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Heidegger Briefing




"The hydroelectric plant is set into the current of the Rhine... The Rhine itself appears to be something at our command.. The word expresses here something more, and something more essential, than mere "stock." The word "standing-reserve" assumes the rank of an inclusive rubric... Whatever stands by in the sense of standing-reserve no longer stands over against us as an object... The words "setting--upon," "ordering," "standing-reserve," obtrude and accumulate in a dry, monotonous, and therefore oppressive way — this fact has its basis in what is now coming to utterance.†Martin Heidegger described in 1949 the idea of a “Technological Mindsetâ€. This critique of the technik mindset gave way the modern day policy debate critique. Many current debaters cannot grasp the nuances of the Heidegger argument. This has lead to a hate of the Heidegger critique. It has been run so badly Bill Batterman, 3NR creater and Woodword Coach, has stated in his JudgeWiki, “I have engaged in meditation on your K, it reveals itself to me, and it still sucks. work harder.†To rectify this problem you must learn the kritik from the ground up. Stop being lazy and stupid. Learn it.

To begin with, you must understand Heidegger's idea of phenomenology. According to Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy “phenomenology†is described as, “the study of structures of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view.†The idea of phenomenology was created by German philosopher Husserl. Husserl was a professor at the University of Freiburg where Heidegger was a good friend and a student. Here had a revolutionary idea. Husserl thought that the being of things, the essence and what they are, is defined and found by the phenomenon in this world. These phenomenon are everything we sense. Our sights, feelings, smells. Everything that is observed by us is a phenomenon. Husserl stated that these phenomenon, these observations by the viewer, allow us to find the things true being. Yet, after the end of WWI Heidegger began to doubt Husserl's view that there was a true “Being†(A god in the sense of a absolute truth.) Because of this doubt, Heidegger began to redefine the view of phenomenology on the world. He described that there was no true “Being†to things, and that everyone's “Being†is based off people's subjective perception of phenomenon. He proposed that our perception changed the essence of people.


Now I shall explain my awesome paint drawing showing a visual representation of phenomenology. A is being shown as the sun. It is shining onto B which is our orange. This casts a shadow (F) onto the wall which is E. Then sitting in front of wall C is our little Heidegger (D). The shadow is our perceptions within the word. Heidegger is us. Walls C and E are the world. The object is any object in the world. Lastly, the sun is our senses allowing for perception. Now our sense, the sun, sense this the object, the orange. This produces our perception of the object, the shadow. This process of our perceptions take place ON and IN the world, the walls C and E. We sit in and on the world like lil' Heidegger and observe our perceptions with our mind. These perceptions make us see the being of the object, in this case an orange. It is our perceptions, the shadow, that allow this object to become an orange. If we saw the characteristics of a dog, we would believe the essence was a dog. But because we perceived this way it is this way. Yay for paint.

Now that we understand Heidegger's view on ontology, let us look at the kritik! Heidegger believed that the world today is seen in the “technological mindsetâ€. This mindset is when we begin to “order things aboutâ€. When a hydroelectric damn was put into the Rhine river, it was no longer seen as a river. It was now just a power source waiting for us to use it. This makes the river become a “Standing Reserve†waiting for human's to use it. It looses it's ontological status as an object because of it. It is no longer seen as an object or a river in any poetic or lived sense, but it's merely a resource for us to gather. Because humans began to become so attached to this mindset, they began to view everything in this light. Woods are now seen as waiting timber, mountains are seen as mineral deposits and even soldiers are seen as foot units and numbers to be calculated. Everyone begins to be seen as an object and we lose all of our relationships with other people. Zimmerman describes this in '94 as an “Ontological Damnation.†This card sucks. Don't read it. But what Zimmerman is meaning by this is that we'll reach a point where no one has an ontological relationship with anyone else. This makes it so we shall never again come back to a point where we will have ontology. Once we reach the point where everyone has this mindset, no one will be able to go back because they no longer see the value of people other than objectifying them, and we will, as the human species, get back to a point where we have a form of ontology. “Ontological Damnation... Hell on Earth... Masquerading in a material paradise.â€

In the context of a debate round, the kritik is simple. The Affirmative provides a plan which uses this technik mindset. As the negative you say this is bad. We should oppose this mindset so as we do not lose out ontological valuing of the Earth and People. It is the root cause of all their impacts and your impacts will out weight theirs (Go VtL).

I can not stress enough. You don't care about technology. It rules. It rocks. You love it. You want to have sex with it. You want to bring it to your house, make love to it and be there in the morning to cook it breakfast and drive it to work. You concede technology rocks, in the sort of way that you want to rock it all night long. You are kritiking the technological mindset, not technology. There is a large difference. The technological mindset is order things about and making things “standing reservesâ€. Technology is not that. You kritik technik not technology. I can't stress this enough.

One last thing I can't stress enough. Read the fucking literature. It will better your understanding so much. It will make everything make sense. It will make the terms become clear and every nuanced argument gold. Read the cards, read the literature.

Hopefully now that you understand the basics of the Heidegger kritik you will be able to understand the picture at the top. For more fun and help go to:



For questions: joncookdebate@gmail.com


One last thing, he was totally a Nazi.


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there is so much useful content and explanation that goes beyond corruptions and misunderstood concepts of heidegger in this



Why thank you. My coach wanted me to write one for novices and I decided to post it for all to read.

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yeah this is really close to one of the most accurate briefings on him i've seen but there are also points where i feel you're absolutely wrong about some things.


also quit plagiarizing that aint cool pimpin'

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yeah this is really close to one of the most accurate briefings on him i've seen but there are also points where i feel you're absolutely wrong about some things. also quit plagiarizing that aint cool pimpin'


What points? Because I'm pretty sure I'm dead on about it.


Also, I haven't plagiarizer at all.

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Is the description of Hiedigger's views on Being provided here accurate? I had no idea that Being was a subjective thing, and it makes some of Hiedigger's criticisms of Nietzsche make less sense to me.

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From what I have gathered, to Heidegger Being was not so much subjective, but dependent on subjective sense. He studied under the founder of modern phenomenology (Husserl) and objected with only the idea of an objective Being. He broke away from Husserl's Phenomenology and claimed that Being is changed and directed by phenomenon in the world, our senses. Thus, to Heidegger Being is not so much a subjective thing, as far as it's changed by how we perceive it through our senses. It may be an objective thing, but the way in which it is perceived in our world is based off individual perception.

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