Heidegger, fenomenologia, hermenêutica, existência

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Página inicial > Fenomenologia > Polt (2013:29-31) – a dação do ser requer participação

Polt (2013:29-31) – a dação do ser requer participação

sábado 20 de janeiro de 2024


Se a dação do ser requer a atividade humana, podemos suspeitar que o ser provém exclusivamente da nossa atividade. Esta abordagem elimina o problema de como nos pode ser dado algo através de meios não-sensoriais. O ser pode não ser dado de todo até o darmos a nós próprios. Mas se o ser é uma criação humana, não é uma criação de qualquer tipo comum. Se o ser não nos fosse dado, nem sequer existiríamos como seres humanos. A nossa criação do ser seria, portanto, um ato de auto-criação; seria também uma atividade que teríamos de realizar. É um tipo estranho de "atividade", mas há vários modelos possíveis para ela. Há práticas culturais, como a linguagem e o uso de ferramentas; se a nossa compreensão do ser é como estas (como diriam os wittgensteinianos), então é culturalmente relativa, mas não está sujeita a uma escolha individual arbitrária. Existem leis psicológicas contingentes, como a preferência pelo doce ao invés do amargo; tal como estas, a compreensão do ser pode ser universalmente humana, ou quase, mas não tem qualquer necessidade (como poderia argumentar um humeano). Há também a atividade do pensamento matemático, que implica uma necessidade; talvez (como um kantiano poderia defender) haja uma necessidade semelhante na nossa compreensão do ser.


How is being given? Being (givenness) may be the result of repeated experiences of given beings. But this answer—the simplest and most plausible—raises the problem of how anything can be given in advance of a sense of givenness. Alternatively, one can hold that being is given through non-sensory perception (Husserl  ’s “categorial intuition”). [1] But perhaps what we grasp when we begin to “perceive” being is superficial. Being may be given, then, only through articulate discussion of some kind. [2]

If so, then being cannot be given without some activity on our part. In fact, there can be no giving without receiving, which is itself an activity. To put it most paradoxically, we could argue with Derrida   that the gift is impossible. A gift must be free, gratuitous; it must also be received by its recipient. But the very act of receiving the gift is a basic form of acknowledgment, or gratitude; it thus constitutes some reciprocity, some payment for the gift. A gift paid for, however, is not   a gift at all. The gift thus cancels itself out, because the gratitude it requires annuls the gratuity that defines it as a gift. [3] We can dissolve this paradox if we remove the assumption that a gift must be completely gratuitous, and think of it instead as involving a surplus or imbalance. [30] Still, the paradox teaches us that there is no such thing as a completely passive “getting” of the given. [4]

If the givenness of being requires human activity, we may suspect that being stems exclusively from our activity. This approach obviates the problem of how we can be given anything through nonsensory means. Being may not be given at all until we give it to ourselves. But if being is a human creation, it is not a creation of any ordinary sort. If being were not given to us, we would not even exist as human beings. Our creation of being, then, would be an act of self-creation; it would also be an activity that we would have to perform. This is a strange sort of “activity,” but there are several possible models for it. There are cultural practices, such as language and tool use; if our understanding of being is like these (as Wittgensteinians might say), then it is culturally relative, but it is not subject to arbitrary individual choice. There are contingent psychological laws, such as preferring sweet to bitter; like these, the understanding of being might be universally human, or nearly so, but carry no necessity (as a Humean could argue). There is also the activity of mathematical thought, which carries necessity with it; perhaps (as a Kantian might hold) there is a similar necessity in our understanding of being.

Being, then, may be revealed by perception or discourse, or generated by our own activities, whether these activities are contingent or necessary. But whichever of these explanations we may choose, it was an emergency that first alerted us to givenness by bringing it into question. What if emergency were not only a stimulus for philosophical reflection, but also crucial to the very giving of being. Then moments of emergency would not only reveal a prior sense of givenness that we could now unfor-get, but would revitalize and transform this sense. Maybe we would never have a sense of givenness—and never be ourselves—if it were not for emergencies. Maybe without the opportunity to make being our own that is provided by ruptures in our familiar world, we could not return to that world and truly inhabit it. Maybe without emergency, we could never truly belong.

If so, then our starting point—immersion in a familiar whole—may be nothing but the effect of forgotten emergencies. Emergency generates being, opening a world—but then we lapse or relapse into this world. Once again, we take the given for granted. The un-settling emergency that made genuine settlement possible tends to be forgotten as we settle into our home and settle for the quotidian. Fighting against this lapse would mean allowing ourselves to be vulnerable to emergency—an emergency that is not simply [31] handed to us but which we must also seize; an event in which all being, including our own, would become urgent; an event in which we would fully be there; an event that would found belonging.

[POLT  , Richard F. H. The emergency of being: on Heidegger’s contributions to philosophy. Ithaca, NY: Cornell Univ. Press, 2013]

Ver online : Richard Polt

[1Edmund Husserl, Logical Investigations, trans. A. J. Findlay (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1970), Sixth Investigation. Descartes makes a similar suggestion in the Second Meditation (AT 30—31). For Heidegger on categorial intuition, see History of the Concept of Time, 47—72; “My Way to Phenomenology,” in On Time and Being, 78—79; “Seminar in Zähringen 1973,” in Four Seminars, trans. Andrew Mitchell and François Raffoul (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2003).

[2Plato suggests this in the Theaetetus (i84b-i86e). For Heidegger’s commentary, see The Essence of Truth, 121-75. On the link between the Theaetetus and categorial intuition, see GA 22, 123, 272-73. For Heidegger’s own concept of being as a phenomenon that needs to be uncovered through interpretation, see SZ 35-37.

[3Jacques Derrida, Green Time: 1, Counterfeit Money, trans. Peggy Kamuf (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), 14. Derrida’s arguments are relevant both to the anthropological question of human gift-giving practices and to the Heideggerian problematic of the es gibt and appropriation; see e.g., 18-21 on Heidegger. Derrida is mistaken, however, when he claims that Heidegger “surreptitiously” thinks the proper in terms of the gift (21). The question of giving runs explicitly through many of Heidegger’s thoughts on appropriation.

[4“Only in the mechanical sphere does one of the sides remain passive in the process of re-ception”: Hegel, Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, ed. Peter C. Hodgson, vol. 3 (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985), 260.