not being

Marty! (

There’s something about this man that just drives me to write blog posts…

I’m working on my final paper for a metaphysics class, where we are to discuss Heidegger’s basic question: “Why is there being instead of nothingness?” I don’t want to get into it here (that’s what the 7 page word document down on my taskbar is for), but I did want to drop a little quote:

‘Being is …’ emergence. The thing, Being, has this trait, emergence. Thus we have a thing that has this act imputed to it. But is Being a thing? It cannot be, for then it would be a being, and Being is what makes beings beings. Rather, Being is emergence itself, the emerging of a being. The problem here is that Being and emergence are not in a relationship of subject and predicate. We can answer questions about Being with definitions, but they don’t actually give the sense of emergence that Heidegger is seeking. We want emergence itself. When something emerges, what does it do? It arises from depths unseen. From an abyss, an object suddenly surfaces.

This is from a blog that I read on the issue, trying to wrap my head around this crazy dude’s philosophy. This passage makes sense to me, although I feel as though that could mean one of two things. Either I’m starting to get it, and my essay will turn out pretty well, or I’ve completely lost my grasp on reality, and gone off the deep end.

But actually, I think Heidegger would be alright with either of these outcomes. Heidegger denounced the use of philosophy for moral-furthering. If you should happen to achieve an outcome that lays out certain moral principles by which to live, then fine. However, by limiting yourself only to philosophical investigations that are predicted to yield results that are “moral”, Heidegger says that you’re no longer even doing philosophy. If philosophy should reveal to you that it’s just turtles all the way down, well then, it’s just turtles all the way down.

I’m tempted to submit an “essay” that says “It’s just turtles all the way down.” But, I would also like to pass the class and graduate university. So I’ll go back to writing about Heidegger’s concept of being and nothingness.

And, for my sanity as well as yours, I promise that the next blog post will be about something other than Martin Heidegger.