Event Detail

Thu Nov 9, 2017
301 Moses, 12:30–1:30 PM
Work in Progress Talk
Katharina Kaiser, Florian Grosser
Heidegger on ‘Being-with’ and Alterity

Our project traces the textual history of Heidegger’s continuous philosophical engagement with ‘Mitsein’ (‘Being-with’). In the aftermath of the publication of the controversial Black Notebooks, it critically examines his shifting reflections on modes of association and dissociation that make possible meaningful communal existence.

The first part of our investigation discusses Heidegger’s reflections on the subject from a primarily ethical and political perspective. It identifies three conceptual approaches in which these reflections crystallize: Belonging (‘Gehörigkeit’) in Being and Time; creation (‘Schaffen’) in the context of Heidegger’s problematic 1933-34 politicalization; and affectedness (‘Betroffenheit’) in his post-‘Turn’ (Kehre) and, especially, post-war writings. Thereby, notions central to Heidegger’s approaches to community (e.g., ‘rank’) are reconstructed and analyzed as to their ethico-political implications. In addition, it is shown how modifications in content coincide with a reorientation in ontological status: In Heidegger’s later works, the early foundationalism and the ‘activist’ anti-foundationalism are replaced by a post- foundationalist understanding of community that productively undermines sharp dichotomies of ‘self’ and ‘other’, ‘own’ and ‘foreign’.

Accompanying these transformations of his understanding of communal being is a continually growing emphasis on the importance of the role of poetry, art, and language. Crucial insights are developed in his engagement with Hölderlin’s highly philosophical poetry (Elucidations of Hölderlin’s Poetry). In particular, Hölderlin’s laws of mediation and appropriation come to play a decisive part in Heidegger’s understanding of what it means to gain a ‘free relationship’ both to ourselves, and to technology—in his analysis the key culprit in preventing us from properly ‘being-with-one-another’. Eventually his own further applications of Hölderlin’s laws will pave the way to release ‘eastern’ and ‘western’ thinking— as well as their art—into a dialogue (Ge-späch) on language, a playful ‘listening-belonging to each other’ (Zugehörigkeit).