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Showing posts from May, 2008
Have I been understood?

The Poet recently lent me a book on reading: Geoffrey O'Brien'sBrowser's Ecstasy. While I have not had a chance to sit down and read it, I browsed through it as the title exhorted and then set it aside.

I admit that given all the book shopping I did in a trip to San Francisco and LA last month, looks like I might never be able to actually start on it. I just hope my friend doesn't quiz me on it, though I'm sure he won't.

We rarely talk about the books we read when we're together; what we sometimes talk about, however, is our gentle madness for them--and how we rationalize such mania. And yes, we do come up with a lot of justifications and rationalizations (what in the world are we teachers for if we cannot do so?) to explain (to ourselves) that our bibliophilia is not a psychological disorder on our part but, well, a necessary precondition to continue our existence (well, not really but . . .).

My line of reasoning (or, in oth…

Postscript to the Preface

Preview of Gelassenheit as a Possible Guiding Attunement to Beings as a Whole, as a Philosophical Access to Being, and as a Name for the Being of Beings

I have left an earlier standpoint, not to exchange it for another one, but because even the former standpoint was merely a way-station along a way. The lasting element in thinking is the way. —Heidegger, On the Way to Language[1] The age of phenomenological philosophy seems to be over. It is already taken as something past which is only recorded historically along with other schools of philosophy. But in what is most its own phenomenology is not a school. It is the possibility of thinking, at times changing and only thus persisting, of corresponding to the claim of what is to be thought. If phenomenology is thus experienced and retained, it can disappear as a designation in favor of the matter of thinking whose manifestations remains a mystery. —Heidegger, “My Way to Phenomenology”[2] The transition from willing into releasement is what se…

Preface to the Preface

What was held back in prolonged hesitation,
Is here held fast, hinting,
As the "level" used for giving it shape.
--Heidegger, epigraph to Contributions to Philosophy (On Enowning)

The title of the work reads: Heidegger and the Destruction of the History of the Metaphysics of the Will in Modern Philosophy from Descartes to Nietzsche: A Prolegomena to Gelassenheit.Since it is a long title, and an even longer work, it is only natural that we begin with the end. And from there, we shall work our way to the beginning.•What is Gelassenheit? Or what does it mean to let something be? This is the question that the work was supposed to answer. This is also the question that the work was unable to answer.Gelassenheit originally comes from Meister Eckhart, the German mystic philosopher and theologian at the turn of the 14th century. A Dominican who survived his Brother Thomas Aquinas by a few decades, and who is also hailed as the father of German thought, Meister Eckhart was the pr…