Marcus Steinweg: A note on power

It is normal for a Subject to go beyond normal relations. That is the essence of Kant’s formula of metaphysics as a “natural predisposition” (12) . One can also say: unnatural as natural or abnormal as normal. We move in the sphere of what is “human” but we are talking about a humanity that does not exclude the inhuman. On the contrary, it is open to the inconsistency not only of “humanisms” but of all ideas and concepts that aspire to win over the self of the human being as against what he supposes to be the outside (or inauthentic), be it his animality with all conceivable semantic connotations, be it his tendency to strain himself to the limit, bringing himself in touch with his (non-external) exterior. The Subject apparently exists only as a hyperbolic animal. Always and everywhere the individual will reach out beyond himself. (13)  He is not satisfied with what is possible. He wants the impossible and so creates new possibilities. He resists being fenced in by established concepts and realities. He overshoots his objectivity. Existential philosophers since Kierkegaard have insisted that what is real in a Subject defines a force that cannot be reduced to abstract concepts. Philosophy was never anything but the attempt to attach names to the nameless by using the tools of an experience compromised for the name. Provided, of course, that one is not able to “give a name immediately to an experience – or else it would be no experience at all!” (14)

(12) Immanuel Kant, Prolegomena zu einer jeden künftigen Metaphysik, die als Wissenschaft wird auftreten können, § 57, S. 353 (Orig.), Hamburg 1957, S. 119.
(13)  Hierzu hat Sloterdijk bemerkenswerte Untersuchungen vorgelegt: Peter Sloterdijk, Nicht gerettet. Versuche nach Heidegger, Frankfurt a. M. 2001, S. 255-274.
(14) Heiner Müller, Schriften, Werke 8, a.a.O., S. 257.

Complete text will be published soon at: Note on power

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