Sunday, January 29, 2012
A few pages later, Heidegger states that we need to think about what we can do for philosophy rather than what it does for us. I'm not sure if I just densely overlook the finer points of philosophy like a low resolution photo blown up too large or if all philosophers actually do think too highly of themselves, but it certainly feels like it. I'm sure they had the right back then, when only the well-off who didn't have to work had time for philosophical musings, placing them over the common rabble.
"Whenever we set out in the direction of this question , thinking and gazing ahead, then right away we forgo any sojourn in any of the usual regions of beings. We pass over and surpass what belongs to the order of the day." (108)
When I first read the above sentences, I was thinking about it in a 'is he referring to humans or all animals?' mindset. However, after considering the smugness of philosophers and the low percent who were able to pursue it, my question is now changed to are they talking about why do all animals exist, why do humans exist, or why do philosophers exist. I'm going to go with the idea that he's saying why do philosophers exist, especially after he quotes Nietzsche "Philosophy... means living voluntarily amid ice and mountain ranges" (108). I have a million things I think about that, ranging from pleasure that they aren't trying to conform it, to annoyance for the same reason and then amusement that they feel the un-educated are nothing more then blocks of ice to be suffered.
Heidegger begins with the question, "Why is there anything at all, rather than nothing?" (102), and this essential question prevails throughout the text. Upon first glance, this question seems odd, for the answer seems obvious: if the world was full of nothing, we would not be here, and the world as we know it would not exist, of course. However, this answer is naïve in its attempt to answer such a profound, thought-provoking question. Isn’t “nothing” something? When I picture nothing in my mind, I simply think of the color black, but isn’t the color black something? The color black is considered something because human beings decide it is, in fact, something.
Heidegger says, "May not philosophy in the end do something with us, provided that we engage ourselves with it?" In thinking about the nature of entities and the relationship Dasein has with them, I think we are engaging ourselves with philosophy, with questions of the "extraordinary."
Saturday, January 28, 2012
Secondly, I like that Heidegger doesn't limit "being" to existing in only humans. The idea of "being" or maybe even "spirit" or "will" existing in more than humans is an old idea and one that I think deserves merit. Humans are conceited if they truly believe that they are the only thing in the world or universe with a unique spirit or "life" running through them so I am glad that Heidegger doesn't limit himself to this idea. To me, it seems as though he sees the question of "being" being so big that there is no way to limit it all.