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Martin Heidegger:  1889-1976

LX:64 | that That

When we are seeking the essence of "tree," we have to become aware that That which pervades every tree, as tree, is not itself a tree that can be encountered among all other trees. (4)


Source

Heidegger, Martin. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays.  Trans. William Lovitt.  Garland Publishing 1977. 


See Also

Lexicon Entries

Genuine Happiness 

Works and Days

Concepts are Discursive

Documents

 


 

LX:33 | The 'Claro, Pero' Paradox

After everything we have said it is worth considering whether, if we immediately demand a propositional explanation of the highest idea, we are proceeding in a truly Platonic manner. If we ask in this way we already deviate from the path of authentic questioning. But inquiry into the idea of the good generally proceeds along this false track. One straightaway wants to know what the good is, just like one wants to know the shortest route to the market place. The idea of the good cannot be integrated into this uncomprehending way at all. It is thus no wonder if through this way of questioning we do not receive an answer, i.e. if our claim upon the intelligibility of this idea of the good, as something to be measured in terms of our ruling self-evidences, is from the very beginning decisively repulsed. Here we recognize – how often – that questioning also has its rank order.

This does not mean, however, that the idea of the good is a ‘mystery.’, i.e. something one arrives at only through hidden techniques and practices, perhaps through some kind of enigmatic faculty of intuition, a sixth sense or something of the kind. The sobriety of Platonic questioning speaks against this. Instead, it is Plato’s basic conviction, which he expresses once again in his old age, in the so-called Seventh Letter (342 e-344), that the highest idea can be brought into view only through the method of stepwise philosophical questioning of beings (asking down into the essential depth of man). The viewing succeeds, if at all, only in the comportment of questioning and learning. Even so, what is viewed remains, as Plato says (341 c 5): ‘it is not sayable like other things we can learn.’ Nevertheless, we can understand the unsayable only on the basis of what has already been said in a proper way, namely in and from the work of philosophizing. Only he who knows how to correctly say the sayable can bring himself before the unsayable; this is not possible for just any old confused head who knows, and fails to know, all kinds of things, for whom both knowing and failing to know are equally important and unimportant, and who may accidentally stumble upon a so-called puzzle. Only in the rigor of questioning do we come into the vicinity of the unsayable. (70-1)


Source

Heidegger, Martin. The Essence of Truth.  Trans. Ted Sadler.  Continuum 2002. 


See Also

Lexicon Entries

Questioning Builds A Way
Fertility of the Didactic Action
The Philosopher
The Red Ink
A Fundamental Quality of an Act
Standing Toe to Toe
A Snobbish Idiot

Works and Days

 

Documents

 


Notes

 


 

LX:5 | Thingly Aspect of the Artwork

Works of art are familiar to everyone. Architectural and sculptural works can be seen installed in public places, in churches, and in dwellings. Art works of the most diverse periods and peoples are housed in collections and exhibitions. If we consider the works in their untouched actuality and do not deceive ourselves, the result is that the works are as naturally present as are things. The picture hangs on the wall like a rifle or a hat. A painting, e.g. the one by Van Gogh that represents a pair of peasant shoes, travels from one exhibition to another. Works of art are shipped like coal from the Ruhr and logs from the Black Forest. During the First World War Hölderlin's hymns were packed in the soldier's knapsack together with cleaning gear. Beethoven's quartets lie in the storerooms of the publishing house like potatoes in a cellar.  (18-19)


Source

Heidegger, Martin. Poetry, Language, Thought.  Trans. Albert Hofstadter.  Perennial 2001.


See Also

Lexicon Entries

The Tutelage of Perception; The Museum 

Works and Days

 

Documents

 


Notes

 


LX:4 | Questioning Builds A Way

In what follows we shall be questioning concerning technology.  Questioning builds a way.  We would be advised, therefore, above all to pay heed to the way, and not to fix our attention on isolated sentences and topics.  The way is a way of thinking.  All ways of thinking, more or less perceptibly, lead through language in a manner that is extraordinary.  We shall be questioning concerning technology, and in so doing we should like to prepare a free relationship to it.  The relationship will be free if it opens our human existence to the essence of technology.1  When we can respond to this essence, we shall be able to experience the technological within its own bounds. (3-4)


[1] "Essence" is the traditional translation of the German noun Wesen.  One of Heidegger's principal aims in this essay is to seek the true meaning of essence through or by way of the "correct" meaning.  He will later show that Wesen does not simply mean what something is, but that it means, further, the way in which something pursues its course, the way in which it remains though time as what it is. 


Source

Heidegger, Martin. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays.  Trans. William Lovitt.  Garland Publishing 1977. 


See Also

Lexicon Entries

The 'Claro, Pero' Paradox; The Most Basic Sphere of Concern is Schooling;Standing Toe to Toe

Works and Days

 

Documents

 


Notes

 


LX:97 | Artist, Work of Art, Art

Origin here means that from and by which something is what it is and as it is. What something is, as it is, we call its essence or nature. The origin of something is the source of its nature. The question concerning the origin of the work of art asks about the source of its nature. On the usual view, the work arises out of and by means of the activity of the artist. But by what and whence is the artist what he is? By the work; for to say that the work does credit to the master means that it is the work that first lets the artist emerge as a master of his art. The artist is the origin of the work. The work is the origin of the artist. Neither is without the other. Nevertheless, neither is the sole support of the other. In themselves and in their interrelations artist and work are each of them by virtue of a third thing which is prior to both, namely that which also gives artist and work of art their names - art. (17)
Heidegger, Martin. Poetry, Language, Thought.  Trans. Albert Hofstadter. Perennial 2001.