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The Chattering MindA Conceptual History of Everyday Talk$
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Samuel McCormick

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780226677637

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2020

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226677804.001.0001

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Beginning More than Halfway There

Beginning More than Halfway There

(p.123) Four Beginning More than Halfway There
The Chattering Mind

Samuel McCormick

University of Chicago Press

Chapter 4 considers Heidegger’s refusal to publish at the start of his university career—a refusal which made his early efforts to secure a professorship nearly impossible. It was during this period of scholarly silence and professional strife, when his intellectual output was limited to a series of lecture courses and unfinished manuscripts, that Heidegger conceived of “idle talk” and several related terms, among them “babble,” “scribbling,” and “everyday discourse.” Developing these terms not only allowed Heidegger to critique the publish-or-perish prerogatives that stymied his early academic career but also provided him with several key terms in his early philosophy of communication. By remaining silent in the midst of learned babble, intellectual scribbling, and academic idle talk, Heidegger also discovered the concrete historical basis for what he would later theorize as an authentic mode of existence available to human Dasein. As chapter 4 shows, holding out and holding back, in varying states of resolute silence, began as principled responses to the everyday talk of Heidegger's peers but soon became philosophical procedures for remaining still and keeping quiet in the ruinous chop and garrulous flow of modern public life itself.

Keywords:   Martin Heidegger, academic culture, idle talk, scribbling, babble, ruinant factical life, Dasein, silence, resoluteness, Being and Time

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