Reading progress update: I've read 184 out of 440 pages.

At the Existentialist Café: Freedom, Being, and Apricot Cocktails - Sarah Bakewell

Even before the war, Heidegger’s philosophising had changed, as he gave up writing about resoluteness, Being-towards-death, and other bracing personal demands on Dasein, and shifted to writing of the need to be attentive and receptive, to wait and to open up – the themes that are woven through the prisoner-of-war dialogue. This change, known as Heidegger’s Kehre, or ‘turn’, was not an abrupt whirl-around as the word suggests, but a slow readjustment, like that of a man in a field who gradually becomes aware of the movement of the breeze in the wheat behind him, and turns to listen.

Oh, noes... more Heidegger.


But at least he's found a way to letting things be what they are. It only took him a few years. I'm thinking he may have done better had he talked to people instead of hiding in his shed.

Letting-be became one of the most important concepts in the later Heidegger, denoting a hands-off way of attending to things. It sounds straightforward. ‘What seems easier’, asks Heidegger, ‘than to let a being be just the being that it is?’ Yet it is not easy at all, because it is not just a matter of turning indifferently away and letting the world get on with its business. We must turn towards things, but in such a way that we don’t ‘challenge’ them. Instead, we allow each being to ‘rest upon itself in its very own being’.

And he's finally gotten around to considering the arts...

Poets and artists ‘let things be’, but they also let things come out and show themselves. They help to ease things into ‘unconcealment’ (Unverborgenheit), which is Heidegger’s rendition of the Greek term alētheia, usually translated as ‘truth’. This is a deeper kind of truth than the mere correspondence of a statement to reality, as when we say ‘The cat is on the mat’ and point to a mat with a cat on it. Long before we can do this, both cat and mat must ‘stand forth out of concealedness’. They must un-hide themselves. Enabling things to unhide themselves is what humans do: it is our distinctive contribution. We are a ‘clearing’, a Lichtung, a sort of open, bright forest glade into which beings can shyly step forward like a deer from the trees.

And all I can think of is, how is this so different from Kant's ideas of "noumena" (things-as-they-are) and "phenomena" (things-as-they-appear-to-be)? Or, rather how is this not the extension that humans (or sentient beings) simply interpret the world around them?


How did it take him that long to discover how the arts work?