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Glenn Gray (1968:xxi-xxiii) – pensar (denken)


terça-feira 6 de junho de 2023, por Cardoso de Castro

For Heidegger thinking is a response on our part to a call which issues from the nature of things, from Being itself. [Introduction & Translation "What is called thinking?" (GA8  ). New York: Harper & Row, 1968]

What is it that Heidegger does call thinking? It is important to say first of all what he does not   call thinking. Thinking is, in the first place, not what we call having an opinion   or a notion. Second, it is not representing or having an idea   (vorstellen  ) about something or a state of affairs. This is an important negation   for Heidegger, which he dealt with at greater length in “Conversations on a Country Path about Thinking” in Discourse on Thinking (Harper & Row, 1965). Third, thinking is not ratiocination, developing a chain of premises which lead to a valid conclusion. Lastly, it is not conceptual or systematic in the sense favored by the German idealistic tradition  , the concept or Begriff   believed by Hegel   to be thinking par excellence.

Heidegger is, however, not denying the importance of these conceptions of thinking. He is hardly a “nothing but” kind of philosopher. Opining, representing, reasoning, conceiving—all have their place and function; they are more useful and necessary in most respects than is thinking as he understands it. These accustomed ways of grasping thinking, as he remarks in this book, are so stubborn “because they have their own truth.” There is always a struggle to advance a new way of seeing things because customary ways and preconceptions about it stand   in the way. The situation   is similar to learning a foreign language: forgetting our mother tongue is the chief difficulty.

Furthermore, Heidegger makes no claim that thinking can produce knowledge as do the sciences, nor can it promote usable practical wisdom, solve any cosmic riddles, or endow us directly with the power to act. There is no salvation to be found in it. In all these ways it is clearly inferior to the sciences and to all these activities which commonly pass for thinking. Nevertheless, thinking in his sense does have its own importance and relevance. Heidegger is clearly working toward a theory of the independent role of a kind of thinking that is at once poetic and philosophic. Like [xi] many other Continental thinkers today, he wants to insist on a new conception of philosophy as an autonomous inquiry.

For Heidegger thinking is a response on our part to a call which issues from the nature of things, from Being itself. To be able to think does not wholly depend on our will and wish, though much does depend on whether we prepare ourselves to hear that call to think when it comes and respond to it in the appropriate manner. Thinking is determined by that which is to be thought as well as by him who thinks. It involves not only man’s receptivity to Being but also Being’s receptivity to man. The history and situation of man in a given age often covers up the nature of reality and renders it impossible to receive the message of Being.

Thinking is not so much an act as a way of living or dwelling—as we in America would put it, a way of life. It is a remembering who we are as human beings and where we belong. It is a gathering and focusing of our whole selves on what lies before us and a taking to heart and mind these particular things before us in order to discover in them their essential nature and truth. Learning how to think can obviously aid us in this discovery. Heidegger’s conception of truth as the revealing of what is concealed, in distinction to the theory of truth as correctness or correspondence, is probably his most seminal thought änd philosophy’s essential task, as he sees it. The nature of reality and of man is both hidden and revealed 5 it both appears and withdraws from view, not in turn but concomitantly. Only the thinking that is truly involved, patient, and disciplined by long practice can come to know either the hidden or disclosed character of truth.

The final lecture in this volume, which parallels the last   chapter in Introduction to Metaphysics, brings out most clearly—more clearly in my judgment than did the earlier [xii] book—Heidegger’s central intuitions about the nature of thinking. It represents his attempt to translate the famous saying of Parmenides   about the relation of saying and thinking to Being. What Heidegger is here suggesting is that thinking is a concrete seeing and saying of the way the world is. Man is an integral part of this world and can realize it by asking questions of it, profound and naive questions, and by waiting “even a whole lifetime” for the disclosures that may come. Thinking is unlike any other act insofar as it is an act at all. It is a calling in more than one sense of that richly evocative word. Thinking defines the nature of being human and the more thoughtless we are, the less human we are.

Yet thinking is inherent in man as a being-in-the-world. Hence learning to think is as much a discovery of our own nature as it is a discovery of the nature of Being. Every doctrine of man’s nature, as he tells us in these lectures, is at one and the same time a doctrine of Being. And every doctrine of Being is by the same token a doctrine of human nature. That is to say, the relatedness of man to Being is so integral that inquiry into one involves of necessity the other, too.