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Lake with fisherman on small pier.


[A peculiarly human attribute is] that it is ‘illuminated’ [which] means that it is cleared in itself as being-in-the-world, not by another being, but in such a way that it is itself the clearing. Only for [such a being] do objectively present things become accessible in the light or concealed in darkness.

Martin Heidegger (1926)

Perhaps the most prominent concept in Heidegger’s philosophy is that of a clearing in which entities can be, a space or realm of illumination in whose light things can show or manifest themselves to people.

Theodore Schatzki (1992)


The analogy Line of sheep passing woods. What work do analogies do?

of a clearing or glade into which the light penetrates is fecund. Out of those dark shadows denizens of the forest come into the light, Shafts of light through clouds hitting the sea.
A page on light.

come into being. Heidegger uses this idea of a glade in a number of ways, some of these themes more accessible than others, but there is always an ambiguity between coming to understanding in general, and at the same time coming to see what it is to be human - for it is an essential aspect of being human that such ‘coming into the light’ is possible. The psychological side of the analogy is emergence: An image which should puzzle at first glance. The page on Emergence introduces the problem how do we get to know that which we do not know? we are able to come to know some of those inhabitants of the darkness. The glade is about transition from unknown An Arctic Fox on the horizon. More on this boundary between the known and the unknown. to known. We watch with deep curiosity, wondering if these entities need to don new personae to enter the light, or is what is not seen, the same as what is seen?

The Heidegger quote is from p.133 of Being and Time using the Joan Stamford translation published by The State University of New York Press in 2010. The Theodore Schatzki quote is the first sentence of the essay Early Heidegger on Being, The Clearing, and Realism which appeared in Heidegger: A Critical Reader Ed. Hubert Dreyfus & Harrison Hall, Blackwell, Oxford.

This glade is in the woods, now felled, on Gallowhill, beside Moffat in southern Scotland.

Above, hovering on blue introduces a link: click to go, move away to stay.


Saturday 11th December 2021

Murphy on duty to this site