Chapter

– <b>Speaking: Rhetorical Politics</b>

Stuart Elden

in Speaking Against Number

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print December 2005 | ISBN: 9780748619818
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652518 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748619818.003.0001
– Speaking: Rhetorical Politics

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One of the key issues that runs through this book is the understanding of Mitsein, of being-together. This is both an issue in relation to the being-together of humans in the world, generally, but more specifically in community and the mode of connection of the material world itself. While there are similar issues at play in both, the recurrent theme here is that which divides Heidegger's major work, Being and Time. This chapter shows how this work can be profitably understood as structured around the Aristotelian distinction between poiesis and praxis, between making and doing. In the Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle both differentiates these modes of activity, and the character of the intellectual reflection that informs them, namely tekhne and phronesis. Poiesis is concerned with things in the world, which do not share our mode of being, such as equipment, matter and nature; praxis with things that do share our mode of being, other humans. It is useful to read Being and Time as concerned with the tekhne of poiesis in the first part of Division I; and in the second part of that Division and Division II, with the phronesis of praxis. The chapter deals with the second issue, which although secondary in Being and Time, informs a wide range of Heidegger's early lecture courses. It therefore deals with speaking, as Heidegger's privileged example of how humans interconnect, both as beings-in-the-world and beings-in-the-polis.

Keywords: Heidegger; Being and Time; Aristotle; poiesis; praxis; Mitsein; community

Chapter.  22449 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Political Philosophy

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