Friday, March 16, 2012

Friday Quotations: The More Heidegger, the Merrier

"What is taking place in the extending and consolidating of the institutional character of the sciences?  Nothing less than the making secure of the precedence of mythology over whatever is (nature and history), which at any given time becomes objective in the research.  On the foundation of their character as ongoing activity, the sciences are creating for themselves the solidary and unity appropriate to them.  Therefore historiographical or archaeological research that is carried forward in an institutionalized way is essentially closer to research in physics that is similarly organized than it is to a discipline belonging to its own faculty in the humanistic sciences that still remains mired in mere erudition.  Hence, the decisive development of the modern character of science as ongoing activity also forms men of a different stamp.  The scholar disappears.  He is succeeded by the research man who is engaged in research projects.  These, rather than the cultivation of erudition, lend to his work its atmosphere of incisiveness. The research man no longer needs a library at home.  Moreover, he is constantly on the move.  He negotiates at meetings and collects information at congresses.  He contracts for commissions with publishers.  The latter now determine along with him which books must be written." --Martin Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology and other essays.

And then there's that time Heidegger was told that, yes, he DID have to go to the department meetings.  I mean, I  can understand his frustration.  All I want to do is read stuff and think, but digital humanities is all about the projects and studies these days.  On the other hand, I love the sound of the phrase "research man."  "Charles, have you found out anything about that nasty situation in the colonies?"  "Oh, don't be silly, Gertrude.  That's why we have a research man.  Get the coal man to put another shovel into the furnace, won't you, dear?".  And so forth.

Later Days.

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