Notes for Martin Heidegger “Science and Reflection”
Besinnung follows what is thought like scenting.
At home first picking up scent and even joking about dog sniffing philosophy.
(155) (footnote 1) For Heidegger Besinnung is a recollecting thinking-on that, as though scenting it out, follows after what is thought.
Growing hegemony of Western European science, essence more than wanting to know to be studied; compare Suchman.
(156) Therefore, we must say: The reality within which man of today
moves and attempts to maintain himself is, with regard to its
fundamental characteristics, determined on an increasing scale by and
in conjunction with that which we call Western European
(156) Is there, ruling in science, still something other than a mere wanting to know on the part of man? Thus it is, in fact, Something other reigns. But this other conceals itself from us so long as we give ourselves up to ordinary notions about science.
Science is theory of the real; contrast medieval doctrina.
To be acquainted with this intersecting is important. In order to be
able to give an exposition of it, however, we must first have
experienced that in which the essence of science lies. This may be
expressed in one concise statement. It runs: Science
is the theory of the real.
(157) Medieval doctrina is as essentially different from a theory of the read as it is different when contrasted with the episteme of the ancients. Nevertheless, the essence of modern science, which has become world-wide meanwhile as European science, is grounded in the thinking of the Greeks, which since Plato has been called philosophy.
Need to figure out how to intuit Greek knowing to understand modern science as the theory of the real.
the distinctive character of modern knowing [Wissens]
consists in the decisive working out of a tendency that still remains
concealed in the essence of knowing as the Greeks experienced it, and
that precisely needs the Greek knowing in order to become, over
against it, another kind of knowing.
(158) We will now elucidate the statement from two points of view. Let us first ask, What does “the real” mean? And next, What does “theory” mean?
(159) What counts is to ponder that essential realm as the one in which the matter named through the word moves.
(159) “To work” means “to do” [tun]. What does “to do” mean? The word belongs to the Indo-Germanic stem dhe; from this also stems the Greek thesis: setting, place, position. . . . That which “does” in such a sense is that which works; it is that which presences, in its presencing.
(160) Reality [Wirklichkeit] means, then, when thought sufficiently broadly: that which, brought forth hither into presencing, lies before; it means the presencing, consummated in itself, of self-brining-forth.
(161) The Romans translate, i.e., think, ergon in terms of operatio as actio, and they say, instead of energeia, actus, a totally different word, with a totally different realm of meaning. That which is brought hither and brought forth now appears as that which results from an operatio. A result is that which follows out of and follows upon an actio: the consequence, the out-come [Er-folg]. The real is now that which has followed as consequence.
To Latin/Roman thinking the real is consequence of action, but not yet as object.
The “real,” in the sense of what is factual, now constitutes the
opposite of that which does not stand firm as guaranteed and which is
represented as mere appearance or as something that is only believed
to be so.
(162-163) The word Gegenstand first originates in the eighteenth century, and indeed as a German translation of the Latin obiectum. . . . But neither medieval nor Greek thinking represents that which presences as object. We shall now name the kind of presence belonging to that which presences that appears in the modern age as object: objectness [Gegenstandigkeit].
(163) Thus it follows that theorein is thean horan, to look attentively on the outward appearance wherein what presences becomes visible and, through such sight—seeing--to linger with it.
Deliberate linguistic transformations to develop the argument, of the sort utilized to extremes by Derrida and Ulmer.
When differently stressed, the two root words thea
(164) The Greek word ora signifies the respect we have, the honor and esteem we bestow.
(165) Nonetheless, within “theory,” understood in the modern way, there yet steals the shaodw of the early theoria. The former lives out of the latter, and indeed not only in the outwardly indentifiable sense of historical dependency.
comes to the fore the impulse, already prepared in Greek thinking, of
a looking-at that sunders and compartmentalizes. A type of
encroaching advance by successive interrelated steps toward that
which is to be grasped
by the eye makes
itself normative in knowing.
(166) If we take seriously what the German Betrachtung means, we shall recognize what is new in the essence of modern science as the theory of the real.
(167) To strive after something means: to work one's way toward something, to pursue it, to entrap it in order to secure it. Accordingly, theory as observation [Betrachtung] would be an entrapping and securing refining the real.
Science sets upon the real in surveyable series of related causes, interacting network, area-character; measurable objects.
sets upon the real.
orders it into place to the end that at any given time the real will
exhibit itself as an interacting network, i.e., in surveyable series
of related causes.
(169) Theory makes secure at any given time a region of the real as its object-area. The area-character of objectness is shown in the fact that it specifically maps out in advance the possibilities for the posing of questions.
Plank real is what can be measured; theory of real is departmentalized science; almost reaching materiality of science Latour surveys.
An oft-cited statement of Max Plank
“That is real which can be measured.” This means that the
decision about what may pass in science, in this case in physics, for
assumed knowledge rests with the measurability supplied in the
objectness of nature and, in keeping with that measurability, in the
possibilities inherent in the measuring procedure.
(170) The theory of the real is necessarily departmentalized science.
(170) Specialization, therefore, is in no way either a deterioration due to some blindness or a manifestation of the decline of modern science. Specialization is also not merely an unavoidable evil. It is a necessary consequence, and indeed the positive consequence, of the coming to presence [Wesen] of modern science.
Border traffic and boundary areas will be picked up by science studies.
The delimiting of object-areas, the compartmentalizing of these into
special provinces, does not split the sciences off from one another,
but rather it first yields a border
them by means of which boundary areas are marked out. Those areas are
the source of a special impetus that produces new formulations of
questions that are often decisive.
(171) What inconspicuous state of affairs conceals itself in the essence of science?
(172) The objectness of material nature shows in modern atomic physics fundamental characteristics completely different from those that it shows in classical physics. . . . The representing belonging to modern physics is also bent on [quoting Heisenberg] “being able to write one single fundamental equation from which the properties of all elementary particles, and therewith the behavior of all matter whatever, follow.”
Subject and object sucked up as standing-reserve as transformation of subjectivity.
(173) The subject-object relation thus reaches, for the first time,
its pure “relational,” i.e., ordering, character in which both
the subject and the object are sucked up as standing-reserve.
(174) In the objectness of nature to which physics as objectification corresponds, that which—in a twofold sense—is not to be gotten around holds sway. As soon as we have once caught sight in one science of that which is not to be gotten around and have also considered it somewhat, we see it easily in every other.
Gives examples of psychiatry, historiography, and philology all having a kernel not to be gotten around by their own systematicites, because the sciences remain only one kind of presencing.
(175-176) Nature, man, history, language, all remain for the aforementioned sciences that which is not to be gotten around, already holding sway from within the objectness belonging to them. . . . This impotence of the sciences is not grounded in the fact that their entrapping securing never comes to an end; it is grounded rather in the fact that in principle the objectness in which at any given time nature, man, history, language, exhibit themselves always itself remains only one kind of presencing, in which indeed that which presences can appear, but never absolutely must appear.
Is this a criticism of science studies?
(179) The inconspicuous state of affairs conceals itself in the
sciences. But it does not lie in them as an apple lies in a basket.
Rather we must say: The sciences, for their part, lie in the
inconspicuous state of affairs as the river lies in its source.
(177) It remains the case, then, that the sciences are not in a position at any time to represent themselves to themselves, to set themselves before themselves, by means of their theory and through the modes of procedure belonging to theory.
(178) Today we philosophize about the sciences from the most diverse standpoints. Through such philosophical efforts, we fall in with the self-exhibiting that is everywhere being attempted by the sciences themselves in the form of synthetic resumes and through the recounting of the history of science.
Is this requirement of a guiding image for intellectual cultivation an example of Heidegger textbook view of knowledge, where a bricolage cultivation could also operate, in tune with his scenting?
Traveling in the direction that is a way toward that which is worthy
of questioning is not adventure but homecoming.
(180) Reflection is of a different essence from the making conscious and the knowing that belong to science; it is of a different essence also from intellectual cultivation [Bildung]. . . . Cultivating the intellect requires a guiding image rendered secure in advance, as well as a standing-ground fortified on all sides.
(181) The age of intellectual cultivation is coming to an end, not because the uncultured are gaining the ascendancy, but because the signs are appearing of a world-age in which that which is worthy of questioning will someday again open the door that leads to what is essential in all things and in all destinings.
Heidegger, Martin. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays. Translated by William Lovitt.