Saturday, 26 April 2008

Heidegger Sounding Like Schopenhauer

Towards the end of his essay, The Fundamental Question of Metaphysics, comes the following passage, redolent of Schopenhauer, from Heidegger:
1. The crux of the matter is the reinterpretation of the spirit as intelligence, or mere cleverness in examining and calculating given things and the possibility of changing them and complementing them to make new things. This cleverness is a matter of mere talent and practice and mass division of labour. The cleverness itself is subject to the possibility of organisation, which is never true of the spirit. The attitude of the litterateur and aesthete is merely a late consequence and variation of the spirit falsified into intelligence. Mere intelligence is a semblance of spirit, masking its absence.


3. As soon as the misinterpretation sets in that degrades the spirit to a tool, the energies of the spiritual process, poetry and art, statesmanship and religion, become subject to conscious cultivation and planning. They are split into branches. The spiritual world becomes culture and the individual strives to perfect himself in the creation and preservation of this culture. These branches become fields of free endeavour, which sets its own standards and barely manages to live up to them. These standards of production and consumption are called values. The cultural values preserve their meaning only by restricting themselves to an autonomous field: poetry for the sake of poetry, art for the sake of art, science for the sake of science.

No comments: