Sunday, May 30, 2010

Heidegger and error

I saw Heidegger then as one of many thinkers who believe humanity took a wrong turn of thought or action that distorted its true nature. Science takes space and time, the framework of all possible reality, and in studying them as formal entities, disenchants them, destroying them forever as home to belief. What if, Heidegger asked, another more primal way of knowing, one that accords with our status as humans—that is, as the only creatures whose being (what am I? why am I here?) is a question—has been hidden by purely rational or instrumental modes of thinking?
The larger context of this article by Stephen Metcalf has to do with Martin Heidegger's fascism. This capsule description of the German philosopher's narrative of the present human predicament suggests how Heidegger links to Existentialism - he offers a story of our alienation from some more primal, paradisal condition. This in turn might prompt some thinking about how the "story behind the story" of some 20th Century philosophical concerns relates to the fundamental plot of fall, error, underlying the tradition Milton is taking on in Paradise Lost. 

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