.

      in any event, Heidegger recognizes that there are different senses of
      'is'. consequently, until I decide what sense is asserted of 'I' when I
      say 'I am', how would I decide whether I am in, of, or alongside the
      world (even if I previously decided which of the 4 uses of 'world' was
      appropriate)?

      Joe

      [All quotes from BaT are from the Macquarrie & Robinson translation]



      --
      Philosophy is, after all, done ultimately in the first person for the
      first person. --- H-N Castaneda

      @^@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@^@
      http://what-am-i.net
      @^@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@^@
    • jimstuart51
      Joe, Your last post starts off like this: ... You are making things very confusing by posting discussions from your Heidegger forum on this forum and
      Message 2 of 6 , Feb 27, 2008
      • 0 Attachment
        Joe,

        Your last post starts off like this:

        << Anthony Crifasi wrote:

        >Joseph Polanik wrote:

        >>jimstuart51 wrote:

        >>>jPolanik wrote: >>

        You are making things very confusing by posting discussions from your
        Heidegger forum on this forum and vice-versa.

        I suggest you just discuss things with Anthony Crifasi on your
        Heidegger forum and just discuss things with Existlist members on this
        forum.

        I did not give you permission to quote from my posts on the other
        forum, and I suspect Antony Crifasi did not give you permission to
        quote from his posts on this forum.

        What you wrote in your post 43797 seems to be a reply to Anthony
        Crifasi which you thought I might find useful, but the context of your
        arguments is far from clear.

        I think you may be getting a bit confused with your multiple
        conversations anyway. You have replied to my post 43774 twice (your
        posts 43777 and 43788 which are nearly identical), but you have not,
        as yet, replied to my posts 43778, 43793, and 43795.

        I look forward to receiving your replies to these three posts, rather
        than reading what Anthony Crifasi has to say or what you have to say
        to him.

        Jim
      • Joseph Polanik
        ... not exactly. Heidegger, like anyone else, can choose where to put his attention; but, choosing one viewpoint to the exclusion of the other doesn t seem
        Message 3 of 6 , Feb 29, 2008
        • 0 Attachment
          Anthony Crifasi wrote:

          >Joseph Polanik wrote:

          >>Heidegger writes:

          >>"In the assertions 'God is' and 'the world is', we assert Being. This
          >>word 'is', however, cannot be meant to apply to these entities in the
          >>same sense, when between them there is an infinite difference of
          >>Being; if the signification of 'is' were univocal, then what is
          >>created would be viewed as if it were uncreated, or the uncreated
          >>would be reduced to the status of something created." [BaT p. 126]

          >>of course, my theory is that the 'naked is' (the existential
          >>construction) asserts the root predicate only. it is left to us to
          >>decide what [root predicate]-type is appropriate in a given case; and,
          >>that accounts for the multi-vocal 'is'.

          >>Heidegger recognizes that there are different senses of 'is'.
          >>consequently, until I decide what sense is asserted of 'I' when I say
          >>'I am', how would I decide whether I am in, of, or alongside the world
          >>(even if I previously decided which of the 4 uses of 'world' was
          >>appropriate)?

          >So you are asking why Heidegger prioritizes being-alongside over
          >being-inside.

          not exactly. Heidegger, like anyone else, can choose where to put his
          attention; but, choosing one viewpoint to the exclusion of the other
          doesn't seem like a well-balanced approach to me.

          the 'world' that is spoken of when one says being-in (in the sense of
          inside) is not the same 'world' that is spoken of when one says being-in
          (in the sense of being-alongside).

          using first-person pronouns subscripted by reality type for greater
          precision, one might say 'I-1, this human body, am an existent and I
          exist within a world of existing entities of various kinds including
          other humans'.

          in this statement, which I hope captures the sense of 'insideness',
          'world' is for me a world of reality type 1. this corresponds rather
          well to usage 1 in the enumeration Heidegger uses in section 14 of BaT:
          "the totality of those entitites which can be present-at-hand within the
          world".

          it seems to me that, when Heidegger speaks of being-alongside as opposed
          to being-inside the world, he is speaking of usage 3 from his list:
          "that 'wherein' a factical Dasein as such can be said to 'live'".

          would you agree?

          >There are several avenues we can take with this. I don't prefer
          >Heidegger's etymological avenue, not because it's wrong, but because I
          >think there is a much more convincing avenue - one which motivated
          >Heidegger to break from Husserl. That avenue is that if we prioritize
          >being-inside (so that I am a physical being next to other beings, all
          >inside the universe), the history of philosophy showed that this leads
          >to the complete subjectivization and denial of the world. If I am one
          >thing next to other things, the first priority is to figure out how I
          >come to be aware of those other beings. That epistemological question
          >is what caused Husserl to require that philosophy *begins* by denying
          >the metaphysical existence of the world, reducing it to merely the
          >world of my experience (something similar to what Descartes does at the
          >beginning of the second meditation).

          your analysis of the history of philosophy is questionable for two
          reasons. first, epistemological concerns only require a suspension of
          judgement as to the origin of experience rather than an outright denial
          that there is a metaphenomenal world(s) that is the origin of
          experience.

          secondly, from what I can tell from readings in the contemporary
          philosophy of consciousness, defining humans as no more than human
          bodies (irregardless of whether we call those bodies 'existings' or
          'beings') more often leads to an excessive objectification than to an
          excessive subjectification.

          I suspect it would be more accurate to treat Descartes as suspending
          judgement as to the origin of experience rather than denying that there
          is a metaphenomenal world that is the origin of experience.

          >Given that dead end, being-alongside represents an alternative
          >starting point that is immune from such epistemological doubts, because
          >beings are not posited as physical entities next to one another inside
          >a physical universe from the start.

          it seems to me that any absence of epistemological doubts associated
          with choosing 'being-alongside' as a 'starting point' is due to a
          failure to ask the right questions rather than to any natural immunity
          this starting point gives.

          unless Heidegger has somehow prohibited others from expressing his
          (Heidegger's) philosophy in the first person, anyone may translate
          "Dasein is an entity which in each case I myself am" into something like
          "I am myself *this* ... whatever this is". anyone who makes such an
          observation may ask the obvious follow-up question 'what am I?'.

          the question is not about the relation (being-in vs being-alongside) to
          the world. it is about the internal structure of I, this which I am.

          is a human any more than a human body with a highly developed capacity
          for reflective self-awareness?

          Joe



          --
          Philosophy is, after all, done ultimately in the first person for the
          first person. --- H-N Castaneda

          @^@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@^@
          http://what-am-i.net
          @^@~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~@^@
        • jimstuart51
          Joe, I regard your post 43821 as spam. It doesn t seem to be addressed to anybody at Existlist, and you seem to be replying to points made by Anthony Crifasi
          Message 4 of 6 , Feb 29, 2008
          • 0 Attachment
            Joe,

            I regard your post 43821 as spam.

            It doesn't seem to be addressed to anybody at Existlist, and you seem
            to be replying to points made by Anthony Crifasi who is not a member
            of this forum.

            Perhaps you could start reading a bit more carefully what people
            actually write on this forum, then reply to what they write.

            Jim
          Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.