Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Tension in the Clearing

Intuitions and institutions are what I call "the media of immediacy". They are that through which things are given to us and people are taken with stuff immediately.

Lately I've been reading Heidegger's "The Turning". I was struck by this sentence, for obvious reasons:

When the turning comes to pass in the danger, this can happen only without mediation. (TQCTaOE, p. 44)

I think my pangrammaticisms may have a contribution to make in identifying the site of the turning. Or rather, Heidegger has already done that by calling it "the clearing", but there is more to it than Being merely "coming to light". It is also, as he emphasizes, a taking in hand. Though he is himself aware of it, I think Heidegger, like Kant, favors intuition and does not draw institution explicitly into his analytic. We must supplement the clearing with a tension no less immediate.

So "the turning" is more precisely a poetical turn (a strophe) that is philosophically marked (a remark). Its nature is best understood as the confrontation of our intuitions with our institutions, the immediacy of knowledge and the immediacy of power, the tension between our beliefs and our desires, experienced immediately. There is a tension in the clearing.

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