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Caputo (MEHT:143-145) – Analogia Heidegger / Eckhart

quinta-feira 22 de setembro de 2022


The second preliminary consideration that I wish to discuss before taking up the analogy between Heidegger   and Eckhart   has to do with the very idea   of such an “analogy.” For we must clarify exactly what the term “analogy” means as it applies to the relationship between Heidegger and Eckhart. Heidegger himself provides the best clue to the nature of this analogy. In 1960, in one of his meetings with the “old Marburgians,” Heidegger recommended the following ‘’analogy” to those theologians who wished to make use of his thought in their theological work Being : thinking :: God   : the thinking conducted within faith. Heidegger is borrowing this analogy from the medieval tradition   which he knows so well  . We have already seen, above, his interest in the medieval doctrine of analogy (cf. FS [1], 197 if.). Cardinal Cajetan, who codified the Thomistic theory of analogy, refers to this analogy as the “analogy of proportionality” (analogia   proportionalitatis), which he distinguished from the analogy of proportion (analogia proportionis). The analogy of proportion, which Aristotle   called a pros hen   analogy, signifies a direct relation or proportion between the two terms. Milk, e.g., because it contains calcium, is a cause of good bone development, and so bears a direct, because directly causal, relation to bone development. One could, thus, by the analogy of proportion, call milk “bone food,” not because it is or is composed of a boney substance, but because it is the cause of good bones. The analogy of proportionality, on the other hand, is employed to relate things which are not immediately or directly related to one another but share only a certain similarity of proportions. This analogy is at work, e.g., in metaphors. If the poet calls the moon   the “candle of the eve” he does not mean that the moon is composed of wax, wick, and flame, or that it either is caused by or is the cause of such. Candles have no direct relation at all to planetary satellites. What he means is that the moon “is to” the dark night the way a candle “is to” a dark room. Even the most disparate entities half a dollar and half a century can be related by this analogy, for they need have nothing to do with one another intrinsically, so long as they have a similarity of relationships (a proportion of proportions, a relation of relations).

Now Heidegger is suggesting to the theologian that the relationships between Being and thought and between God and the thought [144] conducted within faith are comparable. By only a slight modification, we can adapt this suggestion to our own needs: Being : thought (Dasein  ) :: God : the soul  . This suggests that the relationship, the dialectic, the interchange, between God and the soul in Meister Eckhart is similar to the relationship between Being and Dasein in Heidegger. As God takes the initiative in Meister Eckhart, so Being takes the initiative in Heidegger. As the soul must stay open and receptive to God, so Dasein must stay open to Being. This in no way suggests that the terms of the relation Being and God, Dasein and the soul are directly related to one another, no more so than are the candle and the moon. It suggests a similarity of structures, not of content. It is not what is related but the how which is comparable. In each relation, one term “addresses” and the other “cor-responds”; one sends itself, and the other stays open for its coming. But what is related in each case is quite different: for in one case we have to do with the unio mystica, the purification and divinization of the soul; in the other with the epochal event of truth. Thus we are in no way committed by our study of this analogy to saying that for Heidegger Being is ‘’really” God, a disguised form of the divinity, and Dasein is “really” the soul. We simply claim that the relationships into which Being and God enter in Heidegger and Meister Eckhart are similar; each plays a similar role within a similar structure.

It will be important to the reader to bear this element of disanalogy in mind   as we pursue this study. For the proportionality in question is compatible with profoundly different “contents.” That is to say, it must all along be borne in mind that the Sache in Heidegger and in Eckhart differ greatly. When we say that this or that is the “same” in Heidegger and Eckhart, we mean to say only that the structure is the same. Let us give an example of this. We have seen in the first chapter that in both Eckhart and Heidegger we find a comparable structure of detachment (Abgeschiedenheit  ), of cutting off from beings (Abschied vom Seienden). But in Eckhart this means that the soul withdraws its affection from creatures in favor of the love of God. It means that the soul no longer takes creatures as if they are something of themselves but only in reference to their primal   being as ideas in the mind of God. But in Heidegger the cutting off (abscheiden) is the differentiating (unter-scheiden) between beings and Being. It is the thought of Being qua Being, without constricting it to any of its modes, to anything entitative (seiend). It is a matter of rising to an understanding of Being in all its purity from beings. Clearly we have to do here with two different things, with differing concerns (Sachen), but the relationships that each thinker sees within his own concern are interestingly akin. That is the advantage of “proportionality” over “proportion”; the former kind of analogy articulates a likeness which is compatible with the most basic kind of unlikeness.

Ver online : Martin Heidegger

[1GA1 Frühe Schriften. Frankfurt: Vittorio Klostermann, 1972.