A Heideggerian review of *Talent*

Two questions that Cowen and Gross highlight strike me as deeply Heideggerian. “What tabs are open on your browser right now?” and “what is the equivalent of musical scales that you are practicing every day to get better at what you do?” Both are about surfacing a person’s care. Don’t tell me what you care about; rather, show me. Heidegger’s argument that truth is about “disclosure” and not just correctness is also evident in these questions.

So, in short, if Cowen and Gross are right about talent, and I think they are, up to a point—if hidden talent is underrated and under-appreciated owing to our biases—then it’s because the world is not sufficiently Heideggerian. We are too inauthentic, selecting for the wrong measures of success, promoting people who get good grades and the like, instead of celebrating those who are animated by an intensity of care. We celebrate those whose accomplishments reflect fear of death rather than “anxiety before the Nothing.” Perhaps the intensity of care metric is insufficient and unstable, even dangerous. But that is a second-order problem.

The sheer fact that Cowen and Gross have mainstreamed Heideggerian thought and operationalized it (and in a context so anathema to Heidegger the man) is worth applauding.

Here is more from Zohar Atkins.


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