Category Archives: Academic Notes

Paper: The Politics of Visibility in Contemporary Photography

An excellent meditation on publicity, photography, visibility and the frame published in Invisible Culture: An Electronic Journal of Visual Culture: 

Like Taryn Simon, American artist Trevor Paglen takes up the ideology of transparency in photographic projects that address the politics of inaccessible spaces and interrogate the unseen networks that structure life under the state. He too activates questions around visibility, participation, and the relationship between aesthetics and politics in works that expose the representational limits of photography. While their subject matter and strategy differ in significant ways, Paglen’s work is likewise emblematic of a type of photography that shifts between image and information, between a seductive formalism and the carefully controlled revelation of evidence, strategically deploying visual and textual details in tandem so that the viewer becomes aware of what exists outside the confines of the frame. For each artist, their projects inhere meaning only when the viewer is able to identify the limits and restrictions imposed, limits that are often the result of a long, careful process of research. In both cases, this is an artistic strategy that moves away from the kind of aesthetic or visual research artists might typically employ and instead re-frames aesthetics in the context of their respective backgrounds in journalism (Simon) and geography (Paglen.)8

In one of his earliest photographic projects, The Other Night Sky, Paglen presents images of classified American satellites, objects that are not officially or publicly logged but that orbit the earth to covertly track or collect data. Working with amateur groups who observe and record the movements of satellites in order to calculate and predict their paths in the sky, Paglen produces visually seductive, telescopic images of the sky at night. Often shot in remote locations, Paglen’s skies are filled with stars and light, producing the familiar sense of wonderment that comes with the contemplation of the universe. Yet of course what he is showing his viewer is much more sinister, revealing as it does the satellite systems that are not part of a transparent public record. This aestheticization of surveillance processes serves to highlight a paradox of visuality itself, since the mere presence of lights in the sky discloses very little factual information even as they signify the covert processes of state surveillance.

A similar and more recent series, Untitled (Drones), shifts his focus to observing and recording the paths of American military drones, an investigation that dovetails with the increased use of drones under the Obama administration.9 Drones, or “unmanned aerial vehicles,” operate simultaneously as automatic recording devices and weapons, looking back at us with their eyeless vision to animate a geographically indeterminate space between viewer and viewed. Such indeterminacy is matched by Paglen’s visual strategy, where his large, saturated prints utilize flat, abstract fields of colour. The viewer is thrust into a vividly atmospheric space, and with no horizon line to orient us towards either earth or sky our normal sense of spatial orientation is confused. Clouds spread wide across the picture plane, serving to reflect, colour, abstract and obscure, attracting our gaze to search for what is held within them. Often only after close scrutiny does the tiny point of the drone reveal itself, reminding us that the sky is not neutral.

Heaving with “the electromagnetic waves of encrypted information that pulse through the atmosphere,” the sky bears the digital information required to keep UAVs airborne.10 Paglen’s use of striking and sublime images paradoxically articulates that the sky no longer acts as a projection of our desires for limitless freedom and the fantastical unknown; it is a space that is as mapped, linked, and virtually connected as anywhere on earth.

Paglen’s work pivots on the tension between aesthetic representation and the documentation of specific instances of state surveillance. He probes at the limits of photography and what a photographic document is able to do: is an image of a drone or a geo-stationary satellite, even with all of the supplemental text that the artist includes, capable of telling us anything about the American military complex and its secretive, violent actions? This disjunction between what Paglen would call the relational aspects of his projects, what exists external to the image, and the highly aestheticized, historically referential qualities of the image itself, is a problem set with an established history in aerial photography.


Both Butler and Azoulay provide accounts of the representational limits of photography and the political limits of public visibility. They each draw our attention to the terms that restrict visual representation and to what is at stake politically if we are not able to recognize the externalities of photography–its framing devices, its temporalities, its participants–as such. Developing a theoretical model that looks outside the image in order to construct meaning has significance not only for photographic practices but for the way we understand and consume visual information in an era that assumes data is, or should be, transparent. The “ideology of communicational transparency” is one that both Paglen and Simon take on, through recourse to the genealogies and aesthetics of photographic media.” 35 This problem has equal bearing on theories of vision, on ideas that determine how we see what we see, and on the dialectic between revelation and concealment: why do we assume that transparency is aspirational?

Political scientist Jodi Dean, writing in the early 2000s, has developed strong arguments for the critique of a transparent public sphere. For Dean, the clichéd assumption that the public has a right to know, that knowledge will come through transparent processes, and that such knowledge is a fundamental obligation of a democratic society, is a problematic assertion that veils the ideological function of the very idea of a public sphere. She points out that contemporary technoculture relies on the notion that the solution to any problem is publicity, or really, transparency, and that more information and greater access to that information is the answer 36 Her work investigates the secret–that which is purposefully kept hidden and inaccessible–as the limit of such publicity:


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ARTICLE: Digital Ontologies as Productive Process

From Cultural Anthropology, this thought-provoking piece by Olga Gorinova:

In a representationalist paradigm, such theory or data would be understood as a representation of how the world really is (a paradigm that seems to have been overcome in performative STS). Yet this paradigm is still employed by scholars when they consider data gathered around a person’s activity in virtual and real life alike as a “data double” (Raley 2013). The concept of a data double or data shadow, arguably, implies a representationalist explanation of what and how the person really is.

Like scientific truths produced in a laboratory, such a double is not only made; it also makes. It is performative and enactive.

Full text here.

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Talk | Decolonization of the Caliphate

The Decolonisation of the Caliphate SOAS 18-03-2016_001

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Paper: Urbanization of Drone Warfare

Ian Shaw has an interesting new piece out on the urbanization of drone warfare, available here.

While drones are now routinely used as military technologies in the so-called peripheral spaces of the planet – Pakistan’s tribal areas, Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan, and the occupied Palestinian territories – the urbanized, capital-intensive metropolises of the Global North are increasingly becoming targets of drone surveillance.


The first decade of the war on terror saw US military and CIA drones concentrated to the mountainous and remote geographies of Pakistan (Shaw and Akhter, 2012), and later Yemen and Somalia. In recent years, however, drones in and beyond the USA have been trialed by police forces as part of a revanchist military urbanism (Graham, 2010). Gre- gory (2011), for example, discusses the existence of the everywhere war, and writes that “war has become the pervasive matrix within which social life is constituted.” Yet perhaps we need to reverse this formulation, such that it is social life that is – and always has been – the pervasive matrix in which war is constituted. The political and geopolitical crises endemic to the surplus population collapse both “war power” and “police power” in contrapuntal geographies, such that Neocleous’ (2014:162) notion of the everywhere police is a productive analytic for diagnosing our contemporary condition. Under this understanding, social problems are always-already militarized, and domestic space is always-already a battlespace. For example, the long history of aerial policing and pacification of “restive” populations (Satia, 2014) is inseparable from colonial and capital expansion.

Yet the contemporary management of surplus populations may yet prove a decisive break from the past. This paper will argue that drones, and micro-drones in particular, are generative of newer, more pervasive spaces of social control. The dronification of state violence not only embodies the ongoing robotization of state security but also materializes the logic of a permanent urban manhunt. Moreover, as the sheer volume of surplus humanity increases, the state is turning towards automated and algorithmic systems to manage them (Amoore, 2009). This, in turn, removes human administrators from the loop. In other words, a quantitative rise in surplus populations is facilitating a qualitative change in the biopolitical systems deployed by the state to manage them (Shaw and Akhter, 2014). The passage from a (Keynesian) welfare state to a (neoliberal) security state (Hallsworth and Lea, 2011) has created more capital-intensive forms of warfare and policing. This includes an armada of security apparatuses, from biometrics and CCTV to “pre-emptive” or “predictive” policing in forces such as the Los Angeles Police Department or the Metropolitan Police in the UK. And we can now can add the drone to this form of everywhere policing, which materializes a newset of technics for an older social war between capital accumulation and labor.

While Shaw points to rich questions about the transformation of policing in urban spaces through drone-tech, the conceptualization of the stark binary between the “remote” over there that is Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Palestine, Afghanistan and Iraq (all sites of drone bombing), and the urban over here – as the site of the ‘decisive break from the past’ – is troubling. It recalls to mind Alexander Weheliye’s critique of Agamben and Foucault:

Overall, a thick historical relation defines the rise of modern concentration camps in colonial contexts and their subsequent reconstitution as industrialized killing machines in Europe during the Third Reich. Agamben briefly mentions the colonial prehistory of concentration camps, however, only to argue that the camps’ true telic significance becomes apparent when they are annexed into the legal state of exception during the Third Reich (Habeas Viscus 2014: 36).


Yet despite locating the naissance of modern racism in “colonization, or in other words, with colonizing genocide” (Society, 257), for Foucault, in a reversal of colonial modernity’s teleology that locates the temporal origin of all things in the west, racism only attains relevance once it penetrates the borders of fortress Europe. Even though the originating leap of racism can be found in the colonized “rest,” only its biopolitical rearticulation in the west imbues it with the magical aura of conceptual value. Because Foucault does not describe this ailleurs or even mention it again in the text, it materializes as a primitive topography, operating as a constitutive outside for his theory of biopolitics throughout these lectures. In logic, primitive terms or notions, also referred to as axioms or postulates, name instantly understandable terms that are used without elucidating their signification. The meanings of all other concepts in a logical system are determined by these primitive terms and by previously established expressions. Over the course of his argument about the genesis of biopolitics in the lectures, Foucault will continue to distinguish European state racism and biopolitics from those primeval forms of racism that linger in the aforementioned philosophical, geographical, and political quicksands of an unspecified elsewhere; at least, this is what we are asked to infer as a consequence of Foucault’s taciturnity about the reach and afterlife of those other modalities of racialization (pp. 57-58).

This attempt to, in some sense, get out ahead of the curve and sweepingly suggest that the current practices of drone warfare are merely a prehistory to the decisive moment when it will come to the heart of the West, to its intimate, peopled urban spaces, rehearses the move that Weheliye critiques. It may also be more productive to think of drone warfare as a relational practice (to borrow again from Weheliye) in which the urban space that may come to be drone-policed is intimately connected to colonial drone warfare — and therefore so must be resistance to it.

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Surveillance, Late Liberalism & Race(ism)

If, as scholars have suggested, surveillance is no longer about speech (content) but about circulation (form), then the question “Can the subaltern speak?” is superseded by: how does the subaltern circulate? Discussing the new social networking app “Yo”, Robin James, draws on Jodi Dean’s notion of communicative capitalism to discuss how an emerging politics may be about circulation:

Speech, understood as the transmission of meaning, that might be relatively obsolete these days. But circulation might have its own politics, its own political possibilities. In fact, I would argue that most contemporary concerns about, say, data surveillance, these are actually contests over the politics of circulation, not the politics of speech. (Or, maybe more accurately, they’re primarily about circulation, secondarily about speech.)

(To be fair to Spivak, if I recall correctly, the essay was somewhat about the strategic circulation of the “subaltern” and not about recovering an authentic “subaltern” voice or speech.)

“Big data” has been critical to this project. In late liberalism, the goal of surveillance, as some scholars (Robin James, Jasbir Puar, among others) are pointing out, is calibration: to establish patterns of normalcy and weed out outliers. So, the US government’s claim that it’s not “listening” to us is somewhat correct. The point isn’t to listen to speech so much as it is to establish big data sets for the project of calibration. And, as with NSA surveillance, so with the drone wars: The former NSA director has stated “we kill based on metadata.” Thus, this calibration idea also underlies the imperial global policing regime, which is about constant and never-ending policing to continue calibration. Although we refer to drone attacks as “war” loosely, I think this project is conceptually different from “war.”

Going back to Spivak’s essay, the Subaltern Studies School was dealing with the silence of the archives — the figures written out of history. Now, we are dealing in a sense, with a different problem: an enormous archive. We’ve gone from questions about repression/silence/exclusion to questions about appropriation/manipulation/circulation.

This is, I think, partly a result of the success of humanitarian regimes to some extent, that is, the insistence that we are all human means that the ostensible logic of categories of killing must become ever more fine-grained and therefore, we must all get “heard”/surveilled. So, for instance, while the old orientalist trope about “wild tribesmen” is still around, the strongest argument on the (neo)liberal side is not that the tribesmen are all savage, but rather that the imperial state is conducting a “surgical” campaign to weed out the “militants” –i.e. calibration and policing which unlike war, are never-ending and pre-emptive projects.

This is partly what explains the sudden upsurge of interest in surveillance among white, upper-middle class Americans, those classes and groups of people who have historically been considered (and considered themselves) beyond the scope of activities and actions the government usually reserves for the marginalized. Thus, it was not the surveillance of Muslims, or the AP breakthrough reports on that topic, that spurred interest. It was Edward Snowden’s revelations of the systemic, widespread and mass nature of the surveillance that turned it into an issue. The NSA is surveilling everyone where everyone is code for white, middle-class America. In response, organizations like the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) have made arguments that effectively seek to put into motion the old, race-based ideologies to argue against surveillance. Consider this article on their website titled “Tea Party, Taxes and Why the Original Patriots Would’ve Revolted Against the Surveillance State” about how the “founding fathers” would not have stood for this. The EFF mobilizes a whitewashed version of American history to argue that to ‘true’ American patriotism is being like the founding fathers — who would have opposed surveillance, a story that implicitly marks American origins and its founders as pure, beacons of the right and true and ethical. That leads one to wonder where the rest of us – who are subjects of racial profiling – might find solidarity, since EFF’s rhetoric is not meant for us.

For, if racism seems to disappear overtly, it has nonetheless become a standing procedure of governance, as Sherene Razack has argued. In her book, Casting Out: The Eviction of Muslims from Western Law and Politics, she writes that when racism “is systematized and attached to a project of accumulation, it loses its standing as a prejudice and becomes instead an organizing principle.” (9)

Those are my notes for now.

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The Image and Terror

Did American citizens in the spring of 2004 notice the resemblance of Lynndie England leading an Iraqi on a leash to Tintoretto’s treatment of a similar moment in the Passion? Did they notice the uncanny coincidence in the release of Mel Gibson’s film The Passion of the Christ at the very time the Abu Ghraib images were made public in the spring of 2004? Did they notice the resemblance between Gibson’s portrayal of the pleasure and glee that the Roman soldiers take in torture and the grinning faces of American soldiers mocking their Iraqi victims? Did they ask themselves what has become of Christianity in a time when its major cinematic expression completely eliminates its positive message in favor of an obsessive concentration on the minute details of the tortured human body, from beatings, to a scourging that literally flays the flesh from the victim, to agonizingly slow death by that “stress position” known as crucifixion? Did they notice that Arabs and Muslims have now assumed the position of the sacrificial victims in a Christian crusade against evil?

Cloning Terror: The War of Images, 9/11 to the Present by W. J. T. Mitchell

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III. Being and Time: Breakdown | Heidegger

Being, for Heidegger, is no longer a question of reduction, of building entities our of basic blocks. Instead, he delineates two modes of being: dealing with (Umgang) and cognition (Erkennen). He then directs us towards a way of being called existing which accounts for both of these modes of encountering beings in the world and having relations with them.

Heidegger will attempt to demonstrate that the “situated use of equipment (Heidegger’s term: essentially “something-in-order-to-do”) is in some sense prior to just looking at things and that which is revealed by use is ontologically more fundamental than the substances with determinate, context-free properties revealed by detached contemplation” (61). Being is revealed through use and action. This goes back to the idea that Dasein is not inner mental state, but rather its existence comes into being through they way it acts. “Dasein takes a stand on itself through its involvement with things and people” (61). 

So, we don’t just encounter things; we use things and manipulate them towards some ends, to get some activity done.

Equipment –“In the ‘in-order-to’ as a structure there lies an assignment or reference of something to something” (H 97). An “item” of equipment if what it is insofar as it fits into an equipment whole –> Logos “For something to function as equipment…there must be a nexus of other equipment in which this thing functions” (63). “Taken strictly, there ‘is’ no such thing as an equipment. To the being of any equipment there always belongs an equipmental whole, in which it can be this equipment that it is” (H 97). Availableness is Heidegger’s term for the way of being of those entities which are defined by their use in the whole (63).

We get to know things in terms of their functioning. “….our concern subordinates itself to the ‘in-order-to’ which is constitutive for the equipment we are employing at the time” (H 98). This mode of understanding, Heidegger calls manipulating. It is the hammering itself which uncovers the specific “manipulability of the hammer) (H 98). Reflecting on something like a hammer rather than using it would give one a second-hand, derivative understanding of it which Heidegger says is “positive” but not “primordial.”

When we use equipment in the regular order of things and it works how it is supposed to, it sort of disappears. [MT: Heidegger appears to characterize disappearance not by an absence but rather as something being so immediately available–so immediately present–that it disappears/ is transparent.] “The peculiarity of what is primarily available is that, in its availableness, it must, as it were, withdraw in order to be available quite authentically” (H 99).

“Not only is equipment transparent; so is the user” (66). The user’s everyday grasp of her environment is called circumspection. This activity is a kind of “sight” which does not involve deliberate awareness (66). Everyday skillful, masterful coping involves awareness but no self-awareness–no self-referential experience of acting in the sense understood by the representationalist model.

Comportment is not deliberate action, but neither is it mechanical. It differs from the last in 5 ways:

  1. Circumspection is a mode of awareness
  2. Comportment is adaptable and copes with the situation in a variety of ways
  3. Comportment reveals entities under aspects. [The person goes about his or her business (rather than deliberate, intentionality).]
  4. If something goes wrong, people and higher animals are startled.
  5. If the going gets difficult, we must pay attention and so switch to deliberate subject/object intentionality. (68-69).

Thus, Heidegger leaves open the possibility of deliberate intentionality at the moment of breakdown when normal coping is no longer possible.Three modes of disturbance:

  • conspicuousness (malfunction)
  • obstinacy (temporary breakdown)
  • obtrusiveness

“These progressively bring out both Dasein as a thoughtful subject and the occurrentness as the way of being of isolated determinate substances” (71). These breakdown moments (two of them: temporary breakdown and total breakdown -Dreyfuss’ terms) reveal two new modes of encountering entities and tw new ways of being of entities: unavailableness and occurrentness. The other kind of breakdownmalfunction, is a preview of the other two. We are going to go from available to unavailable.

Conspicuousness (malfunction) –“presents the available equipment in a certain unavailableness” (H 102-103). But, for most malfunctions, we already have ways of coping, so we can just readjust after an initial moment of being startled–and then move on. Transparent, circumspective can thus be quickly restored.

Obstinacy (temporary breakdown) –Something blocks an ongoing activity and that which was transparent is made manifest. Now, we act deliberately, paying attention to what we are doing. When deliberative activity is also blocked, then one is forced into deliberation–reflective planning. “The scheme peculiar to [deliberating] is the ‘if-then'” (H 410). Long-range planning is envisagingHeidegger thus shifts focs from a being to Dasein’s ways of understanding/ coping with. 

Contra the representationalist model, deliberation is not a purely mental, theoretical state without reference to the world. Even when people make plans, they do so against a background of involved activity (74). “Thus, understanding is not in our minds but in Dasein–in the skillful ways we are accustomed to comport ourselves. Thus even when mental content such as rules, beliefs and desires arise on the unavailable level, they cannot be analyzed as self-contained representations as the tradition supposed. Deliberative activity remains dependent upon Dasein’s involvement in a transparent background of coping skills” (75).

-not finished-

*This is the text I’ve been using to help me through Heidegger: Dreyfus’ Being in the World: A Commentary on Heidegger’s Being and Time.

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II. Being and Time: Disinterested Knowledge | Heidegger

Heidegger critiques the concept of disinterested knowledge, the idea that one can retreat from the world in order to quietly deliberate in isolation to discover the true Being of being. In fact, Heidegger argues, the detached, reflective stance is derivative in character.

Traditional representationalist framework: perceive perspectives –> synthesize perspectives into objects –> assign objects a function on the basis of their physical properties. Manipulate tools that already have a meaning in the world which is itself organized in terms of purposes. Theory is prior to practice.

Heidegger: “This is the way in which everyday Dasein always is: when I open a door, for instance, I used a doorknob. The achieving of phenomenological access to the beings which we encounter, consists rather in thrusting aside our interpretive tendencies, which keep thrusting themselves upon us…and which conceal not only the phenomenon of such ‘concern,’ but even more those beings themselves as encountered of their own accord in our concern with them” (H 96).  Rather than an interpretive act, it’s a habituated practice in which we engage.

Merely staring at things or just contemplating the tools and equipment that we use/manipulate does not get us any closer to being. “Heidegger thus inverts the tradition and sees detached contemplation as a private modification of everyday involvement” (47). Contra the traditional view of practice which assumes that action must be explained in terms of beliefs and desires, Heidegger denies that intentionality is mental. Instead, Heidegger uses the term “comportment which has the structure of directing-oneself-toward. Comportment refers to our directed activity without mentalist overtones. The mental, Heidegger argues, is a construction of the theorist rather than a true description of the phenomenological. Comportment or intentionality is characteristic not of consciousness but of Dasein.

Heidegger will go on to show that:

  1. “intentionality without self-referential mental content is characteristic of the unimpeded mode of Dasein’s everyday activity, whereas mental-state intentionality is a derivative mode.
  2. both these modes of directedness (ontic transcendence) presuppose being-in-the-world, a more originary transcendence” (59).
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I. Being and Time: Dasein | Heidegger

Heidegger is responding to the Cartesian tradition, in particular, to his former teacher Husserl, by substituting ontological questions for epistemological ones. The latter inquiry concerned, principally, the relationship between subject and object, between knower and known, and in the process, assigned a primary position to the knower in relation to the known. Heidegger upsets this structure by inquiring into the nature of our being–what he will come to call Dasein. Our being, he argues, is co-constructed/ is made intelligible in and through the world. Heidegger’s question is about the “is,” that is, about the being of Being. He counters formal, representationalist models by calling for a hermeneutic phenomenology that eviscerates the viewpoint that experience is basically a relation between a self-contained knower with an inner mental content and an outside world. Like Bourdieu (who would follow Heidegger), the latter argues that it is in fact our socialization into the world, into everyday and ordinary skills and practices that provides us with the background necessary to understand objects, to understand ourselves as subject. Yet more, contra Kant (and later, Habermas), he argues that these practices only work so long as they are in the background. In other words, so long as they are not explicit.

In some ways, Heidegger is comparable to Wittgenstein. Here is, however, where they differ: whereas Wittgenstein thinks that the practices that produce us as human subjects are an insoluble tangle, Heidegger believes that this commonsense background has an elaborate structure, and it’s the task of the analytic/ the philosopher to lay it out.

Dasein. being is an intelligibility that is correlative with our everyday background practices (10). Dasein is not a conscious, transcendental, meaning-giving subject (13). Therefore, the term “being there” is used instead of “consciousness.” Dasein is more basic than mental states, intentionality and deliberation. Dasein operates similar to the term “human being”: just as human being can refer to a way of being that’s characteristic of all people, or it can refer to a specific person–“a human way of being, which he calles ‘being-there’ or Dasein” (14). In the latter half, Heidegger becomes more interested in human being, Dasein. 

He is interested in Dasein’s way of being. “Human beings, it will turn out, are special kinds of beings in that their way of being embodies an understanding of what it si to be” (15). Dasein’s activity–its way of being–manifests itself in how it comports itself towards itself. “That kind of being being towards which Dasein can comport itself in one way or another, and always does comport itself somehow, we call ‘existence'” (H 32). Existence is not equal to simply being materially real (like stones, for example). “Only self-interpreting being exist…Yet he is clear that to be a conscious subject or self is neither necessary nor sufficient for human existence, rather the reverse…” (15). It is the existential nature of man that’s the reason why man can represent beings as such. Thus, cultures exist as human beings exist. The practices of the latter contain an interpretation of what it means to be a culture. Or language. “Language is not identical with the sum total of all the words printed in a dictionary; instead…language is as Dasein is…it exists” (BP, 208, cited 15).

Existential –“understanding is a worked-out understanding of the ontological structures of existence, that is, of what it is to be Dasein” (20).

Existentiell “understanding is an individual’s understanding of his or her own way to be, that is, of what he or she is” (20).

We cannot jump out of our network of beliefs and contemplate them from an outside view (as Husserl attempted to do, and the concept that underlies’ Habermas’ critical rationality). That makes no sense, according to Heidegger: we cannot be clear about the being that we take for granted. In fact, there really are no representationalist, mental beliefs to get clear about; there are only skills and practices. Thus human beings don’t have an a priori specific nature: either essentially rational beings or essentially sexual beings or whatever: “to be human is not to be essentially any of them. Human being is essentially self-interpreting” (23). Heidegger wants to describe the structure of this self-interpreting way of being.

So, to reiterate: Homo sapiens have factual characteristics. Man, however, is the result of a cultural interpretation (25).

What we are investigating: not consciousness, but Dasein. The understanding of being is not mental and our understanding of being is “covered up” (33). Two kinds of covered-up: undiscovered (the unknown unknown) and buried again (was discovered, but lost/buried again). Dasein attempts to pass off the phenomena that has covered over the original phenomenon as the truth itself. Thus, Being is always only accessible to us through being.

Heidegger’s work is a hermeneutic phenomenology: understanding being through everyday, common practices and discourses. Examples: Charles Taylor; Clifford Geertz.

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