Monday, March 22, 2010


Early this evening, I went to a lecture given by Martin Jay. I won't say much about the lecture here, except that it was called "Historicism and the Event," and was primarily a recounting of the views of a sequence of French philosophers, particularly but not exclusively in the wake of 1968, on the meaning of the notion of the event.

Heidegger came up as an important resource for Derrida and Badiou's thinking here. Wittgenstein was not mentioned during the lecture, but I have been reading him for other reasons. He uses the word that Jay highlighted as being particularly important for Heidegger, 'Ereignis.'

There is the striking formulation from 6.4311: "Der Tod ist kein Ereignis des Lebens."

More interesting, though, it seems to me, especially in the context of the lecture, is the longer 6.422 on ethics and consequences, the relevant bit of which is, "Zum Mindesten duerfen diese Folgen nicht Ereignisse sein."

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