Go to My
Writing for explanation of this document.
John S Moore
al 134 Heidegger's view of the 'they world'. His view of
Samuel Beckett. Death as extinction.
Like Schopenhauer he is not irrevocably
committed to the idea that there is nothing beyond extinction.
Heidegger's view of death, however, suggests a very different view
of life from the platonic, or neoplatonic
views which are still very influential.
Horizon of being.
Alternative, not to worry about death, to think of it just as an
incident. To be free of death, free from the worry of death.
Hard to treat Heidegger as just another possibility, when he is so
insistent on the priority of his viewpoint, of being toward death,
Heidegger's view is different from all forms of mysticism and
It is largely these to which he is a challenge.
In some ways it is a very good, very effective challenge, however
Communication. Whether some find happiness in the norm. All must come
back to some basic verbal commitment.
Perhaps Heidegger should be learnt and passed through.
al 155 Heidegger, Like a private mediation. He is more
from Sartre, even form Kierkegaard than I realised. He does not praise
commitment, or leap of faith. His 'resolution; seems to be more like
'true will' than either of those.
I would not say he is deliberately obscure. This is his own thought,
a revelation of the truth as he sees it, and how he sees it.
is quite an appropriate concept for the confused floundering in which
of us live, most of the time. The existentialist puts an end to the
by an arbitrary decision. Heidegger's resolution, however, is not
It has a kind of necessity to it. Resolution, disclosure. Obvious
of this. If there is dishonesty it lies in the implicit claims to
al 194 The latest Journal
of Nietzsche Studies, relating Nietzsche to Heidegger,
Pretentious feminist crap about Derrida. What I see in this is a kind
Heidegger sees the will to power as the last gasp of metaphysics. He
nihilism as a universal predicament of modernity.
But this is not philosophy, it is religion. It is undemonstrated
Who wants a religion, to be told what to think and feel, even if it is
only a problem?
People use Heidegger to advance beyond him into all sorts of strange
Derrida, deconstruction. The route to enabling people to think what
I suppose Heidegger fulfilled a role a bit like Hegel,
or even Kant, making it possible to believe.
Steiner's book on Heidegger seems very good so far. Problem with
how can so many take him at his own valuation? Insofar as he has
to say, which I think he has, this could be put into clear language. It
seems a bit ridiculous to describe so called primordial concepts in
which presuppose familiarity with other terms of ordinary language.
Appeal of Heidegger. Steiner notes a possible influence of Boehme,
which is interesting, as Boehme always suggested to me an alternative
But why do I say Heidegger is religious? He is concerned with
Like Wittgenstein he reveals possibility. But he wants to make
immediately available. We can read Boehme and find him exciting.
can lead us into Tibetan Buddhism. But some
people seem to need something more definite than this.
Culture as hypothesis. A way of getting us actually to believe
exciting. We may be able to see that many ideas would be exciting if we
believed them. But can we believe?
Heidegger does not promise a gregarious faith. Much of it seems quite
acceptable. It is individualised and concerned with possibility.
But what he does to language is barbaric.
Heidegger's immanent mysticism. The achievement of affirmation,
all the emotions and concepts associated with it. Can it work? It seems
more unnatural than the frameworks bequeathed us by Buddhism
theosophy. Emotional satisfaction within this intensely finite,
death bounded framework.
Sometimes reading Heidegger one feels 'found out'; this lostness in
the world, how can he really provide anything better? What guarantee
there be of authenticity beyond subjective feeling? How is this not the
justification of the puritan?
al 198& Reservations on George Steiner. His hobby-horse
music. Quite unnecessary to introduce it. It could be that the idea of
the music culture is antithetical to what Heidegger intends. The 'they
world' as about the totalitarian state. I don't think it is about that
His other hobby-horse of the holocaust. I don’t think H's involvement
with Nazism was very serious. His enthusiasm in 1933 was as excusable
Blok's in 1917.
The national way of thinking is understandable. The Germans are in
an unfortunate position. As a people they are the equals of the English
or the French. To mention it may seem to be dangerous.
To get down to foundations, to get down to basic argument against
However interesting it may be to disregard that. However seeming
however much intellectual food may be provided to satisfy a basic
Making belief available, making good dreams available. "Europe dreamed
with Rousseau". Musical culture.
Hobby-horse of the holocaust. Idea that the Germans are capable of the
heights of the spirit (in music and philosophy) and perhaps therefore
of the depths (the holocaust). He admits he is not a philosopher but it
is largely philosophy he is talking about. If he lacks competence for
highly technical issues, that is not much to the point.
But he does seem willing to follow ideas as if they were music.
Perhaps this is an error. Like when Nietzsche called Hegel and
'brother geniuses in philosophy', or when, like Stephen Spender, he
the 'greats in history'.
The whole ideas of great philosophers can be misleading, a kind of
Heidegger, Freud, Marx, Derrida, could sweep us along.
Pretentiousness begins with Hegel, who tried
to replace religion.
Stirner was by most valuations a very minor thinker, but I admire him
more than Hegel.
One of the troubles with the Germans is self consciousness in the face
of the English and the French.
As an exegete Steiner is a bit like a woman. A woman man admire her
man's ideas, but she always knows she might have chosen a different
and would then have admired his, different ideas.
Private Eye call him a pseud. They are quite wrong. Whatever is made
of his other books, his Heidegger book is clear and informative.
The suggestion that Heidegger might dominate in the same way as Nietzsche
100 years earlier. This seems to me far fetched. Despite SLS who said
is much more profound than Nietzsche.
al 213 Heidegger, said to draw on St Augustine, Pascal,
The peculiar emotions to which he ascribes revelatory significance.
al 292 I think it was a Pinter play, about an Irish woman and
some earnest German student who said among other things how he wanted
be taught by Heidegger.
al 32 Heidegger as autobiography. Other people's
"But this distantiality which belongs to Being-with, is such that
as everyday Being-with-one-another, stands in subjection
[Botmassigkeit] to Others. It [Dasein] itself is not; its Being has
been taken away by the Others. Dasein's everyday possibilities
of Being are for the Others to dispose of as they please. These Others,
moreover, are not definite Others. On the contrary, any
Other can represent them. What is decisive is just that inconspicuous
domination by Others which has already been taken over
unawares from Dasein as Being-with . One belongs to the Others oneself
and enhances their power. 'The Others' whom one
thus designates in order to cover up the fact of one's belonging to
them essentially oneself, are those who at first and for the
most part 'are there' in everyday Being-with-one-another. The "who"
is not this one, not that one, not oneself [man selbst], not
some people [einige], and not the sum of them all. The 'who' is the
neuter, the "they" [das Man}. (p164)
""The Self of everyday Dasein is the they-self, which we distinguish
from the authentic Self--that is,
from the Self which has been taken hold of its own way" (p. 167) etc
al 327 Heidegger was trying
to restore the spirit of archaic Greece.
al 88 Mark Tebbit's article
on Lukacs on Heidegger. Heidegger's description
of the 'they world' as paranoia, irrationalist defeatism,. What is
it is said, are the right rational categories to interpret this. But
should having the right categories for understanding necessarily solve
Paranoiac as one in possession of the facts. What Heidegger says the
'they world' conceals is possibilities of existence. Lukacs suggests
should be no alienation if we are supplied with the right concepts. But
in the nature of things, why should these concepts necessarily be easy
There are some people whose whole way of being is so thoroughly and
absolutely social that to see society itself as essentially repressive
can only seem like extreme paranoia. People who want to think and feel
what others think and feel, who find the very idea of alienation
Alienation as Heidegger presents it is not at all a failure of
The nature of it, and the causes of it, can be presented in entirely
That the prevailing views of society are not those of the individual
who has a good understanding of his own possibilities. And that there
a pressure to deny those possibilities. What is wrong with that?
Continuous alienation, that is only the source of creative originality.
What it is opposed to is the ideal of gregarious happiness that some
wing people value most of all. To them it is the height of paranoia to
suggest that the nature of things contains this gap. For one who wants
to draw his values from the they world the idea that this world is
to himself is like schizophrenia. A failure of rationality, of what he
wants most dearly. His concern will be to link himself up with this
again by developing the right concepts.
Argument goes on forever.
Also reading Being and Time I
find that Tebbit is wrong to say that
Heidegger absolutely presupposes that death is extinction. He allows
the possibility that it might not be, but says that makes no difference
to his argument.
People make a similar mistake about Schopenhauer.
'the most reactionary section of the bourgeoisie".
al 15&& Being and Time is actually more
readable and comprehensible
than I had suspected.
Heidegger's radicalism. One suspects hidden motives, a subtle
Philological unsoundness of his etymologies. The desire to unthink.
To make the whole of western philosophy seem profoundly relative and
Insufficiently particular, insufficiently immediate or observed.
Interest as springing from a point of view.
With Heidegger the difficulty of understanding seem to exclude time
for basic argument. Likewise Hegel.
Heidegger, to make so many of our basic assumptions seem arbitrary.
But of course he is exciting and appealing to young people, Unlike with
Hegel, I do not feel a need to oppose and refute.
He draws inspiration from Kierkegaard who was the anti Hegelian hole
in the corner, K refutes Hegel by showing an alternative possible
To make this position itself into the conclusion of reason is an error.
The phenomenological method with its extraordinarily pretentious
The so called conclusions which are simply borrowed from Kierkegaard.
is the kind of writing you can get a kick out of. It is extremely
Heidegger has something extremely interesting to say, though his
method is a joke…. The finding of bad reasons…
Kierkegaard, De Sade, the necessity and apparent truth of what hey
have to say springs from negation of a false and pretentious claim to
and the French enlightenment, It is quite wrong to present them as if
were replacement authorities replacement truths. But they may be
Like Kant for Schopenhauer,
Husserl for Heidegger offered a new way of doing metaphysics a new way
of demonstrating the necessity of his opinions and attitudes. There is
no intrinsic connection whatever between Husserl and Kierkegaard.
is taken as a metaphysical path for coming to assert the authority of
insufficiently grounded attitudes and opinions.
But much of what Heidegger has to say about possibility rises equal
to the age of imperialism. He does have a way of talking about these
rather difficult to talk about subjects.
'Hermeneutics'. Interpretation of the meanings people attach to
their lives. Dilthey. Heidegger. The idea that that Heidegger and
Wittgenstein are compatible is somehow strange. The motive for
reconciliation is something that must be suspect.
An 101 Derrida as an extreme
form of decadence. What grandeur has this
idea? Even Heidegger is decadent because of his horrible abuse of
an 232 The secret of life is
not doing but interpretation. Not politics,
but art. Aesthetic theory. New theory of art and its function. Art as
Our ordinary lives contain immeasurable riches. A constant task is
to attract ourselves sufficiently to this, to make it meaningful and
Thoughts such as this draw me closer to Heidegger.
an 289 Existentialism we can
see as one effort to internalise the concept
of nobility. Heidegger. The individual in the modern world. Turning his
life into a satisfying aesthetic phenomenon. An individualism aspiring
to a freedom from class determination.
This is another kind of priestly urge. The intellectual is the priest,
he wants to define the values which control culture, reduce the moral
of the established classes.
an 341 Middle ages. Need
for a conceptual framework which permits us
the emotions that we want to have. The trouble with scientific
is that it may limit in this respect, its dogmatic insistence that
is no God in its own way limiting the range of thought quite precisely.
Atheism that pre-empts the questions that are to be asked.
See what Heidegger was trying to do with his very mediaeval philosophy,
and see how it links quite closely to Nazism, with its absolutist state
and swastika symbolism.
Ever since Beethoven, people have wanted to place the focus of
emotion in music.
ao 130 Am I missing
something, am I being obtuse or ill informed in
not being so excited by Heidegger? Is it only my ignorance of Heidegger
that enables me largely to disregard him?
ao 182 Why even when talking
about freely chosen will, I do not want
to become involved with Heidegger. Heidegger, Hegel, Freud.
in the type of thought. Depth, What I could call the illusion of
depth, a capacity to go on generating discourse, a certain
Whereas the propositions of e.g. William James can be easily understood
and contradicted. Freud and the others lend themselves to an
number of moves.
ao 252 Guilt of Heidegger.
For someone who lays such a claim to wisdom,
to suggest that this finds its issue in national socialism, the
ideology of 1933, is like a refutation.
There is this modern tendency to bracket Nietzsche
Introduction to Metaphysics. A
buzzy book, like Twilight of the
or The Birth of Tragedy. But
Heidegger's profundity amounts to nothing,
it is like the old Hegelian arrogance, the Napoleonic, ultimately the
Janesch. "Heidegger's thought is characterised by the same obsessive
hair-splitting distinctions as Talmudic thought. That is why it holds
an extraordinary fascination for Jews, persons of Jewish ancestry and
with a similar mental makeup".
ao 254 Heidegger is like Hegel. The
that is persuasive power is like Nietzsche.
This fantastic metaphysical delusion rooted in words and the
ao 262 Images of Nazis as cartoon villains. Arguments used,
whatever is like nazis is seen as sharing in the odium. If Heidegger
favoured a state based on mass slaughter he would have been more
That would at least have been honest.
<>ao 85 SLS who told me Heidegger is much more profound
Certainly Heidegger does hint at some profound questions. Religion,
philosophy. Philosophy needs to progress. Religion is perfect at every
stage. Philosophy could preserve its impulse at any stage by turning
Nietzsche's capacity to renew thought. Idea of rejecting him because
of his contribution to Nazi brutality. If we are persuaded of the truth
of his position he cannot be simply rejected. It scarcely makes sense,
Hegel and Heidegger yes.
You take your whole life and what you make of its possibilities. This
is the authentic way of thinking. But I could reverse this.
AP 177 Heidegger's Nietzsche,
blaming him for his own Nazism. The Nazi Nietzsche was really Wagner,
Heidegger, ditto even Deleuze.
Ap 370 Heidegger. Not understanding him. Like Hegel,
someone so difficult to understand that simply understanding him is a
feat. By no means do I understand him. But I am intensely suspicious of
him. Mysticism, Eckhart. The experiences of the mystics as different
the god of the philosophers. Magda King writes of a tingling down the
on first understanding Heidegger. Wittgenstein,
the Beatles, charisma.
The origins of philosophy in resentment. Thinking of Heidegger, Compare
with Wagner, Freud, Hegel. Influences on Heidegger. Dilthey, Husserl,
Nietzsche, Duns Scotus, Eckhart, Parmenides, Holderlin.
When I recall that I learnt Wittgenstein., Idea of an element of chance
here. Might have been Heidegger. But then are these not two totally
kinds of philosopher? Wittgenstein is like the culmination of a
that began with Hobbes. Analytical philosophy, compelling argument. ….
Against Heidegger, I defend the tradition I was brought up in. but it
not as crude as that. I am loyal to the tradition, even though I am in
way rejected by it.
The presocratics. Nietzsche's early praise of. Little Wagners,
Though Heidegger is German, much of his influence has been on French
culture. The French give much more scope to the individual sage or
They respect individual brilliance. Partly because, in a society
as their is, such brilliance does very little harm. In other parts of
world, like Cambodia, its effects could be catastrophic,
It does so little harm because it so valued as brilliance. That is
its primary value. A country with a Catholic and Absolutist tradition.
Giving way to brilliance, extreme intellectual irresponsibility even,
like true freedom. It feels sexually liberated.
Hegel and Heidegger To defer to them is to
let them express their brilliance.
This brilliance like a Catholic counter reformation spirit.
A puritanical hatred of all that. This looks for a more important truth
in the possibility of reversal.
Idea of philosophy as an interesting pattern. Even a tissue of errors.
A doily of errors.
Symbiotic relationship of he nations. French monarchy, gloire etc.
Why Heidegger had such a strong appeal. Why he still does.
Difficulty of Heidegger, Readings of Nietzsche. Heidegger like food
for those who demand great intellectual complexity. Is it a sign of
inferiority not to understand, not to respond to that? On this level
as resentment may seem hardly appropriate. First the stuff has to be
Sartre called Ayer 'un con'. Why is it that the immediate objections
of the analytic school of philosophers to Heidegger do not appear to
Heidegger as the decadence of philosophy. I feel compelled to study
it because of how it is upheld. Heidegger and Wittgenstein now said to
have something in common. Heidegger on Eckhart. The God of the
different from the God of the mystics. Value of mystical experience for
Ap 379* Magda King. Do I now feel I understand Heidegger,
read that book? I can feel sympathetic to Sartre in the use he made of
Heidegger. It is as if Heidegger calls out for popularisation and
The real key to Heidegger is a certain buzz he brings. When he talks
of the temptation fall into hearsay. In the early stages of reading
I definitely felt I did not understand. Then one feels he must
to a certain kind of spiritual crisis, people whose experience of life
precisely is this constant temptation to live as everyone else lives.
Some of his thought may be seen as experiment. Like playing with
But then this hearsay does have a kind of threatening power which it
is very hard to undermine. And he does undermine it, though at a very
cost. He is a prophet who pretends to be a philosopher. He has a poetic
vision. We can see where its whole drive comes from.
Aq 215 Reflections on Wittgenstein. This idea of finding
between Wittgenstein and Heidegger. Wittgenstein may have had something
good to say about Being and Time
but so did he about Mein Kampf.
Turning him into something non philosophical.
AQ 9 For so long western society has tried to recapture the
power and freedom of ancient Athens. But we are stuck in mediocrity.
describes mediocrity well, but I am not happy with the remedy. A
of being. An attempt to reach right down to presuppositions that it is
alleged are at the root of our language in the attempt to change
them. As if overcoming this will be a way of overcoming mediocrity,
tyranny of hearsay'.
See the connection of what he was doing with what Plato
was trying to do. Plato was trying to create a rationale for
Dominance of his own taste.
Nietzsche's explanation for modern mediocrity is much simpler. He
it might be the result of the mixing of classes. If this really is the
cause, then what of Heidegger's solution? It appears it could have an
political meaning. Like the elitist idea of forming a dominant class
Phenomenology. A way of making primary what seems far from primary.
In the sense of traditional grammar or logic his concepts seem
derivative. But they come for the method of phenomenology, the
Philosophy becomes mythological, recalling Hesiod. Or it can easily
slip into Freud,
How are these ideas used in deconstruction?
See how they are given a leftist political slant by people who want
some kind of exciting politics out of philosophy.
See how this can be done, how even leftist politics is identified with
mediocrity overcome. Once again the dreadful idea that there is no
nature, or truth.
That a right wing truth can take a left wing form.
ar 113 Frederick Raphael writes of the current domination of
Heidegger within Germany. 'the elevation of a shit into a god'. I
with this judgement. In this sense I am not at all anti-Semitic. I do
place feeling at the centre of my thought. The irrationalism of Wagner
and Heidegger I object to most strongly. Anyone who looks to be guided
by feelings and intuitions may be led into any dangerous thought. That
I am not led by feelings and intuitions. Not even Heidegger's openness
to being. Perhaps he has something to say to such a thoroughly defeated
ar 192 Appeal of Heidegger. So easy to be put off by bad
One can fail to understand, fail to grasp, the appeal.
Consider what some people want from philosophy, and do not negate what
once were one's own motives.
How much more profound seemed existentialism than analytical
Great question of should it have?
See how traditional philosophy derives conclusions about the purpose
of life from reflections about the nature of the world. Plato
of course, Spinoza, Hegel, Nietzsche Kant.
Then the oriental tradition of sages. Existentialism offers a poetic
vision, A kind of emotion. Think of Byron, who did something
but that was poetry. Existentialism is philosophy, I suppose we should
think of Heidegger as creative achievement in that sense.
Like a poetic attitude theologised. To object to it may be to carp
at something great one cannot imitate.
Is it one's business to object? Should we think of Heidegger as the
successor of someone like Byron?
Oppositional attitude of analytic philosophy. One can say it obstructs,
or fails to grasps the vision.
There comes a point when the vision is objectionable. One accepts that
existentialism was rich in creative potential.
Heidegger. Hermeneutics. A heretic Catholic mystic. Subjectivism
of the hermeneutic method.
Neo Kantian Christianity. Wildebrand. Restoring the link between truth
and value in Kantianism.
Heidegger, Idea of the progress introduced by Christianity. St
Self experience, the historical.
Heidegger's move from the security of God certainty to an angst at
the root of things.
I think interpretation should be much simpler than he would have it.
My Satanic method.
I want to rediscover my basic objection to it.
Idea that Heidegger is the key to the modern soul. Understanding is
not so difficult. There is more access.
Eckhart, St Augustine.
Enough is known already. So many philosophers are difficult. So little
understood. But how might they be worth understanding? Who would bother
with Duns Scotus or Fichte?
As a major philosopher Heidegger was aware of the questions we
put to him and of the ground of his appeal. The demand for 'life
I would say there is no need at all for philosophy to be so difficult,
so complicated. The professor's philosophy, this theologising. We feel
we must study it because it makes a demand on us. It claims to be
Something an educated person needs to know. And to be deeply exciting.
ar 196 I would say it cannot be more deeply exciting or
than many things that have been.
I reject Christian exclusivity and the claim that St Augustine was
deeper than Apuleius.
Part of Heidegger's demand on us is that he is deeper than what we
know already, that he has something profound to teach us.
Can we or should we accept this?
My situation of not being immersed in his philosophy, or being immersed
in other, simpler philosophies.
Mixture of scholasticism, neo-Kantianism, Dilthey, Jaspers and Husserl.
This idea of depth does not involve truth. So how is it compelling?
There is so much that is directly accessible just by sympathetic
like the worlds of the Buddhist.
This is potentially entirely satisfying, why not? It has been
why should it not be so in the future? To what standard does it fail to
meet up? Of truth? But that has been abandoned. Well what other values
are there? And what claim do they have upon us?
Drive your cart and your plough over the bones of the dead.
Suppose we do not accept that Christianity was an advance on paganism.
All this ontic choosing. Why should we value it? All this
All the values in the world in their own way good enough.
The phenomenological meditation on a philosophical problem. Like that
of generating a life philosophy that answers some of the obvious
Buddhism etc, Everything I can
understand. Added to the basic gnostic principle of rejecting
ideas. And such indulgence is entirely permissible. I can take my
spiritual god wherever I want to take it. I can act like a hippy or a
Most particularly I can identify with my lost cause.
"Authenticity" is not truth, therefore it has no necessary hold on
Feeling that for the first time I have a true understanding of
It is like an…
Questions of most fundamental method. Like the most basic question
of what philosophy can tell us of how we are to live.
This is a question people ask of philosophy, no doubt. Then there is
the phenomenological treatment of the experience of this question, with
the idea of preserving an original motivation.
See the point of the obscure language and terminology. It is to evoke
and preserve an experience that otherwise becomes theory laden.. so
of Heidegger can seem arbitrary, but one can at last perceive his
But what is the significance of the original question? Angst is not an
arbitrary wrench, it is a response to this question. Philosophical
Basic question of method. Grasp something of his originality. His idea
of 'falling', where one loses sight of the original problem. And see
so many intelligent people have been fascinated by him. The angst is
the basic question. The philosophical question of how to live. As if
are no answers given.
A young person's philosophy. This sense of power, as if there is this
great power to choose. As if all options are in fact open.
The union of 'life-philosophy' and more analytical philosophy, like
A power, like something different from God in a Christian or a Platonic
Idea of origins. See well enough how it is anti-platonic. Tracing
to a concrete situation.
In the past criticism of me might be that I do not understand
See how he creates an idea that is very exciting, as Nietzsche is
Arguments why he is sterile. It has the same kind of exciting appeal
as Plato. Some idea of Higher truth. As if this return to origins gives
power, some new unprecedented power.
Heidegger what remains of old German culture.
Authenticity is not truth therefore it has no hold on me. Authenticity
is actually a phoney value.
Get a simple shift in perspective. Simply find it objectionable, simply
refrain from being carried away with the excitement.
The excitement is the same kind of thing Wagner has to offer. How
is it even of civilisation or anything else?
The anxiety one has as if one is missing something rich and satisfying.
Something comparable to Plato in its richness.
So what of the basic question can it be answered? Something like the
enlightenment principle. But prior to that. One would not want to
that far, one would want to feel the question is all its
try to preserve that. But how meaningful is the question anyway? Is it
not some kind of absurd abstraction to which people like Bentham and
offer answers? Chinese emperor syndrome.
These are the questions posed by some geometrical despot, some
What to think what to be?
Finding something that seems fundamental gives a certain intellectual
Of course he doesn't answer the questions, he doesn't get beyond posing
them, so he may feel the absolute converse of an abstract despot. One
concrete, Like the ultimate concrete situation.
Not only the complete moral irrelevance of this, its empty pride. But
the post war attempt to repent. 'Only God can save us now'.
shit. Still not taking of responsibility. Feminine passivity.
Hegel Wagner, Heidegger, who may seem so different from Hegel. Hegel
sees the whole task of philosophy as eliminating the contingent, which
seems another piece of nonsense.
Heidegger, One does not answer the question, but one has the question,
and all pride is in this, this is the whole source of existentialist
In this there is a certain formal beauty. Here again I think of Mao
or Bentham. This gives it its aesthetic quality. It is a major
that I can see, But it is far less than it claims to be.
See how much I repudiate the old possiblitism. The difference in
That rationalistic fantasy, Yet will to power masquerading as something
I am not questioning in the existentialist sense, far less the
sense. The question is not meaningful, Quote from Kisiel The Genesis of
Heidegger's Being and Time p159
Shift in perspective, come back to Plato, and the origins of knowledge.
There is no state where I feel I have to choose arbitrarily. But
I might perhaps like to think of other people as in such a state.
The idea of such a choice is the foundation of existentialist angst.
The attack on Plato is something that goes back to Twilight of the Idols.
I feel motivated to defend Plato. Disputing
idea that an antiplatonic interpretation has so much to recommend it.
The rationalistic tyranny of the idea of choice. The choice is not
so much of what to think and value as what to dominate with, what to
what to lead with, what to identify with. So this angst is itself
because it is part of a lust for power. This rational scheme is not
as a constraint.
Kierkegaard objecting to Hegel. Obvious is
the objection to this all embracing scheme, his pretension to all
Strange that this very insistence on an unassimilable experience is
the basis for a new system.
As if Scholasticism could be made all comprehensive by adding the
of Duns Scotus.
Kierkegaard objected to Hegel. It seems the point is missed about his
real objection. They try to create the same kind of system on the basis
of the experience Kierkegaard uses as an objection.
If it were possible one thinks Hegel would have foreseen it.
But for Hegel in the context people often mean Plato
as if our concept of truth derives from him. And neoplatonism
in particular puts essence before existence whatever that is taken to
The point of Kierkegaard's objection is not that Hegel does not pin him
down, What is wrong in Plato we can easily
without needing to 'deconstruct'.
I would say Platonism is everything apart from
the Heideggerian new beginning…..
Coming to realise that to resist objectionable postmodernist
of Nietzsche I have to take on Heidegger.
Heidegger on St Paul. Rejecting Nietzsche's resentment interpretation.
Heidegger compares closely to Hegel. A great
philosopher like an expounder of a great error.
But both tackle questions analytical philosophy tend to ignore. Might
one say that they define truth by their errors? Both philosophies are
to give credence to objectionable positions. Defining those positions
clarifying them, we can hope to overcome them.
Triumph over them is a main object, rendering redundant the original
Heidegger on St Augustine. Interesting is his rejection of the neoplatonic
element in Augustine, what he calls his hierarchisation. He wants to
Augustine back to his roots in Paul.
Against 'hierarchisation of experience'. Against reducing experience
Question. Why should one so value reality? Especially this
There are Schopenhauerian and
reasons for valuing and uncovering the truth. But what of the
reason? What is the point of concentrating on this moment of choice?
There is Pascal, described by Colin Wilson as the most important
Luther who attacks the neoplatonism in
Augustine and wants to draw back to the primal experience of Paul.
What is the virtue of this supposed recall to 'facticity'? Is it an
attempt to answer some fundamental question? Prufrock's overwhelming
All this great depth can lead us only to what we know already.
To Colin Wilson.
Heidegger's contempt for Sartre's Dreck.
People like Hegel and Heidegger can exert a poisonous influence over
the minds of the young.
All the value of Heidegger's truthfulness. Attempt to answer this
This need some people have, what people want from philosophy, like
sustenance. And like a method for clarifying he experience of the
From this point of view all the 'existentials' appear. So it seems
to ask questions of Being. And constantly to keep this in mind become s
a philosophical method. It becomes important constantly to keep this
in sight. And this relates to the torments of some Christian
See how much confusion is introduced everywhere. Even the concern for
and love of reality can have very different motivations.
Heidegger would not presumably call his motivation a love of truth
because that sounds platonic.
ar 213 Aristotle's Physics. Heidegger's aspiration to insight
or illumination. If truth it is not truth in an ordinary sense. So
'fallenness'. Suppose out of mere bolshiness I decide I want to live
indulge in such fallenenss, i.e. to deny his doctrine out of a spirit
negation.? This s where truth begins to come into it. Truth comes in
which is individual dissidence.
For Heidegger claims to be not a poet, but a philosopher, an
The possibility he delineates has nothing of truth in it. It is merely
creative vision. Its possibility is too broad, too wide.
People who throw away their freedoms by conniving at the authority
of an interfering and patronising government. Like testing a
Idea that in my negativity I am parasitical, unappreciative of the
great creative achievement of someone like Heidegger or Hegel.
Finding their ideas demoralising or threatening. I mean I look for a
which is not from them If I achieve that it may be partly through an
of them and thinkers like them, a conquest over a landscape which they
have helped to create.
Heidegger equiprimordiality. The existentials and replacement of the
This how we seem to begin with something already quite complex &
Heidegger on Spengler p339
ar 23 Heidegger on Dilthey. Taking him from such a unique point
of view, is it any help in understanding Dilthey? All the
arguing his own ontological approach as more fundamental. Not so much
to problems left behind by Dilthey.
Yorick Wartenburg's ideas that philosophy should lead scientific
rather than follow behind it. Criticise, even deconstruct.
Attack Dilthey's psychology of starting with the self and analysing.
Dilthey's anti metaphysical motive. Avoid metaphysics, try to write
clearly, without preconceptions.
pp161& Introduction to
Metaphysics. Is it philosophy? It
is jolly enough stuff and I think I understand it well enough. Is it
Is Kabbalism philosophy?
What of his eccentric forays into etymology, on which he hinges so
much? Surely that is hardly intellectually responsible?
Does it matter if we call it philosophy? Perhaps it is a different
style of thinking. Like Kabbalism perhaps. Wordplay, numberplay,
ideas, profound vision, coherent understandings.
Heidegger claims to get behind logic. But that can hardly be
So he presents himself as a sage. His credentials are no better,
no worse, than those of Aleister Crowley. Crowley's thought is
but what is its hold on us? Its claim. Heidegger's claim is no the same
kind of level. Its aesthetic, conceptual neatness.
SLS admire Ouspensky as well as Heidegger.
Heidegger's ambition is surely to dogmatise. He seeks the power of
being a great authority, to guide culture and society in the direction
he would prefer.
Probably has his heart in the right place. Like a poet. Seems to lack
Key passages in Introduction to
Metaphysics. For my pigeon-holing of
him. P106 "Again we go back to the two decisive thinkers, Parmenides
Heraclitus, and attempt once more to gain admittance into the Greek
whose foundations, even though distorted and transposed, covered and
still sustain our world. Precisely because we have embarked on the
and long venture of demolishing a world that has grown old and of
it authentically new, i.e. historically, we must know the tradition".
P102 'Logic was able to arise as an exposition of the formal
structure and rules of thought only after the division between being
thinking had been effected in a particular way and in a particular
Consequently logic itself and its history can never throw adequate
on the essence and origin of the separation between being and thinking.
Logic itself is in need of an explanation and foundation in regard to
own origin and its claim to provide the authoritative interpretation of
P122 (Of Parmenides) "the maxim does not say 'thinking and being
are the same." It says 'there is a reciprocal bond between apprehension
and being". The real catastrophe is to be sought in a total failure to
understand the truth of the maxim."
I am quite prepared to agree about there being a reciprocal
between apprehension and Being. Being is a concept we use in our lives.
Indeed our concept of being can be used as a very determining thing.
of theological arguments for the non -existence of Evil "Evil is
is no evil, evil is nothing".
How we perceive the world determines what is. Put another way, how
we perceive the world determines how we use the concept 'being' and
versa. But here we are not using the concept. Use it and you get
Parmenides maxim, according to Heidegger. And my statement is of a
kind. I.e. Heidegger would take it as presupposition laden.
He seeks authority for his judgements in his obscure etymological
Cabalistic they are. Gematria and temurah.
Then the philosopher's dream of affecting the profoundest change.
Archimedes fulcrum. He finds it in physis. His judgements are immune
logical criticism because his subject mater includes the non-logical
of logic itself.
Heidegger. The logical responsibility of existentialism. Returning
to the roots of creativity. Being
and Time. Time as 'the perspective governing
the disclosure of being'. What existentialists think they are doing
they seek experience for he sake of experience.
I would not say it is a good book. It is a difficult book. Hitherto
my understanding of existentialism has presumably been superficial.
Being/appearance. Being/the ought.
Healing the division. Until the end of the book I couldn't really
its attraction. I think it is pernicious but it does not do to utter
obvious criticism of his intellectual method.
Forget values, intellectual ideas, return to the particular, the
experience, that is where being and truth lie.
Against the idea that truth is expressible in intellectual terms
Logos as the art of 'gathering"
Idea as the permanent, the defence against 'doxa' Appearance in 2
the appearance of being and appearance to men.
Heidegger as an extreme kind of decadent. Gross intellectual
to back up and support an exciting experience.
Originally truth (being) meaning individual discovery of it.
Attractive ('sexy') hints and glimmerings behind all this. The obvious
appeal of Heraclitus. The sense of truth, of revelation, balancing all
Heidegger, Hegel. Suggestions of philosophy for philosophy's sake.
A very strange kind of philosophy, but then perhaps philosophy of all
is entitled to be strange.
Heidegger calling upon us to experience. Discovery of being in
experience. Excitement of this possibility. Though truth not longer a
of solving intellectual problems.
All the intellectuality does indeed recall Ouspensky. Intellectual
games in support of a central experience.
Intellectual food or fodder. Stuff for the young to get their teeth
into. Having appeal to intellectual curiosity.
Hardly, I think, solving intellectual problems, rather bypassing them.
More important than the intellectual irresponsibility of Heidegger's
exegesis is that I do not agree with it, more important than that is
I do not even want to agree with it.
Heidegger can be studied for his historical importance.
'Feeling being'. The importance of Heidegger's jargon, his terminology.
It is subtle and involved enough not to lend itself to easy
and hence refutation.
Explicitly he states, over and over again that he does not mean what
his critics might easily take him to mean.
His terminology is a way of giving his critics handles with which to
pull him down. But one might refute him by using some of his own
methods, parodying him.
'experiencing being' The appeal of the idea that truth can be
in the particular. I.e. that the quest for philosophical truth is
because too one-sided. The obvious appeal of this, the truth we can all
see. Many sides to any question. Hegel's perception of this and its
Truth as revelation, How could truth be immediate revelation? Take
that as one of the fundamental questions Heidegger is answering.
Truth as immediate revelation, as exciting experience, what an
prospect! Dissolution of intellectual perplexity into existentialist
Philosophical perplexity. Philosophical themes and questionings
western civilisation. Idea that these have run themselves into complete
confusion. Diversion of perplexity into exciting action.
Heidegger's attack on Nietzsche,
Perhaps I should mention it in my book. Only to show that it is a
idea in Europe that Nietzsche was superseded. That even Nietzsche's
concerns were, as it were, undermined superseded by the discovery that
rationalism is quite played out. That to deal with 'values' is to
the rationalistic will o the wisp.
Heidegger speaks with honour of national socialism. German nationalism
for 150 years an absolute pain. German inferiority complex about
and culture, the need felt by many German writers to praise everything
German because it was German.
Heidegger is very guilty. He admires Nietzsche yet Nietzsche attacked
most virulently that kind of nationalism having eventually managed to
himself from it. Nietzsche and Schopenhauer,
the clearest German writers were anti-German nationalist. Anti
Of course there was a thriving existentialist culture on the continent.
To be drawn to Heidegger was to be drawn into that.
pp178& Heidegger versus Winch.
(SLS's antithesis) Quote
from Introduction to Metaphysics
p 147 "In the usual present day view what
has been said here is a mere product of the farfetched and one-sided
method of exegesis, which has already become proverbial. But here we
indeed we must, ask Which interpretation is the true one, the one which
simply takes over a perspective into which it has fallen, because this
perspective, this line of sight, presents itself as familiar and self
the interpretation which questions the customary perspective form top
bottom because conceivably - and indeed actually- this line of sight
not need to what is in need of being seen".
A dreadfully awkward sentence. 'What is in need of being seen'. What
I want to see or what I think ought to be seen. What does he
ought to be seen? A philosophy which tries to accept life values which
are not mediocre.
To do this we have to defuse the concepts of ought and values
Heidegger evidently considered himself to be carrying on Nietzsche's
Nietzsche, he says, entangled himself in the 'thicket of values'.
is so thoroughly anti intellectualist. I suppose some of Nietzsche's
do stand little chance of realisation.
Heidegger turns away from such a programme of reform, into one of what
we might call ecstatic fulfilment in immediate action. This is linked
theories according to which such experience would provide the
for a complete revitalisation of civilisation. That, however, to my
is a phoney intellectual fantasy, albeit a gratifying one.
pp347 Wrinkles on a well known
face. The horror of ageing lies in the
sense of unrealised possibilities. But what possible help could reading
Heidegger be for this? What is spiritual advance? Psychotherapy,
philosophy. To improve your life in its quality. I could not submit to
psychotherapy because I could not accept that anyone knows better than
RR 11 Guilt is not as Heidegger
says something to do with missed opportunities,
it is to do with not matching up to some value system by which you
yourself to be judged. That is the prime cause of depression.
directed inwardly. Heidegger's value system is all to do with taking up
opportunities so we can see what he means.
ss 155 Heidegger on
conscience. Back with the ethical content of Christianity,
but purged of Christianity. The same theologising intent. The
of feeling that philosophy alone has told me what I must do. That I
be, that I must realise my potentialities.
Fichte and Hegel, from an extrapolation to
a compulsion. From an individual compulsion to a more satisfying,
People are in search of answers to the great questions of life. A
compulsion as somehow satisfying, Heidegger's 'being'. A word to catch
the whole territory of values, to say we must take up an attitude
ss 75 Heidegger is not of
immediate interest to me, though it is interesting
how he turns philosophical speculation into a form of experience, an
the necessity to make crucial decisions in order to be. . the sense
the possibility of a far more complete living is immediately within
Heidegger discussion group
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