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McNeill (2006:8-11) – ser do equipamento e ser do órgão

terça-feira 5 de dezembro de 2023, por Cardoso de Castro


[…] devido à sua capacidade de auto-produção, auto-renovação e autorregulação, o organismo deve ter dentro de si uma força ativa específica ou um agente vital, uma "entelequia". Esta conclusão, insiste Heidegger, encerra o problema da essência da vida. Pois implica algum tipo de causa eficiente que origina e controla o movimento e o desenvolvimento do organismo, produzindo os seus órgãos (Heidegger fala de uma "agência eficaz" ou "fator causal", um Wirken   ou Wirkungsmoment [GA29-30  :325-26]). É questionável, de fato, se podemos falar de uma produção de órgãos por parte do organismo. Pois os órgãos não são produzidos da mesma forma que um equipamento é aprontado. Heidegger sublinha o carácter independente da coisa produzida, por oposição a um órgão vivo, emergente ou em vias de desaparecimento, apontando a sua diferente relação com o tempo. No caso, por exemplo, de um martelo, é de certa forma indiferente quanto tempo o martelo está efetivamente presente ou quando é destruído. No caso de um organismo como um organismo protoplasmático, o momento em que os órgãos aparecem é, pelo contrário, crítico. Na criatura protoplasmática, cada órgão aparece como e quando é necessário. Os órgãos estão ligados [9] à duração e ao tempo da vida, o tempo do próprio organismo vivo, e não, em primeira instância, a um tempo objetivamente determinável (o tempo de algo presente). Os órgãos estão ligados ao tempo de vida e ao processo de vida do organismo, à sua capacidade de viver.


[…] on account of its capacity for self-production, self-renewal, and self-regulation, the organism must have within it a specific active force or vital agent, an “entelechy.” This conclusion, Heidegger insists, closes off the problem of the essence of life. For it implies some kind of efficient cause that originates and controls the movement and development of the organism, producing its organs (Heidegger speaks of an “effective agency” or “causal factor,” a Wirken or Wirkungsmoment [GA29-30:325-26]). It is questionable, indeed, whether we may speak of a producing of organs on the part of the organism at all. For the organs are not   produced in the way that an item of equipment is made ready. Heidegger underlines the independent character of the produced thing as opposed to a living, emergent, or disappearing organ   by pointing out their different relatedness to time. In the case of, say, a hammer, it is in a certain way a matter of indifference how long the hammer is actually present or whenever it is destroyed. In the case of an organism such as a protoplasmic organism, the time at which the organs appear is, by contrast, critical. In the protoplasmic creature, each organ appears as and when it is needed. The organs are bound to [9] the duration and time of life, the time of the living organism itself, and not in the first instance to an objectively ascertainable time (the time of something present at hand  ). The organs are bound to the lifetime and life process of the organism, to its capacity for living.

Heidegger examines various cases of protoplasmic organisms because they are best suited philosophically to the task of understanding the essence of the organ and its relation to the organism. Such life-forms appear to have no organs, or no enduring organs; at most their organs are “momentary organs.” Although Heidegger does not develop the question of the time of the living being here, this critical temporal   nature of the organs which emerges clearly in the case of protoplasmic cells helps to ward off an illusion   that “repeatedly misleads” existing approaches to understanding the essential nature of organs. For in the case of those so-called “higher” animals which have an “enduring animal form,” the illusion arises that the organs are something present at hand, something that remains constant, and that can be regarded independently and understood by analogy with instruments. Yet the temporal distinctions that become apparent when considering protoplasmic animals make it evident that the specific manner of Being pertaining to living entities is fundamentally different from the Being of the present at hand or ready to hand piece of equipment. “Organs, even though they appear to endure and to be present at hand, are nevertheless given only in that manner of Being which we call living” (329).

On the basis of these considerations, Heidegger argues that the “purposive” or teleological character of equipment and organ is fundamentally different in each case. The eye does not serve vision in the way that the pen serves to write. Whereas that which has been made ready serves or is “serviceable” (dienlich) for some (extrinsic) end, the organ as capacity must be understood as “subservient” (diensthaft) to the potentiality of the specific organism to which it is bound.

This distinction between the Being of equipment, or instrumentality, and the Being of the organ now enables Heidegger to characterize more precisely the nature of capacity pertaining to the potentiality of the organ as opposed to the readiness of equipment. To say that something is ready-made (fertig) means not only that (1) it is completed; and (2) it is ready to serve for something; but means also (3) that “in its Being it is at an end,” it cannot proceed [10] any further. The piece of equipment in itself is unable to do anything; the pen, for example, in itself cannot write, just as the hammer in itself cannot hammer. Writing or hammering require that an additional action be brought to the pen or the hammer from the outside, from beyond them: the possibility of them serving some end must, as Heidegger expresses it, first be “torn from the piece of equipment.” In sum, “being a hammer is not a pushing toward hammering, the ready-made hammer lies outside a possible hammering” (330-31). This lying outside or beyond is to be contrasted with the way in which an organ such as the eye belongs to the capacity to see, because the capacity has the intrinsic character of subservience. Capacity, as Heidegger now formulates it, “transposes itself into its own wherefore, and does so in advance with respect to itself” (331). This pushing toward and transposing itself into its own end in advance indeed characterizes what is “properly peculiar” to capacity; the hammer in its Being, by contrast, “knows nothing of the sort.”

The self-transpositional character of the capacity of a living organ marks its very Being as living, as a kind of bodying-forth. Whereas using a piece of equipment for a particular end subordinates the equipment to a prescription that has in advance prescribed its possible usage (this being taken from the idea   [idea, eidos  ] or “plan” in view of which the equipment was first produced), the living capacity itself requires no such external prescription. It is intrinsically self-regulating, and this self-regulation of its pushing toward its own end or “wherefore” characterizes capacity as driven. Capacity accomplishes itself as drive, as a driving itself forward or being driven forward that regulates in advance the possible range of accomplishment of the specific organ. Moreover, in its self-driving or driven character, each capacity traverses a particular dimension: its dynamic occurs as traversal. Yet the self-regulating traversal of a dimension is not to be taken in the spatial sense; the drives that are triggered in and as the actualization of various capacities are not merely extrinsic “occasionings” of the spatial movements of the living body. Rather, the dimensionality in question is that traversed by the capacities of the organs as living; the dimensional traversal is the very Being of the living body, the pulse of living tissue. This traversal, as the movement of driven capacities, drives and extends in advance right through the unfolding of a capacity. The movement of living drives, Heidegger [11] adds, can therefore never be understood along the lines of a mechanical or mathematical model, except by neglecting what is specific to the organs and organism as living.

Ver online : William McNeill

[MCNEILL, William. The Time of Life. Heidegger and Ethos. New York: State University of New York Press, 2006, p. ]