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McNeill (1999:8-10) – o privilégio do ver

quarta-feira 13 de dezembro de 2023, por Cardoso de Castro


Mas porque é que, em primeiro lugar, o ver e a visão se tornaram o modo privilegiado de acesso às coisas no desenvolvimento explícito do conhecimento, quer do conhecimento cognitivo, quer do conhecimento mais essencial atribuído à sabedoria? Porque não a audição ou o olfato, o tato ou o paladar? Noutro lugar, Heidegger argumenta que a prioridade da visão surge não só (como afirma Aristóteles  ) porque as coisas parecem estar mais claramente delimitadas através da visão, em termos do seu contorno, figura ou forma, mas também porque, deste modo, parecem estar mais constantemente presentes (GA34  , 102). Pois só a visão concede a simultaneidade do que é presente e do que foi (o hama de que Aristóteles fala no Livro IX da Metafísica), mantendo-os juntos numa só visão, por oposição à mera apreensão sequencial que ocorre através dos outros sentidos.


Much of this is familiar enough. Yet why in the first place did seeing and vision come to be the privileged manner of access to things in the explicit unfolding of knowledge, whether of cognitive knowledge or of the more essential knowing ascribed to wisdom? Why not   hearing or smelling, touch or taste? Elsewhere, Heidegger argues that the priority of vision comes about not only (as Aristotle claims) because things appear to be most clearly delimited through vision, in terms of their outline, figure, or form, but also because they thereby appear most constantly present (GA34, 102). For only sight grants the simultaneity of what is present and what has been (the hama of which Aristotle speaks in Metaphysics Book IX), holds them together in one vision, as opposed to the mere sequential apprehending that occurs through the other senses. [1] Of all the senses, only vision grants the possible apprehending of a relative constancy of presence, even while allowing for change. The act of seeing, as Aristotle explains in Book X of the Nicomachean Ethics, is intrinsically complete and perfected at the moment of seeing: "… the act of sight [ horasis   ] appears to be perfect [ teleia ] at any moment of its duration; it does not require anything to supervene later in order to perfect its form" (NE, 1174 a14f.). Seeing was regarded as the most powerful of the senses, according to Heidegger, because it was, for the Greeks, the most powerful way in which things could be given as present:

Seeing, having or keeping something in view, is indeed the predominant, most obvious, most direct and indeed the most [9] impressive and extensive way of having something present. On account of its exceptional way of making-present, sensible vision attains the role of the exemplary model for knowing, knowing taken as an apprehending of entities. The essence of vision is: it makes and holds things present, holds something within presence, so that it is manifest, there in its unconcealment. (GA34, 159-60)

Only because the Greeks implicitly understood the being or givenness of beings as presence could the eidos  , as that which can be most constantly present amidst the flux of things, come to dominate over the event of unconcealment as such, determining the unconcealment of whatever appears.

Yet for vision truly to see, and thus to be a genuine knowing, it must precisely remain with its object, in the presence of what it sees; what it sees must be that which abides in presence. It cannot immediately pass on to something else, like the productive activity of the artisan, who must put his hands to work, or the restlessness of the merely curious, who desire only to have seen. Like mere curiosity, the philosophical desire is certainly a desire to see. And to see is always already to have seen— the Greek word eidenai conveying precisely this perfect, tense. Thus, translated more literally, the first line of the Metaphysics reads, "All humans by nature desire to see and to have seen." [2] Yet there is a decisive difference between seeing and having seen only to have seen, and seeing and having seen while remaining in the presence of what is thus disclosed. Only the latter can constitute a knowing that allows the seer to take a stand   amidst the flow of appearances, to stand before what he sees, and thus to truly know and dispose over it. Only such tarrying in which one at the same time has seen and continues to see fulfils the sense of genuine knowing once conveyed in the Greek word episteme   (literally, to stand before, over and against something).

The philosophical desire is, therefore, in its very beginnings, also a desire to have seen, but to tarry in the presence of its (nonsensible) vision: such is the Greek determination of the life and activity of theorein   as understood in its most decisive and influential form in Aristotle.

Let us interrupt for now these preliminary remarks concerning this second form of the desire to see, the philosophical desire. The many complexities of this problematic will occupy us in the course of the present study. But it should be emphasized from the outset that Heidegger, in drawing attention to the interruptions of our involvement in worldly concerns, is not necessarily claiming that the techne   pertaining to productive comportment is the ultimate ground of philosophical knowledge. This is not a claim that [10] "theory" is grounded in "praxis  ." Rather, we shall see Heidegger argue that "praxis’’—in the quite broad sense of concern with worldly things and its corresponding circumspection—is itself a founded kind of presence, founded in care, which may harbor a more originary kind of vision.

Ver online : William McNeill

[MCNEILL, William. The Glance of the Eye. Heidegger, Aristotle, and the Ends of Theory. New York: SUNY, 1999, p. 4]

[1M, 1048 b23. For an extensive discussion of this simultaneity which inheres in vision, see Hans Jonas, "The Nobility of Sight," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 14, no. 4 (June 1954): 507-19.

[2This point is made by Hannah Arendt in The Life of the Mind, vol. 1, 58, 87.