Heidegger's Political Thinking

By James F. Ward | Go to book overview

Epilogue

To experience something means to attain it along the way, by going on a way. To undergo an experience with something means that this something, which we reach along the way in order to attain it, itself pertains to us, meets and makes its appeal to us, in that it transforms us into itself. (OWL 73-74)

HOW, FINALLY, is Heidegger's paideia to be understood? Beginning with Plato, the Western philosophical tradition was insufficiently attentive to the ambiguity inherent in ōn, which means that a fundamental "thoughtlessness" constitutes the "essence of metaphysics" (HCE 108). What the tradition has not grasped is that human beings are set between Being and Nonbeing, a location to which a "need" (Not) corresponds that "displaces [versetz] man in the inception of a grounding of essences" (G45 161). To the "discord" (Zweispalt) in Being there corresponds discord in man (G51 68). We comprehend Being as what claims human beings, to which we belong, and which is necessarily futural; this thought seems to me essential for understanding Heidegger's political thinking (2, 3, 12, 15). Beings are subject to the rule (Zwingnis) of Being; they have no force that surpasses the "constraint" (Zwang) of Being. Indeed, the constraint presences as Being, the "mostconstraining" (Verzwingendste). Being plays through us and has set us "there" where beings are (67). It is what opens domain of the Da, which is the condition for living in the differentiation of Being and beings. In this opening, Being liberates us from beings, making it thus possible for us to be our own selves as settled into Being. Indeed this is the essence of freedom; Being as the constraining/liberating (68). Our "sojourn" (Aufenthalt), our setting of "inescapability" (Ausweglosigkeit), in Being is the location in and from which the "way-to-be" (Wesenart),

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Heidegger's Political Thinking
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Abbreviations ix
  • Preface xvii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Retrievals and Settings-Apart 17
  • 2 - The Happening of Crisis 46
  • 3 - How It Stands with Being 82
  • 4 - Properly Human Work 113
  • 5 - The Teaching on Science 139
  • 6 - Politics At/Of the Inception: Plato and the Polis 169
  • 7 - Poetic Dwelling: Homeland 205
  • Epilogue 260
  • Notes 269
  • Bibliography 297
  • Index 311
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