Non-scholarly reaction to an obscure philosopher
|Heidegger seems to be dead right in trying to come to terms with our grasp of time as always and inevitably involving an integrated awareness of the present, past and future.
This is part of the dynamic of being thrown into the world, and our awareness of that.
In turn this formulation of our awareness of time is the very foundation of the possibility of meaning, that is, of one thing referring to or signifying another, as part of our temporal, integrated lifeworld.
‘Things’ reveal themselves to us in the course of our projects and within our moods.
We inevitably search for the meanings of things, that Is their relationship to other things within our projects.
Grasp of meanings becomes automatic, increasingly so, or perhaps more effectively so, as we become more integrated into the world into which we have been thrown.
Or which we develop..
The significance of things becomes automatic, or transparent, to us.
Only when things don’t naturally and unselfish-consciously serve our projects do we become aware of them in a more objective fashion.
This provokes the mood of interest, a feeling of the dynamic to re-establish meaning relationships, that is relationships integrated with our wider life world.
A purely objective, scientific or theoretic perspective is one in which meaning ( relationships to our lifeworld) has been or is stripped away.
Things are there related to each other, but not to our life projects. They are related purely formally, solely by measurements whose relationships are formally expressed mathematically.
Or rather, this is the very project of science. It is itself related to a number of other life projects. Any relationships discovered or invented theoretically are then integrated into a whole range of life projects.
This range of integrations is technology.
Science is integrated with technology, which in turn is integrated into a lifeworld, most obviously the productive, political and military life worlds.
We develop our world through projects and moods according to what is revealed to us about things and other people and their worlds.
Our projects and moods rise in us in a mysterious manner, related to the dynamics of our thrownness in, and engagements with, our and others’ lifeworlds
We may conceive of ourselves as a scientist thrown into a technocratic world, but this is in some sense inauthentic, thinking of the role and the technological world as givens rather than the products of projects.
Science, scientists and technology are important, often dominant parts of many lifeworlds, but they do not determine or exhaust them.
Certainly not an individual lifeworld.
The project of philosophy, on the other hand, relates to the logical relationships between meanings. The dominant mood is of interest in logical coherence, the dynamic is to achieve a logically coherent account of some situation revealed to us.
This is a theoretical enterprise a fortiori.
Of course, the attempt to formulate a situation as it reveals itself to a philosopher clearly involves a dynamic towards objectivity, towards a language which can be shared across lifeworlds.
This will not be the language of purely formal relations, mathematical or logical, but it will be a relatively thin, general method of discourse
It may be related to the traditional language of pragmatism, though, if this is the undeveloped language of ordinary life projects, this might now be too rooted in scientific (and so inauthentic) discourse to be properly philosophic (or answer the requirements of the philosophic mood).
This much is apparent in much of the so-called “analytic” analytic approach, where all human aspects are declared illusions or explained away a by reduction to measurements or algorithmic schemata (a more palpable illusion).
Alternatively, its pragmatism may relate to a more authentic engagement with more limited philosophic situations, developed in such moods as interest and wonder
An authentic, pragmatic (theoretical) approach to the projects revealed to us in our moods of logical interest and wonder would be the basis of philosophy.
It would be more than a Heideggerian reworking of traditional pragmatism, but less than a thick working out of these in narrative fiction or other forms of literature..