Thursday, July 28, 2011

Echoes and Thoughts

Part of the reason for studying Heidegger is my admiration for his thought, his uncanny way in which thinking tends to come alive in his texts. The same can be said for Nietzsche and Kierkegaard. I’ve been accused of making Heidegger a sacred text, and perhaps that’s a little hyperbole about my stated interest. It would be more careful to say I find Heidegger constantly irksome, intriguing and often downright wrong—all at the same time! On some things, we agree. It is, therefore, difficult to tell where the admiration and hatred begin and end.

One central point of agreement would be on method. I am a self-identifying phenomenologist since I like to put the “subject” back into experience. I like discerning the structures of existence, seeing what is there phenomenologically and thinking that philosophy qua phenomenology ought to put me into contact with the texture of life as lived. There are many philosophies that reify, objectify and assume characterizations about experience without looking to the first-personal experience how it is lived. This makes philosophy detached from the demands life makes in how it is lived. I found an echo of this love in Michael Bowler’s Heidegger and Aristotle.

Heidegger rejects any philosophy’s claim to be primordial science if it is not situated in life. The lack of primordiality in the philosophies of Rickert, Husserl and Natorp is indicated by the fact that one finds at the foundation of their philosophies a living element that they simply do not account for. Thus, according to Heidegger, the renewal of philosophy as primordial science requires exhibiting how philosophy is located in life as well as how it can be productive of life, most specifically, how it can be productive of the non-primordial sciences. This necessitates an investigation into philosophy as lived, i.e. philosophy as situated in life. In essence, philosophy as primordial science must be a ‘philosophy of life’ in the sense of belonging to life, but also as constitutive of life….if philosophy is to be primordial science then the concepts of world and intentionality must be resituated in life itself. They must be resituated in life because they have been removed from life by philosophical worldviews that conceptually objectify them (p. 92)

For obvious reasons…

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