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Concern / Care

Sorge [concern, care] is a central term in Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time (German original 1927) and, like Heidegger’s other central terms, it is dened in contradistinction to the everyday use of language. Care, according to Heidegger, is the existential meaning of being as Dasein [being-in] (Heidegger, Being and Time, 1996, p. 37); care is the original being of Dasein. The being-in-the-world of Dasein is taking care, and it is taken in in its care for the world of which it takes care (ibid., p. 57). Vilém Flusser comments: “Heidegger used strange words.” (Kommunikologie weiter denken, 2009, p. 180; translated from the German) He adds: “I don’t see that as Heidegger did.” (ibid., p. 181; translated from the German) That is not surprising, since Flusser repeatedly distances himself from Heidegger, but without being able to ignore him. His attempts at distancing himself are shot through with admissions that make his fascination evident: “Naturally I have Heidegger completely ‘in my gut.’ But I can’t bear him.” (“Sprache, Technik, Kunst,” in: Spuren, no. 36, 1991, p. 59; translated from the German) Flusser’s engagement with Heidegger is most evident in his correspondence with Alex Bloch. There Flusser tries to provide as clear a summary of Being and Time as possible, and he describes reading it as stirring and harrowing. Heidegger’s terminology in particular fascinates him; Flusser calls its usage breathtaking (Briefe an Alex Bloch, 2000, p. 74).

In Flusser’s reading of Being and Time, concern or care, along with a number of other terms, is the basis of Heidegger’s epistemology, which Flusser also understands as ethics. Concern or care, according to Flusser, is the path of Dasein through the world or, conversely, the ow of the world through Dasein. Dasein cares for the world (ibid., p. 75). Resoluteness and fear are the two aspects of care, into which it can suddenly change depending on the mood. Here Heidegger’s care is fed into Flusser’s philosophy, for whom the idea of projecting (Entwerfen) and the project are central, as the care that turns into resoluteness, which stands against decay and Dasein to death (Kommunikologie weiter denken, p. 181). This “caring for” the term may speak to the connectivity of Heidegger’s thinking, but it also demonstrates the leaping nature of Flusser’s thinking, which also processes abysses and diametrically opposed systems.

Original article by Florian Hadler in Flusseriana

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concern_care.txt · Last modified: 2021/11/05 17:47 by