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2008-03-06
Reason and Besinnung/Ke Xiaogang
TAG:柯小刚 东林门

Reason and Besinnung: Heidegger's Reflections on Modern Science in Contributions to Philosophy Ke Xiaogang (Tongji University, China. Email: kexiaogang@gmail.com) Science has been taken as the model of rationality in modern times. It is explicitly or unconsciously believed that it is not reason that defines what science is, but rather science defines what reason is. Therefore, when a kind of thinking endeavors to think mindfully, seriously and soberly with clear articulation but not "scientifically", i.e., not confirming to the extant paradigm of the present sciences, it will always be criticized as an irrational thought. Heidegger's thinking is unfortunately taken to be one of such cases sometimes. “Can then the effort to return thinking to its element be called 'irrationalism'?”[1] So asked Heidegger in his “Letter on Humanism.” Certainly, a thinking that strives to bring itself back to its originary ground should be taken as the most appropriate representative of rational thinking. But in a scientific perspective it tends to be mistaken as the opposite of reason, "irrationalism"[2] only because it is not scientific. Against such a background rises the phenomenological reflection of reason and science. In a sense, Husserl's terminology "philosophy as rigorous science" is a double-blade sword. On the one hand, rigorous science, as it must submit to the request of philosophy, implies a strict critique to the present paradigm of sciences, i.e., the empirical-mathematical disposing of beings; On the other hand philosophy, when it is still called as a "science", though supposed to be the most rigorous or the most authentic one in other sciences, still retains the modern prejudice that sets science as the ultimate ideal for philosophy, though the modern sciences have lost all their interest and impulse for the real telos of reason, namely, ideals. For Husserl, the crisis of European science is the crisis of reason. Reason or the pursuit after eidos has become the fundamental impetus of Western intellectual and political life since the Athenian philosophers. When Husserl mentioned in his “Kaiso reports” “a ‘realism’ without ideals” correlating with “a feeble pessimism” to diagnose the symptom of the modern times[3], he expressed his disappointment and critique to positive sciences. Heidegger's reflection of modern science continues this critique and goes further. The furtherness of Heidegger's critique does not only showed up in its deeper profundity and wider scope, but at first in its fundamental transformation of the method of reflecting, in short, transferring from a rational reflection of science to a mindful deliberation -- or in Heidegger's nearly untranslatable term "Besinnung" -- of science. If the “crisis” of science derives intrinsically from the essential defect of the modern concept of reason itself, then it will be reasonable that an effective reflection of science will require an alternative way of reflecting, rather than unwisely continue to appeal to the rational way. But this does not mean at all that Heidegger's reflection of science goes into "irrationalism", but rather, it will turn out to be a more "reasonable" understanding of "rational" science, in so far as it deserves to be an ontological grounding of scientific rationality. 1. Preparing reflection: The difference between logical problems and philosophical questioning In the beginning of his Winter semester 1937-1938 lectures at the University of Freiburg, which was given at the same time when the Contributions manuscript was composed and therefore could be taken as “the most important and immediate preparation for understanding Contributions to Philosophy”,[4] Heidegger made an essential differentiation between the questioning [Fragen] of philosophy and the problems [Probleme] of logic. The same differentiation is also found in the Contributions when Heidegger says that “in the epoch of total lack of questioning, however, ‘problems’ will pile up and rush around”.[5] This differentiation explicitly shows Heidegger's effort of restoring the originary way of thinking, namely the questioning of philosophy, out of the “frozen” or “distorted” mode of it, i.e., logical problems. 1.1. Besinnung as the grounding of reason Heidegger’s originary way of thinking is an “endeavor to go forthwith beyond the ‘problem’, the frozen question, and likewise beyond ‘logic’ as a discipline of scholastically degenerated philosophical learnedness, to a philosophical questioning that is basic, that penetrates into the ground.”[6] Obviously, this is not a mere negative critique of logical reason, but rather a grounding for it. Ground-seeking is one of the basic characteristics of reason, but logical rationality itself remains groundless from its beginning, namely the Platonic School, to its extant representative, modern science. Heidegger's ontological grounding of reason is neither rational nor irrationalistic. It is neither rational, because it does not confine itself in the limit of logic; nor irrationalistic because it grounds. This non-logical grounding of reason is called by Heidegger "Besinnung", according to Parvis Emad and Kenneth Maly’s translation, "mindfulness" or "mindful deliberation".[7] Besinnung of the grounding of reason is an investigation of truth: It starts from an analytic of truth as correctness or correspondence of the assertion or representation to the "object", and pointing to truth in its originary sense, i.e., openness or αληθεια. Openness is nothing mystical, but rather the simplest and plainest: It is the place for the perceiving-calculating reason to take place, or the game-space [Spielraum] for reason to game in it. In this sense, openness constitutes the ground of reasoning. And the thinking of the sense [Sinn] of this grounding is Besinnung. Besinnung grounds reason originarily, which means, grounding without reasoning. Reasoning or calculation, logical argumentation or assertion, so far as it justifies or grounds, depends ontologically on the originary grounding of Besinnung. Ontological Besinnung questions philosophically, instead of asking and resolving problems logically. When the scientific truth as correctness has become the model and the most popular understanding of truth and therefore must answer for the most fundamental danger of modernity, the preliminary philosophical question that the ontological Besinnung must ask at first should be the questioning into the essence of truth. The questioning of truth makes the most deciding praxis or act of thinking to manifest the significance of the differentiation between "the problems of logic" and "the question of philosophy". With this differentiation, Heidegger is calling for the transformation of thinking from reasoning to Besinnung, insofar as the subject matter is related to truth, which is one of the basic questions [Grundfragen] of philosophy. With this transformation of method, truth will be originarily be thought as openness instead of logically as correctness. And the Besinnung of the ontological truth will deserve as the grounding [Gruendung] of the logic truth as the correctness of assertions. "From time immemorial truth has been a 'problem of logic' but not a basic question of philosophy."[8] And this condition should be changed in the crossing from the first beginning of western thinking to the other beginning in the future. Therefore, if reason belongs to the first beginning, i.e. to the traditional western metaphysics and modern sciences, then Besinnung should be the thinking mode in the epoch of crossing [Uebergang] from the first to the other beginning. The other beginning is nothing “against” the first beginning, but rather the surpassing-renewal of the first beginning; And likewise, Besinnung is not an opposite of reason, but rather the grounding and the originary mode of reason. 1.2. “Practical reason” in the Besinnung of the openness that grounds knowing As "problem of logic", truth is taken as the correctness between representation [Vorstellung] and the represented beings, but "in the correctness of the representational assertion there holds sway consequently a four-fold openness: (1) of the thing, (2) of the region between thing and man, (3) of man himself with regard to the thing, and (4) of man to fellow man."[9] This "four-fold unitary openness" constitutes the ontological ground of any representational knowing. "The openness is not first produced by the correctness of the representing, but rather, just the reverse, it is taken over as what was always already holding sway."[10] For Heidegger is talking about the openness of the thing and of the region between thing and man as if thing the “object” plays a role like man the “subject”, it will seem to be strange for a modern reader, since these four-fold unitary openness as the ontological grounding of the knowing process shows a character of somehow “practical reason” even in the sphere of “epistemology” that is put under the category of “theoretical reason” e.g. typically in the critical (i.e. demarcating) philosophy of Kant. Since the Greek word “λογος” or “νους” is translated by the Latin word “ratio”, which originally means rate and calculation, the calculating concept of rationality has been holding sway in both “theoretical” and “practical” reason. Therefore, the modern notion of “practical reason”, or the application of “theoretical reason” in “practical domain”, has taken the place of the Aristotelian φρονησις or the Ciceroian prudentia, which in its classical sense means the ability to practice or act “reasonably” according to various situations without appealing to reasoning or calculation. However, now in Heidegger’s ontological grounding of rational knowing, we read something of “practical reason” that could not be explained by the modern concept of reason in its calculating sense or in its Kantian sense. By “practical reason”, we mean rather the lost sense of “φρονησις” or “prudentia”, instead of “λογος” or “νους” in its Latin degenerated form “ratio” or the further degenerated form of modern rationality. This onto-practical – here “ontology” differs from to the “branch” of metaphysics that belongs to “the pure theoretical” and “practical” is also detached from its modern meaning as the opposite of “theoretical” – grounding is called Besinnung. Therefore, such a grounding of the knowing process is a Besinnung of science. On the one hand, the openness provides ontological grounding for perceiving-calculating reasoning; on the other hand, modern science as the most extreme mode of perceiving-calculating rationality tends to forget its ontological ground as openness though it is so grounded. This condition of forgottenness has brought modern human beings the huge danger of living in a world of macination [Machenschaft], which will display its allpervasive violence technologic-politically as controlling, reign of massiveness, nihilism and “total mobilization”. If we try to overcome this ongoing danger, we must besinnen [mindfully reflect] modern science seriously rather than merely criticize it, because modern science and its danger are nothing accidental but just the necessary consequence of being-history [Seinsgeschichte], insofar as science as the macinational processing of beings derives from the "abandonment of being" [Seinsverlassenheit]. And the thinking of the "abandonment of Being" should be necessarily a Besinnung. 2. Ontological reflection: Besinnung of science as the hearing of the echo of being Besinnung of science, instead of reasoning or rational reflection on scientific rationality, should be the appropriate style of thinking for reflecting science, because the reflection of science is one of the necessary paces that an inceptual thinking should enact in the unfolding of the ontological project of the Contributions. Considering being-historically, modern scientific rationality is nothing self-sufficient. It has its roots in the onto-historical condition and is itself the symptom of this condition. A Besinnung of science is required by the ontological nature of science itself, and performs as the ontological self-reflection of scientific rationality, insofar as science derives originarily from the abandonment of being and therefore bears the concealed ground of openness, which could only be re-opened by the ontological Besinnung, in its ownmost essence. The Besinnung of science is focusedly discussed in the first “Fuge”, namely “Echo”, of the Contributions. This is a deliberate arrangement from the whole project of the being-historical structure. The manuscript is composed of eight parts, including a “Preview” [Vorblick], an ending part “Be-ing” [Das Seyn] and six “joinings” [Fugen] – different from “chapters” which presuppose a metaphysical structure of system -- called “Echo” [Der Anklang], “Playing-Forth” [Das Zuspiel], “Leap” [Der Sprung], “Grounding” [Die Gruedung], “The Ones to Come” [Die Zu-Kuenftigen], and “The Last God” [Der Letzte Gott]. As to the joining relations among the six “Fugen”, Heidegger says in the “Preview”: Was gesagt wird, ist gefragt und gedacht im „Zuspiel“ des ersten und des anderen Anfangs zueinander aus dem „Anklang“ des Seyns in der Not der Seinsverlassenheit für den „Sprung“ in das Seyn zur „Gründung“ seiner Wahrheit als Vorbereitung der „Zukünftigen“ „des letzten Gottes“.[11] “The ‘echo’ of be-ing in the distress of being’s abandonment”, this expression shows the place of “echo” in the joining structure of the ontological project in the Contributions. It shows that the Fuge-moment of “echo” functions as a opening revealing of the ontological questions that the modern humanity is facing; It describes the being-historical situation in which all of the following steps, “playing-forth” and “leap” “groundingly” into the “coming ones” or “the last god”, could then be necessary and possible to be taken. In this sense, “echo” serves as a preparatory moment in the whole joining of ontological saying. If the Contributions is mainly a book for the future, then the “echo” part is the necessary retrospection of the past and the present with an eye from the future. “Echo” of be-ing [Seyn] means, on the one hand, the past metaphysics and the present sciences, as degenerate modes of inceptual thinking, are nothing but consequences of the abandonment of beings by being; and on the other hand, they are resonance and in fact the real resonance of be-ing after all, and just for this reason a Besinnung of science could then be necessary and possible to be enacted as a hearing to the echo of be-ing. The Besinnung of science takes an essential part in the “Echo”. The important role of the Besinnung of science comes from the crucial position of the truth question. The degeneration of truth from αληθεια or openness to the correctness of representation is intrinsically related to the development of modern sciences and its institution, modern universities. The rule of the correctness-truth and the calculation-reason is expressed in the all controlling power of modern science and technology. However, “where danger is, salvation also grows.” Only if the modern idol of truth, namely science that is understood as correct representation to objects, is grounded by the openness through an ontological Besinnung, then could the truth of being, namely the originary notion of truth as αληθεια or openness, renewably hold sway, and also then could a series of problems of modernity find its fundamental possibility of resolving. Therefore, both ontologically and politically, the Besinnung of science plays a crucial role in the hearing of the “echo” of be-ing and crossing to the other beginning. Just as Heidegger says: “Therefore the attempt to point to the abandonment of being as the echo of be-ing cannot avoid a Besinnung of modern science and its ownmost rootedness in macination [Machenschaft].” “The Besinnung of science that is thus formed is still the only philosophically possible one, granted that philosophy is already moving in the crossing to the other beginning.”[12] 3. Political reflection: Besinnung of science as a political critique of the modern concept of reason The abandontment of being and the consequent degeneration of reason into the calculating rationality and the concealing of truth into the correctness of representation is a being-historical [seinsgeschichtlich] event. That means: the question of reason and truth is not only ontologically related, but also historically and politically interested. Seeing from a being-historical perspective, none ontological condition does not implies a corresponding political connotation. As Heidegger says: “What does reason, ratio, nous, mean? If we think metaphysically, as is necessary here, and not psychologically, then reason means the immediate perception of beings. The familiar definition of man now has an altogether different ring: man -- the being that perceives beings.”[13] Different “epistemology” implies different “definition” or “essence” of man and correspondingly leads to different politics. From Plato to Foucault, the political reflection of truth and knowledge is one of the most important traditions in Western political philosophies. Heidegger’s Besinnung of reason, perceiving, truth and their connotations of human essence should also be understood along this clue – to some extent Heidegger is a precursor of Foucault in this aspect – although Heidegger thinks being-historically. Therefore Heidegger’s Besinnung of science in the Contributions is not a politically indifferent speculation, but rather a mindful deliberation and even an act in distress [Not] of the political situation of the modern human beings. Heidegger describes the determinative aspect of modernity as the rule of quantum – as Heidegger uses the Latin form of this word the relating to ratio or the rationality as calculation is implied. The rule of quantum is showed in the three main characteristics of modernity, namely calculation, acceleration and massiveness, and more concretely expressed in the quantification of sciences, the corruption of universities into enterprises which compel human sciences into “newspaper science” [Zeitungswissenschaft] and natural sciences into “machine science” [Maschinenwissenschaft], the emergence of the gigantic such as the unlimited multiplying of production, the pervasion of nihilism and its political expression as “total mobilization”. All of these phenomena, which have constituted some main elemental aspects of modernity, have be critically inquired through a being-historical Besinnung of science in the “Echo” joining of the Contributions. The rule of quantity is the being-historical consequence of the abandonment of beings by being [Seinsverlassenheit]. Being abandons beings and lets beings be beings, in which being conceals itself and lets itself be forgotten. This is a later version of the ontological difference, and from the negative aspect of this difference rises the plurality of beings. (Simultaneously there is also the positive aspect, namely the pointing to the transcendence of being, depending on which the Besinnung of science could then be enacted as a hearing of the weak echo of being in the scientific processing of beings). When being, the unique and the simple One, conceals itself and is forgotten completely in the plurality of beings, then the epoch of quantum will be being-historically unavoidable. The primary and determinative aspect of the rule of quantity lies in modern sciences, when they take certainty, exactness and the complete quantification as their highest ideal. Nearly all of the other aspects of the rule of quantity in modern society is based on and fundamentally influenced by the rule of mathematics in modern sciences, now that science has become the only truth for modern human. This is why an ontological Besinnung of science, instead of other seemly more “political” things, must be the first political critique of modernity. Furthermore, the rule of quantity implies the indifferent processing of beings, which necessarily leads to the “scientific” attitude of modern science, i.e., the spiritless spirit of objectivism and “value-indifference”. Generally speaking, though modern science and technology claims to be “free” to any value judgment, they have brought about and are themselves the most serious crisis or distress [Not] of modernity. Furthermore, just because of its characteristic of “free” or “value-detached”, modern science has become one of the origins and promotional elements of modern nihilism. What modern science contributes to nihilism is “the lack of distress” [Notlosigkeit][14] or “the state of total boredom”[15]. “The lack of distress” does not mean “everything goes well without problems”, but rather itself constitutes the “utmost distress” of the modern age. This nihilistic essence of modern science implies many political consequences. The nihilistic essence of modern science shows up, for example, in the homogeneity of the American, Bolshevist and the “national” – obviously referring to National Socialism – organization of science. Here we read Heidegger’s determinate critique of National Socialism without falling into the trap of the ideologies of communism or liberalism after his failed involvement of Nazi politics: “Only a thoroughly modern (i.e., ‘liberal’) science can be ‘a national science’.” “The ‘national’ ‘organization’ of science moves along the same lines as the ‘American’ [organization of science].”[16] 4. “Scientific” reflection: Besinnung of science as a “philosophy of science”: After an ontological grounding and a political interpretation of Heidegger’s Besinnung of science, we arrive now at the closer and more detailed aspect of this Besinnung, which tries to, e.g., reflect on the “methodology” of modern sciences. Though in the Contribution’s own “joining”-structure, these three aspects are interjoined to each other instead of taking on a linear order, we wish our re-arrangement will be helpful to emphasize that Heidegger’s concrete analysis of science, no matter “correct” or not to the “objective state”, must be understood in the context of the ontological grounding of reason and the political critique of modernity. If our reading could bear any authentic significance without diluting or even mistaking Heidegger’s originary Besinnung by a systemizing rationality, it could only lie on this point. In section 76 of the Contributions, Heidegger gives twenty four “propositions [Sätze] about ‘science’”. With quotation marks on the word “science”, Heidegger shows what he talks about refers particularly to the degenerated form of επιστημη, i.e., to modern sciences; And by using the word “propositions [Sätze]”, which sounds typically “scientific”, Heidegger ironically indicates that his Besinnung of science could also satisfy the “scientific” requirement of accuracy and orderliness. For ontological truth does not relate to the correctness of assertions and ontological Besinnung should not take on the form of propositions, these seemly “scientific” “propositions” about “science” must be a rhetoric, by which the “intimate difference” or “der liebende Streit” between reason and Besinnung can then be alluded to. As Heidegger himself puts it, through the “propositions”, “this Besinnung tries to grasp the essence of modern science in terms of strivings that belong to this essence. But as Besinnung, it is also not a simple description of an extant state. It is instead elaboration of a process, insofar as this process aims at a decision concerning the truth of science. This Besinnung remains led by the same standards as the first one and is only its reverse.”[17] These “propositions” touched upon many “methodological” aspects of modern sciences, including the “positive” or “regional” character of sciences, the split and homogeneity of natural and human sciences, macination [Machenschaft] and lived-experience [Erlebnis], the relation between exactness and experiment, etc. In the following, we will discuss them respectively in two sub-sections. 4.1. Macination and lived-experience At the beginning of the “propositions”, Heidegger points out at first that “‘science’ must always be understood in the modern sense.”[18] “Must” indicates: this is far from a presupposition of the subject-matter or a demarcation of the topic, but rather a being-historical location of the situation of science. Historically speaking, we “must” reflect on science in its modern sense, insofar as it has become essentially different from “the medieval ‘doctrine’ and the Greek ‘knowledge’”[19]; and ontologically speaking, we “must” besinnen science in its modern sense, insofar as it is determined by the ontological consequence of the abandonment of beings by being. This onto-historical situation of modern science has decided its “positive” nature: What is “scientifically” knowable is in each case given in advance by a “truth” which is never graspable by science, a truth about the recognized region of beings. Beings as a region lie in advance for science, they constitute a positum, and every science is in itself a “positive” science (including mathematics).[20] Furthermore, the plurality of beings (that derives from the abandonment of beings by being) and the territorializion of regions for specialized disposal of beings will necessarily imply the plurality and specialization of modern sciences: Thus there is never and nowhere anything like the science, as perhaps there is “art” and “philosophy,” which always in themselves essentially and fully what they are, if they are historical. “Science” is only a formal title whose essential understanding requires that the breakdown into disciplines, into individual and separate sciences, be thought along. Thus, to the extent that every science is a “positive” science, it must also be an “individual” scientific discipline.[21] These two onto-historical characteristics of modern science, namely being “positive” and being separated into specialized disciplines, answer for the intrinsically homogeneous oppositionality between the natural and human sciences. Heidegger thinks this relation through a pair of notions, macination [Machenschaft] and lived-experience [Erlebnis]. In a word, “machination is the domination of making and what is made.”[22] According to Heidegger, macination as the essence of natural sciences belongs to the first beginning of Western thinking. Ontologically it is the consequence of “the collapse of αληθεια”; historically it derives from the combination of the Greek τεχνη and “the Christian-biblical interpretation of beings as ens creatum”, and then is decisively consolidated by Descartes into its modern rational form, along with which truth has been transformed as correctness and certainty. Since then, “the natural sciences become machine science.” It is only in the background of the shaping of macination (and natural sciences) that the appealing to lived-experience [Erlebnis] rises. As an opposite to macination, lived-experience shares the common onto-historical grounding with macination, so do human sciences to natural sciences. With a Neo-Kantian concept of Leben and Erleben, “history” as “the modern counter-form to experimental ‘science’” has turned out to be a “newspaper science” or even a “publishing industry”. That means: the lived-experience of a human science has been transformed into the macination of “academic products” like natural sciences produce “truths.” Furthermore, this macinationalization of human science will conversely promote the popularization of lived-experience to the objects of natural sciences, so long as live-experience [Erleben] relates to representation and the latter constitutes the essential structure in the process of macination: “Newspaper” and “machine” [sciences] are meant essentially as the dominant ways of ultimate objectification, which forges ahead (in modernity, the objectification that advances to completion) by sucking up all concreteness [Sachhaltigkeit] of beings and taking these [beings] only as an occasion for live-experience.[23] The interdependence of macination and lived-experience implies: modernity as a world of production is at the same time a world of consuming. So much production, so much consuming, and vice versa; the reign of production is the reign of consuming, and vice versa. Beings are abandoned (by being) to calculating macination or making, insofar as they are delivered to the “enjoyment” of lived-experience. To be sure, modern natural sciences have not decreased but enriched human lived-experience by their nature of multiplying macination or production; but this richness of both material manufacture and “spiritual” experience, essentially as the richness of objects (though divided into different categories), is the extreme poverty of the scientific epoch. This extreme nothing-lacking poverty corresponds to the former mentioned onto-historical state of modernity, namely the utmost distress as the lack of distress. Thus, through a “methodological” reflection on the relation between macination and lived-experience, the ontological Besinnung of modern natural and human sciences shows its political sense of distress as a critique of the modern concept of reason. 4.2. Exactness and experiment If the plurality of beings leads the plurality of modern sciences as we have just discussed in the last section, then the rule of quantum in modernity will manifest as the pursuit of exactness in modern sciences. In the propositions of section 76 and the following sections till the end of “Echo”, Heidegger discussed a lot about exactness and the essence of experiment, which constitute a important part in his “methodological” reflection of science. Exactness [Exaktheit] is not only a “methodological” character of rigorous [streng] science, but rather the characteristic of the “scientific method itself”, so long as the “scientific method” implies the rational, i.e. calculating, processing of beings, and “if ‘exact’ means the same as determined, measured, and calculated according to numbers.”[24] Therefore, not because a science satisfies the requirement of exactness, then does it become to be rigorous, but rather just the reverse, “a science can be exact only because it must be rigorous.”[25] Furthermore, not because a science measures and calculates quantitatively, then does it become to be exact, but rather “a science must be exact (in order to remain rigorous, i.e., science) if the field of its subject-matter is launched in advance as the realm (of the modern concept of ‘nature’) that is accessible only to quantitative measuring and calculation, only thus guaranteeing results.”[26] That means, the “methodological” requirement of exactness is decided by the ontological condition that beings have been abandoned by being and exposed to the demarcation of object-realms and the quantification of the objects in respective realms. In this sense, the Besinnung of exactness deserves to be an ontological grounding of the “method” of modern science. Besides exactness, the other essential element of “scientific method” is experiment. From Galileo, science in the modern sense means the mathematical-experimental calculation-probe of the specialized objects in the in-advance-posited[27] realm of beings. Just like the requirement of exactness, the method of experiment should also be grounded ontologically, i.e., should be reflected mindfully [besinnen]. With such a Besinnung, Heidegger shows up the ontological ground for the necessity of the experiment to modern science: As positive and individual in its rigor, every science is dependent upon cognizance of its field of subject-matter, dependent upon inquiry into the same, dependent upon εμπειρια and experimentum in the broadest sense.[28] Insofar as the “positivity” and “individuality” of modern sciences is the consequence of the abandonment of beings by being as we have discussed, the rise and the rule of experimental method in modern sciences is also an onto-historical event, whose essence can be originarily thought [er-denkt] only through a mindful reflection, namely, Besinnung. According to the same ontological ground, the relation of experiment to exactness is just like exactness to rigor as we have mentioned. It is not because a science experiments that it then could become exact, but rather, “‘experiment’ is a necessary, essential consequence of exactness; and a science is in no way exact simply because it experiments.”[29] The inefficiency of “simply experimenting” implies a decisive differentiation of modern scientific experiment from its classical mode, i.e. experiri as Heidegger puts it. The antique experiri means an appealing to “lumen naturale” against “verbum divinum”, while the modern scientific experiment “not only against mere talk and dialectic (sermones et scripta, argumentum ex verbo), but also against random and merely curious exploration of a vaguely represented domain (experiri).”[30] Here we confront again with the intrinsic connection of experiment to exactness and their common ontological ground. Classical experiri probes in a “vaguely represented domain”, while modern experiment operates in an exactly in advance confined region of beings, in which the objects should furthermore be defined well for calculating processing, i.e., for a modern concept of rationality to deal with. Therefore, as rational-mathematical experiment, modern scientific experiment goes into the opposite of its ancestral form: “Now experiment [is] no longer only against mere argumentum ex verbo and against ‘speculation’ but also against all mere experiri.”[31] When the method, i.e. the ‘οδος, way or Tao, of science has so extremely been modernized or rationalized, the Besinnung or the ontological grounding of the Way of science will be in the utmost distress [Not] and be urgently necessary [nötig]. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] Cited from Martin Heidegger Basic Writings, ed. by David Farrell Krell, London and Henley: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1977, p. 195. [2] Not regarding that the term "irrationalism" itself is a self-contradictory term, in so far as it must justify itself and must mantain some consistency, just like any reasoning thinking should do. Generally speaking, any "ism" has to be rational, even if it claims to be "irrationalism". [3] Cf. Edmund Husserl, “Erneuerung. Ihr Problem und ihre Methode”, in Aufsaetze und Vortraege (1922-1937), Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989, p. 4. [4] F.-W. von Herrmann’s "Nachwort des Herausgebers", in Martin Heidegger Gesamtausgabe Bd. 65: Beitraege zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis), Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann, 1989 (abbreviated as “GA 65”), S. 513. English translation: Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning), tr. by Parvis Emad and Kenneth Maly, Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1999 (abbreviated as “Contributions Eng.”), p. 364. Also cf. Richard Rojcewicz and Andre Schuwer, "translators' foreword", in Martin Heidegger, Basic Questions of Philosophy: Selected “Problems” of “Logic”, tr. by Richard Rojcewicz and Andre Schuwer, Bloomington & Indianapolis: Indiana University Press, 1994 (abbreviated as “Basic Questions Eng.”) p. xx. [5] GA 65, p. 123.; Contributions Eng. p. 86. [6] Basic Questions Eng., p. 9. [7] Cf. Parvis Emad and Kenneth Maly’s discussion of translating Heidegger’s terms in the Contributions, see “translators’ foreword”, Contributions Eng., p. xxxii. [8] Basic Questions Eng., p.11. [9] Ibid., p. 18f. [10] Ibid., p. 19. [11] GA 65, p. 7. Also cf. Parvis Emad and Kenneth Maly’s English translation, though the usage of commas has break down the joining character of the sentence: What is said is inquired after and thought in the “playing-forth” unto each other of the first and the other beginnings, according to the “echo” of be-ing in the distress of being’s abandonment, for the “leap” into be-ing, in order to “ground” its truth, as a preparation for “the ones to come” and for “the last god.” (Contributions Eng., p. 6.) [12] GA 65, p. 141f.; Contributions Eng., p. 98f. [13] Basic Questions Eng. p. 20 [14] GA 65, p. 125f.; Contributions Eng., p. 87f. [15] GA 65, p. 157.; Contributions Eng., p. 109. [16] GA 65, p. 148f.; Contributions Eng., p. 103. And just a few pages before, Heidegger talks about Bolshevism and calls it “crude nihilism”. [17] GA 65, p. 144; Contributions Eng. p. 100. [18] GA 65, p. 145; Contributions Eng. p. 100. [19] Ibid. [20] GA 65, p. 145; Contributions Eng. p. 101. [21] Ibid. [22] GA 65, p. 131; Contributions Eng. p. 92. [23] GA 65, p. 158; Contributions Eng. p. 109. [24] GA 65, p. 150; Contributions Eng. p. 104. [25] Ibid. [26] Ibid, with slight modification made to the original English translation. [27] As we have mentioned, the “in-advanc-positedness” of the various scientific domain answers for the “positive” character of every individual discipline of science. [28] GA 65, p. 150; Contributions Eng. p. 104. [29] Ibid. [30] GA 65, p. 163; Contributions Eng. p. 113. [31] Ibid.


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