Erik Kuravsky

Attention plays central role in Heidegger’s middle-late thought where it characterizes thinking of Being and is thus interpreted in a peculiar ontological way irreducible neither to the ontic models of cognitive sciences nor to its transcendental role in classic phenomenology. In The Event Heidegger associates attention with «inceptual thinking,» «essential thinking,» and «Beyng-historical thinking.» It is clear from this and later works that Heidegger means attention in a special ontological sense as an attention to Beyng. However, nowhere in Heidegger can we find a sufficient explanation of what such attention means and how is it different from the regular attention to beings. In the article I attempt to fill the phenomenological gap in Heidegger’s thinking by using Mamardashvili’s phenomenology in general, and his reading of Proust in particular. As I show, Mamardashvili succeeds in explicating a peculiar kind of ontological attentiveness constituting the core of human transformation but not leaning on human subjective will. In the context of the need for such a transformation, our usual attention is shown to be only pseudo-volitional and incapable of attending to the meaning of what is. I explicate how one’s path towards trans-subjective historical freedom is rooted in a praxis of attentiveness. Finally, I integrate Mamardashvili’s and Heidegger’s accounts to show the possibility of a phenomenologically instructive reading of Heidegger’s idea of an attention to Beyng.

Attentiveness as an Ontological Practice in Mamardashvili and Heidegger
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