Authors
Panos Theodorou
University of Crete
Abstract
Heidegger connected his name with the endeavor of renewing the question regarding Being (Seinsfrage). In BT (1927), he attempted to bring the issue of Being and everything concerning it back to the fore, by investigating the question of what the things themselves (die Sache selbst) are in its case. In this way, he managed to maintain his distance from the inherited and uninterpellated theories and speculations around "Being" (είναι). At the time, he continued to think that the precondition for arriving at the very things themselves was—more or less—the phenomenological method that Husserl introduced in his breakthrough phenomenological opus, the Logical Investigations (1900-01). On this basis, in his "What is Metaphysics?” (1929) (WM). Heidegger explicitly maintained that the truth with regard to the issue of Being could and should be mediated—no matter how paradoxical this may sound—through the question regarding Nothing (Nichts). Parmenides, to be sure, had warned that nothing (μηδέν) is not, for that which is the έόν, and that only with what is can understanding (νοείν) and speaking (λέγειν) be correlated. The possibility of arriving at truths depends on propositions that say “is” with regard to what is, and “is not" with regard to what is not. Heidegger, however, thought that the most important issue for philosophy as ontology (but even for humans as beings engaged in praxis) was Nothing (Nichts)—and, moreover. Nothing as Being! But how could someone conceive of and bring to language these obviously limit subject matters? Haven’t we seen that Logic, following Parmenides' instruction, has progressively burked all talk of Being, and barred all talk about Nothing?
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