1 Matching Annotations
- Aug 2019
In characterizing the change-over from the manipulating and using and so forth which are circumspective in a ‘practical’ way, to ‘theoretical’ exploration, it would be easy to suggest that merely looking at entities is something which emerges when concern holds back from any kind of manipulation. What is decisive in the ‘emergence’ of the theoretical attitude would then lie in the disappearance of praxis. So if one posits ‘practical’ concern as the primary and predominant kind of Being which factical Dasein possesses, the ontological possibility of ‘theory’ will be due to the absence of praxis—that is, to a privation. But the discontinuance of a specific manipulation in our concernful dealings does not simply leave the guiding circumspection behind as a remainder. Rather, our concern then diverts itself specifically into a just-looking-around [ein Nur-sich-umsehen]. But this is by no means the way in which the ‘theoretical’ attitude of science is reached. On the contrary, the tarrying which is discontinued when one manipulates, can take on the character of a more precise kind of circumspection, such as ‘inspecting’, checking up on what has been attained, or looking over the ‘operations’ [“Betrieb”] which are now ‘at a standstill’. Holding back from the use of equipment is so far from sheer ‘theory’ that the kind of circumspection which tarries and ‘considers’, remains wholly in the grip of the ready-to-hand equipment with which one is concerned. ‘Practical’ dealings have their own ways of tarrying. And just as praxis has its own specific kind of sight (‘theory’), theoretical research is not without a praxis of its own. Reading off the measurements which result from an experiment often requires a complicated ‘technical’ set-up for the experimental design. Observation with a microscope is dependent upon the production of ‘preparations’. Archaeological excavation, which precedes any Interpretation of the ‘findings’, demands manipulations of the grossest kind. But even in the ‘most abstract’ way of working out problems and establishing what has been obtained, one manipulates equipment for writing, for example. However ‘uninteresting’ and ‘obvious’ such components of scientific research may be, they are by no means a matter of indifference ontologically. The explicit suggestion that scientific behaviour as a way of Being-in-the-world, is not just a ‘purely intellectual activity’, may seem petty and superfluous. If only it were not plain from this triviality that it is by no means patent where the ontological boundary between ‘theoretical’ and ‘atheoretical’ behaviour really runs!
Heidegger: "just as praxis has its own specific kind of sight (‘theory’), theoretical research is not without a praxis of its own." ||