File spoon-archives/bhaskar.archive/bhaskar_2000/bhaskar.0001, message 15

Date: Sat, 15 Jan 2000 01:22:46 +0100
Subject: Re: BHA: DPF 2.8: Summary

hi All,

much praise to Tobin for his fine summary, it's all
cristal clear for me, so i have no questions here ;-)

nevertheless there is something in this paragraph
that is bothering me, on page 147 we can read:

"I will concentrate on the tradition which begins
with Nietzschean negligence, traverses Heideggerian
beXing and can only end in writing itself out by

the trouble i have here is the way in which Bhaskar
interpretates the late-heideggerian emblem of "beXing"
(being crossed-through), and also in PE [p.35, 79]
Bhaskar speaks of it as the "heideggerian erasure of
being". For Bhakar Heidegger's notion of "beXing"
is a mark of loss/neglect of a stratified transfactual
intransitivity, hence Bhaskar's charge that Heidegger's
ontology will inevitably collapse into some form of
monovalence viz. antroporealism.

the point is however that for Heidegger the notion
of "beXing" is quite rich, complex, and deep, one
which encompasses at least the following meanings:

(i) "beXing" as the "Geviert" (Fourfold)
Heidegger's Geviert is a rather poetical account of
his notion of ontological stratification, it mentions
the following four ontological domains/coordinates
wherein the world as world happens:

  - Himmel: the sky - the cosmos - the universe
  - Erde: the earth - nature - the ecosphere
  - Sterblichen: the society of human beings as mortals
  - Gottlichen: the divine milieu with its messengers

These four domains (die Gegenden des Gevierts) cross-
constitute, by way of an endless intersecting mirrorplay,
together the plurality and openness of the world; when-
ever and whereever the four are gathered together the
"ereignis" (happening) of being (aletheia) takes place

ok this may sound much too poetical, but the point
i want to make is that Heidegger's ontology is quite
stratified and productive; in stead of just of an erasing
nature, "beXing" denotes the open play-field wherein
beings emerge and vanish, show and conceal themselfs
in the free-dome that is granted by the Geviert .

(ii) "beXing" as "Geheimnis" (hidden secret)
the second meaning of "beXing" is complementary to
and more profound than the first, and it ought to be
conceived as the grounding/bearing *but* ever con-
cealed transcendental conditionals of the Geviert; when
the Geviert happens as worlding, being as "beXing"
withdraws itself in the hidden absence of the Secret,
the secret that -as Nothingness- patiently holds sway
in the absence of unconcealment.

again this all may sound very poetical, but what H.
basically is arguing that underneath the Geviert there
lies a deeper ontological realm, a hidden origin of
being which is the primordial source of the Geviert,
it is the absence of the Geviert as negativity/nothingness

to paraphrase Bhaskar's dictum here that "absence has
ontological priority over presence", one could say that
H's beXing means something like: 'the absence (i.e.
the secret hiding) of the Geviert has ontological priority
over the presence (i.e. alethic happening) of the Geviert'.


the question remains if RB's charge, that Heidegger's is
an antroporealist ontology, still holds; i think it does,
albeit partly:
(i) the Geviert, although fundamently stratified, is ontolo-
gically necessary conditioned by antropos, if one would
take away (or erase) one of the elements of the four, say
human beings, the whole Geviert would collapse; but
(ii) if one takes the Geviert as the premordial erasor of
being to unconceal the secret being of nothingness, then
the special status of beXing as vital absence (das nichtende
Nichts) in H. can be appreciated; it is correct that H. never
fully conceptualized nothingness as RB has done with
extending it to constitutive dialectical absence as "real
determinate non-being", but the hidden status of secret
nothingness is a deep non-antropological pointer and
notion in H.s thought.


ps. on Bhaskar's writing/thinking style; years ago when
i joined this list there was talk that Bhaskar just received
some award for bad writing, after years of dwelling in
Heidegger i was up to something new, so Bhaskar seemed
a nice challenge to me; i've read the whole bloody corpus
in chronological order from RTS to PE, and -apart from
some paragraphs that go 'technically' over my head- it is my
opinion that, despite his dense turbo-language, all is clearly
exposed, aptly defined and coherently argumentated, it fits
together like a clock: reading Bhaskar was one of the most
delightful spiritual experiences i've had for years.

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