Robert Tragesser RTragesser at
Fri Aug 28 17:03:46 EDT 1998

        In response to Souan and Mayberry ond Heidegger & FOM,  I'd like to
point out that,
        Indeed,  the publication (and translation into English) of
Heidegger's lecture courses have shown us an extrermely scrupulous thinker
and commentator,  say,  on Plato and Aristotle.  See for example
Heidegger's Basic Problems of Phenomenology for careful,  perfectly clear, 
studies of Plato,  Aristotle,  Aquinas,  Kant.
        I've recently pointed out on FOM that the major innovation of
Heidegger was to bring practical and theoretical understanding under one
roof.  This theme is very much evident in Jacob Klein and was surely
inspired by Heidegger and (the later) Husserl (Klein his quite explicit
about his debts to Husserl);  this concern has its analogue in the writings
of Dewey,  which many scholars have correlated with Heidegger.
        It is clear that (as Husserl himself made clear in the closing
pages of the Logical Investigations) that Husserl's phenomenology meant in
part to be getting at what is deep in Kant.   There remained the problem of
as it were synthesizing (deep core of) the first and second critiques of
Kant,  that is,  synthesizing practical understanding and theoretical
understanding.  (Synthesizing in the sense of seeing how the former emerges
from the latter,  or,  rather,  how the former and the latter are "always
already" essentially inter-dependent.)
        Admitting the importance of practical understanding and putting it
into right relation with theoretical understandinmg is absolutely THE
central problem of philosophy now.
Plato in the Philebus makes it clear that without theoretical
understanding,  no practical understanding,  and I'd argue (inspired by the
Parmenides) that it is precisely why "there is nothinmg more wonderful that
a human being" that there can be no theoretical understanding (at least for
the later Plato) without practical understanding.

The philosophers Martin Krieger and (to a lesser extent or rather with less
thoroughness) Ian Hacking have done much heal the modern philosophy of
science with its pathological obsession with the theoretical understanding
and ionstil a helthy respect for the primacy of the practical (getting the
practical and the theoretical into powerful mix is what jump-started modern

The mathematician philosopher Gian-Carlo Roata has been strikingly b
ringing H-H phenomenological reflections to bear on mathematical thought
and understanding.

robert tragesser


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