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Heidegger

This tag is associated with 23 posts

Self-reliance and the accessorised self

Self-reliance has become a catchword for living off grid, and an inspiration for USA 2nd amendment gun lobbyists. It is also a catchword for healthy leisure, sports, fitness, and education for leadership, and sustainability. The term “self-reliance” of course comes with qualification. Individuals need family, support communities and institutions to survive and thrive, and everyone … Continue reading

Best intentions

“My manners must have been in fault, but not intentionally I assure you. I never meant to deceive you …” (331) declared Mr Darcy in his reconciliation with Elizabeth in Jane Austin’s Pride and Prejudice. By this reading, to have an intention is to act with a goal in mind. Most of us would rather deny … Continue reading

Poiēsis

Planet Earth is a giant spherical communications machine with a diameter of about 84,000 kilometres. Well over 1,000 satellites orbit between the earth’s surface and this outer (geosynchronous) layer. Nature and artefact seem to merge due to the scale, ubiquity, sophistication, and conceits of contemporary techno-science, especially if we add to the global communications infrastructure the prospects of geo-engineering intended … Continue reading

Nature into the city

Parks, gardens, tree-lined streets, balconies, atria, glasshouses, allotments, bird feeders, green walls, nature reserves, aviaries, zoos: these are amongst the most obvious ways that planners, designers and citizens bring nature into the city. But something similar happens via certain marginal urban practices, that by their very nature construct and re-construct the city as wilderness, bringing the values … Continue reading

Making nature

Biophilic design is design that is sympathetic to nature. Designers who want their buildings and landscapes to exhibit biophilic qualities have at least 70 attributes to draw on, e.g. use natural colours, water, plant motifs, natural shapes and forms (like shells), allude to growth and other natural processes, introduce natural and filtered light, connect with history, the … Continue reading

Profoundly bored

Since I acquired a smartphone (5 years ago) there’s been no such thing as down time. Five minutes waiting for a bus used to seem like an hour. Now it’s barely enough time to check an email. Last weekend’s Guardian magazine featured an article about what we gain by recapturing empty time, when nothing happens, and we just wait. Apparently, “Aimlessness, … Continue reading

The animal within

Are you fascinated by what differentiates you from other living things, in particular other mobile living beings that occupy similar spatial dimensions and habitats to us, i.e. other land animals? The bodily functions are similar, we ingest, defecate, reproduce, sleep, nurture, cooperate, hunt, and evade pursuit. I’ve been reading Giorgio Agamben who makes us aware of the animal in our own being. Some people think … Continue reading

Against empathy

“The term ’empathy,’ has provided a guiding thread for a whole range of fundamentally mistaken theories concerning man’s relationship to other human beings and to other beings in general, theories that we are only gradually beginning to overcome today” (203). That’s a quote from Martin Heidegger’s book of 1929-30 based on a lecture series bearing the … Continue reading

Writer’s block

The monk dipped his quill and positioned it over the parchment again. His fingers were black and smudges formed on the unyielding page. Drops of ink found their way to the frayed cuff of his robe. “How can I be expected to do this!” he said. “What task has the Abbot set you now?” I asked. “I’ve been told to pen … Continue reading

Gathered round the hearth

Is this scenario familiar? You order your dinner online, wait for the home delivery, then eat it while multi-screening in front of the television and checking Facebook, while other members of the household work late, snack or play computer games in different rooms. For philosopher of technology Albert Borgmann that script signals the moral as … Continue reading

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