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Speaking Being

Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, and a New Possibility of Being Human

Hyde, Bruce / Kopp, Drew


1. Edition September 2019
576 Pages, Softcover
Wiley & Sons Ltd

ISBN: 978-1-119-54990-1
John Wiley & Sons

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Speaking Being: Werner Erhard, Martin Heidegger, and a New Possibility of Being Human is an unprecedented study of the ideas and methods developed by the thinker Werner Erhard. In this book, those ideas and methods are revealed by presenting in full an innovative program he developed in the 1980s called The Forum--available in this book as a transcript of an actual course led by Erhard in San Francisco in December of 1989. Since its inception, Erhard's work has impacted the lives of millions of people throughout the world. Central to this study is a comparative analysis of Erhard's rhetorical project, The Forum, and the philosophical project of Martin Heidegger. Through this comparative analysis, the authors demonstrate how each thinker's work sometimes parallels and often illuminates the other.

The dialogue at work in The Forum functions to generate a language which speaks being. That is, The Forum is an instance of what the authors call ontological rhetoric: a technology of communicating what cannot be said in language. Nevertheless, what does get said allows those participating in the dialogue to discover previously unseen aspects of what it currently means to be human. As a primary outcome of such discovery, access to creating a new possibility of what it is to be human is made available.

The purpose of this book is to show how communication of the unspoken realm of language--speaking being--is actually accomplished in The Forum, and to demonstrate how Erhard did it in 1989. Through placing Erhard's language use next to Heidegger's thinking--presented in a series of "Sidebars" and "Intervals" alongside The Forum transcript--the authors have made two contributions. They have illuminated the work of two thinkers, who independently developed similar forms of ontological rhetoric while working from very different times and places. Hyde and Kopp have also for the first time made Erhard's extraordinary form of ontological rhetoric available for a wide range of audiences, from scholars at work within a variety of academic disciplines to anyone interested in exploring the possibility of being for human beings.

From the Afterword:

I regard Speaking Being as an enormously important contribution to understanding Heidegger and Erhard. The latter has received far too little serious academic attention, and this book begins to make up for that lack. Moreover, the book's analysis of Heidegger's thought is among the best that I have ever read. I commend this book to all readers without reservation.

Michael E. Zimmerman, Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado, Boulder

About the Authors ix

Introduction 1

Day One: Session One 7

Talking about Being 8

Dasein 12

Two Theses 14

Ontological Dialogue 16

Being-in-the-World: Being-in 20

Mood 24

Interval: Hints: Ontological Distinctions 32

Day One: Session Two 34

Philosophy as Rhetorical Evocation 35

Getting It and Losing It 44

Authenticity 54

Interval: Dasein: Meaning and Mineness 58

Day One: Session Three 60

Interval: Yankelovich Study Results 62

Day One: Session Four 68

Concern 73

Already Always Listening 75

Interval: Jargon 78

Day One: Session Five 80

End of Day One Interval: Reflexion: The Cartesian Deficiency 86

Day Two: Session One 89

Being-in-the-World: Being-With 92

Giving and Reflexion 103

The They-Self 107

Interval: Hermeneutic Phenomenology 116

Day Two: Session Two 120

Thinking 121

Heidegger's Pedagogy 127

Solicitude of a Forum Leader 132

Interval: The Forgetting of Being, Part One of Eight: Getting and Losing 136

Day Two: Session Three 138

Social Moods 156

Thrownness 159

Day Two: Session Four 166

End of Day Two Interval: The Forgetting of Being, Part Two of Eight: Questioning 168

Day Three: Session One 171

In-Order-To 172

Awakening Attunements 185

Interval: The Forgetting of Being, Part Three of Eight: Heidegger's Etymologies 196

Day Three: Session Two 198

Danger: Attunements and Moods 200

Interval: The Forgetting of Being, Part Four of Eight: The Pre-Socratics 208

Day Three: Session Three 212

Choice 217

The Violence of Meaning 226

The Same 237

God 259

Interval: The Forgetting of Being, Part Five of Eight: Physis 264

Day Three: Session Four 268

Waiting for the Leap 284

A Violent Way 292

End of Day Three Interval: The Forgetting of Being, Part Six of Eight: Saying Nothing 308

Day Four: Session One 311

Being-in-the-World: World 312

The Uncanny 319

The Call of Conscience 332

What is Said When Conscience Calls? 342

Nothing: Beyond Nihilism 358

Interval: The Forgetting of Being, Part Seven of Eight: Logos 372

Day Four: Session Two 376

The Three Levels of Truth 377

Primordial Metaphor: Clearing 397

The Drift 409

"Way of Being" and the "Nature of Being for Human Beings" 418

Interval: The Forgetting of Being, Part Eight of Eight: The Heart of the Matter 448

Day Four: Session Three 450

A Substance Ontology 472

Event Ontology 479

Technology 484

Techne 492

Enframing 499

The Oblivion of Oblivion 510

Transformation as Technology 519

End of Day Four Interval: Technology of Transformation 530

Afterword 532
by Michael E. Zimmerman

References 543

Index 547
Bruce Hyde (PhD, University of Southern California, 1990) was a Professor of Communication Studies at St. Cloud State University until his death on October 13th, 2015 (1941-2015). His primary interests as an educator were with the ontological dimensions of language and communication, and with dialogue as a non-polarized and non-polarizing form of public discourse.

Drew Kopp (PhD, University of Arizona, 2009) is an Associate Professor of Writing Arts at Rowan University. His research interests focus on the theory and history of rhetorical pedagogies, and he has published articles in journals in the field of rhetoric and writing studies, including Rhetoric Review (2013), and JAC: Rhetoric, Writing, Culture, Politics (2012). He also contributed a chapter to the edited collection Disrupting Pedagogies in the Knowledge Society (2011).

B. Hyde, Australian National University