The Art of Being

What is the meaning of Being? Does it mean to be present, or to be aware? Cathrine Zuckert tries to explain in her essay “The Politics of Derridean Deconstruction,” the delicate difference between philosophy and what we see as the particulars in the world, such as literature. Jaqcues Derrida tried to answer the puzzling question of what is called the “undecidables.” There is a certain gap between philosophy and literature; and in the case of the enlightenment, literature was a prominent mode for expression and thinking, that Derrida wanted to explore. When something is considered normal it has an intention and is present within the world. But what is it that gets us to what is normal? What is it that gets us to philosophy? What is the cause and what makes us develop and interpret things?
Derrida is not a fan of certain metaphysics in the likes of Heidegger and Neitchze. In fact, he makes a point to discourage the act of recalling and find a way to develop perceptions through the question of differences in the world and the nature of human beings. “Rather than attemot to re-call Being and all the oppressive political effects of metaphysics with it, Derrida concludes that we should avoid not merely the language, but the question of the meaning of Being altogether. He does so by arguing that everything is continually fractured and reconstructed by an emphatically non-ontological difference (pg. 350).” I believe that rather than focusing on what is present and what is known, Derrida wants to focus more on what is absent and what does not have an intention, I believe that the deconstruction for Derrida is the practice of finding out not what is possible, but what also is impossible, those that are called undecidables. Exploring only what is considered possible is not the pathway to developing a perception.
Derrida makes an argument against Neitzsche’s claim that, “no one controls the way he or she sees the world, much less the perspective of another (pg.350).” This common thought on the basis of metaphysics is the claim that Derrida is trying prove wrong. Believing that one does not have control over their own perceptions is a false argument on Derrida’s terms. “On the contrary, Derrida argues, all human beings constantly change the way they see the world without even realizing it. All receive a multitude of impressions from the external world which leave internal traces of which the human beings themselves are not aware. By deepening or writing over existing nerve “paths,” these internal traces nevertheless both determine and constantly change the categories into which the human being sorts the impressions he or she receives (pg. 351).” So here we, and Zuckert, clearly see the difference between Neitzsche’s metaphysics and the claim of Derrida. Metaphysics, I believe, makes the individual aware of certain instances in their life, they cannot control what they see, but they can control the perceptions they develop and are in more of a control of the developing perceptions. Derrida believes that each of these individuals have less control over what is perceived in their mind. They cannot simply determine what instances will go into what perceptions and so on, they are simply sorted in a way cannot be controlled, and therefore each human being has less control of the ever changing view of the world. I feel as though the presence of time can be applied to this argument. As we grow older, a perception that we might have had when we were in high school has turned into a completely different perception now. The addiction of new experiences can cause us to develop new insights into what has happened in the past. In this argument, no perception of instance is constant.
“Heidegger thought he was confronted with the possible end of man, because he was living at the end of history that had commenced with the dis-covery or e-vent of Being in Greece. But, Derrida suggests, if human existence is historical in the way Heidegger himself indicates, there is no reason to predict such an end. If human existence is essentially historical because it is essentially temporal, and time consists not of an unending sequence of discrete moments but each present moment is constituted only in relation to past and future, there is actually no such thing as the present. All that occurs and continually recurs is the conjunction (which is at the same time necessarily a disjunction) of past and future (pg. 352).” Derrida is claiming that the present does not exist and I believe that what he means by this claim is that the of all the instances that happen to us, we all perceive them according to what had happened in the past and what we will perceive in the future. The claim that human existence is essentially temporal says that it simply has a time line, and what happens in that timeline can only be constituted by the past instances or future instances, because they all have happened or are going to happen. Essentially in Derrida’s mind, things are never really happening to a person, in terms of their perceptions.
I believe that this is a point that can coincide with Derrida’s theory of deconstruction and the undecidables. “If the future is per se open and indeterminable, an end of history is as inconceivable as an unprecedented, totally inexplicable beginning ex nihilo on an utterly clean slate. If past and future exist only in con(dis)junction with one another, there is no future without a past. Dependant upon the future, the meaning of the past is also open and indeterminate. History has no necessary or predictable direction or end (pg. 352).” There is a balance here between what is possible and what is impossible. I believe that The instances that happen to us are possible but impossible at the same time. They both have a past presence and have a future cause. Time is on-going because the past cannot exists without the future and the future cannot exist without the past. The art of being consists of this delicate balance of the categorizing of instances. Deconstructing the meaning of being allows us to see how it is and get to a state of being.