Monday, April 25, 2005

Martin Heidegger, "What is Metaphysics?" Part 3c

III. The Response to the Question

Negation is not the penultimate witness of the nothing. Logical negation does not go down into Da-sein as far as moods do (ie. "unyielding antagonism" and "stinging rebuke".) These suggest a more fundamental that logic's "negation" cannot reach. Such moods (forces in which Da-sein bears its thrownness without mastering it) are a better explanation of negation than logic's "negation." Reason being that they are by-products of the existential anxiety that is the penultimate witness to the nothing -- although normally repressed by all but the daring (the artist).

In the artist, this fundamental, existential anxiety aligns itself with a "cheerfulness and gentleness of creative longing" which can burst out and exercise absolute control at any moment.

Da-sein, because it is held out into the nothing, is transcendent. meaning that it surpasses beings as a whole. Thus, the inquiry into the nothing is the metaphysical inquiry. This insight, then, goes "beyond" classical metaphysics.

Ancient metaphysics understood the nothing in the sense of nonbeing, that is, unformed matter which cannot take form (be in-formed) and thus cannot offer an outward appearance or aspect (eidos). A being, then, (or, more appropriately that which is in being) was understood to be a self-forming form that exhibits itself as such in an image (as a spectacle).

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