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En Ser y tiempo, el hombre no es pensado como sujeto, porque esto haría de él una cosa «simplemente presente»; es, por el contrario, Dasein, ser-ahí, es decir, sobre todo, proyectualidad. El sujeto, piensa Heidegger, tiene una sustancialidad que el ser-ahí como proyecto no tiene; el hombre se define, no como una sustancia determinada, sino como «poder ser», como apertura a la posibilidad. El ser-ahí sólo se piensa como sujeto, esto es, como sustancia, cuando se piensa en términos inauténticos, en el horizonte del «ser» público y cotidiano150. (p.98 – the note is to parr.10 and 25 of SuZ.) La muerte es la posibilidad de la imposibilidad de toda otra posibilidad, “la posibilidad de la pura y simple imposibilidad del Dasein”64; La muerte es la posibilidad más propia del Dasein: esto se puede ver atestiguado por el hecho de que todos mueren, es decir, que esa posibilidad es coesencial al Dasein; pero la raíz del hecho empírico de que todos mueren es la circunstancia de que la muerte es la posibilidad más propia del Dasein en cuanto lo afecta en su mismo ser, en su esencia misma de proyecto, mientras que cualquier otra posibilidad se sitúa en el interior del proyecto mismo como su modo de determinarse65. (Vp.41)
The “authenticity” of Dasein, its “openness” to the being of being, its “liberation” from the “inauthenticity” of its “thrown-ness” as being-in-the-world, can be located in its totality only upon its comprehension of death, of its “contingency”, upon its “appropriation” of its “being-toward-death”! One may reflect bitterly or ironically about the authenticity of a Dasein whose “care” for the world ultimately cowers wimpishly into the “Angst” of its apprehension of Death!
El miedo a la nada, que es la angustia, se explica sólo admitiendo que en ella aquello de que se siente amenazado el Dasein no es este o aquel ente en particular, sino qué es la existencia misma como tal. En cuanto proyecto que abre e instituye el mundo como totalidad de los entes, el Dasein no está “en medio” de los entes como un ente entre los demás; cuando advierte este hecho - y, como podemos decir ahora, cuando advierte su propia trascendencia - se siente en un ambiente extraño, ajeno en el mundo, en el cual no se siente como en su casa porque justamente advierte que no es un ente del mundo como los otros entes. En cuanto modo de existir en la trivialidad cotidiana, el Dasein se concibe como ente entre otros entes, y hasta se siente protegido y tranquilizado por los entes que lo rodean; el simple miedo atestigua esto, ya que tener miedo de algo significa concebirse siempre como “dependiente” de ese algo de alguna manera. La angustia, como miedo que no se puede explicar de ese modo, como miedo de nada, coloca al Dasein frente a su propia trascendencia, frente a la existencia como tal (y para entendernos major diremos también, frente a su propia “responsabilidad”: porque es el Dasein el que abre e instituye el mundo). (p.61)
“La liberación anticipante por la propia muerte libera de la dispersión en las posibilidades que se entrecruzan fortuitamente, de suerte que las posibilidades efectivas, es decir, situadas más acá de aquella posibilidad insuperable, puedan ser comprendidas y elegidas auténticamente. La anticipación abre a la existencia, como su posibilidad extrema, la renuncia a sí misma y así disuelve toda solidificación en posiciones existenciales alcanzadas... Puesto que la anticipación de la posibilidad insuperable abre al mismo tiempo a la comprensión de las
posibilidades situadas más acá de ella, ella lleva consigo la posibilidad de la anticipación existencial del Dasein total, esto es, la posibilidad de existir concretamente como poder-sertotal.”66 (pp.395-6)…. “Así la muerte se revela como la posibilidad más propia, incondicionada e insuperable.” (Ibíd., pág. 378). 43
Heidegger’s notion of “authenticity-totality” opposed to the “inauthentic-fragmented” quotidian reality of the “one” (German, man) invites the obvious parallel with Lukacs’s earlier vision of the scientific “totality” of the proletariat escaping its “alienated” condition as “the individual Subject-Object” of history! (The link is drawn by L. Goldmann in his Lukacs et Heidegger who even argues that Sein und Zeit was written as a reply to Lukacs’s ‘Geschichte’.) In sharp contrast, Nietzsche saw “the perspective of the herd” as a “neednecessary” out-come, result (Folge) of the Will to Power in its operari, in its manifestation as the ontogeny of thought in life and the world: his entire focus is on the historical significance of the Will to Power in its physiological, albeit ontogenetic, manifestations – in morality, in science, in politics, with art playing only an “illustrative” and marginal role despite Heidegger’s efforts to place it at the centre of Nietzsche’s thought – as “creativity”, thus wrongly defining the “content” of the Will to Power (see discussion below). This explains why human history and institutions are so much more central to Nietzsche’s explorations of the Will to Power: physis and istorein are much more intimately connected with and central to Nietzsche’s philosophy than they are to Heidegger’s where they play a marginal, if at all congruous, role. (In this regard, one may well agree with Cacciari’s judgement that Nietzsche’s attitude to “mass democracy” is far more complex and even favourable than many imagine. We will revisit this argument later.)
This is indeed a far cry from Nietzsche’s affirmation of life! Heidegger’s petty-bourgeois revulsion at the “mundanity” of everyday life, at its “inauthenticity”, is nonchalantly betrayed byVattimo – who seems blissfully unaware of the enormity of what he is saying:
“…el Dasein auténtico es tal precisamente y sólo en cuanto se relaciona con el mundo en términos de posibilidades. Y, de manera más general, en el análisis preparatorio de la primera sección de Ser y tiempo, la autenticidad permanecía en suspenso y en cierto modo “abstracta”, pues era todavía principalmente la estructura de fondo que la reflexión existenciaria descubre sólo en la inautenticidad de lo cotidiano. El concepto de anticipación de la muerte pone de manifiesto lo que es, precisa y concretamente, la existencia auténtica.” (p.44)
Heidegger in the end finds himself precisely back at the point upon which Hobbes erected his entire axiomatic political theory and psychology – the decision:
En sustancia, ahora que se ha precisado la noción de autenticidad-totalidad mediante el concepto de anticipación de la muerte, se trata de ver si en el plano existencial, no en el de la reflexión filosófica sino en la vida concreta, el ser para la muerte se presenta como término efectivo de una alternativa que el Dasein puede elegir…. La busca de una posibilidad existencial de la anticipación de la muerte conduce a Heidegger a elaborar una compleja doctrina de la 45
decisión, que implica el empleo de conceptos objetivamente “enredados”70, como los conceptos de conciencia y de culpa…
(This about “com-prehension” is a point entirely similar to Heidegger’s exposition of Dasein in SuZ [cf. Vattimo’s first essay in ‘Introduction to H.’.] But note how Heidegger’s understanding of Dasein differs from the Wille zur Macht in that the latter is “physiological” rather than “existential” and phenomenological! Nietzsche is concerned with conflict in life and the world as an immanent physiological – almost “biological” - process, whereas Heidegger’s final concern is exquisitely “ontological”, and therefore “transcendental”; it is the phenomenology of Being within the horizon of time, and therefore “being-toward-death” and philosophical anthropology – authenticity (Eigentlichkeit) and art above all. Worse still, Heidegger is able to understand the passage from “com-prehension” to interpretation of life and the world by the Dasein purely in terms of “authentic” individual experience that is not “mediated” by the “doxa” of “public opinion” or of socially-constructed reality! The mere “thought” of “authenticity”, so dear to Heidegger in his openly “bourgeois” vision of the world, would seem scandalously artificial to Nietzsche who sees the ontogeny of thought itself as a manifestation of the Will to Power in life and the world – as a “perspective of the herd”, but as a “need-necessary” perspective that cannot be subjected to the moralizing “examen” of Heideggerian “authenticity”! Here is Heidegger:
En el pasaje en que habla del círculo comprensión-interpretación, Heidegger dice que: “en él se oculta una posibilidad positiva del conocer más originario, posibilidad que es captada de manera genuina sólo si la interpretación comprendió que su tarea primera, duradera y última es la de no dejarse imponer nunca pre-disponibilidad, pre-videncia y precognición (son los terminus constitutivos de la precomprensión) por la situación o por las opiniones comunes, sino que debe hacerlas surgir de las cosas mismas con lo que quedará garantizada la cientificidad del tema”59.
[Again, Vattimo, ibidem.] The difficulty of Heidegger’s position, its profound a-historicity, its dis-embodiment of the Dasein from its “physiological” roots - which are the crucial focus in Nietzsche (however “ontogenetically” he may understand these) - is neatly evinced by Vattimo in what is a desperate, unconvincing attempt to validate his “socio-historical” credentials (much in the manner Cacciari does in ‘PNR’):
Hay pues una precomprensión que no se limita a expresar que la situación histórico-social pertenece al mundo del se; trátase de una precomprensión que surge de alguna manera de la cosa misma: no evidentemente en el sentido de que la cosa se dé de algún modo como simple presencia, sino en el sentido de que la comprensión que realmente abre al mundo es nuestra relación concreta con la cosa. La charla habla de todo y especialmente de las cosas con las que no tiene una relación directa; la autenticidad es apropiación fundamentalmente en este sentido: se apropia de la cosa al relacionarse directamente con ella. (p.36)
But far from anchoring the existential Dasein in physiological and historical concreteness, one detects immediately in Vattimo’s churlish (dare one call it “inauthentic”?) “apologia” for Heidegger’s clumsy “pre-comprehension of the historico-social situation” its yawning “abstrusion” and “asportation” from the world of “common opinion” (Vattimo calls it “gossip”!) - an esoteric revulsion at that very phenomenological world of “quotidian life”
from which Heidegger ostensibly derives the “concreteness” of his existential analytic! With mindless disinvoltura, Vattimo brilliantly epitomizes the gnawing self-disgust of the estranged intellectual in the bourgeois era:
Construed in this purely “negative” or, to adopt Vattimo’s terminology, “weak” sense, Heidegger’s discussion of metaphysics as the history of Being rapidly turns into a vapid and meaningless abstraction – a novel edition of the qualitas occulta, the inscrutable quality of the prima philosophia, from Plato’s Ideas to the Kantian thing-in-itself or Schopenhauer’s Will to Life! Even if we agreed that the “subject-matter” of Western metaphysics, Nietzsche’s included, was a “presence”, an essence, a substance and finally a Subject whose totality stood as a timeless “quality” or quidditas or “value” inscrutable to human reflection but “knowable” to philosophical reflection at least from its “subjective” side (cf. Vattimo, ‘Intro’, p.73), - even then we would fail to see the difference between Heidegger’s own “position” and, say, the exordium of Genesis, where the whole quaestio of the complementarity of Being and Nothing, of “creation ex nihilo” is most vividly posed (cf. Lowith), to the near entirety of German Idealism in which, as Nietzsche always acknowledged, there is always a “side” of Being that “conceals” itself and that philosophy consciously aims to comprehend “theoretically” but never “empirically”, except in the case of Fichte for whom the Subject posits the non-Subject (the “empirical I”), and whose solipsism, in any case, has been universally repudiated ever since. (Schopenhauer was most scathing in his regard).
Heidegger insists on interpreting Nietzsche’s Will to Power as a relation of Will with itself, with a “self”, with “oneself”. Hence, for him, Will is “resoluteness toward oneself” (ch.10) and will to power is “to go further than oneself”, self-assertion. Yet in this self-assertion Heidegger, the phenomenological and existentialist philosopher, cannot see “beyond” the self-assertion to the very “object” of that assertion – which is not “self” but… another Will! Will to Power is not self-assertion as self-mastery – resolve as “resoluteness” Heidegger’s “dis-closure” (Ent-schlossenheit) of the Dasein. Rather, it is mastery and command and domination over others! Nor is Nietzsche’s Will to Power filled with the Angst, the fear of death that characterizes its “decision” or “responsibility” from Hobbes to Hegel through to Kierkegaard and Heidegger. In the former couple, the fear of death comes from an external, objective “threat”. In the latter couple, it always originates “ec-sistentially”, hence “transcendentally”, in the “possibility of death”, of non-existence, of “nothing-ness”. In all cases, its ultimate foundation, as Nietzsche discovers, is nihilism – despair in the worth of existence.
Heidegger perceives the ec-sistence of Da-sein, its “thrown-ness” into the world of beings, its lack of “totality” and therefore its “contingency” as a “fall” (Verfall), as a lack of “authenticity” in a “quotidian life” whose “triviality” he execrates. It is this “de-jection” that reveals the brittleness of Heidegger’s Sorge (care) which no sooner is articulated than it turns into its real essence – anxiety and alienation, fear and loathing (Kierkegaard)! Angst for the “finitude” of ec-sistence; loathing for its “error”, for the “averageness”, the anonymity (man) of “publicity”, for the “triviality of quotidian life”. And therefore a wish for that “totality”, the totality of Being, which is only accessible to Dasein as the “anticipation of death”, as the “apprehension of nothing-ness” (“why is there something rather than nothing?” is the leitmotif of the Einfuhrung).
Al ser-para-la-muerte Heidegger llega, en efecto165, planteando un problema que a primera vista parece exquisitamente «metafísico», en la forma y en el contenido: ¿la analítica existenciaria, desarrollada en la primera parte de la obra, nos ha puesto a disposición el Dasein en la totalidad de sus estructuras? Pero, se pregunta en seguida Heidegger, ¿qué significa para el ser-ahí ser una totalidad? Este problema, perseguido coherentemente, lleva justamente a ver que el ser-ahí se constituye en una totalidad, y por consiguiente se «fundamenta» (ya que la asignación del Grund, en que consiste la fundamentación, ha significado desde siempre el cierre de la serie de las conexiones, la constitución justamente de una totalidad, contra el regreso in infinitum) en la medida en que se anticipa para la propia muerte. Traduciendo el lenguaje heideggeriano un poco libremente diremos: el ser-ahí está ahí verdaderamente, es decir, se distingue de los entes intramundanos, en cuanto se constituye como totalidad histórica,…(p.113)
But however he twists it, Vattimo simply cannot extract from the mere “being there”, the sheer “thrown-ness” of the Dasein, from the “contingency”of its being and its “anticipation of death” the sense of “ontic” reality requisite for historical analysis and action:
Heidegger insiste mucho sobre el hecho de que no se debe leer esta relación con la muerte en un sentido puramente óntico, y por tanto tampoco en sentido biológico. Sin embargo, como todos los momentos en que la filosofía encuentra análogos puntos de paso (ante todo aquél entre naturaleza y cultura), también esta distinción heideggeriana es densa de ambigüedades. Si, en efecto, es cierto que el ser-ahí es histórico - tiene una existencia como discursus continuo y dotado de posibles sentidos - sólo en cuanto puede morir y se anticipa explícitamente para la propia muerte, es también cierto que él es histórico, en el sentido de disponer de posibilidades determinadas y cualificadas, teniendo relaciones con las generaciones pasadas y futuras, precisamente porque nace y muere en el sentido literal, biológico, del término. La historicidad del ser-ahí no es sólo la constitución de la existencia como tejido-texto; es también la pertenencia a una época, la Geworfenheit que, por lo demás, califica íntimamente el proyecto dentro del cual el ser-ahí y los entes se relacionan el uno con los otros, vienen al ser en modos improntados de vez en cuando de manera diversa. Es este doble significado de la historicidad, en su relación con el ser-para-la-muerte, uno de los puntos en que más explícitamente, si bien problemáticamente, sale a la luz el nexo fundamentación-desfundamentación que es uno de los sentidos, más aún, quizás el sentido, de Sein und Zeit. (p.114)
But Vattimo misses the essential point! And that is that it is not sufficient to conceive of Dasein as a “contingent” and “mortal” mode of Being – even in the “active” sense of “Lichtung” – to make it “historical”! The very fact that Vattimo refers to “historical totality” means that Da-sein cannot be situ-ated “within” that “totality”! The “historical” point about human beings is not that they die or that they must die – the “finitude” of their “being”, its contingency – but rather the manner, the causes and reasons of “how” they live and die! This is the biggest difference between Hobbes and Hegel to the extent that they theorise the human “apprehension” of death. Heidegger instead is almost exclusively concerned with the “anticipation” of death - that is, with death as an event that occasions the distinction between being and not-being, the relationship between Being and nothing-ness. At best, such a de-finition can situate the Da-sein within the “ontic” sphere as opposed to the “ontological” one – and then only as “philosophical anthropology”. After all, it is precisely Heidegger who claims originality in his “remembering” the question of Being as against that of being-as-essent. But Da-sein remains “locked” within its philosophical “birth certificate” precisely because its very “concept” is incurably philosophical and abstract. Da-sein remains “walled” within its own self-referential phenomenological categories. It describes the “existential” questions confronting human beings to the extent that they are “beings” – only in this “onto-logical” dimension. Da-sein cannot even remotely begin to tell us how Da-seins inter-act, not only with one another in social relations, but not even with the natural world in a manner that goes “beyond” the most remote “existential” categories that, again, concern the Da-sein only as Da-sein, only as “being” in its ontological acceptation. Contrast Nietzsche’s ‘Of First and Last Things’ in HATH which deals very much not with either “thing” – but with the “be-tween”! Heidegger is more concerned with the “sum” of the cogito – Nietzsche with the “vivo”!
It is symptomatic that Heidegger refers to Hegel’s Phenomenologie and the preparedness of German Idealism (even in Schelling) to include negation and death in the concept of Being (ch.13) – because his own ontology reflects and contains this nihilistic longing for “totality”, for the com-prehension of Being from purely “philosophisch” and therefore subjectivist and idealist – transcendental – premises! Small wonder, then, that Heidegger should seek to understand the Will to Power in terms of “creativity” and “art” (chpts.10-12). One may well agree with Vattimo that it is no longer Heidegger who interprets Nietzsche as a thinker unable to overcome nihilism but rather the other way round! It is Nietzsche who shows us why Heidegger’s ontology remains within the “circle” of metaphysics; why it is unable to grasp the materiality of life and the world, the physiology of the Will to Power.
This is where Hobbes and Heidegger meet, as it were - in the Heideggerian “decision in anticipation of death” whose “authenticity” is founded on the transcendental anxiety of the
Dasein in its being-toward-death that prescinds from the conventional “inauthenticity of quotidian life”.
El discurso sobre el ser-para-lamuerte, incluso estructuralmente, es paradigmático del modo como Sein und Zeit, partiendo en busca de una fundamentación, aún en sentido amplio, metafísica, llega luego a resultados nihilistas, al menos en el sentido del término al que he aludido. (Vattimo, p.113)
But this is a lucus a non lucendo! This “negativity” of the truth that “un-conceals” itself and the Being that “gives itself”, which supposedly is what introduces “historiality” in our reflection on life and the world are only “historial” in the flimsiest, most dis-embodied, ontological, transcendental sense. As Vattimo observes, with praiseworthy objectivity, Heidegger’s “negative” approach to Being may itself justify a charge of nihilism (p.111). Despite his insistence on articulating the “foundation” of Being, Heidegger was never able clearly to delineate its Grund, its “positive” or “strong” basis. (It may be said, jokingly, that “Being and Time” is like “Hamlet without the Prince”, in the sense that it does not discuss Being itself.) It is not “history” that Heidegger engages with, but rather “metaphysics as the history of Being” – and then again only to emphasise its Vollendung, even going so far as to revive, in the Einfuhrung, the notion of Abendland (the Occident as “land of the setting sun”) as the geographical site of the “retreat” of Being. But if Nietzsche denounces the shipwreck of metaphysics on the rock of nihilism, it is only because he can see that the metaphysical quest for truth has de-throned the very “subject” of that quest – not just God, but Man above all! And in this “de-throning” of Man as the auto-phagous subject of life and the world, Heidegger’s Dasein is fully implicated! And this “implication” in nihilism only serves to highlight the pre-eminence of Nietzsche’s thought over Heidegger’s as a “guide” to the “overcoming” (Uberwinding) of nihilism.
Ya en Sein und Zeit el ser es «olvidado como fundamento»; en el lugar del ser capaz de funcionar como Grund se percibe - precisamente en la centralidad que asume la analítica existencial y la elucidación del nexo con el tiempo - un «ser» que, constitutivamente, no es ya capaz de fundar, un ser débil y depotenciado. El «sentido del ser», que Sein und Zeit busca y al que, al menos en cierta medida, llega, debe entenderse sobre todo como una «dirección» en la que el ser-ahí y el ente se encuentran encaminados, en un movimiento que los conduce no a una base estable, sino a una ulterior permanente dislocación, en la cual se encuentran desposeídos y privados de todo centro. La situación descrita por Nietzsche (en el apunte que abre la vieja edición del Wille zur Macht) como característica del nihilismo, aquella en que, a partir de Copérnico, «el hombre rueda fuera del centro hacia la X», es también la del Dasein heideggeriano: el Dasein, como el hombre poscopernicano, no es el centro fundante, ni habita, posee, coincide con, este centro. La búsqueda del sentido del ser, en el desarrollo radical que tiene en Sein und Zeit, saca progresivamente a la luz que este sentido se da al hombre sólo como dirección de desposesión y desfundamentación. Por tanto, también contra la letra de los textos heideggerianos, será preciso decir que la búsqueda comenzada en Sein und Zeit no nos encamina a la superación del nihilismo, sino a experimentar el nihilismo como la única vía posible de la ontología. Esta tesis choca contra la letra de los textos heideggerianos porque en ellos nihilismo significa el aplastamiento del ser sobre los entes, es decir, el olvido del ser, que caracteriza la metafísica occidental y que al fin reduce el ser a «valor» (en Nietzsche), a validez puesta y reconocida 112
por el y para el sujeto. Así sucede que, del ser como tal, no queda ya nada. No es aquí el lugar de discutir si y en qué medida el nihilismo entendido de este modo caracteriza fiel y completamente la posición de Nietzsche. Pero está claro que también y sobre todo el uso, por parte de Heidegger, de la noción de nihilismo para indicar la culminación del olvido del ser en el momento final de la metafísica es responsable del hecho de que de su pensamiento, en cuanto alternativo o, en cualquier caso, esfuerzo de superación, uno se espera, en cambio, que el ser, contrariamente a lo que sucede en el nihilismo, recupere su función y su fuerza fundamentadora.
Heidegger’s attempt to historicise his existential phenomenology is flawed from the outset precisely because his Dasein lacks a physio-logical dimension, which is instead crucially indispensable in Nietzsche’s conception of the Will to Power, and is therefore condemned to an abstract “temporality” that flounders in an ethereal, ontological “transcendental intuition of time” (the explicit phrase adopted in the Kantbuch) without ever being able to ground the Dasein and this “temporal intuition” (a pale shadow of istorein) in the immanence that the very “materiality” of the intuition of time, of the istorein (in-quiry), requires. A totality that is “truth” – a truth that can only be accessible “partially” to the Dasein and that therefore can “reveal” itself objectively – not under the “control” of Dasein. It becomes clear why Heidegger conceded in a seminar in 1964 that Being and Time should have been titled “Being and Lichtung” (in Vattimo, p.62)! But Heidegger equivocates sybillinely between the Lichtung as a “revealing light” that is thrown actively by the Dasein onto individual beings (essents) or instead as an “unconcealing light” with which Being “illuminates” the world for the Dasein (recall Heidegger’s ambiguity of Being as “es gibt” [“is there” or “it gives”] to which we drew attention earlier). Vattimo is so caught up in this obfuscation that he fails to notice it even as he falls prey to it almost in mid-sentence!
Aquí importa subrayar la expresión en cuanto: que de la nada provenga todo ente en cuanto ente no quiere decir que de la nada provenga la “realidad” del ente entendida como simple presencia; ha de entenderse en cambio que el ser del ente es como un colocarse dentro del mundo, como un aparecer a la luz que el Dasein proyecta en su proyectarse. Contrariamente a la concepción del ser como simple presencia, la concepción del ser, que se anuncia como implícitamente supuesta en Ser y tiempo y en estos escritos posteriores, es precisamente la concepción del ser como “luz” proyectada por el Dasein como proyecto103. El hecho de que empero el Dasein sea siempre proyecto lanzado, como hemos visto, descarta que el ser pueda concebirse como su “producto” y que la filosofía de Heidegger se reduzca a una forma de idealismo empírico o trascendental. Estas dos doctrinas suponen siempre, inseparablemente, una concepción del ser como simple presencia y una concepción del Dasein que olvida el carácter de ser lanzado: ambas lo resuelven todo en la relación sujeto-objeto, en la cual el sujeto o bien funda y produce directamente la realidad (simple presencia) de las cosas (idealismo empírico: esse est percipi) o bien por lo menos funda y ordena el mundo como mundo de la experiencia (trascendentalismo kantiano o neokantiano). En ambos casos, no se pasa más allá del sujeto y aun éste, lo mismo que el objeto, es concebido como presente y se olvida su carácter de “lanzado”. (pp.623)
Note that Vattimo initially speaks of “the being of the essent appearing in the ‘light’ that the Dasein projects in its projecting”. So here it is the Dasein that “projects” light (Lichtung) onto the essent. Yet in the very next sentence Vattimo says the opposite! He speaks of “the conception of being as ‘light’ projected for the Dasein as project”. Here it is “being”, not the Dasein (and certainly not the essent!) that “projects ‘light’ for” the Dasein!
We have come full circle now with the “turn” (Kehre) – from the phenomenological anthropocentrism of Being and Time to a new theo-logy! (Lowith). Indeed, time itself has disappeared from view. All that remains is the “immateriality” of Lichtung, the “evenientiality”, the “historiality” of truth as the essence of Being – a truth and Being that are entirely “negative”, from which the Dasein is wholly estranged – alienated. (Cf. Negri’s essays.) And the alienation is tangible, becomes “material” in science and technology. As we have shown, Heidegger’s “time” differs from Nietzsche’s in this “syndotic” respect despite its “historical” pretensions that never manage to go beyond the phenomenological and that more often than not – as in the being-toward-death and the anticipation of death and the existential status of decision that mark the “freedom” of Dasein as authenticity (an aspect developed by Sartre) – relapse inevitably into sheer transcendental ontology, the prima philosophia of the metaphysica generalis. [On Heidegger’s inadequate comprehension and integration of physis and istorein in his Entwurf, cf. Lowith in Heidegger.]
It simply will not do to assert, as does Heidegger, that the very fact that we can pose the question about the “occultation of being” or “obscuring of the world” perpetrated by metaphysics as “the history of Being” of the last two thousand years constitutes already a sign that Being “gives” to the Dasein. It is hard to see how this “occultation” differs from the “noumenality” of Kant’s thing-in-itself” and indeed Schopenhauer’s Will to Life as (precisely!) a qualitas occulta. Or even, as Vattimo discusses it (p.86), of Hegel’s Aufhebung!
En efecto, si el pensamiento liberado de la metafísica fuera ese pensamiento que recuerda el ser en el sentido de asumirlo finalmente como contenido temático propio, entonces verdaderamente Heidegger no se distinguiría sustancialmente de Hegel y el Schritt zurück sería sólo un nuevo disfraz [disguise], más o menos disimulado, de la autoconciencia hegeliana.
Again, we may contrast Heidegger’s truly “obscurantist” stance – indeed, obfuscatory sophistry! – with Nietzsche’s infinitely more specific ontogeny of thought. In a perceptive and valiant attempt to give a “strong”, positive slant to Heidegger’s ontology, Vattimo even comes very close to proposing Nietzsche’s own intuition of time (as we have presented it here) in its extra-temporal, extra-mundane immediacy – as opposed to the intra-temporal and intra-mundane one:
This should put paid to the fumblings and insinuations of post-heideggerians about any precedence over Nietzsche by Heidegger who, if anything, merely copied from the genius from Rocken even in the characterization of the ontogeny of thought, which Heidegger rechristened “quotidian life” (Alltaglichkeit). (The “screen” of Max Scheler used by Heidegger cannot disguise the evident Nietzschean matrix of their phenomenology and sociological
analysis, as in terms like “ressentiment”. Vattimo, much to his credit, is only too keen to stress the “continuity” of Heidegger’s thought with Nietzsche’s. What we are doing here is obviously to reaffirm the immanentist and materialist superiority of the philosopher of Rocken over any and all of his epigones.) Note that Heidegger in his Kantbuch seeks to “reinterpret” Kant exactly in this “anthropological” sense already indicated by Scheler – much to the dismay of Cassirer and the neo-Kantians at Marburg [see chronicle of their Swiss encounter] -, away from metaphysica specialis [epistemology, philosophical anthropology] to the metaphysica generalis [ontology]. Husserl perhaps best intuited, as his marginal notes to Heidegger’s Kantbuch reveal, the “anthropological” affinity of Heidegger’s tendentious interpretation of Kant with Nietzsche’s Entwurf. We have reviewed these matters in detail in our Heidegger’s ‘Kantbuch’.)
Sólo a un proyecto definido y “finito” las cosas pueden manifestarse en su verdadera esencia de cosas. Antes de llegar a la noción de estado-de-yecto y a la noción de autenticidad, “podía parecer que el ser en el mundo era una armadura rígida en cuyo interior tuvieran lugar las relaciones posibles del Dasein con su mundo sin que la ‘armadura’ misma estuviera implicada en su ser”63; es decir, el Dasein parecía poder cambiarse por el yo trascendental. Pero la idea de Geworfenheit nos mostró que el proyecto mismo está históricamente definido y, por lo tanto, que es “finito”. (c. p41)
Heidegger on Schelling: Idealism, Freedom and Identity
The “possibility” that is Da-sein, its contingency, opens up its “reverse” relationship to “freedom”: freedom is no longer a function of man, but man is a function of freedom. Of course, this “freedom” needs to be de-fined, to be specified: Heidegger clearly sees it in relation to his own notion of “Being of beings”. The “negativity” of Heidegger’s understanding of Being – its being bounded by “Nothing-ness” – entails an entirely different approach to “freedom” than that espoused by traditional metaphysics, including (for him) the Nietzschean notion of “Will”. Even in Aristotle, the “telos” implies a “dependence” of the world of beings on the initial “physis” that therefore conditions the unfolding or evolution of an entity into its id-entity. Heidegger like Schelling is seeking to avoid a de-finition of freedom that de-termines the concept into a “system” – which is precisely the problem with the traditional metaphysics that inevitably ends up in the wasteland of “nihilism”. The Copernican “de-centring” of Man is the destiny of the metaphysical misinterpretation or mistaking of Being with “presence”, with a “given-ness” that engenders the “a-historiality” of Being, its removal or severance from its own Nothing-ness, and therefore its frozen “identification” or (in Nietzsche) “equivalence” (Gleichheit) with the essents (Seiende) that is the objective of mathesis. This “id-entification” of truth with certainty, of being with cognition, with calculation and measurement – with predictability and repeatability (experimentation) – is what ensures that “system” remains incompatible with “freedom” in the philosphia perennis – perennial
precisely because its “formal” identities destroy themselves, an-nul themselves in the “Will to System (or Certainty)” (Heidegger’s version of Nietzsche’s “Will to Truth” designed to preserve the word for his a-letheia). German Idealism, from Leibniz through to Schelling and Hegel, seeks to trans-scend this determinism – in Leibniz with the monadic An-schauung, and in Kant with the material intuitive grounding of Reason in the sensuousness of experience (concepts without experience are empty, experience without concepts is blind). German Idealism, especially with Hegel and Schelling, moves from the “frozen identities” of formal logic, even the Kantian, to the “dialectical” identities of Reason, animated by the Spirit; it moves from the antithesis of system and freedom to that of necessity and freedom. (Heidegger discusses, passim, the “dialectic” at c. p76.) At p46:
But with the demand for knowledge in the sense of intellectual intuition, German Idealism seems to fall back to the condition of philosophy before Kant. Kant called this philosophy before him "dogmatism" in contradistinction to his own to which he gave the name of "criticalism," the philosophy which traversed the Crztique ofpure Reason and was founded upon such a critique. Thus, German Idealism must have been interested in preventing its philosophy from being thrown together with pre-Kantian philosophy. It is characteristic of "dogmatism" that it simply accepts and asserts the knowability of the Absolute as a matter of course; it lives in terms of this assertion or dogma. More exactly, in this assertion of the self-evident knowability of the Absolute lies an untested prejudice about the Absolute itself. What absolutely is, is what-is-for-itself and what-is-of-itself (substance). But according to Descartes, true substance is subject, that is, "I think." The Being of God is pure thinking, cogitare, and must therefore also be comprehensible through thinking.
The philosopher as the knower is neither related to things, objects, nor to "himself," the "subject," but, in knowing, he knows what plays around and plays through existing things and existing man and what prevails through all this as a whole in existing. (The subject-object and the object-subject.) "The knowledge that the having-outside-itself of the Absolute (and of course the mere having-for-itself immediately related to this, thus the thought-being of the latter) is itself only an illusion and belongs to illusion is the first decisive step against all dogmatism, the first step toward true Idealism and to the philosophy which is in the Absolute" (ibid., p. 356). Schelling wrote this in 1802, five years before Hegel's Phenomenology ofSpirit! Whoever knows this work of Hegel's will easily understand that Hegel's Phenomenology is only a great, self-contained sequence of variations on this theme. This philosophy of German Idealism, intellectual intuition, is no figment of the imagination, but the real labor of the Spirit on itself. It is no coincidence that "labor" is favorite word of Hegel's.
A “system” is formal equation of identities. But identities are not and need not be “identicalness”. As Nietzsche stresses, no two things in nature are “identical” in the sense of “identities”. Only the formal positing of an absolute identity (A=A) results in the annihilation of the identity (A-A=0), in the an-nulment of the identities equated “systematically”. This is the important discovery we have made, and on which Heidegger touches circa pp86-8 of his
work on Schelling. A mathematical equation gives us “identical” expressions of what are two separate “realities”: 5 plus 7=12. But the equation is based on the formal identity of “units” that are identities in the sense that they annul themselves in tautology (1=1, for example). It is this definition of “units” that are “ideally identical” but that do not and cannot ec-sist in reality that makes every application of mathematics and logic to life and the world only “useful” but never “true”! Because no two leaves are ever (!) identical, their equation can never be established except as a practical assumption. Two apples and two apples will never make four apples because there is nothing in each apple or part thereof that allows it to be “counted” or “identified” in a manner suitable for mathematical “equations”. Yet, as Nietzsche establishes, “science” is based entirely on such “equations” or on the “possibility” that such equations can be “carried out” or “effected”. When such an “effectiveness” involves, as with Mach, the search for the determination of “private sensations” (psychology) with the “public sensations” of physics – then we know that Copernican nihilism has arrived, in that human beings “operate” on themselves as if they were “equateable” or identifiable mathematically. The extreme mathesis is to define Being as something “given”, as an “ob-ject” that can be measured and infinitely replicated just like an abstract concept!
(However, if one takes the inappropriate concept of identity as a base, identity = identicalness, then everything in the sentence "God is everything" is lumped together with God as being the same thing. Everything is not admitted as other, as something different, and thus the possibility of being different, that is, man's standing on his own basis, that is, his freedom, is not admitted either. The ontological foundation, identity, must be properly understood in advance for the demonstration which has now become our task: that pantheism properly understood requires freedom.) What follows from this for the interpretation of the statement "God is everything"? What is the task of demonstration? We shall characterize it briefly in advance. According to the formal concept emphasized by Schelling again and again, pantheism is the doctrine of the immanence and inclusion of all things in God. All things being contained in God includes in any case some kind of dependence of things on God. With pantheism the dependence of beings on God is posited. Precisely this pantheism must not only allow for freedom, but require it. Thus a dependence must be thought which not only leaves room for the independence of what is dependent but which-note well as dependence essentially demands of what is dependent that it be free in its being, that is, be independent in virtue of its nature. Schelling gives this demonstration on p. 18. We shall follow the individual steps and watch how the earlier ontological interim reflection comes into play.
For if, at first glance, it seems that freedom, unable to maintain itself in opposition to God, is here submerged in identity, it may be said that this apparent result is merely the consequence of an imperfect and empty conception of the law of identity. This principle does not express a unity which, revolving in the indifferent circle of sameness, would get us nowhere and remain meaningless and lifeless. The unity of this law is of an intrinsically creative kind. (Heidegger
And then at p87 (note reference to “will” as “free” – and discussion of “being-as-becoming” which is the springboard for German Idealism):
But dependence initially means only that what is dependent is dependent on its ground in that it is at all, but not in what it is. That a son is, for this a father is necessary. But what is dependent, the son, need not, therefore, be what the ground is, a father. What is dependent is at first only dependent on and together with the ground in the realm of the context in which it comes to Being, that is, in becoming. Nothing is as yet said about Being itself, finished self-
containedness. On the contrary, if what is dependent were not finally something set free, cut loose, and placed in itself, dependence without something dependent would be a consequence without something following. That God is man means that God allows man to be as consequence; that is, man must be self-contained if he is to be truly a consequence at all. The necessity of this can be made completely clear right here. If God is the ground and if God himself is not a mechanism and a mechanical cause, but rather creative life, then what he has brought about cannot itself be a mere mechanism. If God as the ground reveals himself in what is grounded by him, he can only reveal himself there. What is dependent must itself be a freely acting being, just because it depends on God. God looks at things as they are in themselves. To be in itself, however, means to stand independently in oneself. What God brings before himself, his representations, "can only be independent beings." What rests upon itself, however, is what is free - is will. What depends on God must be made dependent (ab-gehangt) through him and from him in such a way that it comes to itself to stand as something independent. What is dependently independent, the "derived absoluteness," is not contradictory. Rather, this concept captures what constitutes the band between the ground of beings as a whole and beings as a whole.
Cartesian mathesis involves a dichotomy between Spirit and Nature, Soul and Body, Mind and Matter, Noumenon and Phenomenon. This dichotomy is what Kant seeks to transcend with the transcendental practical dialectic inferred synthetically from a Logic that is “necessary” (Nietzsche) given Kant’s presuppositions with regard to the inferences of Pure Reason from (exclusively) “human” intuition. Again there is a “dif-ferentiation” or distinction between the human autonomous Will and the “heteronomy” of the physical world. Yet, Kantian formalism still results in antinomic apories because the Ob-ject is still posed as such and not, as in dialectics, as subject-object and object-subject. German Idealism leaps therefore from the op-position of Spirit and Nature, of necessity and freedom, to the positing of “the possibility of a system of freedom”, which is Schelling’s aim in the Essay. Here is Heidegger’s masterful summation at p61:
Until now, the realm of system was articulated by the distinction of the realms of nature and freedom. And, accordingly, philosophy divided itself, still with Kant, into a metaphysics of nature and a metaphysics of morality (freedom). And the highest systematical task consisted in mediating between both realms as something immovable. Freedom was discussed in the realm of practical reason and as something theoretically incomprehensible. Now we must show that freedom rules in all realms of beings, but leads to a unique crisis in man and thus demands a new structure of beings as a whole. The realm of system needs a new outline and articulation. To show the necessity of such a foundation-shattering transformation of the question is the real intention of our introduction beginning now. To this purpose, the question of system must now be formulated more definitely. And the question takes its definiteness from the decided orientation toward the opposition of necessity and freedom. Behind this opposition, however, or already in this opposition stands the question of man's freedom in opposition to the ground of beings in general, in traditional language: to God. The question of God and the totality of the world, the question of "theism" in the broadest sense, appears.
And again at p62:
It is important to notice that the previous formulation of the question of "system and freedom" now reads necessity and freedom. This is claimed as the more primordial and higher formulation of the question of freedom. In Schelling's foreword to the treatise on freedom, he refers to what is insuficient in the formulation of the opposition, traditional since Descartes, "nature and Spirit" (res extensa, res cogitans; mechanism, I think) which was not yet overcome by Kant either.
And at p84:
5. The formal concept of freedom is independence as standing within one's own essential law. This is what
freedom means in the true sense, historically expressed, in the Idealist sense. Kant's philosophy creates and forms the transition from the inappropriate to the appropriate concept of freedom. For him freedom is still mastery over sensuousness, but not this alone, but freedom as independence in one's own ground and self-determination as self-legislation. And yet the determination of the formal essence of human freedom is not yet completed in Kant's concept of freedom. For Kant places this freedom as autonomy exclusively in man's pure reason. This pure reason is not only distinguished from, but at bottom also separated from, sensuousness, from "nature," as something completely other. Man's self is determined solely in terms of the egoity of the "I think." This egoity [Ich-heit] is only piled on top of sensuousness as man's animality, but it is not really admitted to nature. Nature and what is so designated remains what is negative and only to be overcome. It does not become constitutive for an independent ground of the whole existence of man. But where nature is thus understood, not as what is merely to be overcome, but as what is constitutive, it joins a higher unity with freedom. On the other hand, however, freedom for its part joins with nature, although undeveloped. Only Schelling went beyond Fichte and took the step to this complete, general essential concept of freedom, a step for which Leibniz had shown a general metaphysical direction in another respect.
We shall see that Heidegger’s “appropriate concept of freedom” is “inappropriate” for our uses, and for reasons that concern directly his mis-interpretation of Nietzsche’s notion of the Will to Power which (we have tried to show) is founded on a novel “intuition of time and place [Ort]”, of human reality that is categorically “historical” (not “historial”) and therefore “materialistic” in an immanentist sense – contrarily to Heidegger’s (and Schelling’s and the German Idealist) purely “onto-theo-logical” conception. At p51:
Philosophy's questioning is always and in itself both onto-logical and theological in the very broad sense. Philosophy is Ontotheology. The more originally it is both in one, the more truly it is philosophy. And Schelling's treatise is thus one of the most profound works ofphilosophy because it is in a unique sense ontological and theological at the same time.
And at p66:
Thus we stated that the inner movement of questioning already starting with the introduction is a continuous playing back and forth between the theological question of the ground of beings as a whole and the ontological question of the essence of beings as such, an onto-theo-logy revolving within itself. Hegel's Phenomenolou of Spirit is such an onto-theo-logy, only of a different kind; Nietzsche's plan for his main work, The Will to Power, is such an ontotheology, again of a different kind. (At p66.)
Kant’s “autonomy of the Will”, the “necessity” (Nietzsche) of the synthetic apriori rather than its “possibility”, were the confessional subject of his dismaying doubts in the Ubergang, the Opus Postumum, that Heidegger with infallible acuity notices at pp39-40:
According to Kant, philosophy is teleologia rationis humanae, essential knowledge of that toward which man's reason, and that means man in his essence, is oriented. In this conceptual determination of philosophy, human reason is not understood just as the tool with which philosophy cognizes. Rather, reason is the object of philosophical science, and indeed the object with respect to what constitutes
the leading and comprehensive unity of reason, its system. This system is determined by the highest concepts of unity and goal, God, world, man. These are the archetypes in which the realm is projected, according to representation, where existing things are then placed. This system is not derived from experience; but, rather, set upfor it. Why doesn't Kant arrive at a system? The philosophy of the logos of the ratio humans (genitivus objectivus and subjectivus) is now explicitly understood as f0~ming a system. The Critique of Judgment is understood as the battle for the system. But why isn't the system simply carried out? Why isn't Kant himself systematically thought through to the end? Why go beyond him? And how does the new point of view look? However, before we can contrast the philosophical concepts with each other, it is necessary to make visible the motivating difficulty in Kant’s  system. For this purpose, a look at Kant's last thoughts about a system at a time when the first steps of German Idealism were already coming to light might be of help. At stake is "a system which is all and one, without increase and improvement" (XXI, 8), (Opus postumum, first half). "The highest principle of the system of pure reason in transcendental philosophy as the opposing relation of the Ideas of God and the world" (ibid. 18). But in what does this "opposing" rest and consist? And, also, "the concept of the subject unifying them which brings (apriori) a synthetic unity to these concepts (God and world) in that reason makes that transcendental unity itself' (ibid. 23). "System of Transcendental/Philosophy in three sections (as title). God, the world, universum and I, Myself, man, as a moral being. God, the world and the world inhabitant, man in the world. God, the world and what thinks both in the real relation opposing each other, the subject as a rational world being." "The medius terminus (copula) in the judgment is here the Judging Subject (the thinking world being, man, in the world). Subject, predicate, copula" (ibid. 27). The mediating unity, human reason, is the crux of the system. God-what is absolutely in itself and stands within itself, World-what is predicated, what becomes in the word, Man-as the copula (all of this reminiscent of Hamann). We have long since known that Kant was especially fascinated by the task of system up until his last years. Excerpts from this manuscript of the Nachlass have been known for a long time but only since a few weeks ago do we have the first part of the Nachlass in a complete edition as vol. XXI of the Akademie-Ausgabe of Kant's works. Here, one can see how Kant begins a project of system again and again in numerous repetitions, and for the first time that and why he got stuck with his whole will in an indissoluble difficulty, moreover in a difficulty which runs through the whole of modern philosophy from Descartes to Nietzsche (System and Freedom) (Being and human being). The highest leading concepts-God, world, man-are Ideas and have a merely heuristic character.
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