Heidegger's Tasks: The Many Ways to Being

Dissertation, University of California, Berkeley (2003)

The transition from Heidegger's metaphysics of fundamental ontology in Being and Time to the metaphysics of beings as a whole in "What is Metaphysics?" and beyond in the '30's is the theme of this essay. I document this transition from early to middle Heidegger , in addition to indicating the ways in which the grounds are laid for what comes after metaphysics in his later period . ;The innovative aspects of middle Heidegger are what he calls beings as a whole and Da-sein. In particular, the transition from Dasein to Da-sein is critical because, through it, Heidegger understands that the original Dasein is founded in a way he had not thought in Being and Time. Da-sein has been overlooked, for the most part in both in translations and in commentaries. It has been taken to be just another example of Heidegger's penchant to hyphenate words for emphasis: Dasein, accordingly, is taken to be nothing but another way to say being-there. On the contrary, I claim that Da-sein, already in Being and Time, is other than Dasein---in fact Da-sein is what Dasein is not---and that in his middle period, he explicitly says as much. If Dasein has no access to Dasein in early Heidegger, then how does human being come to experience its ground in Da-sein? ;What Heidegger discovers in his middle period is the inadequacy of Dasein's understanding, and he turns to moods as revealing Dasein and beings as a whole. In middle Heidegger the understanding has become ancillary to fundamental moods. The fundamental mood at first continues to be anxiety, but now that anxiety, once described by him in Being and Time as rare, turns out to be common. ;Why Heidegger had overlooked something as important as Dasein's grounding in Da-sein in Being and Time is also a major theme in this essay. I explain this oversight on the basis of his fundamental misunderstanding of nature in the book
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