Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Different Kind of Being

Reading and enjoying Heidegger's Being and Time. Getting mind alternately blown and bemused. Smiling often, and looking down at my hand and saying things like "Being" and "Hand," very slowly.

If philosophy excites you to the least degree, the experience of coming into a new idea is identical to a cliche pot high, lifting every mundane fact of the world to the order of "Woah."

I've turned in my Master's thesis, and Faultline Journal is at the printers, and I'm in the mood for conceptualizing the past three years as a unit, and sighing.

Sigh. I find myself apologizing to myself frequently, teasingly, that I haven't more fully adopted the lifestyle of those from whom I come: family. I'm heading back to the world they are being in, and will be again with them, in their care, for awhile.

Conceptualizing myself and my others does cause a bad mood in me, Heidegger. You, without whose body can no longer be. You who can, however, still be named: Heidegger. Heidegger. Hand.

I suspect that I will find a way to overcome my forgetfulness enough to do what it is that seems right to me to do, considering my approaching death. No one can consider my death quite like I can. I'm not dying, but (in a manner of speaking) I am heading for it. A pioneer, on the Trail to Death.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

My Interest

Stanley Cavell, an American philosopher who draws from the works of Wittgenstein, Kierkegaard, and Heidegger, and who authored The Claim of Reason: Wittgenstein, Skepticism, Morality, and Tragedy (which was published the year I was born), said this:

"My interest, it could be said, lies in finding out what my beliefs mean, and learning the particular ground they occupy. This is not the same as providing evidence for them. One could say it is a matter of making them evident."

Precisely. I'm beginning to see the absurdity of squabbling over the things we say-- that is, squabbling over the "truth" of these sayings. All any of us have is our experience of existing, plus the power to see that experience through language, to speak it out, and therefore, my questions is this: why would anyone ever make a claim that a single perspective is the whole experience? This isn't an argument for relativism. It's merely a claim that anything you say will be from your perspective, which rather seems to me to be some sort of realist claim-- that the world is there, we can't escape the proto-logical belief that we exist in it, and when we talk about it, it is for use, and not for "truth." Truth is in the experience of it.

That itself was a string of (potentially incoherent) abstract claims, so I'll stop. I'll go and excercise this strange organic thing I am being. It wants it. Happy Cinco de Mayo.