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Points of Note in Heidegger's Interpretation of Theta 1-3
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:32 am    Post subject: Points of Note in Heidegger's Interpretation of Theta 1-3 Reply with quote

Point 1, concerning the interpretation of Dunamis

Here we go again!

I am specifically pointing to Chapter One of the Commentary, but, according to the response, I’ll probably shift around quite a bit.

The subject here is dunamis which Heidegger mainly translates as ‘force’ but there are other translations which are useful, e.g. 'capacity' sometimes gets us to places where force seems clumsy, however 'potentiality' is a term best served motionless and is for dessert in Theta!

In Aristotle’s text at 1046a 11 he describes ‘force’ as ‘arche metabole en alloo eh heh allo’ (excuse the poor transliteration!) which is usually translated to mean “the origin of change in another - etc.” (I’ll explain the etc. later). This translation doesn’t satisfy Heidegger though, and at first glance it it’s difficult to see why. He wants: “The origin of change, which origin is in a being other than the changing being itself.”

However, Heidegger’s translation achieves something useful. He wants to establish that the arche or source of the force is without movement – without kinesis. For instance, the art of building does not, in itself, move, and it is reasonable to assume that this art is the origin of the movements one would see on a building site. These movements accompany a ‘change’ – metabole - in the materials as the builders interpret their art of building. But in this scenario two things are ‘beyond’ – pleon: the ‘art – techne - of building’ and the end – telos - of all the movements, the house itself. Let’s put the latter aside for now and consider the dunamis as techne. Because the art of building is without movement it is outside the arena of activity allowed by the Megarians in chapter three. If dunamis were to be interpreted as merely 'the origin of change in another' it might be interpreted as merely the active force, acting upon another, that is, more like the builder rather than his guiding art, or (another example Heidegger uses) the potter at the wheel (active force/poien) making the jug (passive force/paschein). As such, this would justify the Megarian thesis that force only existed while work – ergon –was in process. But, as Heidegger insists, the source – arche – of dunamis is in a being that is other than that in which the change is occurring, which means a being without movement and therefore beyond – epi pleon – the ‘arena of presence’ the Megarians will allow.

There is much background that needs to be filled in here, and I will do a follow up post to try and explain a bit. I think that Heidegger is making this emphasis in order to demonstrate that there is a profound unity to Theta which many deny. For a start it is often wondered why the Megarians are dragged into the proceedings at all, and also why the book suddenly changes tack at chapter six making it a bit like the proverbial ‘game of two halves’ see Ross, for one). Heidegger’s amendment actually manages to quell both objections and forge a path ahead.

I hope there are some ‘out there’ who are sufficiently acquainted with Theta or Metaphysics in general to engage in a discourse on this subject which has been aggravating me for quite some time now.

God bless you all,

Pete
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Mark Stocks



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Pete

I don't know where to star t th is, but I hope we find a common ground that is at least uplifting!

I must confess I have a sweet tooth for not knowing, so I am a little reluctant to go into all that stuff you have written, though I highly suspect it is written purely...

Does your belly rumble when you type through...

On a serious note, do you nose your belly writing this ball point hhhhhh h earth t...

Sorry about that I'm having a bumpy ride...

Ok so where to start?

I am not acquainted at all with Theta or Metaphysics but at least potentially this is a start.

Sincerely


Mark



PS

Post Script Sweet s Pot
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Mark,
I do sympathise. It's difficult enough to deal with Theta when you are at least acquainted a little with it. Basically this book talks of things which I'm sure you, as a poet, have experience of. The coming and going of things, taking into account the fact that while they are here with us they are ever changing. Aristotle set himself up against this bewildering state of affairs and, using his considerable intelligence, tried to make sense of it. Maybe he did, maybe he didn't; and maybe he should have taken the poet's way. Maybe T.S.Eliot is more successful here:

In my beginning is my end. In succession
Houses rise and fall, crumble, are extended,
Are removed, destroyed, restored, or in their place
Is an open field, or a factory, or a by-pass
Old stone to new building, old timbers to new fires,
Old fires to ashes, and ashes to the earth
Which is already flesh, fir and faeces,
Bones of man and beast, cornstalk and leaf.
Houses live and die: there is a time for building
And a time for living and for generation
And a time for the wind to break the loosened pane
And to shake the wainscot where the field mouse trots
And to shake the tattered arras woven with a silent motto

(Opening lines from East Coker)

Sometimes the philosopher has the rump end of things, but someone has to do it!

Pete
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 04, 2016 9:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In my enthusiasm to get my first contribution for sometime posted up I forgot the addendum regarding “etc.”

Here is the full translation of 1046a 11 (mostly Heidegger but the last bit mine)

Dunamis is: “The origin of change, which origin is in a being other than the changing being itself, or, in the same being but as another”.

Regarding the underlined portion, there is a simple Aristotelian example, quoted by Heidegger, of a doctor healing himself. The dunamis is in the same being, the man, but as another, the healing art.

Pete
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Mark Stocks



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Sweet Pea
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David A Taylor



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PostPosted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wild flowers

I leaf through the pages where the dried flowers lie carefully pressed,
each a memory of time past, bestowing a faded colour and desiccated form.
Some are much treasured with interesting features and intricate texture,
but they do not smile at me like they did on that summer's day,
when we laughed together and bathed in the sunlight without shadows.
Then I knew what you are and in that same breath that gave knowledge
I lost everything I own in the bliss of your timeless scent.
I will not pick you again, but vow to return to the path adorned with wild flowers.

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David
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David A Taylor



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PostPosted: Thu Aug 11, 2016 6:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Contemplating contemplation?

What shall be accomplished by returning
to the path adorned with wild flowers
following the finest tenet of Metaphysics
in total contemplation of their perfection
once more bathing in the sunlight without shadows
lost in the bliss of their timeless scent
neither picking or pressing on memory
surrendering all that remains of contemplation
shunning all mundane and heavenly thoughts
might I become the envy of the Gods
merging with the eternal unmoved mover
contemplating contemplation?

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David
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krasa Kirillov
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23, 2016 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
1046a 11 he describes ‘force’ as ‘arche metabole en alloo eh heh allo’


ἀρχὴ μεταβολῆς ἐν ἄλλῳ
[beginning, origin] [one who exchanges/change changes][in/into][another/other]

Aristotle says: What is behind the change of something that contests or displaces something?

But, what does “behind” mean? We ask of a political plot, a coup, “Who is behind it?” We ask of an opinion which seems to us a weird prejudice, “What is behind it?”

If something is removed, something is left behind. But here there is no talk of some thing, as what is against and standing, as object.

One leaves things behind when one goes out, when one dies, when one turns away from "childish things." Things said in our absence are said “behind our backs”, but among all the senses behind might have, what is not now present, when it is said to be behind us, is supposed to be put away forever. But we must ask, is anything behind us in a way such that it has been annihilated in the progress of things? We circle around the sense of the struggle to become true when we think the thing behind change as the eternal, rather than in the way Heidegger prescribes when he says that the eternal is the limit state of visible motion, and, therefore, he implies, we go beyond the logos in the search for what is behind the change of a thing. Here one can not allow persnickety logical considerations to shut out possibilities of thought that are not conceivable, but merely thinkable.

Nietzsche says, in order to stir the blood, we must go beyond all books. Thus, beyond the logos. But, Heidegger, rather, wants to stay with the logos, with the question. Heidegger, who wants to go to Being, wants to stay with the logos, the questioning, yet, the logos itself, is aside phusis, and shuts out Being at every step. Yet, Heidegger, who knows of Nietzsche's way, beyond, stays with the logos.

What is most questionable in the first look is, does Aristotle suspect that this movement is like the psuke, which is not something added on like a backpack, but is the human being, is at work here in the things? That seems to be the usual interpretation, but what is left unasked in that is, how does the logos stand here? Is it not Aristotle who surrounds all philosophizing with the logos, and thereby says, outside the logos, nothing can be said at all, not even the principle of the identity of anything said holds. Most of all this must be made clear.

Then we can ask, does Aristotle think with Heidegger according to the question about the logos first raised by Husserl, or does Aristotle already show this difficulty? Does Aristotle, saying, we know that the logos is against phusis, that bellow stands chaos and the nothing and above truth, and we seek truth and the good?

This is indeed a place to start a noble venture into a hermeneutic circle.

Quote:
“ the ‘art – techne’ “


This seems unjustified if techne is the modern condition. As is implied by the whole of Heidegger. It would be justified only if techne as poesis could be thought alongside techne as reason, and so shown to be larger than its current historial existence.

I don’t have this text in front of me, can you give us as large a passage from Heidegger as you can? That would be most helpful.


Quote:
“wondered why the Megarians are dragged into the proceedings at all”


When we are furnished with something else, beside our own thesis, I mean our orientation in thought, we can become more aware of our own path. The Megarians, in a strange way, are rather like Husserl. So the analogy is Husserl is to Heidegger as the Megarians are to Aristotle.

The position which insists only of intuition (knowing in the vaguest sense without a division between truth, sense perception, or mental understanding), rather than speculative thought, i.e., only on the immediate intelligibility of the detail, and refuses the possibility of other manners of making one’s way, of looking at a constructed picture of the whole built up from various experiences, seems like an anchor to the one who ventures. But in Heidegger the venturing is into ways of seeing informed by having undergone their own paideia, and not from making and looking at ‘ideal types’ as in the sciences.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 6:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hopefully this will give you what you want:

http://www.morelightinmasonry.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/Heidegger-Aristotles-Metaphysics-Theta13.pdf

The passage in question in on p. 67 but occurs later as well.

Addendum

You might also find Walter Brogan's HEIDEGGER AND ARISTOTLE useful. He deals with this book of Heidegger's in some detail, including the passage at 1046a 9-12. (See p.121 among others)

I haven't had a chance to read your post thoroughly yet, even though it's style seems strangely familiar. Do I know you? No, don't answer that - it's better not to know.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2016 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

‘beyond’ ‘epi pleon’ has a great significance in Heidegger's thoughts on Theta especially in regard to energeia (eidos – form - at work). This is something to be explored. As for your musings on logos, how would one know? It's bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy. How would we know if there’s something beyond logos if we couldn't talk about it? But seriously, look at Theta 1-3 pp. 2-3 where he discusses logos in its primary (primeval) sense of ‘gathering’. You probably have met with this before but it’s well put.
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krasa Kirillov
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 25, 2016 11:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you very much for this link. Unfortunately it is a somewhat unwieldy edition, not allowing search and lifting out text. Somehow I read that passage about logos recently with the memorable, but expected, “asking how logos also came to have the meaning “relation” is therefore backwards…” Gadamer never accepted this logos.

Heidegger means, put schematically, usually one thinks there is intuition, immediate knowledge of some thing, and analysis or syncing things up with nous, but, there is a prior organization, in the logos as such.

Quote:
“As for your musings on logos, how would one know? It's bit like a self-fulfilling prophecy.”


Not my “musings”, but Nietzsche’s. What I wrote was: “Nietzsche says, in order to stir the blood, we must go beyond all books. Thus, beyond the logos.” i.e., “What good is a book that does not even take us beyond all books?”, the Nietzschean craving for “Life”, to say “Yes” to life. After all, animals, who have no logos, live. This is, clearly, not Heidegger’s way.

One can say more exactly, to live on emotion alone is to kill a part of the human, thus to be “open”. All thought, captures Being, is the “House of Being”, and all thought means a specific way, a guiding light, that of reason. That of the resource that is man’s as man, and not as recipient of something else, as with revelation. Nietzsche rejects revelation, and man. He speaks of the “will”. The “will” is supposed to be beyond the logos. If one thinks of the east, burning the ego, Nirvana, also leads beyond the logos.

If musing means “Thoughtful abstraction; the act of meditating or pondering.” You are quite mistaken in either case. Thought is always concrete seeing, and not imagining as with geometry. Neither is it abstraction, as with concepts. Thought means, not only intution, but also the phenomenological seeing of thought itself.

Heidegger thinks what is ‘beyond’ is groundless, it is ab-grund. Logos means ultimately reason, as ground. Logos simply means speach, but speach if it is the essence of man is ratio, grund, stand or ground. It is not sound, it’s saying what is as gathering.

Logos comes prior to Parmenides, who first discovers nous--as a distinction made according to the law of identity, under the thinking of the law of contradiction! These laws of philosophy, are prior to the formal logic which does not even use them, since it only wishes to make accurate or valid arguments, but it is also not logos simpliciter, it is a specific mutation.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Fri Aug 26, 2016 5:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It’s better than nothing. If you can’t better it on line, why not buy a copy? I want to see if you are one who can tackle something specific in itself, who can help clarify the many obscurities in Heidegger’s text starting with this particular emphasis he makes on p.67 - though naturally this may need preparatory work.
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Mark Stocks



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PostPosted: Sat Aug 27, 2016 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear Pete and Friends

Two names denoting themselves Amplified!

I feel a little more acquainted now with the Buy and Cell of our attention span reading, with papa r r r in between. Thank you for giving the opportunity of this unity, porting between Finger and Thumb, oh and a mouse with chattering teeth. Are we talking now?

I yum apple!

Not me!

But Confused!


Sincerely

mark



PS

Sorry about all this nonsense, I'm just trying to get my heady around this current stuff!

Has that echo gone awol a wayl le wall yet?

Go k k k k k k k om e
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are many issues involved in the Megarian question and there should be some attempt to draw them together. The direct connection with the phrase ‘dunamis:the origin of change, which origin is in a being other than the changing being itself’ (etc.) [1046a 11] becomes clear, especially in the translation of Heidegger who put emphasis on the origin (archê) as a being. Note that if the origin is a being it is in fact ‘actual’ i.e. it has some relation to energeia which is Form-at-work (we are always being told).
But as the Megarians deny such being-hood, for them there is no origin outside parousia (presence) – that which the senses see.

I don’t want to dwell here on the absurdities that follow on from their view, Aristotle’s words stand for themselves; and they are not directly stemming from the statement at 1046a 11.

What is important here is Heidegger’s insistence at p.141 that a capacity can also be present even where there is no evidence of actualisation. The Megarian thesis goes: A capability ‘is’ only when engaged in enactment otan energei (when at work). But Heidegger says the actuality of capability is in the enactment of ‘having’ echein though not necessarily using.

Socrates we might remember has a similar notion, though in a different context, in Theaetetus 198 – ish. There he talks about possessing a cloak though not wearing it.

I don’t believe Heidegger refers to Aristotle's On The Soul here but if we take the case of knowledge we are given three conditions.

1) The capability of acquiring knowledge.
2) The actual acquiring (and retaining knowledge)
3) The using or enactment of knowledge.

1) has no relevance here except that it applies to human beings in general; 2) is relevant, for it is the man/woman who is learning or has learnt and retained a skill. This is an actuality of a capability of, say, the first level – and is a pre-condition for 3) which is the only form of knowledge the Megarians acknowledged – the actual actualisation of knowledge. (Sorry, that's clumsy!)

It should be noted that this has very little to do with the approach of Plato, and the whole theory of Metaphysics can be seen as a gradual undermining of the Platonic doctrine of Forms, and that is why I feel it should be understood in itself.

What Heidegger is at pains to demonstrate is that 2) is a capability that is actualised not so much in the practise of technê but in the technician himself. The builder, for example, may sit in the tavern, as Heidegger would put it, and still be a builder in the 2) way even while sipping his beer. He makes the point that, in normal circumstances, the skill, once learnt can’t be unlearned. For better or worse, he ‘has’ and the ‘not having’ is no longer his to have (if you see what I mean). This then is, without doubt the first actuality of capability.

There is much more to say on all this. It’s embarrassing what a small morsel it is. I need help, and, if necessary, guidance as we probe deeper.

The out-of-which of a dunamis in the ensouled, rational being is very much a case of technê. You do not give away technê simply by using it; the building art doesn’t go from the builder and become mixed with the bricks and cement. Nor does it disappear when the work is finished, as the Megarians would have it. But it is evidenced in a work well done – we are fascinated to watch a skill being demonstrated. It is, as Aristotle says, one thing to act and quite another to act well (eu). A skill is always associated with acting or fulfilling a capability well. That is what being a human being is, whatever his or her bent.

I’ll pause here.


Last edited by Peter Blumsom on Wed Aug 31, 2016 6:48 am; edited 1 time in total
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David A Taylor



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PostPosted: Tue Aug 30, 2016 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Greek Tragedy (brief intermission)

Is it for a poet to toil in vain,
in solitude, with nowt to gain?
That silence which greets his verse,
akin to fair Cassandra's curse
seen to be a tragedy or worse?

Oh no, not for a poet true,
for out of silence pours sweet wine,
born upon an earthly vine.
Its roots run deeper still,
reaching to that sacred ground
where words un-formed abound.

His joy unmatched in purest form,
the bliss of seeing beauty born,
the joy of giving voice to nought!
That silence, the most potent place
where all true poets rest with grace.

Apollo who such sweet music makes,
where shall your sound be found,
without that heroic poet true
who sits and waits in solitude?

No worthy poet will desist to act
upon that skill which is made fact
lest that god of muses all,
decides this poet
into Tantalus' pool will fall.

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