Wednesday, December 15, 2010


"What in truth is the thing, so far as it is a thing? When we inquire in this way, our aim is to come to know the thing-being (thingness) of the thing. The point is to discover the thingly character of the thing. To this end we have to be acquainted with the sphere to which all those entities belong which we have long called by the name of the thing." (Heidegger, Martin, "The Origin of the Work of Art", 1935 Based on a Public Lecture, in Basic Writings, ed. David Farrell Krell, section: Thing and Work p.146, )

Heidegger's Writing & the Thingness of Reading it
Austin, December 2010


Lotus said...

excuse my ignorance, but is this text serious? I cannot make anything out of it?! :)

Tameshk said...

Dear Lotus,
No it is very serious :) but it looks like gibberish... almost all philosophical writings look like a joke if you only look at scattered excerpts of it. Thanks for bringing it up.

Here is what I understand of Heidegger:

Heidegger rarly spoke of art, this article is very important. Here he defines that a work of art is an object with a special function: it is ‘a being in the Open …in which the openness takes its stand and attains its constancy’. by 'the Open' Heidegger means the world of a culture; each culture has a particular understanding of what it is to be a thing, a person, an institution, etc, in which something can show up as something.
Then this common understanding of the meaning of being is present in the practices of a people and need not, indeed cannot, be captured as a set of beliefs. So it manifests itself in an object (a mosque or a painting.)

In the excerpt I am presenting he is trying to get to the object-ness of the work of art or any being for that matter, to their thingness.