When Karl Jaspers, revealing the impossibility of constituting the world as a unity, exclaims: “This limitation leads me to myself, where I can no longer withdraw behind an objective point of view that I am merely representing, where neither I myself nor the existence of others can any longer become an object for me,”
he is evoking after many others those waterless deserts where thought reaches its confines. After many others, yes indeed, but how eager they were to get out of them! At that last crossroad where thought hesitates, many men have arrived and even some of the humblest. They then abdicated what was most precious to them, their life.
Others, princes of the mind, abdicated likewise, but they initiated the suicide of their thought in its purest revolt. The real effort is to stay there, rather, in so far as that is possible, and to examine closely the odd vegetation of those distant regions. Tenacity and acumen are privileged spectators of this inhuman show in which absurdity, hope, and death carry on their dialogue.. (Camus: Myth of Sisiphus)
This citation expresses the deep experience of human ambivalence. Just when it is most important to us we do not succeed in deciding between two alternatives by rational, calculating weighing of pros and cons.
In a similar vein Richard Rorty characterizes a „liberal ironic“ as someone who denies that there is a rational answer to questions like: „Why not being cruel?“ Such questions are as hopeless as:
„Is it right to deliver n innocents over to be tortured to save the lives of m x n other innocents? If so, what are the correct values of m and n? … Anybody who thinks that there are well-grounded theoretical answers to this sort of questions – algorithms for resolving moral dilemmas of this sort – is still, in his heart, a theologian or a metaphysician.” (Rorty, 1989, p. xv)
Interesting, isn‘t it? Calculating thinking (Heidegger), i.e. rational thinking as theology and metaphysics! And if we can‘t calculate decisions what then?
Isaak Newton (1642-1726) breaks the power of theology David Hume (1711-1776): Religion cannot be justified rationally Hume again: Causality is a fiction. No way from being (science) to ought (ethics)
Nowhere solid ground Religion passé Even science cannot give us direction
„I am living in a new world since a read the ‚Critique of Pure Reason‘. Sentences I believed to be unfailable are made failed; Kant
things I thought to be unproofable, e.g. the concept of absolute freedom, der Pflicht etc., have been proofed for me, and about that I am much the more happy. It is unbelievable what respect for human kind, what power this system gives us!“ Kant
„I am writing, so I have an imagination of my writing, however, others are writing beside me. How do I know that my writing is not the writing of another one?“ … „why do I see my seeing as mine? […] Why do we count our imaginations as belonging to us?“ (zit. n. Großheim, 2004, S. 199).
Fichte and the wall: „See the difference between your-self and the wall“
„The self sets itself, and it is, by virtue of this mere setting through itself; and vice versa: the self is, and it sets its being, by virtue of its mere being.
At the same time it is the acting, and the product of the action; the doing, and that, what is put forth through the actions; acting and deed are one and the same; therefore is:
I am, expression of a deed-action; […] The self is as whatever it sets itself; and it sets itself as that what it is. Thus: I am quite, what I am“ (Fichte, 1794, S. 16).
„A free and educated human being should be able to arbitrary and as he likes put himself into a philosophical or philological, critiqual or poetic, historical or rhetoric, antique or modern mood, totally voluntary, just as one tunes an instrument, at any time, and at any intensity.“ Kritische Friedrich-Schlegel-Ausgabe. Erste Abteilung: Kritische Neuausgabe, Band 2, München, Paderborn, Wien, Zürich 1967, S. 147-164. http://www.zeno.org/nid/20005618886 http://www.zeno.org/nid/20005618886
Riders on the storm Into this house we're born Into this world we're thrown Like a dog without a bone An actor out alone Riders on the storm
Coercion to authenticity Political existentialism Adventure existentialism
Inauthenticity as a „sin“ Fundamental ontology as solution The „völkische“ in National Socialism Heidegger