Thursday, May 22, 2014

for love of enhancing humanity

My title is the header for my homepage today, a Google+ posting, a Facebook posting, and a line in a Tweet. It's also a key theme of the “humanistic union” project at the site.

I’d be surprised if anyone noticed that the same person “owns” both the Facebook/Habermas Page and the Facebook/Heidegger Page. It’s evident, though: Both Pages list the same Website in the “About” information. Then there’s this posting. 

Years back, in Habermas discussion with others, I referred to being influenced by Heidegger, though I didn’t provide detail, e.g., that my interest began in 1971. By the time I became highly interested in Habermas’ work, 1974, I was already feeling influenced by Heidegger, though my affinities were very eclectic; I never felt that I was Heideggerian—long before political issues of his times became salient, c1988. I had a rich sense of his reverent conscience apart from all of that, as I’ve explained at length. He was deeply and highly philosophical in ways that appealed to me permanently.

Over time, his influence became more and more implicit because more integral to the way I am—which is, again, not Heideggerian per se, just permanently influenced in some ways. Heideggerian interests were a background of my interest in Habermas in the first place! I regarded Habermas as the best political instance of what, to my mind, a Heideggerian politics should/could/would be—and that was 1978! My graduate school thesis was a Heideggerian reading of Habermas! (via Derrida) I knew that Habermas, as a young academic (1959), had very publically rebelled against Heidegger, but I didn’t take it seriously; 1979 was a long way from 1959 for someone born in 1949.

So, when I spent time with Habermas in Berkeley, spring of 1980, I felt no hesitance about saying to him one night, as we were walking across campus to his bus stop, that I thought he was more Heideggerian than he could admit. He didn’t disagree! Actually, he didn’t directly respond. He took a “Hmmm” attitude of letting me speak, which is normal for professors.

Three years later, he lectured extensively and constructively on Heidegger. But damage was done: Habermas’s youthful rebellion had cut him off from influence by Heidegger during crucial years of Habermas’s intellectual development. His constructive sense of Heidegger remained misconceived, in my view. But I let it go. I continued to do what interested me with Habermas’s work, sometimes claiming my own perspective on matters, and never admitting a strongly Heideggerian influence—though I never hid it; my rhetoric was easily associable with Heidegger, just not overtly referencing him (and oddly, no one seemed to notice, as if the rhetoric was all mine, which was fine with me).

So, now I’m trying to leave a lot behind by being more overt about the connection in my own views. Today, for the first time, I overtly made a connection online between my Habermas project and my Facebook/Heidegger Page. This is a Non-Event for anyone but me, of course. But I’m not delving back into Heidegger again; and I’m not delving back into Habermas, apart from his cotinuining to do things worth discussing, which I sometimes do.

Last night, I transported myself into a trance-like state of writing (which I often do offline) and wrote floridly online (which I don’t often do, except here and for pages). I enjoyed it. I got a fulfilling sense of closure. At my site, I introduced it on my home page.

Now also, a Google+ posting links to a blogspot posting that links to my post-Habermasian floridity.

Over recent months at the Heidegger Page, I’ve set up a very nice—now even pretty—context for further dwelling with his later work, though I don’t know when or what more I’ll do. I’ve done some good stuff in recent days. The entire project has been very satisfying.

Yet, I’m wanting to move on. If others want me to come back to Habermasian topics or to Heidegger, fine. Otherwise (and also), I’ve got other loves to pursue.

The project has a specific agenda; it’s not my main context of interest. Fulfilling that agenda will cause me to give more attention again to work. I’ll continue some activity with the outerworldly sites (Facebook,—especially: improving my Web design skills, a long project I don’t really want to distract me too much).

I deeply want to devote myself here.