Wednesday, April 28, 2021
Monday, March 22, 2021
There is a remarkable similarity between the philosophies of Bergson and Heidegger. Bergson's notion of the body as a 'centre of action' and Heidegger's notion of Dasein as "that entity which in its Being has this very Being as an issue" get at this similarity. In both cases, the being is entirely immanent and contiguous with reality; that is, they are merely a part of a larger set of environmental relations (extensity for Bergson, Being for Heidegger).
In their formulation of this aspect of their metaphysics, they both stringently avoid mentioning an inextended consciousness or inextended representations in the form of perception. Instead, they favour a relation that is continuous with its environment. They both want to repudiate a certain kind of dualism or subjective atomism that postulates the observer as an island from which we peep at the world through a telescope. They prefer to analyse the body in terms of its direct and practical engagement with the world.
What makes humans peculiar for both thinkers is the self-consciousness of our being-in-the-world. We ask the question of being to ourselves and end up thinking we are of a unique kind, which is partially true, in that we seem to be the only kind of thing really asking, but partially false, in that we obviously are extensions of the world.
Bergson reduces perception from a faculty of representation and knowledge to an evolved and fine-tuned faculty for carving up and abstractly select those elements of the fluid world that practically benefit each organism and grant the freedom to navigate the world and itself as it needs to. Heidegger historicises and relativises what beings there are to that which Dasein has as its concern and to the historical epoch or cultural moment in which beings are revealed.
In both cases, the intellectual activity of objectifying the world, the thing that makes us think we grasp Being most intimately, for Bergson 'the intellect', for Heidegger 'ready-to-hand', paradoxically distances us from a true metaphysics - of intuition or Being respectively.
Ultimately I think that Bergson ends up giving a more satisfying picture of metaphysics proper (though I am still grappling with his views about memory which make a surprisingly good candidate for a sort of soul). My problem with Heidegger is that he never seems to really escape Kant while I think Bergson really does.
Saturday, September 5, 2020
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
Thursday, August 6, 2020
Saturday, July 4, 2020
Tuesday, June 9, 2020
"Being-with-one-another in the they is not at all a self-contained, indifferent side-by-sideness, but a tense, ambiguous keeping track of each other, a secretive, reciprocal listening-in. Under the mask of the for-one-another, the against one-another is at play."
Wednesday, April 22, 2020
Thursday, January 23, 2020
He who says, "Better go without belief forever than believe a lie!" merely shows his own preponderant private horror of becoming a dupe. He may be critical of many of his desires and fears, but this fear he slavishly obeys...It is like a general informing his soldiers that it is better to keep out of battle forever than to risk a single wound...Our errors are surely not such awfully solemn things. In a world where we are so certain to incur them in spite of all our caution, a certain lightness of heart seems healthier than this excessive nervousness on their behalf
Wednesday, January 15, 2020
Thursday, January 2, 2020
Sunday, December 29, 2019
Wednesday, December 25, 2019
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Sunday, November 10, 2019
Wednesday, October 30, 2019
Sunday, October 20, 2019
That tartuffery, as stiff as it is virtuous, of old Kant as he lures us along the dialectical by paths which lead, more correctly, mislead, to his ‘categorical imperative’ - this spectacle makes us smile, we who find no little amusement in observing the subtle tricks of old moralists and moral-preachers.