Heidegger meets Macaroni in New York State

• Which came first, the hole or the macaroni?

• And what would Heidegger have had to say about it?

These questions have been examined in some detail by professor Gregg Lambert of Syracuse University, New York state. As readers may know (via his personal website) “Professor Lambert is internationally renowned for his scholarly writings…” and in this capacity he provides an article for the scholarly journal SubStance, 2003; 32 (1)

“What Questions Fascinate Me?” “What do I Want to Know?”

Questions are raised – such as “How are you Today?” and, especially, “The Question of Macaroni”.

The Question of Macaroni: The belief that the question is a form of causality can be classified as an illusion, somewhat like the famous transcendental illusion concerning the macaroni: if macaroni is the pasta shell shaped around an empty center, then who first shaped the empty center?”

“If there is an essential illusion that conditions the appearance of the question, it may be because it can only address the nothingness that is always already at the center of both the being of the questioner and the being in question.”

“Which came first, the hole or the macaroni? We could also ask whether the question itself only refers to the hole in the real—that is, to the presence of a subject. Thus, “the question of the thing” (Das Ding) continues to interest me, but in a very different manner than taken up by Heidegger. Take, for example, the emptiness of the jug, in which the sky and the earth are united in the religious act of oblation (offering, sacrifice). Heidegger would never have raised the macaroni to the dignity of the Thing, and so it is apparent that Heidegger was only interested in certain things, and this skewed his understanding of things in general.“

“The sky and the earth do not come together in the middle of the macaroni, but then, this does not mean that the hole in the macaroni is purely accidental, like a secondary attribute, since its presence is what makes a macaroni a macaroni, which is to say that lacking this infamous hole, it would be a Swedish meatball.”


Macaroni (a.k.a Maccheroni) is not the only pasta-type to manifest topologically coherent single holes. Examples include (but are not limited to) :





Also see : Raccette which features multiple holes.

Improbable link-trail for further reading around holes : here