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Sunday, 29 May 2016

Heidegger and speculation

Been going through some elements of Heidegger's Destruktion in Being and Time to present a link between Husserl's phenomenology and Harman's withdrawal for my contemporary philosophy course. Heidegger's destruktion is operated by time and reveals it as the bouncer of what comes-to-being and what goes- from-being as gignomenon, and all of its existential effects, is a key to understand that there is a genuine gap that brings about the ontological difference. The role of time in this difference is not that difference is itself temporal or takes place in time, but that time reveals something structural about what exists, the ontological difference; time is a means of uncovering it, a guide or perhaps a symptom. It is, in a sense, a condition of possibility for us to access the ontological difference. In fact, what makes us arrive at the difference is our life in time, the analysis of Dasein as a creature entangled in time. The existence of Dasein is what opens to us a difference that would otherwise be obscure to us, and this existence is what is the object of Heidegger's reformed procedure of phenomenology - phenomenology ushers in ontology because it uncovers how Dasein relates with its temporal existential predicaments.

The procedure could be described therefore as a flight from the phenomenology of Dasein as existing in the world towards the ontology and primarily the ontological difference. It is not about Dasein unless in what it can uncover, in what it makes clear due to the central presence of time in its incompleteness its being thrown in the world - we look at something close, the phenomenology of our existence, to unveil something broader about ontology. The flight could be described as a speculative flight: we start from our phenomenological experience of existence and proceed to something that relates to existence in general, to its structural feature. It is not, nevertheless, strictly a speculative move because the overall view reached by the flight is not one where Dasein acts a departing example, merely as a basis to arrive beyond experience because it will appear as a special point in the overall view reached when the passage is taken from phenomenology to ontology. In other words, Heidegger conceives the Dasein not only as a starting point but also as somehow ontologically distinct (and not only ontically distinct, that is, not only a distinct thing that exists but something special in the very order of Being). This is a reason why Heidegger places himself in Meillassoux's the era of the correlate (likely as a strong correlationist). Dasein is not a point of departure assuring that correlation is primary, but a fundamentally distinct thing among what exists - the only possible point of departure and not only the only possible point of departure for us. It is the absolutely unique point of departure and this ought to be revealed in the overall ontological picture towards which we reach with Destruktion. The very idea of a flat ontology - or rather a flat ontic space - where all things that are exist in the same ontological status (preserving the crucial ontological difference) is anathema to the project of the book; it seems like the procedure recommended is only possible because the Dasein is in itself sui generis.

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