TRANSLATED WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY KARSTEN HARRIES THE following is a translation of Martin Heidegger, Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen Universität. Rede, gehalten bei der feierlichen Übernahme des Rektorats der Universität Freiburg i. Br. am 27. 5. 1933 and Das Rektorat 1933/34. Tatsachen und Gedanken. The former was first published by Korn Verlag, Breslau, in 1933. It was republished in 1983, together with Heidegger's later remarks on his rectorate, by Vittorio Klostermann in Frankfurt am Main.
MANY, PERHAPS MOST OF US, tend to connect art with the past. Faced with the art of our own time we become unsure: everything important seems to have been done, the vocabulary of art exhausted, and attempts to develop new vocabularies more interesting than convincing. Ours tends to be an autumnal view of art. The association of art and museum has come to replace such older associations as art and church, or art and palace. As we know it, the museum (...) is a comparatively recent institution, emerging only in the first half of the nineteenth century, thus lagging somewhat behind such related phenomena, as e.g., archeology, art-history, and neo-gothic architecture, all expressions of a museal [[sic]] attitude extending far beyond art to religion and even to nature. Consider the significance of setting aside a certain part of nature as a national monument. Monuments serve to commemorate, most often the dead. What do such natural monuments commemorate? Perhaps nature herself? But does nature need commemorating? Does it, too, lie behind us? Will future generations know nature only in the form of natural monuments? We do indeed live in an age which increasingly forces us to question whether nature still has a place in the modern world, whether it is not rather a relic from the past. By trying to preserve nature in specially created parks or monuments we show that this loss, although perhaps inevitable, is nevertheless felt to be serious. (shrink)
Ever since Aristotle, metaphor has been placed in the context of a mimetic theory of language and of art. Metaphors are in some sense about reality. The poet uses metaphor to help reveal what is. He, too, serves the truth, even if his service is essentially lacking in that "Metaphor consists in giving the thing a name that belongs to something else."1 Thus it is an improper naming. This impropriety invites a movement of interpretation that can come to rest only (...) when metaphorical has been replaced with a more proper speech. This is not to say, however, that such replacement is possible nor that interpretation can ever come to rest. What metaphor names may transcend human understanding so that our language cannot capture it. In that case, proper speech would be denied to man. But regardless of whether we seek proper speech with man, for example, with the philosopher, or locate it beyond man with God, or think it only an idea that cannot find adequate realization, as long as we understand metaphor as an improper naming, we place its telos beyond poetry. · 1. Aristotle Poetics 21. 1457b. 6-7. Karsten Harries, chairman of the department of philosophy at Yale University, is the author of several works on aesthetics, including The Meaning of Modern Art: A Philosophical Interpretation. He is currently writing a book on the Bavarian rococo church. See also: "On Thinking about Aristotle's 'Thought'" by James E. Ford in Vol. 4, No. 3. (shrink)
If the Enlightenment turned to reason to reoccupy the place left vacant by the death of God, the last two centuries have undermined such faith in reason. We cannot escape this history. The specter of nihilism haunts Either/Or. To exorcize it is Kierkegaard s most fundamental concern. But where are we to turn? To an aesthetic transfiguration of, or escape from reality? Does ethics promise an answer? Or is all that is left an irrational leap to religion? All such questions (...) are shadowed by the specter of Kitsch.What does it mean to be authentic in the modern world? ". (shrink)
ASKED WHETHER, in the light of recent attempts to use philosophy to change our goals and to help transform society, he saw a social mission for his philosophy, Heidegger gave a negative reply: "If one wants to answer this question, one has to ask first: what is society? and consider that society today is only the absolutization of modern subjectivity and that from this perspective a philosophy which has overcome the stand-point of subjectivity is not even permitted to participate in (...) the discussion." What rules out such participation is the fact that Heidegger’s thinking, as he himself interprets it for us, has pushed beyond his own time in such a way that given all that the age considers important it must seem beside the point. The work of the later Heidegger is an extended untimely meditation. This untimeliness helps to explain the apolitical character of this work. (shrink)
What need is there for an environmental aesthetics? The answer to that question is by no means obvious. To be sure, that we need to protect our environment has become a cliché that I am just a bit wary about repeating it here – the statement hardly bears much discussion any longer. Is it not obvious that we need to make sure that all those natural resources on which we depend for our survival will continue to be available, not just (...) to us, but to future generations? And when we think here of natural resources, we should consider them in the widest possible sense so that they include what the ancients thought of as the four elements, air, water, earth and fire. And here I invite you to think of them in their modern transformations. Even space has become an increasingly scarce resource. But if all this is indeed obvious, if the facts today speak loudly enough, it is not at all clear why we should be in need of an environmental aesthetics? What, if anything, does aesthetics have to contribute to our attempt to meet the environmental problems we face? (shrink)
An attempt is made to show that wittgenstein's and heidegger's reflections on language share point of departure and general direction. Both begin by seeking the essence of language in logic. Both come to reject such a view, Turning instead to everyday language. Heidegger, However, Finds it impossible to accept it as a ground. Such already established languages must have its origin in a more fundamental speaking. Heidegger seeks this origin in poetry. In conclusion it is argued that logic, Everyday language, (...) And poetry must not be understood as progressively more fundamental stages, But as three dimensions of language which belong together. (shrink)
In the Rules the young Descartes likens his method to the thread that guided Theseus. The simile is born of a confidence that he has seen through the art of the followers of Daedalus and this has given him a model of how to unriddle the labyrinth of the world. From the very beginning Descartes had an interest not only in optics, perspective, and painting, but in using his knowledge of them to duplicate some of the effects said to have (...) been created by the thaumaturgic magicians. Anamorphoses and automata not only provided Descartes with examples of deceptive appearance, but also pointed the way to the solution of the riddle they posed. Yet it is precisely the attempt to take this exit from the labyrinth of the world that threatens to lead back into it, as the search for truth is threatened by the infinity of space. To claim absolute truth, the natural philosopher would have to show that the mechanical model he has proposed is the only one that could account for the phenomena in question. This, as Descartes himself is forced to recognize, he is unable to do. Are we back in the labyrinth? Instead of seeing in Descartes's method an Ariadne's thread, Father Bourdin likens that method to Icarus. Annoyed, Descartes ridicules the good Father. But Bourdin's too often empty rhetoric raises a serious question: is Descartes Theseus, Daedalus, or Icarus? At stake is our understanding of the world we live in. (shrink)
Even when we confine ourselves to poetry, we have to agree with Ortega y Gasset's observation that "the instrument of metaphoric expression can be used for many diverse purposes." It can be used to embellish or ennoble things or persons—Campion's poem offers a good example. Such embellishment need not involve semantic innovation. Metaphors can also function as weapons turned against reality. There are metaphors that negate the referential function of language so successfully that talk about truth or, for that matter, (...) about lattices or lenses seems inappropriate. Yet as poetry pushes towards this extreme, it may acquire a revelatory power all its own: from the ruins of literal sense emerges not a new semantic congruence but a silence that is heard as the language of transcendence. This is not to deny that metaphors can effect semantic change or help to establish a new world. As David Tracy's contribution to this symposium shows, Scripture furnished the most obvious example. Heidegger's claim that poetry establishes the world can indeed be shown to rest on this paradigm. It is a claim that tends to ascribe something of the prophetic power of Scripture to all great poetry. But, although we may long to rediscover the prophet in the poet, to what extent does the scriptural paradigm help to illuminate poetry in general and, more especially, the poetry of this godless age? Most modern poetry has an aesthetic character that is incompatible with a religious world view. Theories of poetic metaphor cannot afford to neglect the history of poetry, just as general theories of metaphor cannot afford to neglect the many uses of metaphor. (shrink)
This book treats practical and political reasoning as an active engagement with the world and other people; it cannot be understood as exclusively cognitive and this is seen as a virtue rather than a deficiency. Informal, emotional, characterological, aesthetic and interactional aspects of thought can be constituents of reasonable arguing. The work examines key capacities connected with argumentation, in a variety of fields from professional and medical ethics to work organization and the practice of art.
Convinced that we need a new aesthetic theory, Berleant attempts "to carry forward such an effort by developing and documenting a framework for aesthetic inquiry free from the restrictive ideas of the recent past". The book divides into three unequal parts. The first offers a sketch of traditional aesthetics and, mindful of the impact of technological change on aesthetic experience, proposes that we replace such key features, often taken for granted, as "disinterestedness" and "contemplation" with "engagement" and "participation." The five (...) chapters of the second part develop these ideas in discussions of painting, sculpture, novels, music, and dance. The third part begins with a thought-provoking discussion of film, "the mass art of our day", and proceeds to a consideration of "the realities of art". This part concludes with a brief look at some of the broad implications of this attempt to recast aesthetics. (shrink)
One is, however, somewhat puzzled to discover that what Wild considers to be of value in Being and Time is thought less important by Heidegger, while what Heidegger takes to be the key issue of the work, is seen by Wild only to detract from and obscure its real merits. Has Heidegger failed to understand his own earlier work? In that case it must seem doubtful whether he ever understood it in the first place; on this view Heidegger appears somewhat (...) like one of those inspired rhapsodes of Plato, who could not give account of the significance of their words. Or does the later Heidegger wilfully misinterpret his earlier work? Karl Löwith was perhaps the first one to suggest this. Or is Heidegger right when he complains that Being and Time had failed to communicate its central thought effectively? In view of these divergent ways of reading Being and Time, it may be advisable to pause before one proceeds to attack or praise the book, and to raise the question: how is this book to be read? John Wild's comments imply one, and indeed rather common way of reading Being and Time. But can this approach do justice to the work, or is it, as Heidegger suggests, a misreading? (shrink)
Ten aanzien van Europa is de vraag aan de orde of de doelstellingen louter materieel en economisch zouden moeten zijn of ook ideëel. De auteur ervaart een geestelijke dimensie aan zijn plaats als Duitser in Europa en wil aan het verleden van Europa een plaats geven in zijn leven. Het is problematisch dat cultureel erfgoed grotendeels in musea wordt geplaatst, buiten het dagelijks leven. Het belang van een robuuste gemeenschapszin en van geestelijke waarden. Ethiek veronderstelt een beeld van de mensen (...) als stoffelijk en geestelijk. De menselijke rede is niet sterk genoeg om een juist gebruik van vrijheid te garanderen en vrijheid moet door verantwoordelijkheidsgevoel worden beteugeld. Iets vergelijkbaars geldt voor het denken over schoonheid. 'Ik ben ervan overtuigd dat we de kunst nodig hebben om dat gezonde verstand te voeden zonder welk geen enkele politieke constructie op lange termijn zal standhouden.' We hebben de kunst nodig om ons te helpen een ideaal van menselijkheid te behouden. (shrink)
L’épisode du Rectorat est vu par certains comme un mystère, par d’autres comme une évidence. Nous voudrions montrer qu’entre ces deux extrêmes, il est possible de tenter une lecture dépassionnée, parce qu’historique, et explicitante, parce qu’herméneutique. On s’attache ainsi à confronter les documents primordiaux, tel le Discours de rectorat, aux documents rétrospectifs, tels l’Entretien avec le Spiegel ou les Faits et Réflexions, afin de montrer que l’engagement de Heidegger pour le national-socialisme est indissociable d’un projet philosophique qui prime sur toute (...) visée politique. Le croisement d’une réflexion purement actuelle sur les destins liés de la nation et de la science avec une investigation plus généalogique sur les possibilités ouvertes par une reprise de la conceptualité grecque débouche sur une pensée complexe et composite qui ne peut recevoir d’éclairage que dans une méta-discussion qui reste encore à créer. Cette étude s’efforce d’inaugurer un tel espace en montrant qu’une meilleure compréhension ne peut advenir qu’à la faveur d’une démarche encore plus philosophique que celle de Heidegger durant cette sombre période.The time of the Rectorate is seen by some as mysterious, by others as evident. Here a path of thinking opens up between these polar limits that look to renew the relation of history and hermeneutics. Confronting the Address of 1933 with self-reflective texts such as The Interview with the Spiegel and Facts and Thoughts, the author illuminates how Heidegger’s involvement with National Socialism is inseparable from the element within his philosophical project that refuses to be reduced to one particular political perspective. The intersection of a pure meditation on the destiny of nationhood and science, on the one hand, and a more genealogical investigation on ancient Greek philosophy, on the other, invites a complex and heterogeneous discussion that belongs, finally, to the future. Here a better understanding of this dark period can only come from a philosophical approach that transcends Heidegger’s own. (shrink)