Since Jon has already done a great job addressing this chapter, my task here is only to provide a short list of issues that I think are worth our attention. I think I have just a couple of observations that I would like to make concerning the discussion so far:
1) Putting Issues in Context: Away from Kant.
I wonder if the issue of noumena that has been a “stumbling block” since Kant can be brought back here in order to show how Heidegger’s solution to this problem is really moving the agenda of anti-realism along. I found this particular part of Chapter 5 to be illuminating, especially since my knowledge of Heidegger is rather general. The passage in question is on page 193 – after citing Heidegger’s discussion of the matter, Braver concludes:
In other words, part of the way objects appear to us is as not dependent on appearing to us. That does not mean that they really are independent of their manifestation, just that they manifest themselves that way; paradoxically, they depend on Dasein to manifest themselves as independent of all manifestation.
Margins of my book contain a thick and excited inscription at the point of the chapter/book that reads “awe-some-ness” – therefore, I declare this passage to be of utter importance. If it is in fact a phenomenological insight of Heidegger that the issue is not whether we can perceive things as they are in themselves but whether the way that things appear to us/manifest themselves is what creates the illusion of realism, if we may call it that, then I wonder how that changes the game? I ask then if this is an issue Kant addresses in his Transcendental Dialectic that has not received much attention in our discussion of the Kantian Paradigm. Namely, isn’t the purpose of the Dialectic precisely to show that despite its own limitations, reason is “tempted” and often “sins” in extending its use beyond its own limitations thus producing nonsense? In other words, if the question of critical philosophy is the question of the rightful use of reason (quid juris), and the goal is to limit reason’s activity, then Hegel, in a sense, does not violate this principle, but reformulates the issues completely and so does Heidegger, i.e. does it make sense to talk of “Kantian paradigm,” if fairly quickly those who consider themselves to be followers of Kant completely refashion the philosophical issues at hand? What is left of so-called “Kantian paradigm” in Heidegger? If “Kantian paradigm” is the A5 Active Knower paradigm, then certainly it persists throughout Hegel and Heidegger, yet if both completely redefine both what it means to know and what it means to be active, how is it still “Kantian”?
It is in this sense, of course, that Braver argues that Heidegger moves away from Kant not only in terms of specific disagreements, but in terms of creating a new “first genuinely non-Kantian position”  – this new paradigm is mainly discussed in Chapter 6 on “late Heidegger” and it is essentially a large question of the book as such: are we still reading and commenting upon Kant’s insights or have we moved in a different direction (Heideggerian Paradigm)? Although Braver’s argument seems to be that we have since moved away, there’s plenty of evidence in the book that we still have not. In a sense that even “moving away from Kant” is still a reactive position, i.e. it is defined by Kant and his philosophical agenda, we are still “dealing with” Kant. On the other hand, calls for dismissing Kant and his problems, calls I initially took to be rather idiotic (“You don’t have to like Kant, but you can’t just throw him out”) are making more sense in that overcoming Kant might prove to be a long and laborious task so “why not just ignore him altogether and see what happens?” might be at least an interesting, even if historically irresponsible, approach.
2) The Thin Layer of Nothingness.
Heidegger’s discussion of self, as Braver presents it, is absolutely fascinating and I think most philosophical readers of Heidegger found it almost irresistible to read him existentially (as in “existentialism”) and Sartre misreading is by now a classic one and should probably qualify as a legitimate reading. In any case, I found the following passage to be quite thought-provoking:
In anxiety, my usual pressing forward into roles and goals loses its momentum; instrumental chains in turn fall slack, since the roles they depend on now lack meaning. Anticipating death can also rob my projects of meaning; why should I show up for work if I and all of my students will be dead and forgotten one day and no one will ever care if I showed up or not? Why should I do anything in the shadow of this thought? As in anxiety, I disengage from the world that partially defines me. And this is exactly that I learn: that the world only partially defines me; that a thin but decisive layer of “nothingness” seeps in between the world and myself, whereas before there had been only seamless unity. [218, my bold]
This thin but decisive layer of nothingness is not a simple distinction/difference between me and the world of objects, but something more fundamental and damning, after all, there are no distinctions/differences in nothingness, is there? (One of Berdyaev’s works, I forget how the title is translated into English, is called I and the World of Objects and it’s all about alienation, if I recall correctly – back then “world of objects” had a negative cold connotation of that which does not care for me and such.) The issue here seems to be not just of the gap between objectivity and subjectivity, but of a know of gap that, once having shown itself to us, is giving us nightmares. Is it fair to ask then if Kant’s initial proposition that there are noumena, there is a certain excess, a certain supplement to our perception of reality that is never given in perception, gave every subsequent reader not just a philosophical discomfort, but also a kind of existential anxiety? If there is some sort of thing-in-itself out there and I can know nothing of what it is like and what it does, then is it not quite natural to expect that I would be terrified of it? Does this layer of nothingness have anything to do with Heidegger’s “ontological difference”? Is this what Derrida on about with his “dangerous supplement”? We’ll have to wait and see until Chapter 8.
Another aspect of Braver’s discussion of Heidegger might become clearer if we think about the above-mentioned layer of nothingness, namely the distinction between theorerical and practical perspectives. If “theoretical perspective acts as a blinder, sheering off the richness of our normal experience and relegating these features to the dustbin of subjectivity,” then practical perspective is what allows us, in a sense, to forget that there’s a layer of nothingness and act as if we are indeed in seamless unity with whatever comes our way. Perhaps I am making too much out of a throwaway phrase, a poetic metaphor, but I thought it was a great detailed chapter full of enough suggestions to constitute in itself a whole another reading discussion.