The Early Heidegger's Philosophy of Life: Facticity, Being, and Language

The Early Heidegger's Philosophy of Life: Facticity, Being, and Language

The Early Heidegger's Philosophy of Life: Facticity, Being, and Language

The Early Heidegger's Philosophy of Life: Facticity, Being, and Language

Synopsis

In his early lecture courses, Martin Heidegger exhibited an abiding interest in human life. He believed that human life has philosophical import while it is actually being lived; language has philosophical import while it is being spoken. In this book, Scott Campbell traces the development of Heidegger's ideas about factical life through his interest in Greek thought and its concern with Being. He contends that Heidegger's existential concerns about human life and his ontological concerns about the meaning of Being crystallize in the notion of Dasein as the Being of factical human life.Emphasizing the positive aspects of everydayness, Campbell explores the contexts of meaning embedded within life; the intensity of average, everyday life; the temporal immediacy of life in early Christianity; the hermeneutic pursuit of life's self-alienation; factical spatiality; the temporalizingof history within life; the richness of the world; and the facticity of speaking in Plato and Aristotle. He shows how Heidegger presents a way of grasping human life as riddled with deception but also charged with meaning and open to revelation and insight.

Excerpt

Rather, we need to see that experiencing in the fullest sense of its authenti
cally factical context of enactment is to be seen in the historically existing
self. And this self is in one way or another the ultimate question of
philosophy.

Martin Heidegger,Pathways

From the beginning of his philosophical career until the end, Martin Heidegger followed one path. He was interested in the question of Being. Much has been said about the path Heidegger traveled. Being, for Heidegger, is the original event or process that lets all beings be. It is that original source that, though not itself a being or thing, enables everything that is to be what it is. Heidegger’s lifelong endeavor was to continue to probe this original source, the Being of beings. In the pages that follow, I engage Heidegger’s question about Being once again by looking at two major concepts from the philosopher’s early work, life and language. I believe that these concepts were critical to Heidegger’s development and understanding of the Beingquestion. Accordingly, this book is an attempt to demonstrate that the early Heidegger’s analyses of life and language played a pivotal role in his first attempts to work out the question of Being. It is furthermore an attempt to explain how these analyses subsequently open life and language to the meaning of Being. The basic argument that I present here is that the early Heidegger made the experience of Being pertinent to the life that human beings live and the language that they speak. In very general terms, then, this book is an explication of how the early Heidegger understood life and language, an investigation of how life and language figured into the Beingquestion, and an interpretation of what it means to live and to speak with, in, and through an experience of Being’s relevance to and bearing on human existence.

For Heidegger, life and language were philosophically relevant only insofar as they were experienced. When philosophy is construed as theoretical detachment from experience—a looking on at how people live and speak . . .

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