Saturday, April 14, 2007

Vita Ontologica

"The task that confronts thinking today is, in a way, unprecedented. An entirely new mode of thought is now called for. This new thought is easier than conventional philosophy, but harder too, because it demands more careful use of language."

Martin Heidegger


Needless to say that I do not in the least agree with Richard Rorty, who, in this documentary, describes Heidegger as "a bad man who wrote an interesting book". Heidegger's challenge still stands today, more than ever. And it is about time we lived up to it.

I am inclined to think that, although we do live in a postmodern age, most people, and more importantly, most postmodern criticisms, still continue to express themselves in the vocabulary of modernism. It is not because they use all this postmodern terminology that they think differently.

Because, if they are so postmodern, why do they feel obliged to think up new concepts all of the time? After all, is there anything more enlightened than coming up with new concepts? It is much more of a challenge to think new thoughts with the concepts that are already there and that (seem to) have been exhausted.

The biggest problem of postmodernism, then, is perhaps the fact that no-one at all any longer dares to think a tabula rasa. And tabula rasa does not mean another heap of new concepts. No, it means thinking up new meanings. One must think beyond, not 'after' modernism. Mors ontologica is only a fact when you choose to accept it as such.

So there is still hope, perhaps even more than ever. The work is never done. History may have ended, but history is just a concept. The world is ruled by people, not by concepts. Language may speak us, but one still can - no: must - choose by which language one is spoken.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

well, I think we do not live in a postmodern society. we think we do, but we don't. because we think we do, our economy and culture is becoming more and more looking like postmodern ones. the whole point is that postmoderism is a hoax. every expression is ideologic and thus modernistic.

what I think? postmodernism is a very effective tool used by capitalism to make us even more capitalistic.

Where Will It End Ian Curtis sings. the answer is in another Joy Division song: this is the way step inside. be in or be nothing.

theo

acumensch said...

Tabula rasa has nothing to do with your argument. Postmodernism doesnt mean we stop thinking about new concepts. You have the analytic view of postmodernism, where postmodernism supposedly rejects all sorts of concepts, but then is itself a concept. Do you realize that postmodernism rejects the analytic view?

Fire in the Mind said...

"Postmodernism doesnt mean we stop thinking about new concepts"

where have you read that in my argument? it is the opposite: postmodernism seems equal to thinking up new concepts. but these so-called new concepts do nothing more than making things more difficult. concepts have to explicate, not implicate.

Do you realize that postmodernism rejects the analytic view?

was i not saying that i do not believe in postmodernism?