By David Michael Levin
Nietzsche and Heidegger observed in modernity a time endangered by means of nihilism. beginning out from this interpretation, David Levin hyperlinks the nihilism raging this present day in Western society and tradition to our concrete old event with imaginative and prescient.
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Extra info for The Opening of Vision: Nihilism and the Postmodern Situation
In terms, then, of our more differentiated schema, we may say that the ontological understanding, as the relatively clear realization and fulfillment of our visionary being, is phenomenologically farthest, whilst the pre-ontological, as that gift (Es gibt) of understanding which must be retrieved before we can accede to a genuinely ontological relationship to Being, is somewhat closer; and the ontical (mis)understanding is naturally closest. We begin our ontological meditations with the ontical, the everyday experience of everyone-and-anyone, because, despite its errancy, it is what we can most immediately recognize and understand.
No matter how hard we try, we cannot avoid all error; but we can at least strive to avoid the more fundamental error of not being really open to the constant questioning of our position in relation to other points of view. It will be our concern, in this book, to spell out some critical reflections on the world of our visionary being. Our task, then, is to rethink the prevailing vision of humanism . . and the dehumanizing inhumanity, the culturally epidemic psychopathology, which rages in our vision.
The modern self, which we must attempt to overcome, is a Cartesian self, a self with an essentially fixed identity: a timeless self, without real history. What we are struggling to envision, then, is rather a self which lives with a continuously changing identity: a self open to changes in itself; a self which changes in response to changes in the world; a self capable of changing the conditions of its world according to need. I am not what I am and I am what I am not. ‘Self17 INTRODUCTION development’, ‘self-realization’, ‘self-determination’ and ‘selffulfillment’ are words with their own histories, words which have had many different meanings – some of them self-defeating and incapacitating, some of them too entangled in the dualisms of metaphysics, which separate and oppose self and society, experience and world, inner life and external reality, what is given and what is created.
The Opening of Vision: Nihilism and the Postmodern Situation by David Michael Levin