0
   

Standingunder Understanding

 
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 09:32 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;128971 wrote:
I have discussed Heidegger's philological method elsewhere this morning (Post nr. 11 in the Astonishment at Being thread). To argue that it is "faux-etymology" seems to imply that there is a "true-etymology" and I suspect most experts in the field would raise an eyebrow at such an assertion, especially the further back one goes in time.
To say that there is not "a shred of evidence" for it implies that there is "evidence" that would be universally accepted by those with expertise in the matter. What kind of evidence would fit this criteria, and would it be such that only one interpretation would present itself?

Rather than use terms like "fairy story" or the more philosophical "crap," it seems the conter-argument would be furthered by an epitome of contrary scholarly interpretations and their discussions of original sources upon which these are based. Until that is presented, one must decide which side is "made up out of whole cloth."


Of course there is true etymology. Go to a good dictionary to look up the etymology of common terms; better still, look them up in an etymological dictionary. A whole new world awaits you. Hurry.
You may start here:

Etymology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
0 Replies
 
jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 10:42 am
@Reconstructo,
Understanding how to use a Dictionary is not foreign to some of us, and my marked-up Origins: A Short etymological Dictionary of Modern English by Partridge is already a part of my world. And it does not take that long to come across words whose origins and roots are admittedly doubtful (the "?" has its use in scholarly apparatus).

That kind of argument about a supposed whole new world does not erase the fact that articles in scholarly journals in the subject often discuss divergent etymologies and different interpretations of words and word origins. Nor does it go very far in demonstrating that Heidegger was incorrect in his "fairy tale" about "denken" and "danken."
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 11:00 am
@jgweed,
jgweed;129011 wrote:
Understanding how to use a Dictionary is not foreign to some of us, and my marked-up Origins: A Short etymological Dictionary of Modern English by Partridge is already a part of my world. And it does not take that long to come across words whose origins and roots are admittedly doubtful (the "?" has its use in scholarly apparatus).

That kind of argument about a supposed whole new world does not erase the fact that articles in scholarly journals in the subject often discuss divergent etymologies and different interpretations of words and word origins. Nor does it go very far in demonstrating that Heidegger was incorrect in his "fairy tale" about "denken" and "danken."


That some etymologies are or can be wrong no more shows that there is no difference between Heidegger's brand of faux-etymology nonsense than does the fact that astronomers can make mistakes show that there is no difference between astronomy and astrology. And neither does disagreement in chemistry show that chemistry is no more than alchemy. True, H. might be right. But why should we suppose he is when he has no credible (etymological) evidence for his claim? If he is right it is just a lucky guess on his part. I don't have to demonstrate he is not right. He has to show that he is right. (Fallacy of the argument from ignorance).
0 Replies
 
jgweed
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 12:14 pm
@Reconstructo,
One doesn't have to demonstrate X is correct unless one asserts X is incorrect, and then one seems obliged to present warrants for the contrary assertion, so the argumentum ad ignorantiam doesn't seem to apply.

Obviously from a lack of evidence, no conclusion should be drawn; but this applies to NOT X as well as X since either is as likely. It was not my point that Heidegger is correct, since I am not that well-versed in German or Germanic philology, but that one cannot go around simply saying that he was wrong without providing a foundation for doing so and consider this an argument. I am, however, well-versed in philosophic demonstration enough to ask for grounds for asserting he is spinning "fairy-tales."
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 12:43 pm
@jgweed,
jgweed;129047 wrote:
One doesn't have to demonstrate X is correct unless one asserts X is incorrect, and then one seems obliged to present warrants for the contrary assertion, so the argumentum ad ignorantiam doesn't seem to apply.

Obviously from a lack of evidence, no conclusion should be drawn; but this applies to NOT X as well as X since either is as likely. It was not my point that Heidegger is correct, since I am not that well-versed in German or Germanic philology, but that one cannot go around simply saying that he was wrong without providing a foundation for doing so and consider this an argument. I am, however, well-versed in philosophic demonstration enough to ask for grounds for asserting he is spinning "fairy-tales."


To repeat, there is no reason to suppose that H's account is correct. That is why I wrote that he spun it out of whole cloth. You are making the assertion that H. is right, and that he has reasons to suppose he is right. Support your assertion. If someone asserts that the Moon is made of cream cheese, I don't have to show it is not made of cream cheese. Read about the ad ignorantiam fallacy here:

http://philosophy.lander.edu/logic/ignorance.htm
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 03:22 pm
@jgweed,
jgweed;129047 wrote:
one cannot go around simply saying that he was wrong without providing a foundation for doing so and consider this an argument.


Exactly. Otherwise one is just repeating gossip or prejudice.

Also: I don't feel that the value of Heidegger stands or falls on his etymologies. Not in the least. And that is stated as an opinion, a matter of taste.
0 Replies
 
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 04:41 pm
@jgweed,
jgweed;129047 wrote:
One doesn't have to demonstrate X is correct unless one asserts X is incorrect, and then one seems obliged to present warrants for the contrary assertion, so the argumentum ad ignorantiam doesn't seem to apply.

Obviously from a lack of evidence, no conclusion should be drawn; but this applies to NOT X as well as X since either is as likely. It was not my point that Heidegger is correct, since I am not that well-versed in German or Germanic philology, but that one cannot go around simply saying that he was wrong without providing a foundation for doing so and consider this an argument. I am, however, well-versed in philosophic demonstration enough to ask for grounds for asserting he is spinning "fairy-tales."


So, if you say you had a party with extra-terrestrials the other evening, and I ask you for evidence, and you cannot present any, I should conclude that it is about 50/50 whether you had a party with extra-terrestrials the other night? So, when you assert some nonsense and present no evidence, my cognitive attitude should be neutral?
ACB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 06:33 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;129155 wrote:
So, if you say you had a party with extra-terrestrials the other evening, and I ask you for evidence, and you cannot present any, I should conclude that it is about 50/50 whether you had a party with extra-terrestrials the other night? So, when you assert some nonsense and present no evidence, my cognitive attitude should be neutral?


Since "denken" and "danken" only differ by one letter, I would have thought the possibility of their being etymologically related, in the absence of any other evidence either way, was fairly high. Perhaps not as high as 50%, but very much higher than the possibility that jgweed had a party with extra-terrestrials. High enough to require evidence for denying the relation.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 06:42 pm
@ACB,
ACB;129179 wrote:
Since "denken" and "danken" only differ by one letter, I would have thought the possibility of their being etymologically related, in the absence of any other evidence either way, was fairly high. Perhaps not as high as 50%, but very much higher than the possibility that jgweed had a party with extra-terrestrials. High enough to require evidence for denying the relation.


So is "stitch" and "snitch". According to you, there is a high probability of relation too. Of course, in other languages, there is no relation of any kind between the same words, For example in French, there is no relation between, "penser" and "merci". You think the French missed the connection between the two concepts. And only German and English caught it? How about Chinese. A priori I rather doubt it. Evidence, ACB evidence. Not looks. Why not look up the etymologies of the two terms, rather than rely on Heidegger? (Sigh).

And you miss the point about the extra-terrestrial party too. But I don't want to get into it. But let me just say that it has nothing to do with comparative probabilities. It has to do with burden of proof.
ACB
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 08:09 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;129181 wrote:
Evidence, ACB evidence. Not looks. Why not look up the etymologies of the two terms, rather than rely on Heidegger?


OK, I have.
Look up "think" and "thank" in the Online Etymology Dictionary. You may find the results interesting. :detective:
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 08:21 pm
@ACB,
ACB;129185 wrote:
OK, I have.
Look up "think" and "thank" in the Online Etymology Dictionary. You may find the results interesting. :detective:



There is some distant root connection between "think" and "thank". But not, of course, the kind of semantic connection Heidegger claims (invents) there is. Or any semantic connection, for that matter. So, what is supposed to be interesting about it?
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Feb, 2010 11:06 pm
@ACB,
ACB;129185 wrote:
OK, I have.
Look up "think" and "thank" in the Online Etymology Dictionary. You may find the results interesting. :detective:

thank (v.) http://www.etymonline.com/graphics/dictionary.gifthink (q.v.). In ironical use, "to blame," from 1550s. Thank you is attested from c.1400, short for I thank you. To thank (someone) for nothing is recorded from 1703.
think http://www.etymonline.com/graphics/dictionary.gifthought and thankmethinks "it seems to me." Jocular pp. thunk (not historical, but by analogy of drink, sink, etc.) is recorded from 1876. Think-tank is 1959 as "research institute" (first ref. is to Center for Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, Calif.); it had been colloquial for "the brain" since 1905.

---------- Post added 02-17-2010 at 12:11 AM ----------

kennethamy;129187 wrote:
There is some distant root connection between "think" and "thank". But not, of course, the kind of semantic connection Heidegger claims (invents) there is. Or any semantic connection, for that matter. So, what is supposed to be interesting about it?


The Online Etymological dictionary is not the last word, but it strengthens H's case. As far as the German goes, I'm no expert.

But besides the actual derivation, it's just as important to understand WHY Heidegger is associating thought and gratitude. Let's not lose sight of his intention. He saw metaphysics since Plato as an ungracious power trip. Man saw his environment as contingent trash. His "ontotheology" led him to as obsession with epistemology, one that ultimately leads to pragmatism. How? Because the skeptic cannot be answered well except by pragmatism. The only thing we can know with certainty is our desires. Nietzsche is the inversion of Plato, in H's eyes. Hidden eternal truth is flipped until truth is an army of metaphors in the service of an imperious Will.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 05:58 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;129225 wrote:
thank (v.) http://www.etymonline.com/graphics/dictionary.gifthink (q.v.). In ironical use, "to blame," from 1550s. Thank you is attested from c.1400, short for I thank you. To thank (someone) for nothing is recorded from 1703.
think http://www.etymonline.com/graphics/dictionary.gifthought and thankmethinks "it seems to me." Jocular pp. thunk (not historical, but by analogy of drink, sink, etc.) is recorded from 1876. Think-tank is 1959 as "research institute" (first ref. is to Center for Behavioral Sciences, Palo Alto, Calif.); it had been colloquial for "the brain" since 1905.

---------- Post added 02-17-2010 at 12:11 AM ----------



The Online Etymological dictionary is not the last word, but it strengthens H's case. As far as the German goes, I'm no expert.

But besides the actual derivation, it's just as important to understand WHY Heidegger is associating thought and gratitude. Let's not lose sight of his intention. He saw metaphysics since Plato as an ungracious power trip. Man saw his environment as contingent trash. His "ontotheology" led him to as obsession with epistemology, one that ultimately leads to pragmatism. How? Because the skeptic cannot be answered well except by pragmatism. The only thing we can know with certainty is our desires. Nietzsche is the inversion of Plato, in H's eyes. Hidden eternal truth is flipped until truth is an army of metaphors in the service of an imperious Will.


It does not strengthen Heidegger's case, which, insofar as it is a case at all*, is that there is some kind of conceptual and semantic connection between "thanking" and "thinking". The dictionary does not support that at all.

What Heidegger's motive was for concocting this etymological fairy story is irrelevant to whether the story is true. You may find it important. I find it (to use your very strongest criticism) boring, where it isn't incomprehensible.

*Insofar as Heidegger is attempting to make a case at all, he is committing the same old etymological fallacy.

By the way, do you claim to be an expert concerning English etymology? Just speaking English is not a qualification.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:32 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;129297 wrote:
It does not strengthen Heidegger's case, which, insofar as it is a case at all*, is that there is some kind of conceptual and semantic connection between "thanking" and "thinking". The dictionary does not support that at all.

1. A relationship has already been demonstrated.
2. It doesn't really matter that much, because Heidegger felt/expressed a relationship between thinking and thanking, no matter the etymology.
3. To harp on this is to trumpet your neglect of his intent and significance.

---------- Post added 02-18-2010 at 12:35 AM ----------

kennethamy;129297 wrote:

By the way, do you claim to be an expert concerning English etymology? Just speaking English is not a qualification.


No, I don't. Yes, I agree. But this isn't that important to me. I like etymology. I can live without.

I have a measured amount of faith in those who do specialize in it.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:37 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;129541 wrote:
1. A relationship has already been demonstrated.
2. It doesn't really matter that much, because Heidegger felt/expressed a relationship between thinking and thanking, no matter the etymology.
3. To harp on this is to trumpet your neglect of his intent and significance.


What relationship was that?
But his etymology was a sham, and he used it to support his feeling.
Neglect? And I thought that even mentioning him gave him too much significance.
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Feb, 2010 11:54 pm
@Reconstructo,
The hot air of prejudice.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:01 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;129550 wrote:
The hot air of prejudice.


Supported by argument and facts. What is that relationship again?
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:13 am
@Reconstructo,
This thread has lost its way. Too bad, it was a good theme. The investigation of investigation. I have had my fun arguing. Arguing is sometimes an entertaining sport. But I always end up disappointed that I spend my time that way. I want to talk about the good stuff, not this petty crap which I admit sometimes ensnares me.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Feb, 2010 12:21 am
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;129563 wrote:
This thread has lost its way. Too bad, it was a good theme. The investigation of investigation. I have had my fun arguing. Arguing is sometimes an entertaining sport. But I always end up disappointed that I spend my time that way. I want to talk about the good stuff, not this petty crap which I admit sometimes ensnares me.


Yes, but what is that relationship you claimed supports Heidegger? You are using the term, "argument" as meaning something like "dispute". That is one use of the term. Of course, that is not how I use the term. I use it as an attempt to establish a proposition as true. Argument in that sense is not a sport, but something engaged in by serious philosophers.
0 Replies
 
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 20 Feb, 2010 02:40 pm
@Reconstructo,
I won't speak for Heidegger. Everyone knows the man was a Nazi. He's famous for his questionable style. His etymologies have been doubted by experts. From the beginning of knowing the least bit about him I have been aware of all of this. In fact, I learned of him first from those against him. So I put off looking into him.

I speak for myself here. Take or leave it. Yes, I'm influenced by Heidegger, but also by many others.

Philosophy is not just debate, argument, the making of a case. Perhaps it was Plato who put this attitude into Western philosophy. Then Aristotle came in with his formal logic, etc. The point is to not take it for granted that dialectic is the royal road to truth. Personally, I love a good argument. But that's not the only way to communicate. Sometimes an aphorism is better. Sometimes a paradox is preferable. Sometimes a poetic-suggestiveness is the right method to communicate one's experience.
I don't care if it looks like poetry. In my eyes, it's all poetry. It's the creative use of language. And any text on the nature of text is subject to the next text. As far as I can tell, argumentation requires axioms, implicit or explicit. From the beginning then, dialectic is a bluff. Dialectic is persuasion that pretends to be "scientific."

---------- Post added 02-20-2010 at 03:41 PM ----------

Reconstructo;126033 wrote:
To riff on/from Heidegger via George Steiner:

To think well is to think from astonishment. To understand is to stand under.
Western Man likes to rip Nature's dress off. If not that, then some other dress or curtain. The intellectual is conceived of as a person with x-ray vision who "sees through." It's the same with reading for subtext or between the lines.
I cannot deny the attractiveness of this conception, and perhaps I will never escape it. But..

To stand under and look up. To become a permeable listener rather than a piercing gaze. We associate knowing with seeing, and this is understandable (standunderable), but it's not the only way to conceive of knowing.

Pythagoras concerned himself with harmony. Is harmony a better metaphor for wisdom than seeing-thru? I like both.

Vision seems to penetrate. Hearing allows penetration. Is phallogocentrism tied up with visual metaphors for thinking?

I'm not against "phallogocentrism" on principle. I just against denying myself a multitude of perspectives (visual metaphor).


This is the O. P.
 

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