Educational Implications for Heidegger's Views On Poetry And Thinking

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Educational Implications for Heidegger's Views On Poetry And Thinking

ABSTRACT: I discuss some of the educational implications emerging from Heidegger's views on poetry, thinking, and language. Specifically, Heidegger's views on the neighborhood between poetry and thinking suggest that most accepted methods of teaching poetry are in error, because they ignore this neighboring relation. The importance of this relation is presented and clarified. I then discuss the implications of Heidegger's view for teaching poetry.

Heidegger's series of three lectures, later published as "The Nature of Language" has some very significant implications for education. (1) In this paper I focus on the second lecture. In opening his second lecture, Heidegger invites his listeners to think about the nature of language. Such thinking, he explains, has little to do with the quest for knowledge in the sciences. He cautions his listeners about the danger arising from the domination of method in scientific study and discourse. He cites Nietzsche who stated that what characterizes contemporary science is the victory of scientific method over science.

By contrast, thinking, including thinking about the nature of language, has to do with a quite unique region in which thought exists. It is not dominated by or based on a method. Thinking is not even governed by a specific theme. In today's science, Heidegger holds, even the theme of study is a part of the method. The field of Computer Sciences, with which Heidegger was not well versed, since it flourished -- exploded -- after his death, is a poignant example of a contemporary science whose theme is controlled by method. Heidegger's description of science has proved quite true in the four decades s...

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... 1997).

(5) Pablo Neruda, "For All to Know" in Pablo Neruda, Winter Garden, trans. William O'Daly (Port Townsend, Wash.: Copper Canyon Press, 1986) p.19.

(6) Martin Heidegger, "Letter on Humanism" in Basic Writings, ed. David Farrell Krell (New York: Harper & Row, 1977) p. 210.

(7) Pablo Neruda, Spain in the Heart: Hymn to the Glories of the People at War, trans. Richard Schaaf (Washington: Azul Editions, 1993). See Pablo Neruda, Memoirs (Middlesex, England: Penguin, 1978), pp. 125-126.

(8) Heidegger, "The Nature of Language," p. 93.

(9) Hayden Carruth, Collected Shorter Poems, 1946-1991 (Fort Worden, Wash: Copper Canyon Press, 1992). p. 343.

(10) Martin Heidegger, Aristotle's Metaphysics, Bk. IX Ch.1-3: On the Essence and Actuality of Force, trans. Walter Brogan and Peter Warnek (Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1995), p. 109.
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