Being and What?

If Heidegger is a philosopher we ought to consider seriously,

and I agree that we should and as I get older he makes more sense to me,

so should we consider Continental European philosophy as important and I think

especially because of the tie in to contemporary science – especially physics.

Heidegger should be considered important despite those that consider him too

anthropocentric since I would like to argue that it is precisely a move away from

anthropocentricism that we see in subsequent descriptions of Being – especially

in the work of Alain Badiou. Nate Silver recently has been in the news for the

accuracy of his (and other math nerds) of the recent election results.

The odd aspect of this controversy was that many were upset with the numbers

and predictions that these amalgamators had come to because they were contrary

to their hearts desire. In an interesting sense, the mathematics of their approach

seems to pose a contrast to the emotional attachment to our hopes and expectations.

It turns out the numbers do not lie and so there is a psychological distance in their

approach and the more warm hearted approach of most Americans.

Cold calculations have a bad rap in America.

This is also a point made by Philip Kitcher in his recent work where he suggests

that more of the decisions made by a democratic society need to be made by

specialists who actually know and understand the facts. In short, math again

should rule at least in some places and situations. Alain Badiou suggests that a

main element in the Modern movement in philosophy was the mathematization

of truth. But that by Hegel there was a movement away from math that is

described by Heidegger as the "poetic". (Chapter 7). But what Badiou emphasizes

in his work is a movement back to mathematics as central to our understanding of

Being and this ends up being the central focus of what he calls Events.

They in short seem to be mathematical sets.

Stephen Jay Gould shares a secret "rooted in general human foibles,

and in the faint tinge of anti-intellectualism that has always pervaded

American culture" with us in his Introduction to

"Leonardo's Mountain of Clams and The Diet of Worms" saying

"Very few people, including authors willing to commit to paper,

ever really read primary sources - certainly not in necessary

depth and completion, and often not at all." (p. 6) (which is as

far as I have read in that book). It reminds me that G. K. Chesterton

is said to have ordered a pile of books to study to write a book on

Aquinas but after only reading a few pages in the first book sat

down and wrote his book on the Saint. And it is a great book too

though he keeps pointing out that it is only meant to be a rough

sketch - which is all that it is. But even more hilarious is

Slavoj Zizek in Less than Nothing saying that the best writing

on books is often written by those that haven't read the book.

(A point that had me wondering if I should read his book past

that point lest it ruin my understanding of the book.)



And by the way you can make money reading books even if they are by Hegel.

But in all seriosity we should start with Hegel and the Logic.

21.56 und weiter to 21.60 Being and Nothing

Zizek explains his views on this as: pp.

With Husserl Phenomenology moves from a somewhat separate realm of being to

a description of a more communal experience.

I approach Heidegger with Dread, but in all good conscience, I have to recognize

it is my destiny to deal with him. Being and Time 18 and Time for Dasein.

See starting at 2:40 until around 5:00.

Jean Paul Sartre –Being and Nothingness and my favorite here is the description

of the human as the gap between the en soi and the pour soi.

Taking his cue from Heidegger he describes Nothingness as coiled

in the heart of being like a worm:

a companion piece to Being and Time

Alain Badiou Being and Event =

Compare this with contemporary String Theory

Slavoj Zizek Less than Nothing

This page is maintained by William S. Jamison. It was last updated July 10, 2016. All links on these pages are either to open source or public domain materials or they are marked with the appropriate copyright information. I frequently check the links I have made to other web sites but each source is responsible for their own content.