The Excess Reversed

Post #10 of my commentary on Heidegger’s anaylsis of Plato’s Theaetetus, written in the lead up to my exhibition: The Aviary

What has already been said about the soul’s capacity to perceive being – through the senses, and as the excess – is returned to, in the form of a contraposition, opposites opposed, spoken by Heidegger in terms of “on the one hand…on the other hand.” (164)

On the one hand in the immediate self-losing perception of what is hard, coloured, audible etc. through our bodily organs, the being of the hard and the coloured; hardness, colouredness are already understood, in a non-regarding and non-conceptual way. On the other hand what has come into view can be looked at, and illuminated in its structure, in terms of its being, what-being, being-opposed etc.

Rather than opposites these operations of the soul belong together. Being, what-being and also colouredness, hardness are always already perceived and in play when we perceive things as coloured, audible. Both the soul’s non-conceptual grasping of being through the senses (aisthesis) and its conceptual perceiving of the excess (dianoia) are held in its striving comportment towards these things, making them “have-able” as coloured and hard.

As a result of this the characterisation of being as the excess is rejected as inadequate, in favour of being as the pregiven, what must already be understood in order that something sensory can be perceived and then further illuminated, extended in its structure, i.e. as being-different, being-one etc. This explains Plato’s understanding of the soul as: “what holds up a region of sight within which everything sensorily perceivable is extended.” (166)

Next post: The Learning of Being          Previous post: The Excess Expanded

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