04 February 2014

Letting presence and letting presents presence

Here is a key passage from the Minutes of a Seminar on the Lecture 'Tima and Being' (1962):
Nur insofern es das Lassen von Anwesen gibt, ist das Anwesenlassen von Anwesendem möglich. Wie aber dieses Verhältnis eigens zu denken ist… Die Hauptschwierigkeit liegt darin, daß es vom Ereignis her nötig wird, dem Denken die ontologische Differenz zu erlassen. Vom Ereignis her zeigt sich dagegen dieses Verhältnis nun als das Verhältnis von Welt und Ding, ein Verhältnis, das zunächst noch in gewisser Weise als das Verhältnis von Sein und Seiendem aufgefaßt werden könnte, wobei aber dann sein Eigentümliches verloren geht.” (M. Heidegger Zur Sache des Denkens Niemeyer, Tübingen 1976 S.40f))

My rendering:
Only insofar as it gives the letting of presence, is the letting-presence of presents possible. But how this relation is to be thought in its own right … The main difficulty lies in its becoming necessary to release (erlassen) thinking from the ontological difference. From propriation, by contrast (dagegen), this relation now shows itself as the relation of world and thing, a relation that at first in a certain way could be conceived as the relation between being and beings, whereby however, its peculiar character is then lost.”
The “relation” at the focus of attention is that between Anwesen-Lassen (letting-presence) and Anwesenlassen von Anwesendem (letting-presence of presents). How is this relation to be thought from propriation (the It that gives)? This is already a different question from that concerning the relation between being and beings, i.e. the ontological difference, so thinking has to be “released” from the OD, as if from a debt, since the OD does not think being itself, but being in relation to beings, i.e. it thinks beingness.
The relation in question might be thought to “show itself” as that between “world and thing”, but this relation, too, is not sufficiently primordial. Why? Because not all presents are things. For Heidegger, things are certain extended, practical things (e.g. a jug), whereas many presents (such as trust or justice or fair play) are not extended and so do not qualify as things. Things as extended have a place at which the play of world is gathered. And certain things Heidegger calls “Bauten” (erected things) are themselves places through which the world becomes spatial through places’ spacing space. So it would be a mistake to reduce the relation between the granting of presence itself and the letting-presence of presents to that between world and thing. The former, primordial relation concerns the granting of the time-clearing itself, i.e. the open three-dimensional clearing for the presencing and absencing of occurrents, by propriation. (For more on this, see my Being Time Space)
The granting of presence itself is inconspicuous in favour of the presents themselves that present themselves AS such-and-such in an historical epoch. Hence Heidegger’s formulation, “Lichtung des Sichverbergens” (clearing of self-concealment”). This self-concealment is related to the “ringing of stillness” (Geläut der Stille), which I call The Quivering of Propriation. Only by virtue of this quivering resonance is Dasein musical.

No comments:

Post a Comment