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Heidegger Contra Humanism

Any topics that are primarily about humanism or other non-religious life stances fit in here.
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Kismet
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Heidegger Contra Humanism

#1 Post by Kismet » July 11th, 2012, 2:46 am

A superb examination of Heidegger's rejection of humanism:



Much better explanation than I am capable of.
Last edited by Alan H on July 11th, 2012, 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Edited to fix YouTube tag (just put the ID in the [youtube] tags)

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jaywhat
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#2 Post by jaywhat » July 11th, 2012, 5:43 am

The council for Secularr Humanism states that -

"We deplore efforts to denigrate human intelligence, to seek to explain the world in supernatural terms, and to look outside nature for salvation".

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Altfish
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#3 Post by Altfish » July 11th, 2012, 4:11 pm

As Monty Python sang...

"Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table."

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#4 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » July 11th, 2012, 5:06 pm

Oh, good grief. If your understanding of humanism is as Heidegger narrowly defined it in his "Letter on Humanism", then no wonder it's difficult to understand you. You're barking up the wrong tree. Humanism is not so narrowly defined. And I think it's worth remembering that Heidegger wrote the "Letter on Humanism" in 1947. Just a few years earlier he had been a member of the Nazi party. I think his attempt to blame the ills of the world on a particular strand of philosophical humanism is a bit rich, frankly.

Emma

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animist
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#5 Post by animist » July 12th, 2012, 9:13 am

Emma Woolgatherer wrote:Oh, good grief. If your understanding of humanism is as Heidegger narrowly defined it in his "Letter on Humanism", then no wonder it's difficult to understand you. You're barking up the wrong tree. Humanism is not so narrowly defined. And I think it's worth remembering that Heidegger wrote the "Letter on Humanism" in 1947. Just a few years earlier he had been a member of the Nazi party. I think his attempt to blame the ills of the world on a particular strand of philosophical humanism is a bit rich, frankly.

Emma
agreed, tho' I think this maybe goes back to knowing what humanism is, if there is such a thing (I don't think there is). I have only just started to listen to the lecture but I think that Heidegger (not much of a rhyme with boozy beggar!) was concerned with a very different animal from what we lot discuss on this forum - it seemed to be about ontology, not ethics, to put it briefly. Kismet, I will assume FTM that you are genuine in what you say and are not a troll, but some attempt on your part to paraphrase the talk you've downloaded would be appropriate, I think. But anyway, I will listen to it more fully and try to come back with a meaningful comment.

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animist
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#6 Post by animist » July 12th, 2012, 9:15 am

Kismet, could you respond to my request for one topic within the broad area of Phenomenology that we could discuss?

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#7 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » July 12th, 2012, 9:39 am

animist wrote:Heidegger (not much of a rhyme with boozy beggar!)
Have you heard the full song? Here's the Monty Python version, complete with gratuitous scantily clad showgirl. I think I preferred Christopher Hitchens's less tuneful performance.

Emma

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Altfish
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#8 Post by Altfish » July 12th, 2012, 10:15 am

Full lyrics...


Immanuel Kant was a real pissant (I thought that was 'pissed ant')
Who was very rarely stable.
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar
Who could think you under the table.
David Hume could out-consume
Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel,
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine
Who was just as schloshed as Schlegel.

There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach ya'

'Bout the raising of the wrist.
Socrates, himself, was permanently pissed...
John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
On half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Plato, they say, could stick it away;
Half a crate of whiskey every day.
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle,
Hobbes was fond of his dram,
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart: "I drink, therefore I am"

Yes, Socrates, himself, is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker but a bugger when he's pissed!

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#9 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » July 12th, 2012, 10:22 am

Altfish wrote:David Hume could out-consume
Wilhelm Freidrich Hegel
I thought it was "David Hume could out-consume Schopenhauer and Hegel?" Ah no, that was the revised version.

stevenw888
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#10 Post by stevenw888 » July 12th, 2012, 1:17 pm

I love that Monty Python song and remember it well when it was first broadcast back in 73/74 but I still have no idea who three quarters of those philosophers were. I've never heard of most of them. We were not taught anything about philosophy at school. Is this why I'm so shit at debating on this forum?
:puzzled:
"There are old pilots and there are bold pilots, but there are no old, bold pilots." - From the film "Top Gun"

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#11 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » July 12th, 2012, 4:06 pm

Not only do I now have an earworm, I've also given in to a compulsion to make up a sub-Pythonesque second verse ...

They say John Locke liked to knock back the hock
While writing his second treatise
Jean-Jacques Rousseau drank buckets of Bordeaux
And would often get the DTs
Auguste Comte could drink without prompt
Several casks of vin ordinaire
But even at his worst he didn't have the thirst
Of Diderot or Voltaire.

And as Berkeley hinted darkly when the spirits were invoked
Even he was prone to getting absolutely soaked

We can say forthwith that it's just a myth that no liquor passed the lips of Adam Smith
And they say Leibniz didn't call it quits till he'd polished off sufficient to be out of his wits
Edmund Husserl and Bertrand Russell were famous alcoholics.
And everybody knows a thing or two about Spinoza and his spifflicated frolics

Heraclitus might invite us all to join him in his vice:
You can drink a bloody river but you can't step in it twice

:exit:

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Kismet
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#12 Post by Kismet » July 13th, 2012, 4:59 am

animist wrote:Kismet, could you respond to my request for one topic within the broad area of Phenomenology that we could discuss?
That which is, is not scientific. That is, it cannot be filtered through our discursive account of being in the world, because to do so is to already conceal Being. Our right orientation should therefore not be the human, or "human being" - because such already overlays the being. What is needed is direct seeing, not seeing through this or that. Metaphysics thus occludes our perception and narrows the field of being, particularizes it, to that of "a being." But being is self-disclosing and self-authenticating. It does not need the human.

You are right Heidegger is not interested so much in ethics as in ontology, but I think that they can be bridged. Ethics is as much a call to action as ontology is a call to being. And on another level, Being is an Act. To be is to do. So one presupposes the other....

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Altfish
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#13 Post by Altfish » July 13th, 2012, 7:26 am

Kismet wrote:
animist wrote:Kismet, could you respond to my request for one topic within the broad area of Phenomenology that we could discuss?
That which is, is not scientific. That is, it cannot be filtered through our discursive account of being in the world, because to do so is to already conceal Being. Our right orientation should therefore not be the human, or "human being" - because such already overlays the being. What is needed is direct seeing, not seeing through this or that. Metaphysics thus occludes our perception and narrows the field of being, particularizes it, to that of "a being." But being is self-disclosing and self-authenticating. It does not need the human.

You are right Heidegger is not interested so much in ethics as in ontology, but I think that they can be bridged. Ethics is as much a call to action as ontology is a call to being. And on another level, Being is an Act. To be is to do. So one presupposes the other....
I think that means, NO
But I'm not really sure :puzzled:

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animist
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#14 Post by animist » July 13th, 2012, 8:02 am

Altfish wrote:
Kismet wrote:
animist wrote:Kismet, could you respond to my request for one topic within the broad area of Phenomenology that we could discuss?
That which is, is not scientific. That is, it cannot be filtered through our discursive account of being in the world, because to do so is to already conceal Being. Our right orientation should therefore not be the human, or "human being" - because such already overlays the being. What is needed is direct seeing, not seeing through this or that. Metaphysics thus occludes our perception and narrows the field of being, particularizes it, to that of "a being." But being is self-disclosing and self-authenticating. It does not need the human.

You are right Heidegger is not interested so much in ethics as in ontology, but I think that they can be bridged. Ethics is as much a call to action as ontology is a call to being. And on another level, Being is an Act. To be is to do. So one presupposes the other....
I think that means, NO
But I'm not really sure :puzzled:
I think one main problem is that, Kismet, you do not attempt to define what you mean. To most of us, the ideas of being and existence are much the same: "I exist" means that I am and "I am" is just part of the verb "to be". But I think that for you, Being (especially when you use a capital "B") means something more than "mere" existence. Can you say what that is?

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#15 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » July 13th, 2012, 9:15 am

Many of Heidegger's translators capitalize the word ‘Being’ (Sein) to mark what, in the Basic Problems of Phenomenology, Heidegger will later call the ontological difference, the crucial distinction between Being and beings (entities). The question of the meaning of Being is concerned with what it is that makes beings intelligible as beings, and whatever that factor (Being) is, it is seemingly not itself simply another being among beings. Unfortunately the capitalization of ‘Being’ also has the disadvantage of suggesting that Being is, as Sheehan (2001) puts it, an ethereal metaphysical something that lies beyond entities, what he calls ‘Big Being’. But to think of Being in this way would be to commit the very mistake that the capitalization is supposed to help us avoid. For while Being is always the Being of some entity, Being is not itself some kind of higher-order being waiting to be discovered. As long as we remain alert to this worry, we can follow the otherwise helpful path of capitalization.
(From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Heidegger)

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Emma Woolgatherer
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#16 Post by Emma Woolgatherer » July 13th, 2012, 9:19 am

Or for a more ... um ... detailed explanation, try "What Heidegger Means by Being-in-the-World", by Roy Hornsby.

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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#17 Post by animist » July 13th, 2012, 9:40 am

stevenw888 wrote:I love that Monty Python song and remember it well when it was first broadcast back in 73/74 but I still have no idea who three quarters of those philosophers were. I've never heard of most of them. We were not taught anything about philosophy at school. Is this why I'm so shit at debating on this forum?
:puzzled:
Heidegger and such give philosophy a bad name, and I don't think you're shit at debating, Steve - now go to the Henny Penny thread!

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animist
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#18 Post by animist » July 13th, 2012, 10:53 am

Emma Woolgatherer wrote:
Many of Heidegger's translators capitalize the word ‘Being’ (Sein) to mark what, in the Basic Problems of Phenomenology, Heidegger will later call the ontological difference, the crucial distinction between Being and beings (entities). The question of the meaning of Being is concerned with what it is that makes beings intelligible as beings, and whatever that factor (Being) is, it is seemingly not itself simply another being among beings. Unfortunately the capitalization of ‘Being’ also has the disadvantage of suggesting that Being is, as Sheehan (2001) puts it, an ethereal metaphysical something that lies beyond entities, what he calls ‘Big Being’. But to think of Being in this way would be to commit the very mistake that the capitalization is supposed to help us avoid. For while Being is always the Being of some entity, Being is not itself some kind of higher-order being waiting to be discovered. As long as we remain alert to this worry, we can follow the otherwise helpful path of capitalization.
(From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Heidegger)
this confirms my worst fears! But I hope Kismet will answer for himself. It sounds pretty Platonic, as though there could be Being in the abstract in the absence of any particular beings, and how can the meaning of Being be what makes beings intelligible as beings? What makes them "intelligible" (to other beings? what else?) involves their relationships with other beings, surely!

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Kismet
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Re: Heidegger Contra Humanism

#19 Post by Kismet » July 13th, 2012, 10:09 pm

animist wrote:
Emma Woolgatherer wrote:
Many of Heidegger's translators capitalize the word ‘Being’ (Sein) to mark what, in the Basic Problems of Phenomenology, Heidegger will later call the ontological difference, the crucial distinction between Being and beings (entities). The question of the meaning of Being is concerned with what it is that makes beings intelligible as beings, and whatever that factor (Being) is, it is seemingly not itself simply another being among beings. Unfortunately the capitalization of ‘Being’ also has the disadvantage of suggesting that Being is, as Sheehan (2001) puts it, an ethereal metaphysical something that lies beyond entities, what he calls ‘Big Being’. But to think of Being in this way would be to commit the very mistake that the capitalization is supposed to help us avoid. For while Being is always the Being of some entity, Being is not itself some kind of higher-order being waiting to be discovered. As long as we remain alert to this worry, we can follow the otherwise helpful path of capitalization.
(From the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on Heidegger)
this confirms my worst fears! But I hope Kismet will answer for himself. It sounds pretty Platonic, as though there could be Being in the abstract in the absence of any particular beings, and how can the meaning of Being be what makes beings intelligible as beings? What makes them "intelligible" (to other beings? what else?) involves their relationships with other beings, surely!
The thing is, I am learning just as much as I am proceeding (in discussion). What do you wish to talk about exactly, and I will elaborate from what I know, both inner and outwardly (experience and knowledge).

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