Heidegger on Art and Art Works (Phaenomenologica)
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This book grew from a series of lectures presented in 1983 in the context of the Summer Program in Phenomenology at The Pennsylvania State University. For these lectures I made use of notes and short essays which I had written between 1978 and 1982 during interdisciplinary seminars on Heidegger's later philosophy in general, and on his philosophy of language and art in particular. The participants in these seminars consisted of faculty members and graduate students concerned with the sciences, the arts, literature, literary criticism, art history, art education, and philosophy. On both occasions I made a special effort to introduce those who did not yet have a specialized knowledge of Heidegger's philosophy, to his later way of thinking. In this effort I was guided by the conviction that we, as a group, had to aim for accuracy, precision, clarity, faithfulness, and depth, while at the same time taking distance, comparing Heidegger's views with ideas of other philosophers and thinkers, and cultivat ing a proper sense of criticism. Over the years it has become clear to me that among professional philoso phers, literary critics, scholars concerned with art history and art education, and scientists from various disciplines, there are many who are particularly interested in "Heidegger's philosophy of art". I have also become convinced that many of these dedicated scholars often have difficulty in understanding Heidegger's lectures on art and art works. This is understandable.
understanding of Nietzsche's effort to develop a "physiology" of art systematically, which legitimately can claim to be a genuine countermovement to nihilism, Heidegger first focuses on what Nietzsche calls the phenomenon of artistic rapture (Rausch). In an effort to explain how rapture and art are to be related, Heidegger then briefly speaks about Kant's conception of the beautiful and about the misinterpretation of this conception by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. Rapture can then finally be
concernful dealing with things, implies a kind of knowledge, but this knowledge, originally at least, is not yet theoretical knowledge. In trying to explain man's primordial way of knowing, namely that which is inherent in Daseiris concern, Heidegger describes man's Being as a structural unity which implies three different elements: mood (Befindlichkeit), understanding (Verstehen), and logos. We must now turn to a brief reflection on two of these "ek-sistentials" which constitute Dasein's
works they are, consists in something else. In other words, most aesthetic theories give some kind of symbolic interpretation of art works and claim that in each work of art there is something else over and above the thingly feature of the art work. It is thus understandable that in these theories one will make a distinction between some material substrate and a form, some material element and some formal element, between sensuous material and some "idea", or between form and content. Heidegger
by the chosen example and by the painting(s) that are employed to facilitate the "description". In an essay entitled "The Still Life as a Personal Object - A Note on Heidegger and van Gogh", Meyer Schapiro has severely criticized Heidegger's use of the work by van Gogh. He blames Heidegger for not explicitly identifying the one particular painting he had in mind, even though he knew quite well, as he furthermore explicitly states, that van Gogh painted such shoes many times. A reader who would
their totality; it is ultimately the possibility of every how taken as limit and measure. This how of the beings taken as a totality is in a certain way a priori (vorgängig). But this how is at the same time relative with respect to the human Dasein. Although the world encompasses all beings, Dasein included, it is nonetheless true that the world strictly speaking belongs to the human Dasein.30 Heidegger then turns to different Christian conceptions of world. For St. Paul kosmos is the very Being