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  • From Wordsworth's "The Prelude" ----------
    Enough of humble arguments; recall,/ My song! those high emotions which thy voice/ Has heretofore made known; that bursting forth/ Of sympathy, inspiring and inspired,/ When everywhere a vital pulse was felt,/ And all the several frames of things, like stars,/ Through every magnitude distinguishable,/ Shone mutually indebted, or half lost/ Each in the other's blaze, a galaxy/ Of life and glory. In the midst stood Man,/ Outwardly, inwardly contemplated,/ As, of all visible natures, crown, though born/ Of dust, and kindred to the worm; a Being,/ Both in perception and discernment, first/ In every capability of rapture, Through the divine effect of power and love;/ As, more than anything we know, instinct/ With godhead, and, by reason and by will,/ Acknowledging dependency sublime.

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    This week's featured blog is "Bag of Worms Yet Words". Bag of Worms is not an easy read. The proprietor is not chatty, witty, or cynical; he does not seek to ridicule his ideological opponents. Instead he treats them and the argument seriously and respectfully, which is not to say that he worries a whit about hurting somebody's feelings. Instead, he bravely goes where the argument points him, which is often into territory others have ignored or are too timid to enter. The left's intelleltual elites, "the professoriat," the pundits, and the liberal judiciary are frequent subjects of his musings. Broad, deep, and ambibitious is the range of the topics he addresses: language theory, law, academia, politics, social theory, religion. The effort he puts into his thinking and writing pays off.

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« Mood and Postmodern Politics, 8 | Main | Radical Classics of American Educators »

January 13, 2007


You can't equate an ontological a priori with a chronological one. The fact that our lower brain developed evolutionarily (or even temporally - as of course it does in the embryo) first, has zero to do with ontological primordiality of mood. Phenomenologically we experience mood as already being there when we think about it, as being there and already colouring every event that happens, every thought we have. Phenomenology looks at things differently than does scientism, and the meaning of the "earlier" is different in each case.

Beyond this specific point, though, I don't follow that Heidegger's work is "based on mood", he uses mood as an example of the way human beings experience themselves, their being, on the way to an explication of how we experience being itself, an explication that does not complete in Being and Time, because far from being the basis of his philosophy, Being and Time was an early work, hurriedly published in order to secure him a job, never completed, and considered a failure by its author. (if there is such a thing as a Heideggerian philosophy at all, which is in doubt - Heidegger's motto in his collected work is "ways not works", because he was not interested in creating philosophical systems).

The underlying issue with your lengthy post, from my perspective, is it's overweening and uncriticized scientism. Which, ironically, is the essence of modernism. Not that I'm criticizing science, or scientific thinking, but its application into areas that are not, at root, scientific is the cause of the backlash against rational thought that you complain so bitterly about. And while you mention Heidegger's short association with the Nazi party, it was the methodical, scientific (in the 19th century sense) way in which it was enacted that made the Holocaust the most disturbing of all the disturbing attempted genocides of our rather bleak history.

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