Heidegger and the problem of idealism

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 43 (4):403 – 411 (2000)
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Was Heidegger a 'realist' or an 'idealist'? The issue has been and continues to be hotly debated in Heidegger scholarship. Here it is argued that the much more desirable realistic interpretation of Heidegger can be sustained, provided his theory of moods is given its due. Moods, I argue, are not only 'equiprimordial' with Dasein's understanding of being, but are also irreducible to the latter. It is often held - correctly, as it seems to the author - that Heidegger's idealism is all but inevitable if Dasein's awareness of entities is grounded only in Dasein's understanding of being. But in Being and Time Heidegger speaks also of how what there is is 'disclosed moodwise'. The essay closely analyzes this specifically moody mode of disclosure, and shows both its autonomy vis-à-vis the understanding of being and its function of securing, for Dasein, an access to a truly independent reality.



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