Thursday, September 15, 2011

Questioning, the Piety of Thinking

"For questioning is the piety of thinking."  --Martin Heidegger, 20th century Existentialist philosopher

In the mind of philosopher, Martin Heidegger, questioning was not anything without thinking. Thus in his view, a questioner is not a dissenter; rather they are listening. All questioning, he believed, gets started from initial listening, that which precedes and guides the questioner. Following this point, Heidegger delves into the spiritual, the pious, the holy. His thoughts concerns the piety of thinking itself.

Bringing the mind of Heidegger into the realm of the beginner, James C. Hart, along with some 25 others  translate the philosopher's work from his native German into English, or give knowledgeable commentary in their book, The Piety of Thinking
What, Heidegger pondered, does it mean to objectify?
He saw this social phenomenon in regarding living things as objects; objectifying them for use, as a thing.
What does it mean to think? 
In his view, thinking in some instances is not objectifying; it's instead an expression of a being which wills itself to be. For example, if all thinking were objective, then the creation  of art would be meaningless because it derives from personal thought which 'shows itself' in the work. 
Thus it is non-objective. On the other hand, we, by this view, can accept that thinking about the natural world and the sciences engages in objectivity. 
Thinking is "whatever shows itself however it shows itself."
It is the opposite of hiding, concealment.

Heidegger also then concerns himself with the meaning of speaking. What does it mean to speak? He asks all these deceptively simple questions and arrives at some startling answers. In speaking Heidegger insists one might use words as a tool to enforce the manipulation of others by words; one also may use words as humans do to "open up the world for them, to make a dwelling place in the world."

Finally another question Heidegger poses is that of thinking as a form of speaking. "Is all thinking a form of speaking and is all speaking a form of thinking? What does it mean to 'talk to yourself?" And he warns as early as the 1920s that scientific ways of thinking, objective speaking, threatens to overwhelm all other imaging in the world today. There are in his mind different needs in speaking and thinking, a piety of thinking for Heidegger is perhaps 'compliant to the covering and uncovering of truth.'

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