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Chapter Three The Question of the Essence of Untruth

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

We want to present a brief summary of the thoughts in our foregoing lectures. By clarifying the highest idea of the good, we want to grasp something about the essence of truth, to grasp which characteristics pertain to the essence of truth as a whole.

1. Truth is not something ultimate, but stands under something still higher, the idea of the good.

2. This also applies to Being.

3. Truth as unconcealment (a characteristic of objects) and Being as subject (what is seen) both stand under a yoke. And this yoke that holds Being and truth as object and subject together is the good.

Yet this good stands in an inner connection to the essence of man, as our last session explained. This liberation of man to the highest idea is the authentic essential history of man, whose Dasein is governed by philosophy.

This essential history of man in the allegory of the cave tells us that the transformation in the individual stages is not the mere turning of a potsherd in the hand, but an exit from night-like day into the real day; it is philosophizing.

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1. History, Hermeneutics, and Political Theology

Marius Timmann Mjaaland Indiana University Press ePub

Authors from the early sixteenth century have often been interpreted along confessional lines of division. In this book such differences play only a minor role, when any at all, and I have no ambitions of continuing or enhancing the old confessional discussions on Luther and Erasmus. Since Oberman, it has become more common to see both the Reformation (Lutheran, Calvinist, Radical) and Counter-Reformation as parts of a major historical and intellectual shift in the history of Europe, and thus to transcend the more narrow-minded apologetics in favor of one side or the other.1 I even find it necessary to transcend the more or less strictly theological approach outlined by Oberman, in order to study the close relationship between theological ideas, philosophy, and political changes that occurred in this period, like James Tracy and Carter Lindberg do with their more general approach to the history of ideas.2

Five centuries after the texts were published, Martin Luther’s writings still cause polarization and controversies. One reason is the confessional polemics that have been going on for centuries and the quasi-normative status of these texts among the Protestants. Another is their extremely sharp and polemical tone. They bear traces of an author who was witty, pointed, and sarcastic, although not exactly fair to his adversaries. His Bible translations contributed to the formation of a common German language, and he was the first author who was able to apply the printing medium to mobilize a wider public readership. His series of pamphlets was extremely popular and has been characterized as the first successful mass media propaganda in world history.3 Even today his texts are astonishingly readable, mainly due to a large number of lucid examples, humor, polemics, and sarcasms, and a vivid and precise prose.

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2. The Ordinary Sublime

Espen Dahl Indiana University Press ePub

I have argued that Cavell’s ambiguous relation to religion should be understood against a wider cultural backdrop of modernism. If religion and thus theology have become problematic yet not impossible, then we must expect such possibility to show up within what Cavell terms the ordinary. However, the ordinary does not provide the location for experiences of incontestable divine revelations, nor does it unfailingly offer clear criteria by which we can assess such experiences. Nevertheless, the ordinary must be so inhabited as to provide glimpses, events, or perspectives from which religious orientation can gain a foothold in our form of life—or else such orientation seems to participate in the escape from the ordinary. Indeed, the ordinary is religiously open, however ambiguous such initial openness can seem. In order to encircle such a minimal condition for religion, I explore what I call “the ordinary sublime,” in which aesthetical, ethical, and religious registers resonate all at once. To be more specific, my interest is in a certain dynamics of the sublime, between its powerfulness and its weakness, which I find reflected in Cavell as well as in Cora Diamond’s fruitful and thought-provoking elaborations of related themes. Neither of them treats the sublime at length or unfolds its implications in the way I do here, but they provide sufficient clues for a further elaboration of that concept.

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7 Teaching Prophetic Politics: Ethics and Politics in Levinas’s Talmudic Lessons

Michael L. Morgan Indiana University Press ePub

Levinas’s published writings include books, collections of essays and articles, interviews, and Talmudic lessons. Generally speaking, the best places to look for Levinas’s comments on concrete and particular situations in which ethics and politics encounter one another are his many published interviews and his twenty-four published Talmudic lessons.1 In the interviews Levinas speaks directly to an interviewer and responds to his or her questions; the informality of the setting often elicits from him examples, illustrations, and textual references and comments that are very helpful for understanding the themes of his thinking. In the Talmudic lessons Levinas selected texts to discuss that were chosen precisely because they expressed themes that Levinas associated with the announced topic of the colloquium for that given year. Often—although not always—in the course of the lesson, he refers to contemporary events or widely publicized incidents that contributed to the choice of that year’s topic. Also, the texts themselves typically include stories or legal discussions concerning particular types of conduct. Hence, both the setting for these lessons and their Talmudic focus move Levinas to make comments that, relative to the bulk of his writings, are quite concrete and particular.

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46. The Sciences in Their Order of Generality

Charles S. Peirce Indiana University Press PDF
Medium 9781576753392

Is the Land of NO Familiar to You?

Gallagher, BJ Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub
Medium 9780253006479

6 The Figure of Socrates and the Climacean Capacity of Paradoxical Reason

McCombs, Richard Indiana University Press ePub


I have said that ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most high. But ye shall die like men, and fall like one of the princes. (Psalms 82:6)


That . . . ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world. (2 Peter 1:4)


Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. (2 Philippians 2:12–13)


A human being is a synthesis of the finite and the infinite, and of the temporal and the eternal. (CUP, 56, 92)


What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculties . . . in action how like an angel, in apprehension how like a god . . . and yet to me, what is this quintessence of dust? (Shakespeare, Hamlet)

Philosophical Fragments officially confines human beings within seemingly rigid limits,1 but it also suggests that the man Socrates transcends these limits. For example, Fragments claims that all non-Christians “move away” from the truth of Christianity, but it also intimates that Socrates longs for and prepares himself for the mystery of Christ. Bearing in mind that a climacus is a ladder,2 we might say that Fragments dramatically depicts Socrates as a climacean figure, or as a climber over boundaries and a transgressor of limits, and that the function of this depiction is to provoke readers to become aware of their own climacean capacity and to inspire them to use it. This present chapter is an explication of Kierkegaard’s artful use of the climacean figure of Socrates in Philosophical Fragments.

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Six: Transcendental Method: The Orientation of Critique

Avery Goldman Indiana University Press ePub


Transcendental Method:
The Orientation of Critique

I. Kantian Orientation

In his 1786 essay “What Does It Mean to Orient Oneself in Thinking? [Was heißt: sich im Denken orientieren?]”1 Kant introduces a conception of orientation that addresses not merely our spatial orientation among material objects but also our speculative orientation in thought. In connecting these two realms of orientation, concerning the sensible and the intelligible, respectively, Kant offers a suggestive way to conceive of the role that the ideas of metaphysics play in designating the region of finite experience. Kant explains that an idea of reason offers a “signpost [Wegweiser]” that helps to direct the empirical use of the understanding. Investigating this account of orientation will guide our inquiry to the appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic of the Critique of Pure Reason in the search for an account of the orienting role played by the psychological idea after the critique of its cognitive pretensions in the Paralogisms chapter.

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5 Blues

John Sallis Indiana University Press ePub





Standing atop the high promontory that juts out into the water, it is almost as if one were at sea completely out of sight of land. There at the edge of the precipice, little or nothing can be seen of the rocky earth; under the intense light of the cloudless day, virtually all that is visible is the sky and the sea. The Aegean stretches beyond to the horizon, which bounds the visible while remaining itself invisible; or rather, it appears only as the line that could be – but is not – drawn where the blue of the sea meets the lighter blue of the sky. It is a radiant world, prodigious in its transparency and simplicity, offering a consummate vision of the joining of air, sky, and sea. The vision is entirely cast in blue, with only minimal articulation. Nothing is to be seen that is not blue; nothing is to be seen but blue. While offering a vision of the concurrent elements, the vision is of blue as such, of blueness itself.

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2. The Teacher Meets the Tower Warden at the Door to the Tower Stairway

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

TEACHER: So I have come then too late.


TEACHER: To solve the wondrous, which has held me in unrest throughout the day.

TOWER WARDEN: And that is?

TEACHER: Surely you must know.

TOWER WARDEN: Hardly, for I scarcely still think of paying attention to something wondrous in order to solve it.

TEACHER: And this, even though so much that is worthy of thought has been handed down to us.

TOWER WARDEN: Indeed; for everything worthy of thought measures itself out to us [mißt sich uns zu] in accordance with [gemäß] the manner of thinking within which we move.

TEACHER: You mean that thinking would no longer seek after the wondrous and would keep itself free from wondering. Would not all willing-to-know then be shaken from the ground up? How then should an examination of the world remain passable and capable of providing measure?

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4. 1 Corinthians 11:23

Kierkegaard, Søren Indiana University Press ePub

[ 4 ]

Remind, O Jesus, oft my heart        

Of your distress, anguish, and need

Remind me of your soul’s pain. 1   


Yes, you our Lord and Savior, not even in this respect do we dare put trust in our own strength, as if we were able by ourselves to evoke deeply enough or constantly to hold fast your memory, we who would so much rather dwell on the joyful than on the sorrowful, we who all desire good days, the peace and security of happy times, we who certainly wish to remain in a deeper sense ignorant of horrors lest, as we foolishly think, they might make our happy life gloomy and serious, oh, or as it seems to us, our unhappy life still more gloomy and serious. Therefore we pray to you, you who are indeed the one we want to remember, we pray to you that you yourself will remind us about that. Oh what a strange language a human being speaks when he must talk with you; it is indeed as if it had been rendered unfit for use when it has to describe our relation to you or yours to us. Is this even a remembrance when the one who is to be recollected must himself remind the one recollecting! Humanly speaking, only the high and mighty person who has so many and such important things to think about talks this way, saying to the lowly person: “You yourself must remind me to remember you.” Alas, and we say the same thing to you, you the Savior and Atoner of the world. Alas, and when we say it to you, this same thing is precisely the expression of our lowliness, our nothingness in comparison with you, you who with God are exalted above all heavens. 2 We pray that you yourself will remind us of your suffering and death, remind us often, at our work, in our joy and in our sorrow, of the night in which you were betrayed. We beseech you for this and we thank you when you remind us; we also thank you in this way, as those who are now gathered here today, by going up to your altar in order to renew communion with you.

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6. Teaching, Fecundity, Responsibility

Claire Elise Katz Indiana University Press ePub

I have always looked upon the relationship between teacher and pupil as a most sacred one.1

—Morris Raphael Cohen

Against the Heideggerian history of myth, the plastic image and its imitation, history is the sacred history of teachers and fathers—teaching and fecundity—and not of heroes. It is not that of political history.2

—Emmanuel Levinas

Emmanuel Levinas returned to Paris immediately following the murderous years of World War II, during which he served as an interpreter before his unit was captured. He then spent the duration of the war, 1940–1945, first in Frontstalags in Rennes and Laval, then at Vesoul, and from June 1942 until May 1945 at Stalag 11B at Fallingbostel near Magdeburg in Germany.3 Upon his return and without delay, he went to work for the Alliance Israélite Universelle (AIU) and in 1947 became the director of the École Normale Israélite Orientale (ENIO). At the event celebrating the occasion of Levinas’s eightieth birthday, Ady Steg, who was the president of the AIU—the organization under which the ENIO operated—at the time of the celebration, offered this fable speculating about the time when Levinas would stand before the heavenly throne.4

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Chapter Fourteen. Klein’s Desedimentation of the Origin of Algebra and Husserl’s Failure to Ground Symbolic Calculation in Authentic Numbers

Burt C. Hopkins Indiana University Press ePub

Our discussion of the concepts of authentic and symbolic number operative in Husserl’s analyses in Philosophy of Arithmetic has shown that he was eventually forced to abandon his initial thesis of their logical equivalence. Specifically, we have demonstrated that rather than substantiate the view that the symbolic presentation of number “can [act as a] surrogate, to the furthest extent, for the corresponding authentic presentation” (PA, 194) of number, Husserl’s analyses conclude by substantiating, in effect, the opposite view. That is, they substantiate the view that the signitively symbolic numbers at issue in arithmetical calculation, which are presented by sensible number signs, do not refer to the same object as authentic numbers.

Husserl’s analyses clearly show, on the one hand, that the authentic concept of number refers directly to determinate amounts (i.e., the answer to the question ‘How many?’) of a multitude of determinate objects. Moreover, the latter have the status of generically undetermined—which is to say, physically and “metaphysically” empty and therefore neutral—units or ones (these two concepts being equivalent). On Husserl’s view, the authentic number concepts are manifestly not “abstracta,” since each one involves the “universal form appertaining to the multitude at hand” (82), that is, one and one; one, one, and one, etc. All of this, on the other hand, is in the sharpest possible contrast with the signitively symbolic number concepts, which refer to neither a determinate multitude of units or ones nor to the universal form of their amount. Rather, signitively symbolic numbers, or, more properly, signitively symbolic number signs, indirectly determine “number” through the calculational rules—in the manner of the “rules of the game”—for their combination and transformation.

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Endnotes to the Translation

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

1. See pp. 85–92.

2. As Heidegger refers to the French in the 1937 essay “Wege zur Aussprache,” pp. 15–21 in Martin Heidegger, Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens, ed. Hermann Heidegger (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1983), p. 15; Vol. 13 of Martin Heidegger, Gesamtausgabe, 102 vols. to date, gen. ed. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1977–), hereafter cited as GA.

3. Martin Heidegger and Imma von Bodmershof, Briefwechsel 1959–1976, ed. Bruno Pieger (Stuttgart: Klett-Cotta, 2000) p. 83.

4. See the German translator’s afterword, pp. 90–91.

5. On the unique relation between Heidegger and France, the reader is referred to the work of Dominique Janicaud on the history of the French reception of Heidegger. His two volume Heidegger en France (Paris: Albin Michel, 1991) is a momentous and exhaustive survey of this rich terrain. Both translators have benefited from the conversation and friendship of Professor Janicaud, an attendee of these very seminars, throughout the years. We mourn his recent and untimely passing.

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Chapter Three Determination by Christianity and the Concept of Mathematical-Methodological Grounding in the Metaphysical Systems of Modernity

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

Metaphysics is the knowledge of beings as a whole. God—according to the tradition the highest being, summum ens—rules and determines all beings. But in another sense, Being is also comprehensive, that which belongs to every being as such, ens in communi. “God,” taken in the light of the most universal concept of Being, is only one being among others, albeit the highest.

Now, if we are right in our thesis of the predominance of the mathematical method in the inner construction and claim to truth of this metaphysics, then obviously this construction must begin with the simplest concept and its grounding deduction, and in such a way that on the basis of this inception all other beings are derived—both what they are and that they are. That applies above all and ultimately to the summum ens. So what is at stake here is nothing less than deriving the essence and existence of God as summum ens from the universal essence of Being in a step-by-step deduction.

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