Re: [Possible SPAM] Re: [Possible SPAM] Re: [xmca] Copernicus, Darwinand Bohr

From: Martin Packer <packer who-is-at>
Date: Thu Jun 28 2007 - 13:16:03 PDT


My reading of Heidegger differs from yours. I see him as articulating one of
the first non-essentialist ontologies, in which historical epochs involve
different ways of being. His focus on being-in-the-world, for example,
rejects any essentialist characterization of what it is to be human. Humans
are constituted, and constitute themselves, in terms (actually, in
practices) provided by a specific contextual milieu. This specific way of
being human he referred to as 'ontic.' The 'difference' between beings and
being was 'ontological,' to be found in all times and cultures. Heidegger
has been criticized (by Derrida and others), for this 'onto-theo-logical'
analysis, and in his later work he abandoned the effort to specify such
existential structures, opting instead to describe the particular, and
distinct, relations between 'world' and 'thing' in different epochs.

It's a bit dated, but I have a simple intro to heidegger on my web pages

For much more detail, Bert Dreyfus' pages are the place to go:


On 6/28/07 11:35 AM, "Wolff-Michael Roth" <> wrote:

> Martin, but it is "anti-" Heideggerian because it does not begin with
> an ontic "Being", but rather, Levinas grounds Being in something that
> is beyond essence and prior to Being. And one day, when the first
> human being opened his/her mouth to say something to another, he or
> she already presupposed intersubjectivity. How is this possible?
> Without this presupposition, however, we cannot even begin speaking
> let alone philosophizing, theorizing, constructing Selves, etc.
> Heidegger essentializes Being, and Levinas works against it, and so
> many others that follow in his footsteps or next to them. Read the
> fascinating discussion Derrida devotes to Levinas and, incidentally,
> Nancy Michael
> Derrida, J. (1997). Adieu to Emmanuel Levinas. Stanford, CA: Stanford
> University Press:
> Derrida, J. (2005). On touching‹Jean-Luc Nancy. Stanford, CA:
> Stanford University Press.
> On 28-Jun-07, at 9:27 AM, Martin Packer wrote:
> Michael,
> I will confess that I struggle to grasp Levinas. This is a request for
> clarification: what you've said [below] sounds very similar to
> Heidegger's
> notion that the being of an entity is always constituted on the basis
> of a
> background of cultural practices, which he called (rather
> confusingly) 'the
> meaning of being,' or (better in my view) 'the upon-which of being.'
> The
> 'difference that makes a difference,' then, is the difference between a
> being (an entity: that it is) and the being of that entity (what it is:
> constituted culturally/historically).
> Martin
> On 6/28/07 10:59 AM, "Wolff-Michael Roth" <> wrote:
>> think Being as being grounded, historically, in
>> something that is "Otherwise than Being."
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