“Sorge” of Heidegger, Sartre’s “l’être pour-soi” and Buddhist “duḥkha”: Ontological Foundations of Negativity
This paper examines ontological strategies of Western existential philosophy (its “atheistic” current) and the Buddhist school (darśana) of mādhyamaka. We can discover similar phenomenological strategies together with extreme differences in anthropology and the value purposes (personalism and deconstruction of classic European subject in the existential philosophy and radical impersonalism of Buddhism). We suppose that Heidegger, Sartre and Buddhism have comparable theories of consciousness. The mādhyamaka’s “śūnyata” (emptiness) is comparable with Heideggers’s and Sartre’s “Nothingness” (though they are not absolutely similar) and we can discover primacy of negativity in both cases. We also try to substantiate that the position of mādhyamaka was a radical nihilism and not scepticism contrary to the opinion of a number of modern buddologists. And what is also important for us is the problem of the “unhappy consciousness” (be it the Buddhist “duḥkha” or “Sorge”of Heidegger, or Sartre’s “Nausea”) and different attitudes of thinkers towards it.
Unity and Aspect has been short-listed as a finalist for the 2019 Prix Mercier.
What is first philosophy today? In Unity and Aspect, the questioning begins with a new (old) approach to metaphysics: being is implied; it is implied in everything that is; it is an implication. But then, the history of philosophy must be rethought completely – for being implies unity, and time, and the other of time, namely, aspect. The effect on the self and on self-understanding is radical: we can no longer be thought as human beings; rather, reaching back to the ancient Greek name for us (phos), Haas seeks to rearticulate us as illuminating, as illuminating ourselves and others, and as implicated in our illuminations. Unity and Aspect then provokes us to problematize words and deeds, thoughts and things – and this means reconsidering our assumptions about history and survival, meaning and universality, sensibility and intimacy, knowledge and intentionality, action and improvisation, language and truth. And if Haas suspends the privilege enjoyed by our traditional philosophical concepts, this has implications for fields as diverse as ontology and phenomenology, ethics and aesthetics, education and linguistics, law and politics.
Review of Unity and Aspect by Mark Tanzer:
“Haas’ book is unique...his own foray into metaphysics...an original metaphysics written in a way that is designed to afford a unique angle on the problems of metaphysics, specifically in their ineluctably problematic character”.
The answer to the question about the sources of cultural-specific and universal aspects of morality demands for the reference to social psychological and anthropological researches. The review is oriented to the verification of the concept of “moral grounds” (J. Haidt). We substantiated hereditary determinism of individualizing moral foundations – care and justice, while genetic tightness of group-oriented morality – ingroup cohesion and vertically is challenged. Appeal to neurobiological research allows us to imagine the brain as a communication point between genetics and environment. We considers the study of moral sphere through the prism of identity as the direction of possible integration of psychological, anthropological, genetic, and neurobiological approaches.
The topic of the present research is to demonstrate the key transformations of the intellectual practice related to the development of such category as negativity (non-existence) in the modern philosophy. Historically, classical philosophical solution to the problem of negative was to place it in the domain of transcendential, i.e. to substitute it with God, noumenality, will, etc. However, the conclusion of the post-Hegelian reflections is that the negative should be reunited with the world through man, who ultimately represents a part of this world. This inclusion of negative into the structure of Being, i.e. basically the ontologization of non-being, allows for integration of praxis into the world. Human dimension in this case is no longer a side effect, a consequence of a primary autonomy of the world, but represents that form through which the world comes to existence. This strategy of thematization of negative as the bases for transition from fundamental ontology to fundamental anthropology becomes the key theme for a number of philosophical contexts of the 20th century (Kojève, Sartre, Heidegger). At the same time, this strategy might be countered by another alternative, when negative is understood in such a way as to fully implement its own differential instead of substantial mission. Study of many concepts conceived in the 20th century shows that the main principle of this alternative was grossly disregarded – various excuses were used to subject negative to inadmissible for nonexistent substantivization. Had we reserved the only role for negativity – to manage the movement of distinctions and to distinguish – we could have avoided both – the antinomies found in classical philosophy as well as disappointments accompanying philosophical thought of the modern period.
This work shows that being must originally be understood as implication. We begin with what Heidegger calls Hegel’s ‘new concept of being’ in the Phenomenology of Spirit: time as history is the essence of being. This concept however, is not univocal—for supersession means destroying-preserving. Hegel shows himself to be the thinker of truth as essentially ambiguous; and the Phenomenology is onto-heno-chrono-phenomenology, the history of the being and unity, time and aspect, of the concept’s ambiguity. For Heidegger however, conceptual ambiguity confirms that Hegel’s history of being is stuck in a vulgar interpretation of time; and the Phenomenology can explain neither the origin of this time, nor the necessity of negation for the historical determination of being—for Hegel cannot think the ground of the concept of being, that is, the grounding of the ground. If Heidegger argues however, that the Phenomenology is predetermined by its ancient point of departure, we must go back to the Greeks, back to Aristotle’s original insight (overlooked by the entire history of philosophy as metaphysics): being and unity imply one another—for they are essentially implications. Thus the question of the meaning of being becomes the question of the meaning of implication.
The article considers the Views of L. N. Tolstoy not only as a representative, but also as a accomplisher of the Enlightenment. A comparison of his philosophy with the ideas of Spinoza and Diderot made it possible to clarify some aspects of the transition to the unique Tolstoy’s religious and philosophical doctrine. The comparison of General and specific features of the three philosophers was subjected to a special analysis. Special attention is paid to the way of thinking, the relation to science and the specifics of the worldview by Tolstoy and Diderot. An important aspect is researched the contradiction between the way of thinking and the way of life of the three philosophers.
Tolstoy's transition from rational perception of life to its religious and existential bases is shown. Tolstoy gradually moves away from the idea of a natural man to the idea of a man, who living the commandments of Christ. Starting from the educational worldview, Tolstoy ended by creation of religious and philosophical doctrine, which were relevant for the 20th century.
This important new book offers the first full-length interpretation of the thought of Martin Heidegger with respect to irony. In a radical reading of Heidegger's major works (from Being and Time through the ‘Rector's Address' and the ‘Letter on Humanism' to ‘The Origin of the Work of Art' and the Spiegel interview), Andrew Haas does not claim that Heidegger is simply being ironic. Rather he argues that Heidegger's writings make such an interpretation possible - perhaps even necessary.
Heidegger begins Being and Time with a quote from Plato, a thinker famous for his insistence upon Socratic irony. The Irony of Heidegger takes seriously the apparently curious decision to introduce the threat of irony even as philosophy begins in earnest to raise the question of the meaning of being. Through a detailed and thorough reading of Heidegger's major texts and the fundamental questions they raise, Haas reveals that one of the most important philosophers of the 20th century can be read with as much irony as earnestness. The Irony of Heidegger attempts to show that the essence of this irony lies in uncertainty, and that the entire project of onto-heno-chrono-phenomenology, therefore needs to be called into question.
The article is concerned with the notions of technology in essays of Ernst and Friedrich Georg Jünger. The special problem of the connection between technology and freedom is discussed in the broader context of the criticism of culture and technocracy discussion in the German intellectual history of the first half of the 20th century.