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HEIDEGGER REKTORATSREDE EBOOK - in (A reprint of the "Rektoratsrede," Heidegger's inaugural address as rector of the University of. Heidegger claimed philosophy and science since ancient Greece had reduced things .. Heidegger delivered his inaugural address, the Rektoratsrede, on "Die . The rectoral address is the text in which Heidegger for the first time publicly associated his own philosophy with National Socialism. The so-called Rektoratsrede.
Heidegger thought the presence of things for us is not their being, but merely them interpreted as equipment according to a particular system of meaning and purpose. For instance, when a hammer is efficiently used to knock in nails we cease to be aware of it. This is termed 'ready to hand', and Heidegger considers it an authentic mode, saying the given 'past' has presence in an oversimplified way when reduced to possible future usefulness to us.
Heidegger claimed philosophy and science since ancient Greece had reduced things to their presence, which was a superficial way of understanding them. One crucial source of this insight was Heidegger's reading of destruction of the history of philosophy. The second intuition animating Heidegger's philosophy derives from the influence of Edmund Husserl , a philosopher largely uninterested in questions of philosophical history.
Rather, Husserl argued that all that philosophy could and should be is a description of experience hence the phenomenological slogan, "to the things themselves". But for Heidegger, this meant understanding that experience is always already situated in a world and in ways of being.
Thus Husserl's understanding that all consciousness is " intentional " in the sense that it is always intended toward something, and is always "about" something is transformed in Heidegger's philosophy, becoming the thought that all experience is grounded in "care". This is the basis of Heidegger's "existential analytic", as he develops it in Being and Time. Heidegger argues that to describe experience properly entails finding the Being for whom such a description might matter.
Heidegger thus conducts his description of experience with reference to " Dasein ," the Being for whom being is a question. Dasein, then, is not intended as a way of conducting a philosophical anthropology , but is rather understood by Heidegger to be the condition of possibility for anything like a philosophical anthropology. In the course of his existential analytic, Heidegger argues that Dasein, who finds itself thrown into the world Geworfenheit amidst things and with others, is thrown into its possibilities, including the possibility and inevitability of one's own mortality.
The need for Dasein to assume these possibilities, that is, the need to be responsible for one's own existence, is the basis of Heidegger's notions of authenticity and resoluteness—that is, of those specific possibilities for Dasein which depend on escaping the "vulgar" temporality of calculation and of public life. The marriage of these two observations depends on the fact that each of them is essentially concerned with time. That Dasein is thrown into an already existing world and thus into its mortal possibilities does not only mean that Dasein is an essentially temporal being; it also implies that the description of Dasein can only be carried out in terms inherited from the Western tradition itself.
For Heidegger, unlike for Husserl, philosophical terminology could not be divorced from the history of the use of that terminology, and thus genuine philosophy could not avoid confronting questions of language and meaning. The existential analytic of Being and Time was thus always only a first step in Heidegger's philosophy, to be followed by the "dismantling" Destruktion of the history of philosophy, that is, a transformation of its language and meaning, that would have made of the existential analytic only a kind of "limit case" in the sense in which special relativity is a limit case of general relativity.
That Heidegger did not write this second part of Being and Time, and that the existential analytic was left behind in the course of Heidegger's subsequent writings on the history of being, might be interpreted as a failure to conjugate his account of individual experience with his account of the vicissitudes of the collective human adventure that he understands the Western philosophical tradition to be.
And this would in turn raise the question of whether this failure is due to a flaw in Heidegger's account of temporality, that is, of whether Heidegger was correct to oppose vulgar and authentic time. Heidegger wrote most of Being and Time there. He had been under pressure to publish in order to qualify for Husserl's to whom he dedicated the work chair at the University of Freiburg and the success of this work ensured his appointment to the post.
It investigates the question of Being by asking about the being for whom Being is a question. Heidegger names this being Dasein see above , and the book pursues its investigation through themes such as mortality, care , anxiety, temporality, and historicity.
It was Heidegger's original intention to write a second half of the book, consisting of a "Destruktion" of the history of philosophy—that is, the transformation of philosophy by re-tracing its history—but he never completed this project.
Being and Time influenced many thinkers, including such existentialist thinkers as Jean-Paul Sartre although Heidegger distanced himself from existentialism —see below.
Heidegger often went for a walk on the path in this field. William J. Richardson  to at least reflect a shift of focus, if not indeed a major change in his philosophical outlook, which is known as "the turn" die Kehre.
For example, in Mark Wrathall  argued that Heidegger pursued and refined the central notion of unconcealment throughout his life as a philosopher. Its importance and continuity in his thinking, Wrathall states, shows that he did not have a 'turn'.
A reviewer of Wrathall's book stated: "An ontology of unconcealment [ Heidegger contrasts this openness to the "will to power" of the modern human subject, which is one way of forgetting this originary openness. Heidegger understands the commencement of the history of Western philosophy as a brief period of authentic openness to being, during the time of the Plato, and which occurs in different ways throughout Western history.
Two recurring themes of Heidegger's later writings are poetry and technology.
Heidegger sees poetry and technology as two contrasting ways of "revealing. Technology, on the other hand, when it gets going, inaugurates the world of the dichotomous subject and object, which modern philosophy commencing with Descartes also reveals.
But with modern technology a new stage of revealing is reached, in which the subject-object distinction is overcome even in the "material" world of technology. The essence of modern technology is the conversion of the whole universe of beings into an undifferentiated "standing reserve" Bestand of energy available for any use to which humans choose to put it.
Heidegger described the essence of modern technology as Gestell , or "enframing. Despite this, some commentators have insisted that an agrarian nostalgia permeates his later work. In a lecture he formulated the famous saying Language speaks , later published in the essays collection Unterwegs zur Sprache, and collected in the English book Poetry, Language, Thought.
Heidegger and the ground of History Heidegger believed the Western world to be on a trajectory headed for total war, and on the brink of profound nihilism  the rejection of all religious and moral principles , which would be the purest and highest revelation of Being itself, offering a horrifying crossroads of either salvation or the end of metaphysics and modernity ; rendering the West a wasteland populated by tool-using brutes, characterized by an unprecedented ignorance and barbarism in which everything is permitted.
Augustine of Hippo Recent scholarship has shown that Heidegger was substantially influenced by St. Augustine of Hippo and that Being and Time would not have been possible without the influence of Augustine's thought. Augustine's Confessions was particularly influential in shaping Heidegger's thought.
Aristotle's ethical, logical, and metaphysical works were crucial to the development of his thought in the crucial period of the s. Although he later worked less on Aristotle, Heidegger recommended postponing reading Nietzsche, and to "first study Aristotle for ten to fifteen years.
Particularly important not least for its influence upon others, both in their interpretation of Aristotle and in rehabilitating a neo-Aristotelian "practical philosophy"  was his radical reinterpretation of Book Six of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and several books of the Metaphysics. Both informed the argument of Being and Time. Heidegger's thought is original in being an authentic retrieval of the past, a repetition of the possibilities handed down by the tradition.
In pursuit of the retrieval of this question, Heidegger spent considerable time reflecting on ancient Greek thought , in particular on Plato, Parmenides , Heraclitus , and Anaximander, as well as on the tragic playwright Sophocles.
The task of thinking at the end of philosophy is to overcome this oblivion, and to do this, we must become aware of our own place in the history of being. But we can arrive at such an historical awareness only through an engagement with the metaphysical past that Carnap and analytical philosophers in general would as soon ignore. On the one hand, there are those who see philosophy, like science, as a rigorous and timeless pursuit of truth, abstracted from any particular cultural and historical locus.
We might, out of a kind of curiosity, review the history of philosophy as if it were a catalogue of opinions once held on current philosophical issues. Against ahistoricism in philosophy are those who see philosophy as an ineliminably historical endeavor, and argue that the problems philosophers tackle and their approach to those problems are themselves dictated by their culture.
From what I have said so far, one might see Heidegger as advocating the historical picture of philosophy in opposition to the ahistorical. To be more precise, cultural changes and crises are governed by a background understanding of being, and it is to this ontological background that philosophy is first responsible.
To the extent that philosophers are responsive to the call to think being, they and their work are removed from ordinary historical and cultural influences. Metaphysics, as I indicated above, is the attempt to think and name the being of what is. The metaphysical thinkers actually help open a space of possibilities for a culture by articulating, and thus making available to our practices in general, the understanding of being which characterizes or is coming to characterize the age.
The best way to explain what Heidegger means is to review one of his examples of the way in which a philosopher, by responding to a new understanding of being, articulated it and, in the process, made it possible to experience the world in a new way. What gave medieval life its coherence was a pursuit of salvation. Beings in their sundry orders are the creation of a creator God, a creation rescued from the Fall and elevated to the suprasensuous realm once again through the redeemer God.
In modernity, however, there is a gradual shift away from understanding what is in terms of its relationship to God, and toward a sense that beings are what they are in virtue of being representable to a perceiving subject.
The method of doubt — i. Man becomes the relational center of that which is as such. The task of the history of philosophy, for Heidegger, is to uncover such fundamental shifts. And what does Heidegger mean in saying that the task for thinking is necessarily historical? As to the latter question, we can see why Heidegger would reject both the views discussed in the beginning of this section on the role of history in philosophy.
Both undoubtedly have a degree of truth to them. Likewise, while advances are certainly made in philosophy, to focus on the advances as an ahistorical march of progress is to ignore the question of the historical constitution of the problematics, facts, etc. It fails to account adequately for the back-groundedness of our concepts, even while it, as a human endeavor, is intrinsically shaped by current background sensibilities.
This oblivion, Heidegger believes, poses a unique threat to our historical essence as human beings. As Heidegger understands it, ever since the earliest Greek thinkers, human action in the world has been shaped and guided by a unified, background understanding of what it means to be. We are now in a technological age which has completely occluded the fact that our foreground activities are grounded by a background understanding of being.
And this makes it almost impossible to own up to the way we are, in all our activities, essentially responsible to a background. And this, Heidegger insists, requires an historical inquiry for two main reasons. First, because the background is so completely entrenched as to escape our notice, it is only an historical thought which can loosen the grasp that our metaphysical understanding of being has on us.
If we immerse ourselves in an historical reflection on the understanding of a past age, our current presuppositions and practices may come to seem strange and ungrounded.
And if that happens, we will be prepared to confront the fact that we ourselves are thoroughly shaped by an understanding of the being of beings — an understanding which, while once revolutionary, is now so commonplace as to go unnoticed. By learning to take these practices seriously, something we can only do when we see them against the background of the understanding of being which first grounded them, we can foster a readiness that will allow us to respond differently to the people and things we encounter in our everyday world.
His interpretive method is often quite disconcerting to the classical philologist as well as the historian of philosophy. Their allegation of violence can indeed by supported by this text. Rather, historiology is what it is because in it the past is treated as a series of events, without regard for the background understanding of being which constitutes these events as the events that they are.
History thus seeks to uncover the ways in which identities and objects have been constituted and experienced, and the general kinds of constraints working on the field of possibilities open to historical actors. What is happening means what sustains and compels history, what triggers chance events and in advance gives leeway to resolutions, what within beings represented as objects and as states of affairs basically is what is.
What happens can never be made historiologically cognizable. It can only be thoughtfully known by grasping what the metaphysics that predetermines the age has elevated to thought and word.
But from the order of rank just mentioned the only conclusion to be drawn is this: historiographical considerations are essential only insofar as they are supported by a historical reflection, are directed by it in their very way of questioning, and are determined by it in the delimitation of their tasks. But this also implies the converse, that historigraphical considerations and cognitions are indeed indispensable.
A historiology will inevitably read our own understanding of being back into the events of the past. A foreground event, as we noted earlier, is constituted as the event it is only by fitting it into a context of ends or goals, standards of performance, motives or intentions, possible results, etc. Unless we are aware that we understand the world only in virtue of a background sense for things, we will drag along our own background as we confront the historiological record.
Philosophers not only work out of a different background understanding of Being, but they respond to that background.
To the extent that they are doing metaphysics, their writings need to be seen as alethic rather than assertoric — that is, as tending to open up, clarify, and articulate the understanding of being rather than as making assertions about foreground events and objects.
If we interpret philosophers as performing foreground acts — as saying things about occurrent beliefs, thoughts, concepts, etc. It also relies on the transcultural tracing of dependencies between philosophers.
But both of these methods have their shortcomings if our aim is the ontological background. Philology is limited by its reliance on non-philosophical sources as a basis for interpreting philosophical texts. Philology will fail to shed light on the ontological background to the degree that it depends on an everyday vocabulary, which draws its meaning from foreground events and objects. In addition, the discovery of dependencies and philosophical influences is itself only illuminating if we comprehend the reason for those dependencies.
Every thinker is dependent — upon the address of Being. Exploring this question, Heidegger argues, would lead us to ask about the understanding of being that governed those works. First, since metaphysical thinkers themselves are unaware of the background which makes it possible for them to think the things they do, a historical interpretation may even run contrary to the things they explicitly say.
In addition, the violence of his appropriation is a result of an attempt to think independently of contemporary standards of understanding — something made necessary by the goal of overthrowing the complacency with which we inhabit our own background and project it on the philosophers of the past.
This does not mean, as Rorty charges and Mourelatos suggests, that Heidegger has rendered his account of the history of philosophy immune to challenge. But it does mean that a challenge conducted at the level of an interpretation of what philosophers have said, without any sensitivity to the background which makes that interpretation plausible, will miss the mark.
Often, in the process, thinkers contribute to changing the background. This thought concerning the essence of an age opens up a space of possibilities, or in the case of creative thinkers, anticipates a new space of possibilities.