Patočka and Heidegger, or, towards Donner la mort Jan Patočka's interpretation of some of the basic concepts within Being and Time in the fifth of his Heretical Essays in the Philosophy of History explores and exploits a point (one point of many) on which the whole of that treatise turns: the relationship of everydayness (Alltäglichkeit) to authenticity (Eigentlichkeit). Recently in America, this point (again, it is one of many crucial points, however) is only explored explicitly with comparable depth by Bill Blattner in his work on Heidegger's notion of temporality (though Hubert Dreyfus' entire presentation of Heidegger could be said to stem from or be founded upon the implicit exploration of this distinction, specifically his conviction that the first division of Being and Time is actually wider in philosophical import than the second: such an assertion can only arise from a move similar to Patočka's and actually needs to be seen as this). The problem revolves around how there is no term that Heidegger opposes to everydayness that easily bridges the gap between everydayness and authenticity: the only mediator is inauthenticity (Uneigentlichkeit). So it is here that Patočka must begin (that is, it is here that any analysis of this problem in depth must begin: so while many people analyze the relationship between authenticity and everydayness, it is only with respect to clarifying the relationship of inauthenticity to everydayness in with a view to explicating authenticity that we can have an explicit, in depth analysis of the real unity or lack of unity of the treatise at this point--this is just to clarify the above)... Posted by Mike at 2:38 PM 1 comments What is written about: Adorno, Being and Time, Derrida, Heidegger, Patočka Friday, December 21, 2007 Metalanguage and Derrida Lyotard's dictum (not reducible to his philosophy, which is much richer than this dictum) regarding postmodernism and its leading thinkers--namely, that for it and for them there is at least always incredulity towards metalanguages, if not the outright belief that metalanguages do not exist ("there is no metalanguage" as we often say in Lyotard's name)--does not exactly fit Derrida's thinking, despite the frequency with which this dictum is associated with Derrida.
For Derrida, there is equally the possibility that all that exists is metalanguage: in other words, that there is a metalanguage (a language after another language) and "there is no language before it" ("Psyche: Inventions of the Other," 13). There is no metalanguage and there is only metalanguage: the equiprimordiality here is crucial for grasping anything Derrida says about language in particular and his thought more generally. As Derrida himself puts it: "There is no metalanguage... there is only that, says the echo, or Narcissus" (ibid, 13). Posted by Mike at 9:12 AM 0 comments What is written about: Derrida, Lyotard Derrida on Merleau-Ponty The two characteristics I isolated in the last post regarding the writing of Merleau-Ponty--namely, 1) its synesthesic descriptions of phenomena and 2) its being full of phenomenal examples/examples that can't be said to be exemplary--end up in their combination as the basic topic of Derrida's discussion of Merleau-Ponty in his amazing On Touching--Jean Luc Nancy.
There, Derrida tries to show, essentially, that Merleau-Ponty is always on the verge of making a synesthesic experience without reserve--that is, without (proper) differentiation between the senses--the sensory experience (i.e. the exemplary sensory experience) in his concept of the flesh, and yet always recoils from it in order to think the unity of this flesh (or rather its "mine-ness," its distinction from otherness). (Intentionality steps in to fill up the gap. example, the self-touching: mp makes self-touching have to be possible... we have a presentment of its possibility.... he priveliges possibility, because for him the body is a pressing into possibilities, not impossibilities. These are notes that elaborate the full extent of Derrida's discussion and critique: I'll clean them up and finish this later today.) Posted by Mike at 10:29 AM What is written about: Derrida, Merleau-Ponty Le gai savoir philosophy, literature, art, and other things i'm up to and working on, in cambridge, california, new york, princeton, and wherever else i may beSaturday, December 29, 2007