“Love—a Kind of Thinking?”  An Infrapolitical Demand.

In his 1944 seminar on logos in Heraclitus Heidegger quotes one verse in Hölderlin: “Whosoever has thought what is deepest, loves what is most alive.”  He then says: “This makes it sound as though the love for what is most alive is a consequence of thinking, as though this love activates itself once thinking has been consummated.  Yet, the truth is otherwise: it is rather the case that thinking is itself the love, the love for what is ‘most alive,’ for that in which all that is alive has gathered itself in life” (Heraclitus 161). 

This speaks to the difference Heidegger discusses in other sections of the seminar: that between conventional thinking and essential thinking.  As it turns out, then, love and thinking are conjoined in essential thinking, but “not as an indistinct monotony, but rather as a conjoined simplicity whose unity as thinking and life is named but nevertheless remains unsaid” (161). 

My question, preliminary to concluding my own reading of the entire seminar:  is essential thinking then what pertains to episteme logiké, to the knowledge of the logos?  Or is essential thinking part of episteme ethiqué, the knowledge of dwelling, of the human sojourn? 

Given recent discussions on philosophy and politics, given philia tou sophou, as love of what is fateful, love of what-is-to-be-thought, love of what is most alive, indeed if philosophy today can still be considered essential thinking in those senses (most philosophy departments are innocent of all of it), the question is also a question about infrapolitics: is infrapolitics not the love of what is “most alive” in politics, namely, that which, in politics, belongs not to the technical, not to the will to will, not to will to power, but to something else whose nature today we may have forgotten about, given what goes under the name of politics everywhere, every time?  The demand concerning that excess from politics, and springing from it, is always in every case an infrapolitical demand. 

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