wissen wir was ein körper kann? philosophy on stage

Proposal Schroedinger Fellowship

1. Summary of my current Erwin Schroedinger Fellowship: (English abstract)

The title of my research project Actio in distans. A Philosophical Analysis of the Teleiopoietical Structure of Friendship already indicates that my work focuses on the temporal, spatial and quasi-teleological (perspective) character of friendship.

I use the word ‘friendship’ in a sense Nietzsche seems to offer us in his Gay Science. In this text he calls friendship a new form of ‘love’, in which the possessive craving of two people for each other gives way to a new desire and lust for possession, a shared higher thirst for an ideal above them. “– Es gibt wohl hier und da auf Erden eine Art Fortsetzung der Liebe, bei der jenes habsüchtige Verlangen zweier Personen nach einander einer neuen Begierde und Habsucht, einem gemeinsamen höheren Durste nach einem über ihnen stehenden Ideale gewichen ist: Aber wer kennt diese Liebe? Wer hat sie erlebt? Ihr rechter Name ist Freundschaft.” (FW, 3.1.14/387)

What can this sharing of an ideal mean for Nietzsche, if he refuses to accept ideals as divine entities given to us as eternal truths by a divine power of representation?

Nietzsche has learned from Schopenhauer, who himself of course was a great admirer of Kant, to be aware of the ‘simple’ fact that every representation in our consciousness has been already interpreted by a mysterious power of representation which lies on the basis of all our conscious representations of… (either intelligible or sensible, as Kant would probably say).
This discovery of the ‘unconscious’ or the body (Leib) as the foundation of any possible representation of… (qua principium rationis sufficientis) became a striking experience for the 21 years old Nietzsche, who started to read Arthur Schopenhauer. A reading, which will never have stopped to haunt his texts in the future, as we know.

On the basis of this ‘poststructuralistic’ thesis that no representation of … is im-mediate, but always already mediated by and given to (reddendae) our consciousness through the principium reddendae rationis sufficientis (Vor-Stellungskraft ), I want to pose the question of Nietzsche`s concept of friendship in my research project.

What power of imagination (representation) is at work in friendship when Nietzsche under-stands friendship as a new form of ‘love’ in which the possessive craving of two people for each other is directed toward a shared higher thirst for an ideal above them?

Shouldn’t the phrase “… an ideal above them” be interpreted in the context of Nietzsche`s text in a metaphorical sense?

If ideals are themselves interpreted, as if they would be in the first place creative projections (effects, constructions) of our power of representation and only in a secondary sense re-presentations of … we rather should understand them as metaphors of this power of representation than as ‘given eternal truths’.

Friendship, according to this interpretation of our Da-sein, would than be the proper place, where two ore more people share a common ideal (population), without forgetting that ideals are metaphors of a certain ‘physio-logical’ viewpoint of being-in-the-world together. They are ‘subjective’ constructions of our power of imagination, shared by a certain number of people in common. As long as such en-sembles are friendly, they will have not forgotten the metaphorical, to wit the perspective character of their ideals as pro-jected viewpoints (synecdoche modes) of their own being-in-the-world within the clearance (Lichtung) of our Da-sein.

Sure, without being already in a projected world (Geworfenheit des Da-seins, ‘text’), there would be no chance and possibility to pro-ject anything. In this respect the word Da-sein refers to the transcendental foundation of every possible perspective construction of a certain viewpoint within a world, as a certain mode of being (Spinoza). But as we could have learned already from Hegel, this transcendental ground does not exist ‘before’ the construction of perspectives, it only ek-sists and takes place (statt-finden) as the performative foundation of certain perspectives and modes of being-in-the-world within already being in a certain world. (Aristotle, Metaphysics E 1025b29–to ti ên einai.). A grounding that Heidegger called the ontic-ontological disposition of Da-sein, the taking place of the ontic-ontological difference.

2. Conclusion

It is the aim of my research project to interpret friendship as the proper place of a pre-ontological understanding in which the ontic-ontological differ(a)nce–constitutive for every living being as such– reveals itself in living beings qua principium reddendae rationis sufficientis amicitiae.

In this sense friendship can be interpreted as a form of freedom toward a certain perspective of life, always open to be shared or refused by others. These shared or refused perspectives between friends–girl friends, boy friends–create en-sembles, in which the selected way of life becomes a kind of ‘Lebensform’ for this community within the Da-sein, we all share in common. A kind of metaphorical Idealism, never forgetting the ‘subjective’ character of any chosen ‘ideal’; an Idealism without Idealism, as Jacques Derrida probably would express it.

„Was ist also Wahrheit? Ein bewegliches Heer von Metaphern, Metonymien, Anthropomorphismen kurz eine Summe von menschlichen Relationen, die, poetisch und rhetorisch gesteigert, übertragen, geschmückt wurden, und die nach langem Gebrauche einem Volke fest, canonisch und verbindlich dünken: die Wahrheiten sind Illusionen, von denen man vergessen hat, dass sie welche sind, Metaphern, die abgenutzt und sinnlich kraftlos geworden sind, Münzen, die ihr Bild verloren haben und nun als Metall, nicht mehr als Münzen in Betracht kommen.“
“What is truth? A mobile army of metaphors, metonyms, anthropomorphisms, in short, a sum of human relations which were poetically and rhetorically heightened, transferred, adorned, and which after long use seem solid, canonical and binding to a people. Truths are illusions which we have forgotten are illusions, metaphors which have been used up and drained of sensory force, coins which have lost their image and are now considered as metal, no longer as coins.” (TL, 250/880-881)

Footnotes:
Nietzsche, Friedrich. Fröhliche Wissenschaft. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1980. Kritische Studienausgabe in 15 Bänden, hg. Giorgio Colli und Massino Montinari. KSA, Band 3, Erstes Buch, Nummer 14, Seite 387.
God, nous, ratio, reason, Vernunft, Geist, transzendentales Bewusstsein, Logic, are several philosophical names given to such a power of representation able to render ‘truth’.
Schopenhauer, Arthur. Über die vierfache Wurzel des Grundes. Wiesbaden: Brockhaus, 1966. Sämtliche Werke, hg. Arthur Hübscher. SW, Band 7, 1-136. In his dissertation Schopenhauer already analyzed the four-fold root of reason qua principium rationis sufficientis.
Heidegger, Martin. Der Satz vom Grund, Pfullingen: Neske, 1957. Heidegger refers in this book to Leibniz and his formulation of the principle of reason as principium reddendae rationis sufficientis. A principium magne, grande et nobilissimum. Already in Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik he tried to lay a new ground for Kant`s metaphysic of pure reason in the transcendental power of imagination (Vor-Stellungskraft, transzendentaler Schematismus der Einbildungskraft). Heidegger, Martin. Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik, Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann, 1991. Gesamtausgabe, hg. Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann. GA Band 3.
Ortega, Francisco. Michel Foucault. Rekonstruktion der Freundschaft. München: Fink, 1997.
Nietzsche, Friedrich. Über Wahrheit und Lüge im außermoralischen Sinne, KSA Band1, 880f.
“On Truth and Lie in the Extra-Moral Sense.” Trans. Sander L. Gilman, Carole Blair and David J. Paren. Friedrich Nietzsche on Rhetoric and Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1989.