By Raymond Tallis (auth.)
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Extra info for A Conversation with Martin Heidegger
End of digression. We shall return to the question (referred to before I interrupted myself) of the relationship between personal experience and objective truth in due course. The nature of truth itself will (you will not be surprised to learn) occupy an important place later in our conversation – if only because you had many interesting things to say In My Study 33 about this, the queen of philosophical questions. Let me, however, talk about death – for the ﬁrst, but by no means the last, time in our conversation.
Moreover, my body casts shadows – is this not, indeed, the basis of In My Study 29 the ‘peasant’s clock’ of which we shall hear more presently? My body has to be transported to see things and do things; it has to be moved with more or less effort. The ‘effort of doing’ is more apparent when it is a sick body than when it is a well body, and when I am doing tasks badly than doing them well, when I am learning to do something than when I am sufﬁciently practised. But, even so, this effort, along with the associated mechanics, reveals some fundamental truths about my body, about me, and about the world in which I live and move and have my being.
First, my brain and my consciousness. Although I have fought obstinately against the belief held by so many (including, in his callow youth, Raymond Tallis) that the activity of the human brain explains the miracle of the conscious human mind, I have never managed to persuade myself that the brain has nothing to do with human consciousness. Nor have I wanted to. My awareness of this red waste-paper bin – ready-to-hand as in real life, or merely present-to-hand as in philosophical contemplation or scientiﬁc investigation – does depend in some sense upon my brain being positioned in (physical) relation to it and being in a certain physical state.