Enigmatic origins: tracing the theme of historicity through Heidegger's works
1994 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
The preoccupation with the "historicity" of thought and existence is central to thehermeneutic-phenomenological branch of modern philosophy. Its foremostrepresentative is Martin Heidegger, who in his main work Sein und Zeit (1927)developed a theory of historicity, according to which human beings not only exist inhistory, but are themselves historical. In subsequent writings Heidegger argued thatnot only man, but also truth and being, must be understood "historically" in aparticular sense. The meaning and the impHcations of Heidegger's "historicization" ofphilosophy are here analyzed along two parallel tracks: as a theory of the conditions ofphilosophical understanding; second, as an incentive to new ways of respondingphilosophically to these conditions. The study focuses on the sense of belongingwhich Heidegger assigns to historicity, as a dialogical relation to an enigmatic originthat cannot be exhaustively articulated, but to which understanding must neverthelessrespond in repetition and critique. The idea of the "hermeneutic situation," and what itmeans to occupy such a situation, is shown to be central in this regard. Heidegger's"historicization" of the philosophical territory is inte reted as an exemplary attempt topreserve philosophy as a quest for "origins" in the explicit recognition of theinterminable historical mediation of thinking. His approach leads to a criticalquestioning of fundamental philosophical distinctions, such as the temporal and theeternal, the absolute and the relative, subject and object, and of truth as correspondence.Eventually he is led to question the ability of language to express thehistoricity of thought and of being, which can only be indicated by means of conceptssuch as "moment" (Augenblick) and "event" (Ereignis). In seven chapters the themeof historicity is explored from different angles, which together provide a guide toHeidegger's path from a philosophy of life to a thinking of being in the "otherbeginning." The study covers the full range of his writings, but it emphasizes thedevelopment from the earliest lectures, over Sein und Zeit, to the second major work,Beiträge zur Philosophie (1938, published posthumously in 1989).
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Almqvist & Wiksell International , 1994. , 294 p.
Stockholm studies in philosophy, ISSN 0491-0877 ; 15
Heidegger, historicity, phenomenology, hermeneutics, temporality, Augenblick, truth, Ereignis
Research subject Theoretical Philosophy
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-40008ISBN: 91-22-016-21-XOAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-40008DiVA: diva2:322301
1994-05-29, Stockholm, 10:00 (Swedish)