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We Need to Talk About Heidegger

Essays Situating Martin Heidegger in Contemporary Media Studies


Edited By Justin Michael Battin and German A. Duarte

This collection assembles a number of chapters engaging different strands of Martin Heidegger’s philosophy in order to explore issues relevant to contemporary media studies. Following the release of Heidegger’s controversial Black Notebooks and the subsequent calls to abandon the philosopher, this book seeks to demonstrate why Heidegger, rather than be pushed aside and shunned by media practitioners, ought to be embraced by and further incorporated into the discipline, as he offers unique and often innovative pathways to address, and ultimately understand, our daily engagements with media-related phenomena.

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Ereignis and Lichtung in the Production of a Galaxy Far Far Away


Readers of Heidegger’s work will undoubtedly notice numerous criticisms directed at the metaphysical tradition littered throughout. These criticisms show themselves with the most clarity in the essay “The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking” (1972), a remarkable piece that contains some of Heidegger’s sharpest critiques of metaphysics. The critical stance Heidegger adopts throughout this piece proves necessary because of occidental man’s ongoing adherence to an identity-within-difference approach; an understanding of the world where, in Heidegger’s own words, “the superiority of beings over being has been decided” (1993 [1981], p. 59). This approach has fostered a world where our basic ontology is thus characterized by the Framework (das Gestell). Heidegger warns that existence both grounded and driven by the Framework leads to our treatment of entities – objects and beings like ourselves – as the standing reserve (Bestand), stockpile intended to be called upon for technological purposes (see Heidegger 1977b [1956], pp. 287–317). Heidegger bemoans that such a mindset has become omnipresent in all of occidental man’s encounters and, due to the overwhelming preoccupation with beings, Being itself is hardly granted a whisper. To counter this dilemma, Heidegger urges us to abandon metaphysics and respond to the call of what is most thought provoking: presence. However, Heidegger’s understanding of presence is anything but static. Whereas metaphysically derived presence draws from Descartes’ ego cogito and is grounded by representational correctness (orthotēs), Heidegger’s rendition of presence relies on disclosures and openings permissible because of one’s situatedness and invested interaction...

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