A Conversation with Martin Heidegger by Raymond Tallis (auth.)

By Raymond Tallis (auth.)

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Let me explain why. As it appears to me now, when I look up from the keyboard where this imaginary conversation is being woven – and with which I engage in a nexus of significance, a referential totality of signification, into which it dissolves as obedient tools do – I seem to see (material) objects ‘over there’ and to feel me (or my body) to be ‘over here’. My eye lights upon a likely exemplar: that red waste-paper bin. Yes, of course, I might at any time incorporate it into a nexus of significance as, when, for example, I endeavour to dispose of a piece of paper in it.

G. me). And I can find nothing in them to explain the existence of that someone – that ‘who’, ‘I’, ‘me’. At the same time, however, I cannot deny the central role of the brain in enabling us to be people for whom there is a world; nor – and I speak as one whose main professional concern is with patients who have suffered strokes – can I ignore our dependency on the normal functioning of the brain for our normal awareness and our normal conduct as human beings. At a deeper level (one which I visit rather too rarely), I cannot explain how the subject relates to the object.

In short, your thinking about death seems to have overlooked the body. But this forgetfulness of the body is a very big issue in your ontology and I shall return more than once to challenge you with it in due course. Anyway, these reasons – the effectiveness of science, the biological basis of death – lead me to reject your attempt to assert the primacy of Da-sein and being-at-hand over ‘objective presences’. My rejection of this hierarchy goes beyond your ontology of beings to a rejection of your interpretation of the space in which they find themselves.

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