History of the Human Sciences 15 (3):117-132 (2002)

Lilian Alweiss
Trinity College, Dublin
This article explores the extent to which Heidegger promises a novel understanding of the concept of time. Heidegger believes that the tradition of philosophy was mistaken in interpreting time as a moveable image of eternity. We are told that this definition of time is intelligible only if we have eternity as a point of departure to understand the meaning of time. Yet, Heidegger believes that we are barred from such a viewpoint. We can only understand the phenomenon of time from our mortal or finite vantage point. Contrary to the tradition of philosophy, Heidegger argues that time does not find its meaning in eternity, time finds its meaning in death. The article takes Heidegger's position to task. It argues that it is not evident why Heidegger's account of time should in any way be superior to the traditional conception of time. Drawing on the criticism raised by Lévinas and Blanchot, that death — like eternity — is never at our disposal to understand the phenomenon of time, it shows that although Heidegger is aware that death is never an event in our life, he nonetheless claims that it is the awareness of our finitude that informs our understanding of time. Yet if Heidegger does not see it as a problem that death is never at our disposal, then it becomes questionable whether Heidegger's initial critique launched against the tradition of philosophy still holds, because it is no longer evident why it matters that eternity, as a point of departure, is never at our disposal to understand the phenomenon of time
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0952695102015003928
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

PhilArchive copy

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 69,114
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

Kant's Transcendental Idealism.Henry E. Allison - 1988 - Yale University Press.
Time, Creation and the Continuum.Richard Sorabji - 1985 - Philosophy 60 (231):136-138.
The Non-Spatiality of Things in Themselves for Kant.Henry E. Allison - 1976 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 14 (3):313-321.

View all 9 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

The Eschatology of Being and the God of Time in Heidegger.Jean Greisch - 1996 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 4 (1):17 – 42.
Temporal Finitude and Finitude of Possibility: The Double Meaning of Death in Being and Time.Havi Carel - 2007 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 15 (4):541 – 556.
Four-Dimensional Time in Dzogchen and Heidegger.Zhihua Yao - 2007 - Philosophy East and West 57 (4):512-532.
On the Advantages and Disadvantages of Reading Heidegger Backwards: White's Time and Death.Iain Thomson - 2007 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (1):103 – 120.
The Time of the Animal.Brett Buchanan - 2007 - PhaenEx 2 (2):61-80.
The Augustinian Impact on the History of Time.Daniel Collins-Cavanaugh - 2001 - Proceedings of the American Catholic Philosophical Association 75:183-196.
Love, and Death: Kierkegaard and Heidegger on Authentic and Inauthentic Human Existence.Harrison Hall - 1984 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 27 (1-4):179 – 197.
Why Tugendhat's Critique of Heidegger's Concept of Truth Remains a Critical Problem.William H. Smith - 2007 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 50 (2):156 – 179.
Heidegger and the Concept of Time – the Turn[s] of a Radical Epoch[É].Louis Sandowsky - 2004 - Existentia: An International Journal of Philosophy (Fasc.3-4):213-230.


Added to PP index

Total views
37 ( #304,907 of 2,499,057 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #419,059 of 2,499,057 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes