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1. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Trish Glazebrook

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2. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Róisín Lally

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Sustainability is a matter of time. For years, scientists have been warning us that our time is up, if we do not “bend the curve” of greenhouse gas emissions. Thinking about future generations calls into question our inherited relationship with nature and the time-scale shift to the Anthropocene. Arguably this trend began with the Industrial Revolution around 1750 and has reached catastrophic levels with the increase of tropical cyclones, wildfires, flash flooding, and heatwaves. The question on most people’s mind is, do we have time to change? Change may occur over eons, such as geological events with the appearance or disappearance of significant life-forms. It may be momentary, such as a flash of insight where our perception of the world changes. Or, indeed, change can happen retroactively - as physicists conceptualize - time can be diffracted, changing the past. This suggests three ontological structures of time. Time is atemporal where things endure and preserve their identity through change. Time is subjective. Or entities have different temporal parts wherein entities unfold through time, referred to as perdurants. Our time is a time of a geological shift. Many geologists agree that we are moving from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene, with the Doomsday Clock ticking ever closer to 12:00 midnight, deeply affecting the mood of the current generation. The battle cry for sustainability, already a contested word, has been appropriated by petroleum companies and big tech with promises of moving towards 50% lower carbon emissions by 2050. But when we read the fine print in their disclaimers, we find the language of “speculation,” “projection,” “forward looking,” and “risk,” rendering the term meaningless. This paper aims to extend the term sustainability to include all three ontologies of time. I will do this by (I) looking at Heidegger’s interpretation of Kant’s transcendental aesthetic in Section 3 of Heidegger’s 1929 monograph Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, where he overcomes subjective time and the ontology of endurance that accompanies it. (II) Heidegger interchanges between endurance and perdurance in, “The Principle of Identity” (1957) and “The Onto-theo-logical Constitution of Metaphysics” (1956) navigating a knife-edge between identity and difference. (III) I will conclude by suggesting, when thought in terms of perdurance, sustainability can bend the curve in our current trajectory towards ecological destruction, by reimagining a better world.

3. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Casey Rentmeester Orcid-ID

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Humans face wide-ranging and global challenges in the Anthropocene, the most prominent of which is anthropogenic climate change. Our initial pivot as a civilization towards sustainability has been to rely heavily on technological innovation powered most obviously by engineers. Using the climate activist Greta Thunberg’s speech at the 2018 United Nations Climate Change Conference as my inspiration, I try to show how some of the technology-based solutions only entrench what I call our “Bestance” mentality, that is, the fundamental stance or orientation humans have toward the natural world in the Anthropocene wherein all entities show up as mere resources. Having shown the various ways in which traditional ethical approaches and environmental philosophical approaches have proved unhelpful, I try to how a Heideggerian ecophenomenological approach can help us not only understand how the world shows up to us in the Anthropocene, but also what a more graceful way of being might look like. Using specific examples of current technologies, including hydraulic fracturing, horizontal drilling, desalination, and artificial nitrogen-based fertilization, I use Heidegger’s philosophical concepts to show how the land, sea, and air have become Bestand in the Anthropocene, that is, mere materials on hand to be manipulated in order to serve human interests. I then utilize Heidegger’s notion of dwelling as a useful concept to guide a more graceful way of living in which we respect the way in which things unfold on their own terms using examples similarly embedded in the land, sea and air.

4. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Gregory Fried

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5. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Agostino Cera Orcid-ID

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My paper sketches a critical historcization of the post-heideggerian philosophy of technology, i.e. of the so called Empirical Turn. In particular, I emphasize its Ontophobic Outcome and its consequent Genetivization. In 1997 Hans Achterhuis publishes a volume (American Philosophy of Technology: The Empirical Turn), which presents an overview of the post-continental (i.e. American) philosophy of technology. Achterhuis argues that from the eighties of the last century the philosophy of technology must be traced back to its Empirical Turn, i.e. its rejection of the essentialist approach inspired by Heidegger. The Empirical Turn, or the second generation of philosophers of technology, is characterized by a pragmatist, optimistic and constructivist approach. My thesis is that during these 35 years the Empirical Turn has proven to be an Ontophobic Turn. By this expression, I mean an over-reaction against Heidegger’s legacy. This over-reaction consists of a two-stage process. On one side we have the rejection of the potential ‘mystical drift’ involved in Heidegger’s approach. I consider it a legitimate rejection, i.e. a physiological parricide by the second generation of scholars, in order to free itself from a bulky legacy. However, this physiological parricide gradually turned into an illegitimate rejection, that is an over-reaction (total refuse) against Heidegger’s legacy. Such an overreaction equates to an exclusive interest in the ontic dimension of technology, i.e. an a priori disinterest in its ontological implications. These implications finally become a taboo, i.e. a real Onto-phobia. The benchmark of this change of attitude in the philosophy of technology is the lexical replacement of its object (the transition from “technology” to “technologies”) and its main outcome the “Mr Wolf Syndrome”, namely the transformation of the philosophy of technology into a problem solving activity. In turn, this syndrome produces the eclipse of the epistemic difference between “problem” and “question”, i.e. the metamorphosis of the philosophy of technology into a “positive Wissenschaft”. With reference to this state of things my objection is the following. If the philosophy of technology turns into a search for solutions of the concrete problems emerging from the single technologies, it must be admitted that this kind of activity is performed much better by ‘experts’ than by philosophers. As a result, the Ontophobic Turn culminates in the disappearance of the reason itself for a philosophical approach to the question of technology. The paradoxical fulfilment of the Empirical Turn should be therefore the self-overcoming of the philosophy of technology. To avoid the current Genetivization of the philosophy of technology is necessary a countermovement towards its Ontophobic Turn. The first step of an Ontophilic Turn (i.e. the foundation of a “Philosophy of Technology in the Nominative Case”) consists of the right metabolization of Heidegger’s legacy, i.e. of a Heidegger-renaissance within this discipline. The final goal of this renaissance is the safeguard of the Fragwürdigkeit of technology as philosophical Grundfrage.

6. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Richard Ackermann

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7. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Eric v. d. Luft Orcid-ID

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The purpose of this paper is to relate the concept of thrownness as Heidegger develops it in Being and Time to his later writings on technology and to our own environmental crisis. We can regard technology as either instrumentalism or art. The former leads to enframing, inauthenticity, and ruin. The latter leads to poiêsis, authenticity, and being at home in the world. As historical beings, we are thrown into this crisis and must choose. To live authentically, we must be true to our thrownness, engaging the world as we engage ourselves.

8. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Rylie Johnson

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In light of the contemporary climate crisis, this paper argues that it is important to look at the distinction between earth and planet in Martin Heidegger confrontation with Ernst Jünger. To do so will point out an essential confrontation between earth and planet, revealing their respective essences. For Jünger, the global spread of technology is planetary in scale, which allows for the emergence of meaning through the figure of the worker. Heidegger, however, argues against the conception of the planet in favor of the earth, here rendered as the self-concealing withdrawal of the sensuous, which both makes possible and grounds planetary thinking. Insofar as art is that which indirectly reveals the earth, I will argue that Heidegger’s account of the origin of the artwork helps us to think against the planetary, and therefore against Jünger. I will conclude by presenting some reflections on the earth as a way of thinking the planetary catastrophe accompanying climate change.

9. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Jeffrey Gower

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How should philosophy respond to the climate catastrophe? Comparing Stephen Gardiner’s criticism of the prevalence of economic cost-benefit analysis (CBA) in assessing climate policies with Trish Glazebrook and Matt Story’s Heideggerian criticism of technoscientific capitalism, I argue that thinking must attend to practices rendered invisible by dominant theories. While both accounts attempt to delimit and surpass the hegemony of economic calculation, Gardiner’s ideal theory remains committed to the metaphysical prioritization of theory over practice. With help from Derrida, I show how the Glazebrook/Story approach overcomes the sovereignty of theory by opening thinking to practices it cannot generate on its own.

10. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Jill Drouillard

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11. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Babette Babich Orcid-ID

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12. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Paul Goldberg

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The dominant interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy of science in Being and Time is that he defines science, or natural science, in terms of presence-at-hand (Vorhandenheit). I argue that this interpretation is false. I call this dominant view about Heidegger’s definition of science the vorhanden claim; interpreters who argue in favor of this claim I call vorhanden readers. In the essay, I reconstruct and then refute two major arguments for the vorhanden claim: respectively, I call them equipmental breakdown (Section 1) and theoretical assertion (Section 2). The equipmental breakdown argument, stemming mainly from Hubert Dreyfus, advances a vorhanden reading on the basis of three other interpretive claims: I call them, respectively, the primacy of practice claim, the decontextualization claim, and the breakdown claim. While I remain agnostic on the first claim, the argument fails because of decisive textual counterevidence to the latter two claims. Meanwhile, the theoretical assertion argument, which I reconstruct mainly from Robert Brandom, premises its vorhanden claim on the basis of some remarks in Being and Time indicating that theoretical assertions, as such, refer to present-at-hand things. Since science is taken to be a paradigmatic case of an activity that makes theoretical assertions, the vorhanden claim is supposed to follow. I refute this argument on the grounds that it equivocates on Heidegger’s concept of “theoretical assertion” and cannot account for his insistence that science does not principally consist in the production of such assertions. I conclude that, with the failure of these two arguments, the case for the vorhanden claim is severely weakened.

13. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Julia A. Ireland

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This paper uses the unpublished correspondence between Heidegger and Eduard Lachmann to contextualize Heidegger’s 1939 talk “‘Wie wenn am Feiertage…,’” which has been the focus of an excoriating critical response to Heidegger’s Hölderlinrezeption. Contra the protestations of critics like Paul de Man, the paper shows that Heidegger was fully aware of the intricacies of the hymn’s final manuscript page, using the correspondence with Lachmann to offer a reading of Heidegger’s inclusion of the variant referring to Semele’s ashes. It argues that Heidegger’s characterization of Semele’s incineration as a “Gegenspiel,” or counter-play, orients the possibility of a reception “without danger” that collapses the event of the hymn’s language into the treatment of the poem as an objective text. The paper’s central claim is that “danger” orients the mortal finitude of the hymn’s reception, whose excess as text becomes readable only against the testimony of Semele’s ashes.

14. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Rodrigo Therezo

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Heidegger begins his first lecture course on Hölderlin in a curious manner. Lest we think Hölderlin was a “pacifist,” Heidegger cites two letters and a poem meant to prove that Hölderlin was ready to “throw the pen under the table” and “deny the Muses love” for the sake of the “beautiful sacrifice” of battle, should duty call. This quickly complicates, as Heidegger argues, the then common view of Hölderlin’s poetry as “unheroic” and advocating the “defenselessness” (Wehrlosigkeit) of Germania, particularly in the last verses of the eponymously titled poem: “Amid your holidays / Germania, where you are priestess /and defenselessly (wehrlos) proffer all round counsel / to kings and peoples.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, Heidegger bookends the lecture course with another reference to the word “defenselessly,” insisting that it does not denote “the laying down of weapons, weakness, or the avoidance of struggle.” In this paper, I attempt to draw connections between Heidegger’s militaristic readings of “Germania” and a provocative verse from the untitled poem “As when on a holiday…” that evokes “the clang of weapons” as nature is awakened from her deep sleep. I shall be relating Heidegger’s reading of this verse to a sinister “equivocality” so brilliantly diagnosed by Jacques Derrida in “Geschlecht IV.” In the wake of Derrida’s provocative suggestion that Heidegger’s treatment of polemos can offer Hitler “the worthiest and the most thinking justification” for ontic warmongering, I look at how Heidegger’s militaristic readings of Hölderlin only deepen the equivocality of polemos, and this in spite of Heidegger’s efforts to dissipate any ambiguity between Kampf as he thought it and the Kampf of the author of Mein Kampf.

15. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
William McNeill

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The question of the relation, not of technology, but of the “essence” of technology, that is, of technicity (die Technik)—understood in Heidegger’s sense as a destining of revealing—the question of the relation of technicity to nature is becoming ever more urgent. Human beings and their fate are implicated in that relation, yet never as merely passive participants, and they need to be awakened both to that urgency and to the fundamental question it poses: poses to them as those who are implicated in this manner. The question of the relation of technicity to nature arrives on our doorstep today by virtue of a long, philosophical inheritance, one articulated in terms of the relation of phusis and techne. It is a very specific interpretation and appropriation of techne—and also, inseparably, of phusis—that, in the course of the centuries, sets the stage for the emergence of technicity and its relation to nature. Yet the Greek word techne once meant not only the production of items of utility using nature as a resource, but also the bringing forth of the beautiful, or rather, of the experience of the gods—a bringing forth that came to be called art. In his 1953 essay “The Question Concerning Technicity,” Heidegger invites us to reflect on the question of the relation of technicity to nature by considering “the monstrousness” (das Ungeheure) that becomes manifest in the contrast between the Rhine river as dammed up and placed into the service of a hydroelectric power plant, and the Rhine “as uttered by the artwork, in Hölderlin’s hymn by that name.” The contrast, we note, is not between a pure, pristine, unadulterated nature, the river Rhine as a natural phenomenon untouched by techne, and the river placed (gestellt) in the service of technicity. The contrast, rather, is between two ways in which the Rhine can be revealed to us, two ways of letting something be revealed, two modes of techne—techne itself being a mode of revealing, as the essay elucidates. Yet what, then, of phusis, that other mode of revealing? Is it perhaps the case that phusis needs techne, not as a technical supplement in the sense of technicity, but as art, whose essence is poetizing (Dichtung)—needs it in order to show itself in a more primordial, more ancient sense? Must the response that the urgency of the question concerning the relation of technicity to nature elicits from us entail our becoming poets, or at least artists—and this despite the fact that any appeal to art as “the saving power” must seem hopeless in the face of the destinal force that is technicity? My remarks here elaborate on these themes by turning to Heidegger’s reading of Hölderlin’s hymn “Wie wenn am Feiertage…,” where nature is said to be “more ancient than the ages.”

16. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Lawrence J. Hatab

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17. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Robert D. Stolorow Orcid-ID

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18. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
Morganna Lambeth

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Commentators on Heidegger’s late-1920s interpretation of Kant often argue that Heidegger reveals himself in this work to be a philosopher of receptivity: Heidegger gives pride of place to the passive aspects of human cognition, our “openness to the world,” over against activity, spontaneity, and understanding (Gordon, 2010, p.7). On this view, Heidegger’s contribution to the transcendental tradition is offering an “affective transcendentalism” (Engelland, 2017, p.223): in response to the central question of transcendental philosophy – What are the prior conditions that enable and structure our experience? – Heidegger emphasizes the prior affectivity that preconditions our experience. While Heidegger’s position, so construed, may appear an exciting strain of transcendental philosophy, it likewise seems to be a considerable departure from Kant. After all, Kant insisted that both spontaneity and receptivity are required for human cognition; this is often referred to as Kant’s “discursivity thesis”. In Kant’s well-known formulation connecting our passively receiving intuitions and actively organizing concepts, “thoughts without content are empty, and intuitions without concepts are blind” (A51/B75). Therefore, the idea that Heidegger defends a philosophy of receptivity in his interpretive works on Kant contributes to the common view that Heidegger is a bad interpreter of Kant. I challenge the claim that Heidegger defends a philosophy of receptivity in his interpretive works on Kant. This claim derives its plausibility from Heidegger’s opening discussion of intuition, where Heidegger does insist that “thinking is in the service of intuition.” While this discussion grants a kind of primacy to sensibility – in particular, our faculty of sensibility explains why human cognition is finite – I suggest that it does not compromise Kant’s discursivity thesis. Heidegger affirms, with Kant, that understanding and sensibility, two distinct capacities or faculties, are required for cognition. Further, I argue that Heidegger’s claim that sensibility plays a “leading role” in cognition is merely the beginning of Heidegger’s argument; it is not his main intervention. For Heidegger is concerned not with cognition, but with the source of cognition: the very constitution of the human being. And this source, Heidegger insists, is both receptive and spontaneous. Heidegger’s central thesis – that we must consider the imagination to be the fundamental cognitive faculty in Kant – rests crucially on the claim that the imagination is both receptive and spontaneous. Under the consensus reading of Heidegger’s interpretation of Kant, Heidegger is supposed to be a perfect foil to the Neo-Kantian interpretation of Kant: where the Neo-Kantians privilege spontaneity, Heidegger privileges receptivity. While Heidegger is certainly critical of the Neo-Kantian prioritization of spontaneity, I argue that we must rethink Heidegger’s relationship to the Neo-Kantian view. Heidegger’s main thesis in the Kant interpretation – that the imagination, a faculty that is both spontaneous or receptive, is the “common root” of sensibility and understanding – answers a question that Heidegger takes up from the Marburg Neo-Kantians: what is the origin that unifies the faculties of sensibility and understanding? While the Neo-Kantians insist on an origin in the spontaneous faculty of understanding, Heidegger suggests instead that the origin is the receptive and spontaneous faculty of imagination. Where the Neo-Kantians overemphasize spontaneity, Heidegger restores balance. Ultimately, Heidegger does not prioritize receptivity in his reading of Kant; rather, Heidegger offers a transcendental philosophy that inquires more deeply into the unified receptivity and spontaneity that characterizes the human being.

19. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
David Saurez

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Kant defends the logical consistency of metaphysical groundlessness from the objection that a groundless being would be grounded on nothing, and therefore, on something—a “Big Nothing.” Instead, what is groundless has non-being for its ground; logic yields a formal concept of non-being as the negation of all that exists. Heidegger goes further in giving a positive characterization of the nothing: the nothing “makes possible the manifestness of beings” and “belongs to their essential unfolding.” Our openness to beings reveals beings as distinct from the nothing. The internal structure of this openness (‘something and not nothing’) is revealed in fundamental attunements like anxiety. I consider objections to Heidegger’s account from Carnap and Wittgenstein and offer a Heideggerian response. I show that Wittgenstein’s final assessment of metaphysical statements is more ambivalent than Carnap’s. Where Carnap mocks Heidegger for expressing his feelings in the form of a theory, Wittgenstein recognizes the direction of Heidegger’s thought, and concludes that what Heidegger wants to express is—Schade!—inexpressible. There is a there there; it’s just that language isn’t capable of saying so. Heidegger’s response is that metaphysics neglects to ask about the condition (being/the nothing) that makes beings possible — it identifies being with presence. Ironically, the attempt to eliminate metaphysics through the logical regimentation of language terminates in metaphysics—a metaphysics of presence. This metaphysics flattens every attempt to think about the world into a consideration of beings without any room for consideration of being, as that which makes their manifestation possible. For Heidegger, by contrast, nothing is the ground of grounds, the reason for reasons. We find things intelligible because of the nothing that allows us to find ourselves in a world of beings.

20. Heidegger Circle Proceedings: Volume > 55
John M. Rose

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Heidegger’s works are useful in teaching undergraduates in a variety of ways besides simply introducing Heidegger as an important figure in the history of philosophy. This paper outlines the role of Heidegger in the structure of my Ancient Philosophy course, an intermediate level requirement in the history of philosophy for the philosophy major at Goucher College. The thematic role of Heidegger in the course is illustrated with the intersection of Heidegger’s and Heraclitus’ philosophies and their related pedagogy of following language in a polysemic movement that can break the spell of sclerotic ordinary language about beings. Both Heraclitus and Heidegger move from the ordinary opining of the natures of things to the enigma at the heart of language. The paper also references the effect of this pedagogy on students with writer’s block, or graphophobia, when faced with their first attempts at serious philosophical writing. I conclude with describing the outcome of overcoming the fear of writing.