The Barber’s Ferry

Notes on Wolfram Eilenberger, Zeit der Zauberer, Das großte Jahrzehnt der Philosophie 1919-1929: 

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https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barber_paradox

Reading Eilenberger’s Zeit der Zauberer. In the chapter on the vagaries of the lives of Wittgenstein, Benjamin, Heidegger and Cassirer in 1919, there’s not a single ref to the Kansas aka Spanish influenza, whence 2 1/2 times more died than in WW1.

Heidegger’s and Derrida’s rhetoric is a classic self-conscious case of the very undeterminacy thet invoke, carefully constructed word games, verbal traps which “capture” thought and thus are persuasive of the assertion that all language is a trap. Thisxrhetoric is itself a trap.

There is something of “wokeness” about Heidegger’s conviction that he was erwacht.

Heidegger compared to Wittgenstein (104-105)

“War ist, Cassirer hat eine tiefe Verankerung in die Kultur der universitäten Phlosophie nie als Eischränkung oder gar entfremdende Verstelleng empfunden” (p  125).

Das zentrale gedanke von Cassirers Projekt besteht in eer Tat in der Einsicht, dass das, was wir den “menschlichen Geist” nennen, “erst in seiner Außerung zu seiner wahrhaften und vollkommenen Innenlichkeit gelangt. Die Form, die sich da Innere gibt, steimmt auch rückwirkend sein Wesen une seinen Gehalt” (p 128). // The central idea of Cassirer’s project is in fact the insight that what we call the “human spirit” “only comes to its true and perfect interiority when it is expressed. The form that is given inside also retroactively changes its essence and content “(p 128). 

Nicht unser geist richtet sich demnach nach den Gesetzen der Dinge, sondern die Dinge sich nach den Gesetzen unseres Geistes (p 129). / Accordingly, it is not our minds that follow the laws of things, but things that follow the laws of our minds (p 129).

Cassirer nennt diese angenomne Form am Grunde aller Sprachen die “reine Sprachform” (p 134 – viz Chomsky)…. Als Cassirer sich tiefer und tiefer in die vorliegenden sprachwissenschaftlichen Studieum vertieft wird ihm die tragende Grundannnahme seines Projeks zweifelhaft (p 134).

On November 8, 1923, things came to a head in Munich’s Bürgerbräukeller when Adolf Hitler, protected by a large shock troop of his AS militia, interrupted a speech of von Kahr’s by firing a shot into the ceiling, forcing him to flee the hall, and—following the glorious example of Mussolini and his Fascist movement in Italy—called on the crowd to “march on the capital” the next day.

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What the philosopher Cassirer wanted: Cast off your anxiety as creative cultural beings, liberate yourself from your original constraints and limitations.

What the philosopher Cassirer wanted: Cast off your anxiety as creative cultural beings, liberate yourself from your original constraints and limitations.

— Eilenberger, p 333

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https://www.ft.com/content/9db1fbc4-1bc2-11e3-94a3-00144feab7de

https://www.ft.com/content/9db1fbc4-1bc2-11e3-94a3-00144feab7de

 

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Time of the Magicians by Wolfram Eilenberger review – philosophy’s great decade?

Time of the Magicians by Wolfram Eilenberger review – philosophy’s great decade?

Heidegger Is the Dubbyk of Twentieth-Century Philosophy

He and his vocabulary of charms haunt us, to the point that Dasein no longer needs the italics of a foreign word. The expurgation of Yiddish from German culture — admittedly a backhanded way to speak of the Holocaust — meant that a promising rival cognate of sorts was obliterated from wide currency. Doikayt could be translated as ‘here-and-now-ness” (Da-keit in German, as opposed to Da-sein, “being there”). It was a guiding principle of Bundism, the organized social democratic movement in eastern Europe whose focus was to seek alliances with other distinct and even sometimes hostile cultures, customs and religions in multicultural societies. After all, there is no escape possible from the principal contradiction, which is capitalism. So why go anywhere? Doikayt lost out to the escapist Zionist ideal of “somewhere-other-ness” (but a somewhere “we” once were). A relique of twentieth-century political nomencature, doikayt survived for only a few more decades, confined to the Yiddish-speaking diaspora, a seed without issue. As for Dasein, it has, alas, prospered, a fetish to wield within the English-speaking critical-theoretical academy, snaring us in convoluted tangles of speculative meaning from which there is no exit.

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On the importance of Yiddish to high German literature, see Deutsch-Jüdischer Parnass: Literaturgeschichte eines Mythos, Willi Jasper.  As for the relation German once had with the Yiddish language: Was ist Deutsch?, Utz Maas. Finally, for bios and close-ups of the literary figures in the Canadian diaspora who wrote in Yiddish and Hebrew, there is Cents ans de littérature yiddish et hébraïque au Canada, Heim-Lieb Fuks et Pierre Anctil. In the mid-twentieth century, small cells of Bundist affiliation influenced Canadian social democracy, in the big cities at least. The history of the Prairies was entirely different, but no less an extension of ideology forged in eastern Europe, not necessarily, it goes without saying, in the Pale. 

— H. H. N.