Metaphysics originally referred to Aristotle’s first philosophy because the books on this subject followed those on Physics. The following books became known as ta meta physika, “the ones after the Physics.” Kant reinterprets metaphysics according to a philosophy of experience; metaphysics becomes knowledge independent of sense experience. In the latest major formulation (or meta-narrative), Heidegger describes metaphysics as the history of the withdrawal of being, fro the time of Plato onwards, in favor of a merely scientific or utilitarian study of beings (of their essences and particulars). Heidegger holds that Nietzsche put an end to metaphysics and wishes to return philosophical thinking to its proper subject (what he calls fundamental thinking):being as the coming-forth of phenomena. To accomplish this, he refreshes philosophy’s dialogue with the Presocratics, whom he believes precede the inception of metaphysics. The Presocratics’ poetic conception of being, in which phenomena are described in their coming-to-be and passing-away, especially attracts him. As a substitute for the study of (See, for example, Detienne, M., The Daily Life of the Greek Gods; and Onians (1951). being according to categories, he emphasizes the phuo/phusis (natural growth) aspect of being in its disclosure in phenomena.) I define metaphysics in a somewhat new way, neither as a history of Being nor as theories about beings. Metaphysics is not only transcendence of nature, although it includes and requires transcendence. Metaphysics is a way of thinking that lays aside temporality in an attempt to evade mortality. Metaphysics is a pharmakon(potion) that purges our account of cosmos of the temporality that reminds us of our mortality. Thus the natural sciences, along with the dreams of the ghost-seer, history, logic, laws, cults, and religions, are all metaphysical. By metaphysical I mean: atemporal, non-mortal descriptions of reality, often referring to some atemporal or eternal foundation, whether in being, knowledge, method, or law. Thus metaphysics is nothing special; rather it is our most ordinary mode of being-in-the-world. I define as metaphysics any explanation that shares the atemporality of logos, especially the atemporality of laws (including grammar). Thus the natural sciences are metaphysical, epistemology is metaphysical, and finally, logic is metaphysical (categories, syllogisms, universals, symbols). And, under the terms of this definition, Nietzsche is correct in labeling as metaphysics the strains of other-worldliness in both Socrates and organized Christianity; furthermore, Heidegger is correct in labeling technology as metaphysical. Metaphysics is, in its essence, the flesh become logos, existence defined according to principles and laws. Both universals and particulars, in the traditional logical-ontological-theological senses, belong to the lexicon of metaphysics as defined in this way. Opposed to these is the phenomenon of the inescapable, radical individuality of each concrete, individual, life-trajectory from nativity (birth) to fatality (death). Metaphysics substitutes certainty, predictability, control, project, and method as ways of evading the epistemological impossibility of knowing our own death; hence the need for the anxiety induced by Socrates, to know that we do not know. We cannot eliminate or overcome metaphysics, any more than we can cure our mortality. However, given the pervasiveness and banality of metaphysics (in this sense), the task of philosophy becomes primarily ethical. Philosophy must not allow the fictions of metaphysics to obscure our mortality. The closest that traditional metaphysics comes to individuals is in assigning individuals proper names, such as “Adam,” “Reiner,” etc. However, these names, like labels, function more like common genera or species names such as“cat,” “dog, “tree,” etc. , in that they attribute a deceptive stasis to an individual that is essentially temporal. (Parmenides draws attention to the role of names and naming in a universe of phusis.) Proper names, though they may sometimes be unique, do not address individuals, any more than do social security numbers (which are always unique). They conceal living-and-dying individuals with symbols. How, then, do we restore individuals? In the next section, I discuss a view of radical individuality. First, I follow up the foregoing criticisms of metaphysics as static logoi with some words about myth as a cure, as an alternative means of embodying phusis in language. I do not use “myth” in the trivial sense of a falsehood or a “mere” story but in the original Greek sense of mythos as narrative. The poem of Parmenides and the dialogues of Plato are neither historically accurate nor capricious, nor are they intended to be only rhetorical tools or literary devices. Both are narrative forays into phusis. In this fundamental sense, these philosophers are myth-makers. We can therefore reject the standard picture of the evolution of philosophical thought as a move from muthos to logos. Myth has the advantage of moving away from the metaphysical obsession with truth towards representing phusis as individuals in the context of their life-worlds. Thus myth is not concerned with facts and entities that we may designate as “true” or “false”; instead, myth presents us with shapes of existence. Instead of certainty and its equally metaphysical concept of chaos, myth elegantly provides us with probabilistic (tuche,chance) and lucid accounts (as opposed to necessity—anangke, certainty and predictability). Of fundamental importance is myth’s power to preserve individuals (Achilles, Socrates) without factualizing them (“Where does Parmenides’ kouros travel?”; “Did Socrates really meet Parmenides?”). Myth preserves individuality through anecdote by focusing on the mortal life entangled in physis. Myth addresses this individuality by highlighting the individual’s thymos rather than his psyche.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ The existence of truth only becomes an issue when another sort of truth is in question. (R.Rorty)
Individuality is not a new concept in philosophy. Indeed, every philosophy implies an understanding of not only the world but of what it means to be an individual in the world. It seems a little your conception of individuality is not modern. Specifically, it is not a Cartesian conception of individuality, in which an individual is either an objective spectator or a res cogitans. In either case, the individual’s mortality is suppressed. In the Cartesian scheme, the basic activity of the individual is not coming-to-be, enduring, and passing-away, but secondary, mental actions: thinking and perceiving. Nor is your conception of individuality Kantian, that is, identical with a transcendental “self,” described again in terms of a mental activity: synthesis. Well Blue , are you Not defining an individual in terms of consciousness, freedom, or citizenship, which all play an important role in Hegel and German Idealism?
I am still a little confused
¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯¯ A brave man once requested me to answer questions that are key is it to be or not to be and I replied:"so why ask me?" _______________________________________
Mit lebhaftem Interesse verfolge ich Eure Diskussion. The Heideggerian interpretation of phusis, arguably an influential one, is summarized by Schürmann as follows: “The Greeks used the term phusis to refer to all that is, insofar as it is. Today we translate this word as “nature,” from the Latin nasci, to be born. The Greek word comes from phuein: hatching or opening out, which is als o the root of the word phainesthai, to enlighten, to shed light on. In a rough distinction, Latin thinking attends to the generation of things, and Greek thinking attends to their appearance or emergence into light. Nature according to what the Greek word states is the whole of thatwhich shows itself to us, it is showing itself…The origin of all things, according to this vocabulary, lets itself be thought as the presence of that which is present: a presence which is prior to any human intention, and which makes it possible. The origin of all things is their appearing in presence.” (R. Schürmann,“Symbolic Difference,” Graduate Faculty Journal, vol. 19 no. 2 – vol. 20 no.1. p.23.) My definition of phusis retains the Greek sense of “all that is” with the following qualification: “all that is in the mode of,” whereas I interpret the “showing” as delimited by coming-to-be and passing away. This preserves both the nativity and fatality of all beings on the one hand, and the “prior to human intention” of the unfolding of being as beings on the other. In incorporating the birth and death of beings in the word phusis, I also retain the sense of nasci, which Schürmann, following Heidegger, sets apart as Latin. The atemporality of science, metaphysics, and theology clashes with human temporality and reveals time as ultimately unthinkable, paradoxical, monstrous, and aporetic. In one aspect of time (metaphysics), time is disclosed in the mode of stasis, erasure, or indifference. This makes knowledge of beings possible. In another aspect, time challenges and withdraws the stable foundation of knowledge. This is the aspect of time that defines phusis and our mortality. Here, episteme can never be secured on stable foundations, and only doxa is possible: hence, mortal doxa. Even the foundational accounts of static being by Parmenides and Plato, I argue throughout this discussion, are not as unambiguous as may at first seem. Take Plato’s Theaetetus, for instance, a dialogue devoted to securing an understanding of episteme (true knowledge as opposed to doxa). Eucleides and Terpsion are conversing, as the former is returning from a meeting with Theaetetus in the harbor. “Alive or dead?” asks Terpsion (142a). Theaetetus is on his deathbed (“Alive, barely”)
regards to Blue
bis demnächst, (meine Kleine)
_________________________________________________ Friedrich wandelten bei dem preziösen Ton ihrer Stimme die Entzückungen eines Trinkenden an, der am Verdursten gewesen ist. Gleichzeitig brannte sein ganzes Wesen in Eifersucht. (Gerhart Hauptmann)