The Meaning of Heidegger: A Critical Study of an Existentialist Phenomenology

The Meaning of Heidegger: A Critical Study of an Existentialist Phenomenology

The Meaning of Heidegger: A Critical Study of an Existentialist Phenomenology

The Meaning of Heidegger: A Critical Study of an Existentialist Phenomenology

Excerpt

The part of Sein und Zeit published in 1927 contained 427 pages of careful analysis of Dasein. Following the radical method of "the Heideggerian phenomenology," it is couched in a new philosophical language and expresses its discoveries in new categories. That even major implications of this monumental work are only now coming to light is not surprising. Heidegger himself, in the thirty-two years that have intervened, has come to see in a different light some of what is most original in the fundamental work.

The following text, written in 1949 as part of an Introduction to the difficult lecture of 1949, Was ist Metaphysik? , gives us some idea of the form this clarified basic conception of Sein und Zeit's aims has taken in Heidegger's mind.

The attempt to inquire back into what conceals itself [in the ὄν ἤ ὂν of traditional metaphysics], looked at from the point of view of metaphysics, is a seeking after the fundament of ontology. Therefore, this attempt is called in Sein und Zeit "Fundamental Ontology." Yet this title, as any title would be in this case, is misleading. Considered metaphysically , it would be correct, and that is the very reason it is misleading; for what is at stake is getting beyond metaphysics to a thinking that recalls the Truth of Being. As long as this thinking continues to call itself "Fundamental Ontology" it at one and the same time puts itself on the right road and leaves that road in the dark. For the title "Fundamental Ontology" suggests that the thinking that seeks to think the Truth of Being, and not, as all ontology, simply the truth of beings (Seienden), is nevertheless itself a kind of ontology. . . . [However] in trying to think the Truth of Being, and . . .

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