Sunday, November 05, 2006

Everyday People

Opening up Jean-Luc Nancy's Being Singular Plural is a real treat because I feel like here at last is an affirmation of what is apparent, and a healthy scepticism about the kinds of "wonder" that signal a desire to escape from the world. Under the heading "People are Strange," Nancy criticizes Heidegger's impoverished notion of everydayness:

One cannot affirm that the meaning of Being must express itself starting from everydayness and then begin by neglecting the general differentiation of the everyday, its constantly renewed rupture, its intimate discord, its polymorphy and its polyphony, its relief and its variety. A "day" is not simply a unit for counting; it is the turning of the world–each time singular. And days, indeed every day, could not be similar if they were not first different, difference itself. Likewise "people," or rather "peoples," given the irreducible strangeness that constitutes them as such, are themselves primarily the exposing of the singularity according to which existence exists, irreducibly and primarily–and an exposition of singularity that experience claims to communicate with, in the sense of "to" and "along with," the totality of beings.

(p. 9)

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posted by Fido the Yak at 12:45 PM.


Blogger Moviegoer said...

Just curious - what's impoverished about Heidegger's understanding of everydayness (it wasn't clear to me in the quote where he fell short)? I always thought the H-man was just referring to our involved coping within the world when he talked about the everyday. If so, that doesn't mean that there's not more to say, just that he never said it or thought it pertinent.

November 05, 2006 2:10 PM  
Blogger enowning said...

I'm as curious as moviegoer. Didn't Martin raise the everyday to a new level of importance in philosophy, arguing that the everyday revealed more about ontology than metephysical systems and the like?

November 05, 2006 6:55 PM  
Blogger Fido the Yak said...

Says Nancy earlier in the same paragraph: "the Heideggerian 'one' is insufficient as the initial understanding of existentielle 'everydayness.' Heidegger confuses the everyday with the undifferentiated, the anonymous and the statistical...." So you can see where he is coming from, whether or not you agree with his reading.

For my tastes I'm not sure that William James doesn't offer a better philosophic attitude toward the everyday than Heidegger. In any case I would certainly credit Heidegger for drawing attention to the issue.

November 06, 2006 3:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, H's 'one' (or Sartre etc) would be the opposite of 'cadacualtez' (each oneness) - (I'm sure there is a Wikepedia entry for that)!
Anyway I should stop pushing that one.
(I have sent other emails to fido's address -not sure if you get them). The first one took 10days to worries.

November 07, 2006 11:42 AM  

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