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Gary E Davis
philosophical writer
philosophical writer


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about "legitimating values between religions"

A person at my Facebook/Habermas Page comments “I would love if you would argue your case of ‘legitimating values inbetween religions’ a little more, because it's very difficult to hold the point of rationality today.”

Agreed, about the difficulty. We need a living sense of values that holds sacred a humanitarian, humanistic fidelity to our shared humanity....

[The posting is continued at the G+ link, bottom here. But a better version has been posted at "discursive living":]

Not indicated in the Facebook posting is that I live a Heideggerian Habermasian view that's basically post-both—if I may humbly so claim (which I don't overtly do, usually).

• Habermasian Studies:

• Heideggerian Studies (overtly introductory for folks):


So it goes with having fun (which is the purpose of life, right?):

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valuing genuine elitism

There can be an objective basis for valuing—for preferring one stance over another (as Hilary Putnam claimed, late in life—though I don't base my views on his).

But the posting I link to below isn't about technicalities. It's about contributing to educational democracy in little ways, as one can.

After all, it's seas of "littles" (like votes) that make history.

Vote Democratic this November.

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G+ here was a supplement to "discursive living" (below).

Maybe this will become active again. I've said the above before, but a couple of postings got added, and I want the one line above to be at the top of the G+ page.

I'm just not a babble world kinda guy, I guess:
• I don't use Twitter, but have the account:
Want me to tweet you regularly?

• Facebook...(sigh):

Eventually, I'll make time to create "collection" folders here for routing away postings. That will make use of this site more...useful.

Does it matter? Normal blogging is better—sans serif font is /so/ boring, right?
But I don't do normal:

I'm easy to contact:

Be well.

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“To be clear, this was reality, not ‘SNL.’”

That’s a line in the Washington Post article about last night's episode of Saturday Night Live, linked below. Clarity is good.

Getting to the clearing may be difficult for some sensibilities; e.g., seeing the unbearable uncanniness of one’s ordinariness (not to mention the unbearable persistence of viciousness, etc.)

In the clearing—which is hallmarked by living in a liminality of appearance and so-called “reality”—one may be often compelled by others to live as if there's no clearing, i.e., as if appearance and “reality” are the same—which is to say (with such others): The difference isn't open to question by others because proffered difference doesn’t make sense to others. “The” difference can’t be sensibly framed with others, in order to evaluate a phenomenon as invalid.

Of course, a possible difference is always an option (in principle, all would admit), even to those who deny the difference for situations at hand. So, such folks must enforce a “nonsense” of the question, as if questioning is an infidelity or disloyalty (or sin).

I love the liminality—the betweenness—of en-stancing (i.e., “setting up” as stance, as in rhetorical genuineness) and en-framing (or making questionable). Paradigmatic of this is finding everything worthy of being in quote marks—or a person living in wide-eyed nonchalance toward uncanniness or bizarreness of ordinary incomprehension—better yet: living in a hidden state of deadpan humor toward humorless ordinariness (what Nobelist Paul Krugman, thinking of some economists, likes to call The VSPs: the Very Serious People, as in: True Believers).

Heidegger knew what it was to live with being caricatured as “Heidegger” among literal-minded academics who had no idea that he considered himself to be living theater (which is what a rhetorical modality—basic to Heidegger’s teaching of teaching—implies, i.e., displaying events of appropriation in talk about such): “being” Heidegger in questions of being.

I’m confident that his sense of politics was such that he would have enjoyed Saturday Night Live in our authoritarian Moment.

Of course, if one played that way in Moscow—e.g., parodying Vladimir as gay—one could get jailed. Likewise, I suppose, in any locality of Germany in the 1930s, if one had Attitude toward brownshirts (or enjoyed Charlie Chaplin playing the little dictator—”Look at his hands!”).

People who flourish know how and when to keep their Attitude private.

By the way, technologization of humanity, where simulacrality becomes naturalized as What There Is (Twitter Nation, let’s say), is not basically characterized by there being enframing. Enframing is part of cognitivity. Rather, The Simulacrum is hallmarked by forgetting the difference (or, sinisterly: suppressing the difference) between validity (genuine phenomenality) and invalidity (phoniness).

And The Simulacrum forgets/suppresses the difference between self expression and situated stance (presence as actor —which pertains to all action!). The Simulacrum erases enstancing and enframing in the world of Mister Natural.

In the world of Mister Natural, logos is reduced to ethos (i.e., the differece is “nonsense”: ethos is inflated to logos; the two are "the same"). And that Indifference conceals the improvisationality (poiesis) of there being phenomena taken for granted in their bearing.

So, voilà: I’ve troped a bridge between Saturday Night Live and Heidegger’s notion of Ge-stell.

Welcome to an interpersonal truth of “phenomenology” which Husserlian objectivism toward phenomena couldn’t make sense of: being with each other as resonance of there being enstancing (denied of oneself?) and enframing (prohibited?).

Further reading, from something "old," I recall—in case you don't have better things to do: "originary flow, conceptual design, and concerted cultivation"

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Habermas studies project

I hope that the work I do with respect to Jürgen Habermas is useful to others. But it hasn't occurred to me to promote it, as part of many kinds of projects that engage me. And that will continue to be the case, I guess, because I don't want to take time to think about that. (Maybe I need an agent).

What matters is the quality of the work, and that's not for me to judge; only to continue doing the best I can, which requires working at my own pace.

But I guess it wouldn't be too intrusive to try to get into the habit of posting notes here about new things that become available; and being regular about it.

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The Bexit vote is not legally binding

Everything I’ve read about the chaos now of the Brexit vote pertains to coping with the result. I’ve seen nothing in the leading press that indicates that anyone has good reason to believe that the Brexit vote is good for Britain.

Something to think about.

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What makes one argument better than another?

Here on the Left Coast, my view about “Brexit” couldn’t matter less to a Brit—not that I presume any Brit reads here. But it’s worth noting that, after the issue was debated by the storied Oxford Debate Union last week, the audience voted 227 to 79 for “In.” On their side is the International Monetary Fund, the central banks, the UN—and the betting markets. But the people? Hey, that’s populism for you. Do the most intelligent, high-principled and better informed views deserve to prevail?

Today’s posting steers away from all of that, to muse generally about persuasion.

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“Heidegger” as no mirror of the few and the rare

I’ve seen so much trivialization of Heidegger’s Project that I have to think that there’s some kind of academic syndrome in play: Scapegoating the analyst of scapegoating, dismissing the critique of academic dismissiveness, and diminishing the critic of diminishment, as if systematically (among a small number of readers who cite each other) concealing Heidegger’s Project.

Jewish scholars can be forgiven for projecting fictional views of Heidegger to further proper feelings of revenge toward Germany of the 1930s, but it doesn’t advance understanding of how critique of ideology is formulated (elements of which Heidegger was frequently sketching and rendering in his notebooks), let alone furthering understanding of Heidegger’s Project. The upshot of such fictions—rightly worth dismissal and diminishment, on their own terms—is to steer academic interest away from Heidegger‘s Project (as well as unwittingly being an exposé of one’s own casual sense of reading, which is self-incriminating, in the sense that Deconstruction would show how pretenses of assertion become self-undermining).

I can take perverse comfort in that. Good riddance to such fictions! They have nothing to do with Heidegger’s Project. Persons who are seriously engaged with Heidegger’s work will surely recognize differences between academic chat and thoughtfulness. The speciousness of extracting isolated themes from their contexts of inquiry should be easy to recognize. Artificial constellations mirror the constellator, not Heidegger. Heidegger’s “the few and the rare” are at least those who dwell with issues carefully, the scarcity of which invites Heidegger’s cynicism about prospects for transforming academia.

Of course, development of philosophical critique includes articulation of ideology (invalidities) that motivates what’s relevant to philosophical conceptuality.

Especially interesting to me is how vastly the use/mention distinction matters to Heidegger, showing as framing of words and notions with quote marks obsessively. The difference between [a] subscription to ideology (confessing one’s views; narrating without quote marks) and [b] framing ideology (narrating how The Story goes, what is allegedly the case) may be missed by readers of Heidegger who are not attuned to how phenomenological critique may develop itself from sketch to exploratory argument.

He was interested in the academic correlates of German ideology, as these infected possibilities for renewing philosophy, which deserved to have a leading place in university reform. A philosophical notion of systematic scapegoating (or what dynamic psychotherapy calls “projective identification”—disowned implicature) was part of what Heidegger was shaping. Obsession of some scholars with misreading and mis-constellating marginalia merits a diagnostic attitude toward that, in terms of Heidegger’s large-scale contexts.

Basically, Heidegger in his Notebooks is exploring how to get to a new beginning for philosophy. That “other beginning” or “second beginning” was unknown. The character of the new development belonged to the future academic community—if it could get beyond its self-concealing legacy that was leading to disaster.

Heidegger’s critique of The Whole (so to speak— sway of Time) had no Alternative “Telos” to yet advocate. The Second Beginning was to emerge from futurity of Unknown Originarity (so to speak). The Future belongs to we who enown futurity. The Event of Appropriation widely and highly opens ways into academic community re-forming Primordiality.

His published writing during his lifetime is meant, among many intents, to exemplify how he reads (“reading” issues as well as others’ texts). So, implicitly he’s showing how to read his pathwaying through eras of exploratory thinking, especially: how he regards the too-quickly written, unfinished Being and Time during his mid-career years. The notebooks document a development whose narrative is “simply” the resultant volumes of ways-not-works. The notebooks supplement and anticipate his conceptual prospecting.

I haven’t yet detailed much about how I read Heidegger’s available notes that other readers find culpable. At this writing, I’ve detailed a couple of readings ( Perhaps more will appear in coming months.

Or maybe not. In the near-term, I don’t want to give more time to dismissive, diminishive readings, because time spent on diagnosis of others’ readings (critical hermeneutics) is time taken away from my own explorations.

Heidegger—who was sarcastic more often than most critics apparently notice—was resigned to letting the uncanny protect his solitude. He writes, circa 1937, Notebook 5, p.276:

"I now know more clearly, that indeed precisely misinterpretation of all my work (e.g., as a "philosophy of existence" [allusion to Karl Jaspers and kindreds]) is the best and most lasting protection against the premature using up of what is essential. And it must be so, since immediate effectiveness must remain foreign to all essential thinking, and because such thinking in its truth, must be prevented from becoming "familiar" and "understandable" to contemporaries. For [otherwise] that would mean what is to be disclosively questioned in thinking had been degraded to something Already commonplace."

On Heidegger and the flow of lived time

His black notebooks, his Considerations, his Ponderings easily provide occasion for showing that his sense of what is essential for Our human race is future-oriented actualization of potential for being well.

"race of the river"
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