September 29, 2011
Nietzsche's Life and Heidegger's Death: The Singularity of Fate
Fate is a wonderful phenomenon. Not only is it the order by which all things guide their behavior(the most immoral of morals) it is the gracious gift that provide us with our everyday experiences and interactions. Although fate is an elusive subject for humanity (predestination is a common theme of various ideologies, religions, and ism's,) it is always immanent and unavoidable in the wake of our unfolding path of existence, that is to say it is always already about too happen. These interactions and experiences gifted to us by the uncanny force of fate inherent in our universe.
Although philosophy has struggled with this problem for centuries. What is the human will? What has allowed us to receive our world as it is(social constructs, cultural traits, and mainly concepts that inscribe meaning onto everyday manifestations(ontic) that literally produce our actions)? Science, religion, philosophy, psychology have all had their say in the issue with varying interpretations(yet so similar in nature). For today's purpose I wish to intersect two thinkers that I believe have the ability to better acquaint us to this stranger in our own home. Nietzsche and Heidegger Both men obviously having similiarities in both nationalism and thought Heidegger took much of Nietzsches analytic of existence and adapted it too his own analytics later in his magnum opus "Being and Time"
First, we must borrow a quote from Nietzsche to begin our discussion
Nietzsche tells us subtly that the guaranteed path of experience for the subject is life. If this statement is true* then we have to immediately answer yet another question. The question that I seek to aid and supplement with analysis here is how do we define life? Although both thinkers mentioned offer many characteristics and explanations of our life there is a common thought in both that emphasize certain aspects of our existence. Nietzsche would tell us that humanity is predetermined to play in the great cosmic game. We are determined to participate in the great spectacle of antagonisms, life has defined its struggles, crueltys, joys, and pleasures we are ensured to return to eternally.
Heidegger build upon this decry. For Heidegger and Nietzsche death is this inevitable force that is the fate of all of humanity. Heidegger understands death as the most impossible possibility for Dasein(beings). He comes to this conclusion by asserting that it is impossible to think the unthought, because in in reaching and searching for the unthought you are simultaneously thinking. In this inability to 'think' death humanity is shown the finitude of their seemingly unbounded existence. Heidegger addressed this fate as "being-towards-death". He attempted in his existential analytic to disavow the understanding that death is something evil and opposite of life but to understand them as integrally related to one another.