Human Existence Before God

The ontology of Martin Heidegger and its relevance for Christian Philosophy and Theology

Doctoral Thesis / Dissertation, 2019

296 Pages, Grade: 1


Table des matières


O.1. Motivation, Narrative: Ein Denkenweg
O.2. Grundlegende Frage :Die Frage nach dem Sinn von Sein
O.3. Problemstellung and articulation


CHAP I: Die Ausarbeitung der Seinsfrage- Die Methode der Untersuchung
I.O. Introduction
I.1. Zu Leben und Werk Heideggers
I.2.The Fundamental Ontology of Dasein
I.3. From Metaphysics to Dasein
I.4. The Priority of Dasein
I.5. Ontic or ontology ?
I.6. The ontology of Dasein
I.7. Die Hermeneutische Methode der Untersuchung: Das Existenzielle Verständnis
I.8. Die phänomenologische Methode der Untersuchung
I.9. Die existentialische Methode der Untersuchung
I.10. The fundamental ontology of Dasein as preparatory to the general ontology
I.11. Interpretation and Understanding of Dasein

Chap II. The Analysis of Dasein
II.0. Introduction
II. 1. The Definition of Dasein
II.2. Dasein and the World (Weltlichkeit)
II.3. Dasein-Mitdasein und Fürsorge
II.4. Dasein with Objects (Dingen)
II.5. The “thrownness”, the there-of Dasein (Geworfenheit)
II.6. Der Angst und Das Worum
II.7. Geworfenheit- Authentizität- Faktizität -Möglichkeit
II.8. Geworfenheit- Alltäglichkeit- Öffentlichkeit- Zeitlichkeit
II.9. Geworfenheit- Möglichkeit- Seinkönnen-Endlichkeit
II.10. Die Endlichkeit des Daseins
II.11. Dasein und Zeitlichkeit
II.11.1. Der Tod als Das Ende des In-der-Welt-seins
II.11.2. Dasein als Sein Zum Tode
II.11.3. Die Zeitlichkeit
II.11.4. Zeitlichkeit des Daseins als Verständnishorizont des Seins
II.11.5. Die Geschichtlichkeit des Daseins als eine konkrete Ausarbeitung der Zeitlichkeit
II.11.6. Das Ergebnis : Die fundamentalontologische Frage nach dem Sinn von Sein überhaupt-Zeit selbst als Horizon des Seins
II.12. Max Scheler’s Reconstructive Critic of Heidegger’s Ontology of Dasein.
II.13. Structure of recapitulation

Chap. III. DASEIN and God The reconstructed Onto-theology of Martin Heidegger and the poetic God
III.0. Introduction
III.1. The Turn ( Die Kehre )
III.2. The Reconstructed Onto-theology of Martin Heidegger
III.3. Heidegger and Theology: Distances and Rapprochements
III.4. Heidegger and the question about God
III.5. From Ereignis to God
III.6. From the Ereignis to God (Das Heilig, die Gottheit, der Letzte Gott)
III.7. The later God or the first God?
III.8. Encounter-relation between Dasein and God
III.9. Dasein and God: Towards Negative Theology
III.10. Evaluation

Chap IV. The Further Theological Development of the Ontology of Heidegger J. B. Lotz, J. Maréchal, Karl Rahner, and Emerich Coreth
IV.O. Introduction
IV.1. A Critical Appropriation of Martin Heidegger by Christian theology
IV.2. John Baptist Lotz’s Critical Appropriation of Heidegger’s Ontology
IV.3. Joseph Maréchal and the transcendental Metaphysics
IV.3.1.Who is Marechal ? : Life and Philosophy
IV.3.2.His Contribution to Philosophy
IV.3.4.Human experience of the absolute truth
IV.3.5.Transcendental method as an orientation towards the Absolute being
IV.3.6.The transcendental reality
IV.3.7.Experience the absolute existence
IV.3.8.Transcendental experience as a mystical experience
IV.4. Karl Rahner’s Critical Appropriation of Heidegger’s Ontology
IV.4.1.Relationship between Heidegger and Rahner: Philosophical Influence
IV.4.2.Heidegger and Rahner: Metaphysics and Theology
IV.4.3. Martin Heidegger’s Transcendental Metaphysics and Karl Rahner’s Transcendental Theology
IV.4.4. Karl Rahner on Finitude and Revelation
IV.4.5. Human being before God
IV.4.6. Hearing and Revelation
IV.4.7. Revelation as a Grace
IV.4.8. Categorical and transcendental revelation
IV.4.9. Toward a Transcendental Theology
IV.4.10. Dasein and God
IV.4.11. Ontology-Anthropology-Theology
IV.4.12. Dasein related to God
IV.4.13. The Being of God
IV.4.14. Evaluation
IV. 5. Coreth and Heidegger: God als Seinshorizont
IV.5.1. Zu Leben und Werk Coreths
IV.5.2. The question of Being
IV.5.3. Seinshorizont
IV.5.4. Die Gottesfrage
IV.5.5. Gott und die Lichtung des Seins : Critical Reconstruction of Heidegger
IV.5.6. Evaluation
IV.6. The relevance of the ontology of Heidegger for Christian Philosophy and theology





As an important part of my PhD’s program in philosophy, this book is a publication of my thesis on "Existence and Ontology". It is based on my own interest in the fundamental ontology of Martin Heidegger and its further theological development. In fact, in the period of two years and two months (from January 2017 to April 2019) I have tried to develop the question and structure, to work intensively on the interpretation of the ontology of Martin Heidegger at the crossroads between German, English and French literatures - always with the goal of making a positive contribution to the contemporary understanding of Heidegger.

Nevertheless, if, in any scholarly work, at least the names of certain persons have to be mentioned, it is because the author acknowledges and must thank them for in the course of personal encounters, direct or indirect, the author has received from them, not only inspirations but also motivations to begin and continue the journey of discovering. If I might nevertheless name a few it is primarily my promoter Univ. Prof. Dr. Christian Kanzian, professor of philosophy at the faculty of theology, department of Christian philosophy at the University of Innsbruck in Austria. I’m indebted to him for his enthusiastic spirit, for the willingness and the commitment to direct this work, for his many suggestions, regular and intensive corrections. Due to our continual discussions and his technical comments, it has been possible to substantially improve and reorganize the structure, the content and the development of this dissertation that I m happy to publish. I wish to express my gratitude and warmest thanks for his dedications, criticism, encouragements, endless support, insightful comments as well as his joyful optimism and openness.

It all started in September 2016, when he welcomed me in his office and accepted to direct my dissertation. Since then, I was introduced to a new understanding and interpretation of Heidegger’s ontology in its relationship with the "new scholastic philosophy" in the Jesuit German tradition, namely Joseph Maréchal, John-Baptiste Lotz, Karl Rahner, Emerich Coreth and Otto Muck. In addition, he initiated me, with great patience and commitment to the demanding method of analytic philosophy. I will remember how his passion for accuracy, coherence and clarity as well as the art of argumentation have been for me a school.

Following his direction and thanks to his flexibility, I escaped the deviation of what Heidegger calls "Auf einem Holzweg zu sein". Under his supervision, I learned how to conceptualize a research project and to develop it. I learned that a dissertation is a pragmatic process of discovering, changing of perspectives, continual adaptations and adjustments. On a personal level, professor Kanzian inspired me by his hardworking and passionate attitude as philosopher and lecturer. I am thankful for his crucial remarks that shaped this dissertation.

Besides my advisor, I’m also indebted to em.Univ.Prof. Dr. Otto Muck, SJ and em. Univ. Prof. Dr. Edmund Runggaldier, SJ, for their willingness to answer open questions and to give me some suggestions. The former helped me to value the transcendental metaphysics, while the later motivated me to pay attention to the choice of the language we use to describe what is there. I wish to express my gratitude for their innumerable hours of conversations and scientific discussions. The two deserve my sincere thanks, not just because they have provided me with deep insights during the process of redaction, but also because our sharing helped me to experience and to test De consolatione philosophiae or the consolation of philosophy-to use the expression of Boethius, the Roman philosopher of the early 6th Century. Thanks are also due to the group of students and other professors of the faculty of philosophy and theology of the University of Innsbruck with whom I interacted and shared my quest, and who helped me to challenge my limits and advance in understanding.

I’m also indebted to the people who accepted to read, correct and improve the technical and grammatical aspects of this work, mainly em. Prof. Dr. Hans Goller, SJ, Fathers Christopher Mapunda, SJ and Gabriel Udjha Ujembi, SJ for the time and delicate attention they have consecrated to read carefully the draft of this dissertation.

Equally important to me was the help of my Provincial Father José Minaku, SJ, who oriented me to this journey and gave me confidence and strength to lead the research project to its destination. I also extend my gratitude to all my professors amd formators in D.R. Congo, in Nairobi and in Austria. Indeed, they exercised a strong influence on my thinking and my personality. Many thanks also to Fathers Markus Inama, SJ, the former rector of the Jesuit community of Innsbruck and Christian Marte, SJ, the current rector as well as my professor of German Frau Traude, and my close friend and companion Father Augustine Ekeno, SJ. Both supported me during this intellectual journey with motivation and prayers. I thank them for their great support and invaluable advice.

This dissertation which I publish would not have been possible without the financial support of the Jesuit province in Austria. More specifically, I would like to thank the Jesuit community in Innsbruck- Jesuitenkolleg for the continuous support and for welcoming me and providing me the great opportunity and structure as well as everything I needed to fulfil the mission I have received from the society of Jesus. I also extend my gratitude to members of Oxford Campion Hall and to the community of Sisters of Compagnie de Marie Notre Dame (Communauté de l’Estonnac Mobokoli-Kinshasa), who provided for me the structure for the finalisation of this work before its publication. Their silence and they attention have given me courage and motivation.

Last but not least, I would like to express my deepest gratitude to my parents Gilbert Mbiribindi and Biashara Melanie, as well as my brothers and sisters, without forgetting all people of good will that God put on my way, friends and relatives who prayed and supported me during the redaction and the correction of this work which was for me a journey of discovery, growth, and continual change of perspectives. I’m eternally grateful for their warm love, continued patience, and endless care.

Above all, I’m finally indebted to the Triune God for the grace of patience, inspiration and continual dedication in the search of the truth which makes us free and the freedom which makes us true.

To those who made a considerable contribution to the finalisation of this work, thank you very much and Vielen Dank ! I wish to address to myself, the wonderful words from an African Elegy, To An English Friend in Africa, written by a Nigerian poet Ben Okri, words which have been a light on my may, during the ups and downs of this journey :

Be grateful for freedom

To see other dreams,

All that you are experiencing now

Will become moods of future joys

So bless it all.

Learn the ways of silence and wisdom

Learn to act, learn a new speech

Learn to be what you are in the seed of your spirit

Be joyful in your silence

Be strong in your patience

Do not try to wrestle with the universe

But be sometimes like water or air

Sometimes like fire

Never forget to pray and be thankful,

For all the things good or bad on the rich road;

For everything is changeable.

And may a wonderful light

Always guide you on the unfolding road.

Innsbruck, 21. 2019, Sunday of Easter.


Considerations about “Being”on occasion of publication of Dieudonné Mbiribindi about Martin Heidegger and his critic of metaphysics and theology as having “forgotten Being”, I suggest here some reflexions which can be found when some one goes through this book.

According to Martin Heidegger occidental philosophy since the time of Aristotle has mistakenly identified beingness of beings with Being: If we speak of real beings, we use the terms “essence” to signify the kind of being and “existence” for the state of its occurrence. In the case of actual occurrence of a being “Being” is understood not only as a description of the actual existence of a being but as bringing this about, by Being, conferring actuality and activity.

Searching for the special impact of Being to being cannot be investigated only by observing beings or by a phenomenological analysis of essential relations between beings. It requires attention to the impact of Being on existence and activity of the actual being. This is the case in the actual searching person (Da-Sein) in its reflexion (ex-sistent) about the actual influence of Being on the impact of beings on Dasein, i.e. on the actual searching person. Such a hermeneutical phenomenology should lead to becoming aware of the trace of Being in the life of Dasein. Dasein as being is constituted by Being and operating in a way, that is aware of this, while intending other beings.

Now “beings” and “Being” are distinguished. This is described as ontological difference. The aim is to develop attention for Being, through which beings are beings, leading to a fundamental ontology. Heidegger has missed this in metaphysics up to his time. Attention to Being should help people on their way to understand their life, to form their actual personal worldview. I think this is shown by Heidegger’s existential phenomenology of Dasein ’s reaction to the experience of beings involved with the care for many things, but at the same time being uncertain about the lasting impact on the development of Dasein.

In this regard he does not find sufficient an “onto-theology”, which tries to proof the existence of a first cause (“quod omnes dicunt Deum”), as God, the creator– but missing to convey the personal flavour, hope and security that in religious behaviour is expected for the relation to someone who is honoured as God. In Heidegger’s later philosophy one may also find this purpose while he considers the “coming to be” (event, Ereignis) of reality, as a spatio-temporal (finite) revealing-concealing process.

He shows awareness of experiences and especially poetic allusions to something that could provide what is missing when there would be the hope for God in the unlimited horizon of Being, the “nothing of beings”. Here he does not see a possibility to name such a source for the beings without falling back to ontotheology.

It seems that the horizon of Being as transcendence regarding beings does not permit speaking of a first being, it would for him be against the ontological difference. This reminds me of trends of negative theology to avoid speaking of the source of beings in the same way as about these beings: it reminds me of Peter Knauer, taking the whole existence of experienced beings as related to its entirely different source, or of Karl Rahner in emphasizing God as absolute mystery, nevertheless communicating in history.

With this allusion to similarities I think it could be useful to indicate some such examples of topics reminding of Heidegger’s intentions, trying to develop them.

So, I want to indicate some suggestions for philosophy and theology today for understanding the challenge of the unlimited horizon of Being that is regarded as operative in the being that is “Dasein”, the concrete person looking for orientation in life.

Regarding the critic of ontotheology one might ask if scholastic philosophy was able to argue for the existence of God “by pure reason”, only in connection with a culture of a monotheistic religion, accepting the assumptions of ontotheology as valid?

It is remarkable that e.g. Thomas Aquin in his Summa theologica used reference to “five ways” arguing for God’s existence to solve in the following questions difficulties of understanding metaphorical religious language about God. Here, philosophy assists theology for its task to develop the understanding of religious faith.

In later centuries the dominant horizon of common publicity became changed, partly when experiencing other cultures and religions and especially by changing to meet reality more by new sciences and their practical applications and economical aspects. This brought about changes in the way one asks for explanations – not metaphysical but astronomical, mechanical, biological, political.

These aspects became dominant for the integration of people into a culture and thereby into the commonly used language. Thus, the horizon of matters of communication has not much room for personal convictions, regarded rather as a personal affair, not of reasonable concern for others.

Also students of theology may have been affected by this break between the philosophical concepts they learned in philosophy and the problems about which people speak day by day, suggesting that theology has lost relevant relations to the real life and its problems.

It would be expected that the unlimited horizon of Being, making possible reflexion, not only leads to pay personal attention to the special limited horizons of activity but especially to an evaluation of their contribution to the life of the searching person.

To this Kant contributed by transcendental reflection on the searching mind to find out how far the claims of spontaneous or scientific knowledge are justified and where their limits are. Thus, the content of direct knowledge is not to be substituted by the reflection, but transcendental reflection serves by this critic to reinterpret the expression of the direct knowledge.

Spontaneous apperception of beings we meet in our conscious dynamism toward an unlimited Being, excluding contradiction, leads spontaneous to opinions and to a personal worldview as habit how we think and decide. This integrative function of personal worldviews has found awareness in analytic philosophy (Frederik Ferré, Joseph M. Bochenski) as specialty for the application of general requirements of rationality. A personal worldview might be an opinion with some practical reliability. At the same time, it is a common philosophical task to be aware of it and its structures that encourage improvement by dialog using reasonable argumentation.

For this view, after the critical discussion of Kant’s approach in the 19th century, attention deserves the critical assessment of transcendental method by Joseph Maréchal (1878-1944) in the 20th century.

He sees spontaneous human cognition as the product of integrating the manifold contents of experience under the dynamism of the intellect. Thereby the empirical and rational elements become linked by the capacity of intellectual understanding, which also coordinates the theoretical and practical function of the process. In this process necessary distinctions to avoid contradictions lead to heuristic elements that affect the further structure of the process as conditions of its possibility.

I think we may compare the focus of this dynamism with the Being as horizon and the heuristic elements with operative structures of the process of integration. These elements may be shown, reflecting upon the process, in their operational function. Insofar as they are structures of the integrating intention of Being one may regard them as elements with ontological significance. It is important to realize that naming them becomes dependent from the used language with associations of the current culture. If philosophy succeeds in helping to become aware of the operative structures underlying such formulations, it can serve for a better understanding of a fruitful involvement in a dialogue.

This shows the relation to systematic philosophy, especially to metaphysics, as it is understood for instance by Johannes Lotz, Karl Rahner, Emerich Coreth and by Bernard Lonergan. I think that their view of making explicit the assumptions which are operative in the human mind can also be understood as an inquiry of the minimal conditions for rationality of personal worldviews to comply with their integrative function in view of the horizon of Being.

I consider these conditions to be of special relevance for an intercultural dialogue. However, any application to these issues should keep in mind that the explicit formulation of these conditions is dependent from special civilization of the partners. Therefore, in my opinion one aim in teaching philosophy could be to become aware of the operative structures of the human mind which are intercultural despite the different ways of making them explicit.

This could also help to understand theological texts, which are using philosophical terminology of former times and other cultures, to grasp their relevance for present day life, and for an inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue.

Having in mind my observation to the connection of medieval philosophy with the religious culture of its time, today we notice the differences of present culture and personal orientation of life in the light of openness to Being. I think of Coreth’s methodical exposition of Metaphysik and his critical interpretation of classical mediaeval views.

This is important for interpreting formulations of classical theology, especially where they use philosophical terms which have outdated associations. The interpretation considering the operational meaning helps to avoid misunderstandings of the intended formulations.

E.g. for Karl Rahner, “the transcendental method finds its deepest meaning in theology. We cannot avoid thinking, viz., doing philosophy, in theology. A theology, as intellectus fidei, must view its object through all the methods and within every horizon which it encounters in the intellectual activity of its time. The transcendental method can play an important role in such an approach to theology. This is true especially in "fundamental theology," which, to be contemporary, must not merely demonstrate the "objective" authenticity of the event of divine revelation, but must come to understand human being, much more precisely and reflectively than before, as the hearer of a possible revelation. This requires the reflection of the transcendental conditions of possibility of hearing a revelation.

The present book aims to bring Heidegger in contact with Christian Philosophy and Theology. May these notes contribute to this valuable project.

em. Univ. Prof Dr. Otto Muck1, SJ

Innsbruck, 7 May 2020


O.1. Motivation, Narrative: Ein Denkenweg

Martin Heidegger often speaks about path (Itinerarium) of thinking rather than biography and thought’s development. By using the term, path of thinking (der Denkenweg), Martin Heidegger states that every philosophical quest is a way of discovering, something that sets us on a path that is still obscure. In re-reading the path of my personal philosophical journey, as related to this study, I have no doubt that the writing of this thesis in philosophy should not be understood as a point of arrival, rather as something which is connected to an itinerancy of thinking and searching for truth and the language to express it, as a journey which must continue.

I grew up in a context where many people are interested and concerned about questions of peace, justice, reconciliation, struggle for every dimension of human rights and the search for the good conditions of life, that to study philosophy appears always as a waste of time. I still remember some students of philosophy in Kinshasa (Capital of Democratic Republic of Congo, DRC) who used to say that as Congolese we do not need philosophy, because it does not provide meals on the table. This statement speaks volume about the place that philosophy occupies in the context of DRC, which remains dominated by the struggle for a better life and the improvement of the conditions of life for many people.

Considering this context, and as I look back and examine the development of my intellectual life, I understand why my parents asked me when I was in secondary school, to study physics and mathematics. They wanted me to become an engineer and to study something in architecture, because in our context, those who have done such studies find good jobs easily and they are able to provide for themselves and their relatives good conditions of life as well as contribute to improve the development of the country by shaping its structural outlook. In addition, my parents, especially my father who supervised our intellectual life, believed strongly in the power of an intellectual education which is relevant and useful for the population and for the country.

At the beginning of my journey as a Jesuit, just after my secondary school, it was clear that, if I must respond to the call to become a priest, I must at the same time accept to embrace the study of philosophy as an important part of my intellectual journey. It is not without regret that my parents, friends and teachers-who knew very well my passion for experimental sciences- was informed that I was about to join the Society of Jesus and that this would imply, as a consequence, my abandoning the project of studying mathematics and physics.

The political and social challenges in Kinshasa where I studied my first and second cycle of philosophy was unstable and harsh. Many people were struggling for equity and the improvement of life’s conditions. Consequently, many philosophical discussions and debates were oriented towards advocating for the necessity of integral development and promoting means that enhance human dignity. In such a context, social and political philosophy impose themselves as special fields of research for many students, researchers and professors. In my case, I knew at the onset of my studies that I do not aim to become a central figure in the field of philosophy, and as a result, it was never my attention to study philosophy with the aim of bring my contributions to boost the development of philosophy in DRC, in Africa and in the world. So, when I began my studies, I studied philosophy just because it was a mission that I received from the society of Jesus.

But slowly, as I continued my journey in philosophy, I started to discover the strong influence it has upon those who study philosophy, precisely, on the ways of reasoning. When I came into contact with the philosophical thoughts and methods of some prominent philosophers like René Descartes, Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Immanuel Kant, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Rudolf Carnap, and Willard Van Orman Quine, I realized that gradually, my identity, my sense of self, my way of living, speaking and thinking, was progressively and strongly being influenced by their philosophical discourses. I understood that philosophy was not a disinterested science, but rather a way of life which can help a person to shape his judgments, so as to understand better and proffer critical responses concerning the conditions of his existence. Above all, the study of philosophy helps one to be aware of who he is and the person he is called to become. This discovery justified my commitment to the study of the writings of Kant and the field of existential philosophy in general. My research interest in this field focusses on the question of morality, phenomenology and metaphysics.

It was a great surprise for me when arrived in Innsbruck three years ago to study philosophy, to discover that philosophy is going through a process of change of focus. Today, it largely concentrates on the method of argumentation, clarification of language, the analysis of concept, the logical and semantic character of philosophical propositions as well as a deep concern on the necessary dialogue between philosophy and theology.

This development, which are products of the school of analytical philosophy and analytical theology, I have integrated in my way of thinking and writing. I must also note that it is always in conflict with the continental method which, before my going to Innsbruck, constituted my way of doing philosophy. Through the guidance that I received from Professor Christian Kanzian and based on my encounter with many other philosophers of the German and English-speaking world, I progressively adopted the analytical philosophy into my work and learnt to appreciate its value in the process of searching for the truth. More precisely, the discovery of the writings of Carnap and Quine have helped me to shape a new method of doing philosophy and to learn to communicate the content of my research by using a precise, simple and clear language.

Today, as I continue my intellectual journey and my discovering of a new method of doing philosophy, I am also alert to the dangers that the search of life’s wisdom, of the meaning of existence as well as the uncompromised search for truth, which are the aims of philosophy, should neither be sacrificed for the advantage of any methodology nor argumentative method. It is probably because of this imperative that one can see in this study an effort to integrate both the existential, phenomenological, theological, analytical and semantical approaches regarding the meaning of existence, more clearly a holistic paradigm of the meaning of existence which is beyond the two categories of continental and analytical demarcations, which, in final analysis, are two different forms of expressing the same truth. In the process of the redaction, this has always been my inner motivation: a holistic paradigm towards understanding the meaning of existence.

Thus, in this holistic paradigm, if one wants to understand the core motive of this work, one should consider the context where I was born, the school of philosophy which shaped my initial steps into this field of study and gave form to my thinking as well as the discovery of the analytical school of philosophy in Innsbruck. All these elements are interconnected in a sort of a web of beliefs and a network of thinking. All, that is, the context of my growth, the development of my philosophical interest, as well as the troubled and joyful journey towards the search of truth are subtexts and essential elements of this present research.

Thus, this work is a systematic discussion of the core concept of the “meaning of being-existence” in the works of Martin Heidegger connected to its existential and theological outlooks. Considering that ‘Being’ in the work of Heidegger is recognized as a key concept for the understanding of the other concepts such as the concepts of “existence”, “world”, “nothingness”, “time”, “history”, “truth”, “event”, “God”, and “language”, we begin by asking how this question of being is addressed by Dasein, understood as the individual human existence. We shall start from the evidence that for Martin Heidegger the question about the meaning of being, presupposes an ontological difference between Being (Sein) and beings (Seiende).

Heidegger observed that there is in the traditional metaphysics, the forgetfulness of this difference- Die Vergessenheit dieser Unterscheigung, but also die Vergessenheit der Seinsvergessenheit. Consequently, with his ontology, he created a path in answering the following questions: What does “to exist” actually mean? Or what does it mean for a being to be? These questions are the fundamental questions within Martin Heidegger’s onto-phenomenological work Sein und Zeit, where he, actually made a difference between what is there, and the being of what is there or the difference between the Being-Sein and the beings-Seiende.

Because Dasein is considered as the being among other beings which asks the question about the meaning of Being, our investigation presupposes a prior understanding of Dasein considered as the questioner and as the question. The discussion around the essential unity and connection between the diverse concepts that explicates Dasein, that is, ‘Being’, constitutes the first part of this work. The second part examines the further development of this question of the meaning of being from the perspective of Christian philosophy and theology, by neo-scholastic philosophers and theologians of the twentieth Century such as J. B. Lotz, K. Rahner and E. Coreth. We will ask ourselves whether we can find in the neo-German scholasticism, in the Jesuit tradition, more exactly in the thought of Karl Rahner, Joseph Marshal, Jean-Baptiste Lotz and Emerich Coreth, the same attention to the question of the Being of beings, but oriented towards the question of the last foundation, towards the question of God as the last foundation of beings.

The conclusion is an attempt to come out with a response to two questions about the meaning of existence from the perspective of the existential philosophy of Martin Heidegger and its theological outcomes.

O.2. Grundlegende Frage :Die Frage nach dem Sinn von Sein

Martin Heidegger, the son of simple parents in Meßkirch, was born on September 26, 1889. After he has studied philosophy and theology in Freiburg, he focused on the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl with a great interest on ancient Greek philosophy. It was not long before Heidegger celebrated his emancipation from his master, Husserl, by publishing his major work Sein und Zeit, which undisputedly offers an intensive understanding of the focus of his philosophical project, the question on the meaning of being, Die Frage nach dem Sinn von Sein. On the meaning of being, Heidegger in Sein und Zeit notes:

“Der Begriff »Sein« ist undefinierbar. Dies schloß man aus seiner höchsten Allgemeinheit. Und das mit Recht – wenn definitio fit per genus proximum et differentiam specificam. »Sein« kann in der Tat nicht als Seiendes begriffen werden; enti non additur aliqua natura: »Sein« kann nicht so zur Bestimmtheit kommen, daß ihm Seiendes zugesprochen wird. Das Sein ist definitorisch aus höheren Begriffen nicht abzuleiten und durch niedere nicht darzustellen. Aber folgt hieraus, daß »Sein« kein Problem mehr bieten kann? Mitnichten; gefolgert kann nur werden: »Sein« ist nicht so etwas wie Seiendes. Daher ist die in gewissen Grenzen berechtigte Bestimmungsart von Seiendem – die »Definition« der traditionellen Logik, die selbst ihre Fundamente in der antiken Ontologie hat – auf das Sein nicht anwendbar. Die Undefinierbarkeit des Seins dispensiert nicht von der Frage nach seinem Sinn, sondern fordert dazu gerade auf…Daß wir je schon in einem Seinsverständnis leben und der Sinn von Sein zugleich in Dunkel gehüllt ist, beweist die grundsätzliche Notwendigkeit, die Frage nach dem Sinn von »Sein« zu wiederholen.”2

In fact, Sein und Zeit,3 one of the central philosophical treatises of the 19st century, offers a radical analysis of the question of the meaning of being, in confrontation with the history of european metaphysics. Heidegger criticized the latter to have forgotten the question of Being- Seinsvergessenheit. Sein und Zeit is then presented as a deconstruction- Abbauen - of the traditional metaphysics which from Plato to Nietzsche abandoned previous notions of being. Sein und Zeit, is also an overcoming of rationalism. Rationalism is understood as the glorification of reason and the reaffirmation of the value of the thinking of being, against the “Widersacherin des Denkens” which makes the calculability of man to be glorified, specially, in science and technic4, and reinforces the Seinsvergessenheit as well as the value of thinking. Heidegger argues that the advancement of technology is related to regression of thinking and the advancement of what he calls a “genuine nihilism”.

With the reaffirmation of the value of thinking, Heidegger in Sein und Zeit, rejects the universal rule of instrumental reason that had been the aim of the Enlightenment and the philosophy of Kant5. According to Heidegger, with Sein und Zeit,6 the two ways, that is, the way of traditional metaphysics and the way of rationalism should be abandoned in order to privilege the fundamental ontology focused on the “question of the meaning of being”.

Thus, Sein und Zeit 7 asks this question of the meaning of being, in a new way, from the angle of the existential analysis of Dasein. This method is new because, it is the first time that such question is asked from the perspective of Dasein, since the beginning of modern thought. Because Dasein is the point of departure to the question of the meaning of being, its prior analysis imposes itself as fundamental. This imposition is not from the perspective of any power of rationality- Herrschaft der Vernunft - which pretends to predicate human behaviour.

In contrary, Sein und Zeit suggests an analysis of Dasein in its three dimensions, being-in-the-world, historical and temporal being (Faktizität, Geschichtlichkeit und Zeitlichkeit). It is an understanding of Dasein every day’s life as well as its basic constitution and moods, such as fear or fear of death. One of this basic constitution is what Heidegger calls the Geworfenheit, the “thrownness”, which does not just mean the coming into the world or the integration in family, culture, religion and social form, but also the abandonment, die Gelassenheit. Dasein is ontologically thrown into a world where he experiences angst and finitude particularly when he is confronted with the ultimate possibility and the end of all possibilities : death. Fear and forerunners to death situate Dasein in front of its temporality and finitude, Endlichkeit. Dasein is also confronted with the reality of authenticity, the life in the real, the clearing, Das Lichtung des Seins, or inauthenticity, or simply the negation of self and the thrownness in the ‘They’, in das man, that is, out of the clearing. It is indeed when Dasein as being-in-the-world8 , In-der-Welt-Sein, accepts and assumes its temporal constitution that it goes into the light of being. Thus, time is presented at the end of Sein und Zeit, as the horizon of the understanding of the meaning of being.

“Andeutungsweise wurde gezeigt: zum Dasein gehört als ontische Verfassung ein vorontologisches Sein. Dasein ist in der Weise, seiend so etwas wie Sein zu verstehen. Unter Festhaltung dieses Zusammenhangs soll gezeigt werden, daß das, von wo aus Dasein überhaupt so etwas wie Sein unausdrücklich versteht und auslegt, die Zeit ist. Diese muß als der Horizont alles Seins Verständnisses und jeder Seinsauslegung ans Licht gebracht und genuin begriffen werden. Um das einsichtig werden zu lassen, bedarf es einer ursprünglichen Explikation der Zeit als Horizont des Seinsverständnisses aus der Zeitlichkeit als Sein des seinverstehenden Daseins…Die fundamentale ontologische Aufgabe der Interpretation von Sein als solchem begreift daher in sich die Herausarbeitung der Temporalität des Seins. In der Exposition der Problematik der Temporalität ist allererst die konkrete Antwort auf die Frage nach dem Sinn des Seins gegeben9.”

One, however, needs to consider the philosophy of the later Heidegger to see the achievement of his investigation on the meaning of Being. In fact, it is in Die Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis), a collection of some lectures and unpublished works of Heidegger that one sees how Heidegger introduced the question about God in the perceptive of the search for the meaning of Being. But, in the philosophical project of Heidegger II, the question of the meaning of being from the perspective of the question about God implies a turn, Die Khere, and puts an accent on the essence of the truth of being.

The notion of the truth of being is introduced in the sense of Alethea in Greek αλήθεια, which means manifestation and withdrawing. The turn is explained by Heidegger in the works of art and poetry. These offer him the tools to understand the meaning of being as letting coming to light, letting being be manifested. In this sense, the unique role of Dasein is now a second role, that means, Dasein is no longer the path towards the question of being as it has been said in Sein und Zeit, but rather the one whose function is to just let the being come into light through Ereignis.

Ereignis as Event is the name for the togetherness of the impending truth of being and the existent being of being-there. It is the revealed face of being which is no longer transcendence or horizon but rather manifestation in the work of history, thinking, art and poetry. Ereignis as an event, is the question of the truth of being itself as the clearing of self-concealment, where the truth of being and being-there belong together.

In this perspective, Heidegger uses art and poetry as the tools to discuss the question of the meaning of being, related to the idea of God, the divine and the Last God. Using the ancient Greek understanding of poetry and art, Heidegger suggests, in the framework of this philosophical project, the meaning of being as a poetic discourse about God which since now has being interpreted and used by many philosophers and theologians of Christian tradition who attempted a further development of his existential philosophy in the perspective of a systematic theology or a negative theology. Among them, we have four some jesuit fathers, Neo-Scholastics : John Baptist Lotz, Joseph Maréchal, Karl Rahner, Emerich Coreth, and Otto Muck who attempted to reconstruct the existential philosophy of Martin Heidegger from the perspective of Christian philosophy.

Since, the philosophical project of Martin Heidegger about the meaning of being, is yet to exercise it influences. Today, it is admissible to speak about its influences on the philosophers of postmodernism such as Jacques Derrida, Michel Foucault, Jean-Francois Lyotard and Richard Rorty who explicitly referred to Heidegger in their different works.

But one of the questions which is still difficult to deal with and which is very disputable is the possibility to find a connection between the project of Being and Time and the analytical philosophy, or more exactly, the analytical ontology. When one considers not just the difference of their methods of approaching the question of existence but also the language used by Heidegger to speak about the meaning of being, one observes that it is different from the language used, for instance, by Carnap or Quine when they deal with the ontological question. The first used the existential analysis of Dasein, while the others used the logical analysis of language that one uses to speak about existence.

With this overview we have already demonstrated the movement that this study will follow. But, before we dive into our discussions, there is a need to give the structure and the articulation of our study.

O.3. Problemstellung and articulation

1. The first chapter deals with the fundamental ontology of Dasein10 as preparatory consideration to the question of the meaning of being . Our objective is to provide an integral understanding of the meaning of existence from Martin Heidegger´s ontology in Sein und Zeit (Heidegger I). At this point, we would like to respond to the question concerning the significant priority of Dasein for the understanding of the meaning of being.
2. The second chapter deals with the analysis of Dasein in Being and Time, that is its facticity, historicity and temporality . Our aim is to provide an analysis of Dasein in view of the question of the meaning of being. This chapter would like to respond to the question: why is the analysis of Dasein important in the process of the understanding of the meaning of being ?
3. The third chapter deals with the relationship between being and God in the process of the understanding of the meaning of existence . Our objective is to provide a systematic presentation of the question of the meaning of being as it relates to the question about God in the work of the second Heidegger in Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) in Gesamtausgabe. There is a general consensus that it is the second major work of Heidegger after Being and Time.11 In this chapter , we would like to respond to the question: why is the question about God relevant in the process of the understanding of the meaning of being ?
4. The fourth chapter deals with the theological interpretation of the existential philosophy of Martin Heidegger . Our third objective is to provide a systematic interpretation and a further development of the question of the meaning of being addressed by Heidegger from the perspective of the existential-anthropological theology of J.B. Lotz, K. Rahner, E. Coreth. This chapter would respond to the question: how the Heideggerian question about the meaning of being can be developed in the perspective of systematic theology and Christian philosophy ?

Thus, we shall be justified to conclude that it is possible to find an integral and holistic paradigm of existence which includes the existential and the theological approaches of the meaning of existence, considering the incontestable relationship between, Existence.


CHAP I: Die Ausarbeitung der Seinsfrage- Die Methode der Untersuchung

I.O. Introduction

In dialogue with the philosophical project of Being and Time 12, this section of our study starts with Heidegger’s criticisms of the traditional metaphysics as onto-theology (Seinsvergessenheit)13. Heidegger argues that traditional metaphysics from Plato to Nietzsche forgot the question of Being (die Interpretation der anbedländischen Metaphysik als Weg der Seinsvergessenheit von Plato bis Nietzsche)14. For this reason, his effort was to suggest a new fundamental ontology of Dasein which aimed to overcome the traditional metaphysical understanding of being as entity or as God and to renew and restore the question of being .

He proposes the analysis15 of the being of Dasein as a new way of approaching the question pertaining to the meaning of being in general (Die Seinsfrage auf dem Boden der Daseinsanalytik)16. He also suggests a reconstructed onto-theology which is open to the question of God (the rational and poetic God) but from the perspective of Dasein (individual human existence).

As a further development of Martin Heidegger’s (der früher Heidegger)17 fundamental ontology, this section of our study has three main chapters:

(1) The existential ontology of Heidegger: The analysis of Dasein and the question of the meaning of being in Sein und Zeit.
(2) The reconstructed onto-theology of Heidegger and the poetic God (Sein, Seiendes, Gott)18.
(3) The further development of the existential ontology of Heidegger in the perspective of a systematic theology: John Baptist Lotz, Karl Rahner and Emerich Coreth (die So genannte Gottesfrage bei Heidegger)19.

The first chapter of this section is enlightened by some presuppositions which are connected:

(1) If one grasps the notion of being, one can therefore be able to clarify its meaning and its sense (“Sinn des Seins”).
(2) But this is to be done beyond what Martin Heidegger calls the history of being (die Geschichte des Seins)20, which he considers to be nihilism and Seinsvergessenheit. Thus it should be overcome through deconstruction.21
(3) Since, Dasein is the only one being among other beings which is concerned with the question of the meaning of being, and which asks the question of being, then, Dasein is the medium to the question about the meaning and the sense of being.
(4) Thus, the question about the meaning and the sense of being, should start from the analysis and the comprehension of Dasein.
(5) It is a response to the fundamental question: What is that Dasein that asks the question of the meaning of being?

From the very beginning, we should note that by “meaning” Heidegger means what makes something intelligible (“aus dem her etwas als etwas verständlich wird”).22 Heidegger’s answer about the meaning of being is that by posing Dasein, the being for whom being is not a question of what, but an intelligible Dasein, a ‘who’ who questions and tries to comprehend. Heidegger calls Dasein 23 this being who makes the question of Being intelligible. For this reason, our point of departure is the analysis of Dasein 24, from the onto-phenomenological perspective .

Primarily, we shall present the method of the analysis of Dasein, as fundamentally connected to all projects of Martin Heidegger’s life and philosophy while grappling with the search to understand the being of the being of Dasein 25 .

Additionally, we shall attempt a synthetical presentation of the main articulations of this analysis of Dasein, as it appears in Heidegger’s central book Sein und Zeit. Then, we shall present the connection between the analysis of Dasein and the meaning of being by asking whether the analysis of Dasein responded to the primordial question about the meaning of being. Inspired by Max Scheler (Gesammelte Werke), the concluding evaluation will critically examine the analysis of Dasein, which Martin Heidegger suggests, relating to the central question of the meaning of Being which constitutes the essential project of Being and Time.

The second chapter of this section starts by emphasizing the limits of Sein und Zeit to give adequate responses to the question of the meaning of being. Our effort at this point is basically the possibility of bringing into play the question about God, as developed in the “Later Heidegger”, and how this notion completes the unfinished fundamental analysis of Dasein in its search for the meaning of Being.

One part of this chapter will deal with the question of the relationship between the philosophical project of the later Martin Heidegger and the question about the poetic God as a response to the fundamental question about the meaning of Being. Another part will deal with the ontological hermeneutics of the poetic God-in the Later Heidegger, from the analysis of his commentary of Hölderlin (Dichten und Denken)26 regarding the concept of God.

The third chapter of this section will focus on how contemporary philosophers and theologians, mainly John-Baptist Lotz, Karl Rahner and Emerich Coreth interpret the ontology of Martin Heidegger in the light of Christian philosophy.

To prolong this reflection, we shall suggest as conclusion some critical reflections about the implications of posing anthropological metaphysics at the foundation of theology or to think of a philosophy of religion which has a theological orientation.

Having explained our approach, let us begin with the presentation of the philosophical project of Martin Heidegger connected to his life and intellectual journey.

I.1. Zu Leben und Werk Heideggers

Martin Heidegger is generally considered to be among the most outstanding and original philosophers of the 20th century, not just because of the innovation of his thoughts, but mostly for having brought about a ‘revolution’ in philosophy, in the field of phenomenology, existential philosophy and ontology relating to the question of the meaning of being. When or where did he start his philosophical journey?

Indeed, any attempt to retrace Heidegger’s itinerary is a violation of his thoughts and convictions. In fact, he often likes to say that he does not agree with the idea of writing biographies. It is necessary, he notes, to write the path of thought (Denkweg)27 which is the human path toward the question of being (der Mensch ist Unterwegs-Sein)28. It is a question of discerning the path of his thought, his search of the meaning of being at the heart of the path of his life.

Heidegger once remarked in a lecture of May 1st 1924 on Aristotle - which Hans Georg Gadamer attended: ‘The personality of the philosopher is of interest only to this extent: he was born at such and such a time, he worked, and died. And all the rest is pure anecdote.”29 Faithful to his intention, we do not suggest here an integral biography of Heidegger. Instead, it suffices only to give a simple synopsis in the sense of an outline regarding the most important steps of his life which can help us to understand the movement of his thought and the development of his philosophy30.

Martin Heidegger was born in Meßkirch on Thursday September 26, 1889. Meßkirch31 is situated in the Grand Duchy of Baden, in the south-west of Germany. It is a very quiet village and its inhabitants were adherents to the Catholic faith32. Heidegger’s familial background molded his natural environment and contributed to the building of his Catholic roots and his philosophical interest. It is said that as a youngster, he read Husserl’s phenomenology and Brentano’s descriptive psychology.33 Later on, Martin Heidegger affrimed: “This reading helped and guided my first awkward attempts to penetrate philosophy.”34 In a more particular way, Franz Brentano created the first strong impact in the inspiration which was at the center of Martin Heidegger’s philosophy: the question of being. David Farrell Krell notes that “Brentano succeeded in demonstrating that the question of being captivated Aristotle as the single most important question.”35 This interest of Brentano became important for the young Heidegger who also shared the same philosophical project.

About his family, we can say that Martin Heidegger grew up in a pious Catholic family. His Father Friedrich Heidegger was a cooper and sacristan master at the Church of St. Martin of Meßkirch and married Johanna Kempf. Martin Heidegger had a brother named Fritz and a sister named Mary.36 On the 21st of March 1917, Heidegger married Thea Elfride Petri,37 a protestant woman who attended some of his lectures “with whom he had two sons (Jörg and Hermann) and from whom he never parted although we know of his well-known affair with the philosopher Hannah Arendt- his student at Marburg around 1920s.”38 In 1924, his father Friedrich Heidegger died after having felt pain at the “separation of his son with Catholicism.”39 His mother died three years later in 1927, the same year that Martin Heidegger published his book Sein und Zeit which was deposited on the deathbed of the mother.

After his secondary school, the young Heidegger entered the Jesuit novitiate that he left after two weeks because of health reasons. At that time, he entered in a priestly seminary. He studied theology for two years, but his desire was continually oriented toward a possible philosophical career (since 1911)40. Therefore, he left the seminary and started a philosophical program. The 26th of July 1913 in Freiburg, he defended his doctorate in philosophy with Summa cum laude under the title The Doctrine of Judgment in Psychologist-A Critical-Positive Contribution to Logicon 41 directed by the philosopher Heinrich Rickert, a neo-Kantian.

Wishing to take the chair of Catholic philosophy at the same university, Martin Heidegger completed on July 27th, 1915 a habilitation thesis around Duns Scotus’s Doctrine of Categories and Meaning.42 He became a Privatdozent at Freiburg43 and a professor at the University of Marburg. At the retirement of Husserl, Heidegger was chosen to occupy the chair of philosophy in 1928 in Freiburg. At that time (1923), he taught Aristotelian and scholastic philosophy with a sense of originality and intensive philosophical interpretations. That was the time when his philosophy started to take distance from the phenomenology of his master Edmund Husserl.

It is to be noted that Heidegger reached what Hugo Otto calls his “philosophical constellation”44, the most fruitful years of his teaching career, in holding a full professorship at Marburg from 1923-1928. This was the time of great attraction, a time of good philosophical impressions and influences. It is also the moment which corresponds to his definitive rupture with Catholicism and his account as well as the mutual influence with the great protestant theologian Rudolf Bultmann, a biblical scholar and systematic theologians as well as Paul Tillich, one of the pioneers of existential theology.

The period between 1923 and 1928, was also the time of the successful publication of Sein und Zeit (1927), after several attempts45 and motivations from other professors. He dedicated the book to Husserl although presenting another definition of phenomenology different from Husserl’s descriptive approach.

The year 1930 was a time of turn in the philosophical journey of Heidegger (die Kehre): from Being and Time, he turned to the Essence of Truth46 through an exegesis of literary texts “specially the Pre-Socratics,47 Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche and Hölderlin. This became his way of philosophizing.”48 This change in his philosophy appears in the works he wrote and published between 1940 and 1970, mainly Letter on Humanism (1947) and the Way to Language (1959).49

At the end of his life, the philosopher of the black forest, spent his last years in a mountain-hut at Todtnauberg in Schwarzwald. The atmosphere of silence and natural environment provided an ideal setting for his philosophizing. Although intellectually active until the very end, he concluded his philosophical activity with a seminar on Parmenides which he gave in Zähringen around 1973. He died on 26th May 1976 and was buried in the Churchyard in Meßkirch.50 The funeral oration given by Bernard Welte summed up his life in one sentence: “He was always a seeker, and always on the way.” After his death, Heidegger has to his credit numerous works,51 most of which were published during his lifetime.

This synopsis of his life has helped us to discover that, despite his human limits and political deviations52 which have come to overshadow his philosophical contributions, we have to recognize that Heidegger has created a very significant impact in the history of philosophy of the 20th century and has influenced many different philosophers from different philosophical areas, such as Maurice Merleau-Ponty and his phenomenology, Jean-Paul Sartre’s and his existentialism, Gadamer and Ricoeur’s hermeneutics, Hannah Arendt53 and Habermas’s political philosophy, Binswanger and Rollo May’s psychology, without forgetting theologian of both catholic and protestant tradition such as Karl Rahner, Balthazard, Paul Tillich and Bultmann, as well as the post-modernism theory developed by Derrida, Foucault and Loytard54.

Today, all his works and lectures have been edited and published under the enormous Gesamtausgabe which covers 57 volumes. In fact, in this collection, it is easy to identify the question of the meaning of existence-being at the center of his enquiry connected to the question of thinking55, Hölderlin’s poetry56, art and truth, and language and theology. In the following section, our attention will be focused on this central question from his work Sein und Zeit. Thus, it is appropriated to start our study about the question of the meaning of being as posed in Sein und Zeit by presenting its structure connecting to the analysis of Dasein.

I.2. The Fundamental Ontology of Dasein

From the general structure of the existential analysis of Dasein 57 in Being and Time, derives the following articulation and key ideas, given by Hildegard Feick in her Index zu Heidegger Sein un Zeit about the existential Dasein:

“In-Sein, Sein-bei, Weltlichkeit, In-der-wellt Sein, Enfternen, Aurichthen, Einraümen, Mitsein, Man, Verfallen, Erschlossenheit, Befindlickkeit, Rede, Vestehen, Entwurf, Möglichkeit, Wahrheit, Sinn, Sorge, Sein zum Tode, Vorlaufen, Entschlossenheit, Geschichtlichkeit, Zeitlichkeit”.58

By following this articulation, and after having given the method used by Heidegger in his analysis of Dasein, our aim is to demonstrate that for Heidegger, Dasein als Mensch ist die Lichtung des Seins 59, und er ist in der Wahrheit60, in sense that- Sein ist und Wahrheit gibt es nur, sofern und lange Dasein ist. Auch Seiendes ist nur dann entdeckt und nur solange erchlossen, als überhaupt Dasein ist.61

Indeed, the analysis of Dasein is an attempt to answer the two fundamental questions which preoccupied Heidegger in Sein und Zeit: Was is der Sinn des Seins? Was ist die Wahrheit des Seins ? (What is the meaning-sense of being? What is the truth of being?).

Therefore, the question of being is the aim of Sein und Zeit (Die Seinsfrage als das Zeil von Sein und Zeit)62 , but only through the mediation of the analysis of Dasein (Daseinsanalyse).63

Related to the question of the meaning of being (die Frage nach dem Sinn von Sein)64 which is the center of this study, the revolution inaugurated by Martin Heidegger can be perceived from two dimensions: On one hand, the effort to go beyond traditional metaphysics, and on the other hand, the necessity to redefine the phenomenological method.

We shall present here the revolution operated by Heidegger as an effort to reconstruct Metaphysics (departure from Aristotle), and as a way of reconstructing phenomenology (departure from Husserl). The two departures helped him to inaugurate a new method: fundamental ontology as onto-phenomenology of Dasein -existence. It is discussed in Sein und Zeit and articulated in three parts :

“Die Ausarbeitung der Seinsfrage gabelt sich so in zwei Aufgaben; ihnen entspricht die Gliederung der Abhandlung in zwei Teile: Erster Teil: Die Interpretation des Daseins auf die Zeitlichkeit und die Explikation der Zeit als des transzendentalen Horizontes der Frage nach dem Sein. Zweiter Teil65: Grundzüge einer phänomenologischen Destruktion der Geschichte der Ontologie am Leitfaden der Problematik der Temporalität. Der erste Teil zerfällt in drei Abschnitte: 1. Die vorbereitende Fundamentalanalyse des Daseins. 2. Dasein und Zeitlichkeit. 3. Zeit und Sein.”66

I.3. From Metaphysics to Dasein

The starting point of Heidegger’s thought can be grasped from a sentence in Aristotle’s Metaphysics: being is said in many ways. Brentano highlighted this sentence in his Dissertation of 1862 entitled Aristotle’s multiple significance of being67 . This book of Brentano, which Heidegger read in 1907, was decisive for the author of Sein und Zeit and for his philosophical orientation.

Let us recall that Aristotle distinguishes four meanings of being:

(1) Being by itself and by accident
(2) Being in power and in act
(3) Being as truth
(4) Being according to the schemes of categories.

But Heidegger departs clearly from the metaphysics of Aristotle and his theory of the categories of being68.

(i) For Aristotle, metaphysics has its meaning from the Greek roots, Ta Meta ta physika,69 which signifies hinter after the physics.
(ii) Thus, what is beyond the physics is hence metaphysics. It includes concepts as soul, freedom and God.
(iii) Metaphysics is therefore concerned about what is beyond empirical observation, beyond physis.
(iv) It is the search of principles which are at the foundation of every physical reality.
(v) It is thus the science of the first causes and first principles
(vi) It is then to be considered as Protae philosophia, from the Latin prima philosophia.
(vii) As first Philosophy, metaphysics is the science of to on hä on, Seienden als Seienden, being as being: “Es gibt eine Wissenshaft, die das Seiende als Seiendes betrachtet und alles, was ihm wesenhaft zukommt.”70
(viii) Thus, metaphysics represents the science of the first principle- von den obersten Prinzipien als Gründe (Ursachen-Protai Archai aitia).71
(ix) K. Müller speaks of science of den Günden des Seienden und den Prinzipien.72
(x) In this logic, metaphysics represents the science of the Divine: als Wissenshaft vom Für sich-Seienden-Unbeweglichen-Göttlichen.73
(xi) This constitutes metaphysics as onto-theology in the perspective of Aristotle which Heidegger criticizes.74
(xii) In the same line, Wilhelm Dilthey indicates that for Aristotle the first philosophy represents Sophia and the later philosophy Sapientia or metaphysical theology.75
(xiii) In fact, Sapientia represents the science of the Supreme Being-Theology which was for Aristotle metaphysics in a very strict sense, Wissenshaft vom Seienden als Seienden, the Being above all theology.
(xiv) Thomas Aquinas on the other side argues clearly in his Prooemium zum kommentar zur Metaphysi ck that the Being as being- das Seiendes als Seiendes of Aristotle in fact refers to “Günde aufsuchen,” God as the ultimate foundation Letzter Grund.
(xv) Martin Heidegger simply rejects this understanding of metaphysics related to God in his description of ontological difference76. He qualifies it to be Seinsvergessenheit.

Die genannte Frage ist heute in Vergessenheit gekommen, obzwar unsere Zeit sich als Fortschritt anrechnet, die »Metaphysik« wieder zu bejahen... Dabei ist die angerührte Frage doch keine beliebige. Sie hat das Forschen von Plato und Aristoteles in Atem gehalten, um freilich auch von da an zu verstummen – als thematische Frage wirklicher Untersuchung. Was die beiden gewonnen, hat sich in mannigfachen Verschiebungen und »Übermalungen« bis in die »Logik« Hegels durchgehalten. Und was ehemals in der höchsten Anstrengung des Denkens den Phänomenen abgerungen wurde, wenngleich bruchstückhaft und in ersten Anläufen, ist längst trivialisiert77.

Heidegger’s effort to criticize and overcome the traditional metaphysics as Seinsvergessenheit was not simply a departure from Aristotle. It was also to be considered as the overcoming of the history being in the traditional metaphysics or its confusion with Physis (preso-cratics), Cogito (Descartes), creative and perfect being (medieval philosophy), the idea of simple reason (Kant and Hegel) as well as his critic of metaphysics as onto-theology.

“The problem which Heidegger is here trying to revive, that is, the question of the meaning of Being, had been the central problem of the early Greek thinkers from Anaximander and Parmenides down to and including Plato and Aristotle; but after Aristotle not much attention was paid to the problem in a genuinely philosophical investigation. The achievement of elucidation reached until Aristotle greatly affected the discussion of the problem in the Middle Ages and through many changes the tradition of the problem was kept alive till Hegel’s “logic.” Subsequently not much was inquired into the problem of Being and since then it appears to have fallen into oblivion.”78

The reaction against such deviation motivated Heidegger to develop a new method of approaching the question of being going back to its first description and manifestation in the ancient Greek thinking,79 what he calls the first event of Being.

For him, the whole history of western thought has shown a confusion regarding the question about beings. In addition, the question about being seemed to have experienced some deviation. The observation of Heidegger is that, although the question about the meaning of being is a universal and general question, a question which requires considerable attention, it can be observed that it seems not to have been an object of great attention. Thus, Heidegger assigned to his metaphysics a double task: first, the deconstruction of the traditional metaphysics (die Destruktion),80 and second, the construction of his post-metaphysics. This requires that the question about the meaning of being is newly re-explained.

(xvi) For Heidegger , it is the task of ontology to explain being itself and to make the Being of entities stand out in full relief.81
(xvii) But this presupposes that one distinguishes ontologically between Being, beings, God and Dasein. This is what he calls the ontological difference, a concept explained in his lecture, Grundbegriffe or “concepts of ground”.

In fact, Heidegger devotes half of the course to what the ontological difference “is”, and the other half to two fragments from Anaximander. Later on this will be more explained in The Basic Problems of Phenomenology (GA 24), a lecture course presented at the University of Marburg during summer semester 1927, Heidegger looked at the philosophical history of ontology, and Heidegger described four theses about being in Western Philosophy, Kant’s thesis that being is not a real predicate, the difference between essentia and existentia in Scholastic Philosophy, the modern Cartesian/Kantian distinction between the being of subject (res cogitans) and object (res extensa) amd the logical thesis of being as the truth in assertion.

In the second part of the course, he then discusses the problem of the ontological difference via Aristotle’s notion of time as a series of events, and temporality and being. In the introduction to the course, he presents the ontological difference to describe ontology. He notes:

“We said that ontology is the science of being. But being is always the being of a being. Being is essentially different from a being, from beings. How is the distinction between being and beings to be grasped? How can its possibility be explained? If being is not itself a being, how then does it nevertheless belong to beings, since, after all, being and only beings are? What does it mean to say that being belongs to beings? The correct answer to this question is the basic presupposition needed to set about the problems of ontology regarded as the science of being. We must be able to bring out clearly the difference between being and beings in order to make something like being the theme of inquiry. This distinction is not arbitrary; rather, it is the one by which the theme of ontology and thus of philosophy itself is first attained. It is a distinction which is first and foremost constitutive for ontology. We call it the ontological difference-the differentiation between being and beings”82.

Based on this difference, Heidegger wants to think metaphysics from the Sein des Seienden. What does it mean?

(xviii) First, the questions about being, entails the search of the meaning of the being of what is there.
(xix) Second, to say ‘something’ is to consider it as an existence not only in abstract but also in concrete terms.
(xx) This is because metaphysics concerns all that exists83.
(xxi) If, all that exists is also what Heidegger calls Dasein, then, metaphysics must deal with the question about Dasein as a whole. It must question not only the being of being or the being as being, but the being of the concrete existence- Dasein.
(xxii) Thus, the questions of metaphysics becomes for Heidegger- as Leibniz asserts- Warum überhaupt etwas ist und nicht vielmehr Nichts ? Was gibt es überhaupt ?
(xxiii) These questions are discussed in his Introduction to Metaphysics.84 They direct the metaphysical investigations towards the question of the being of Dasein, the being of existence.
(xxiv) Thus, Dasein becomes the new point of departure and the new foundation of metaphysical science. Here, being is only being for a Dasein.

The conclusion is that, Heidegger was haunted by the question of being which according to him, remained forgotten in the history of Western metaphysics. Instead of considering ‘Being’ in the verbal sense (Sein), philosophers have been dealing with only the ‘entity’ (Seiendes), ‘being’ in the nominal sense or Vorhanden- the thing insofar as it is laid before us.85 Hence Heidegger wants to develop a new metaphysics as ‘fundamental ontology’ which would at last consider the question of being from the perspective of Dasein.

This fundamental ontology is aimed at clarifying the meaning of Being in general through an ontological analysis of Dasein (the human and individual being). This fundamental ontology starts with Dasein since it has the priority over other entities. The priority is called Desein’s ontological transcendence in the sense of its ability to ‘transcend’ the entities and to reach their Being.

I.4. The Priority of Dasein

We have seen that Heidegger criticizes the Aristotelian understanding of metaphysics as onto-theology. He considers Aristotle’s usage of ontology to be ambiguous.

(xxv) For Heidegger, ontology means both what is and the being of what is86.
(xxvi) If that is the case, then ontology should be a study of being as such.
(xxvii) However, this ontology can be a regional ontology87 when it is concerned with a particular being but not the being of the beings or the being in general. In this case, ontology is ontic.
(xxviii) However, when it is coupled with existence and when it is applied to Dasein, it becomes a fundamental ontology. In this case, it studies the being in general, from the perspective of Dasein.
(xxix) Still, in this reconstruction of ontology, Heidegger wants to suppress the distinction between ontology and ontic by affirming that the ontical distinction of Dasein lies in the fact that it is ontological.88
(xxx) He defends that Dasein, unlike the other entities, understands the being of beings and can enquire about the being.
(xxxi) This is what he calls the pre-ontological understanding of Dasein, who has a pre-conceptual understanding of the being.
(xxxii) The pre-ontological disposition of Dasein gives him two predispositions-advantages: (1) Dasein can understand the being because it engages with entities ontically, acquiring ontical knowledge of them. (2) Dasein can only do this because of its pre-ontological understanding of being89.
(xxxiii) But there is more. In the project of Being and Time, Heidegger went far. He does not only establish an ontology, but also establishes a fundamental ontology90.
(xxxiv) Fundamental ontology has a double function: (1) analysis of the being of Dasein, (2) a preparation of the fundamental question about the sense or the meaning of being.
(xxxv) The first element prepares the second element. Heidegger calls it fundamental comparing its function to the function of regional ontology, since it presupposes Dasein’s mode of being which allows him to have access to the entities.91
(xxxvi) This means that Dasein cannot approach the question of being without first clarifying the meaning of being.92

Therefore, since both Dasein and being are prior or fundamental to other ontologies, the ontology of the analytic of Dasein becomes a fundamental priority in the sense of preparatory93 to the question of being as such94. This new ontology, as fundamental ontology95 of Dasein, represents a new method of approaching the question of being, against the traditional ontology which reduces the being to the essence and the nature of things and postulates a hierarchy of entities (inanimate nature, plants, animals, man).

Heidegger rejects such stratification which establishes lower and higher entities. With his fundamental ontology, he asks the question of the ground of the entities, the foundation of entities.96 With same view in mind, he manages to move from beings (entities- Vorhanden) to the being, as he tries to explain it in his ontological difference. By projecting the being not in the beings but in the truth of being, the fundamental ontology of Heidegger becomes a focus on the foundation and the truth of being. The fundamental ontology of Dasein is the medium to the fundamental question about the truth and the essence of being. This fundamental ontology is different from the ontic investigation which, for Heidegger concerns the domain of science. In fact, in the intellectual journey of Martin Heidegger, there is a development from 1919 to 1929 , which moves from the ontical investigation to the ontological investigation.

I.5. Ontic or ontology?

In this sub-section, we would like to examine the difference that Heidegger establishes between the ontological investigation on the existence of the individual Dasein and the ontic investigation, which is appropriated to science, the priority of ontology97 over ontic. At the very beginning, we note that Martin Heidegger has a certain interest for scientific investigation. His intellectual journey began with his contact with the dissertation thesis of Franz Brentano on Aristotle. Then he came across the work of Husserl on logic (Logische Untersuchungen). In 1911, Martin Heidegger entered the faculty of natural sciences of the University of Fribourg to study Mathematics, physics and chemistry while still stuyding philosophy. The first work of Heidegger was concentrated on the question of logic and epistemology with regards to his first publication (Neuere Forschungen über Logik)98. In this first article, he discussed the question of logic as independent science as well as the question of the theory of judgment (distinguishes psychological judgment from logical judgment). In making this distinction, Heidegger was more concerned about the question of meaning which will constitute the further development of his philosophy (dissertation’s thesis on Duns Scot and the logic of meaning: Die Kategorien und Bedeutungslehre des Duns Scotus).

In Fribourg (27 July1915), Martin Heidegger gave an inaugural conference on The concept of time in the historical science where he demonstrated his interest about the development of science and modern physics and he discussed the problem of the theory of science (Wissenschaftlehre) which requires the establishment of hypothesis and the mathematical character of hypothesis.99

Therefore, if one considers the beginning of his philosophical journey (also at the end)100, one cannot deny that Heidegger was concerned about the question of relationship between ontology and science. His aim was to understand the genesis of science from the analysis of the experience of life as it is, in fact (faktische Leben). In addition, Heidegger promotes a philosophy of life (Lebensphilosophy), which allows philosophy and science to find a common ground.

But from 1919 to 1929, Heidegger started to develop a critical attitude toward science. It is a period of relativism, where his attention was turned toward the idea of philosophy and the problem of the vision of the world (Weltanschauung)101. He took his distance from the logicism of Husserl at the favour of the hermeneutic question (understanding the meaning of what is seen). Instead of widely advocated phenomenological intuition, he started to speak of the hermeneutical intuition102 and captured the character of a Lebenswelt 103: facticity as (Erlebnis). Thus, for Heidegger, phenomenology becomes hermeneutic and not descriptive like the method of objectivation, a more radical phenomenology which begins not above but below (Analysis of factual Dasein). This is what he calls in his course of 1923, the hermeneutic of facticity (as Hermeneutik der Faktizität and the manifestation of life).104

With this development (1929), he started to be concentrated on meta-philosophical questions, and he began to define philosophy as a proto-science or original science (Urwissenschaft) or the science of the origin of live (Ursprungswissenschaft vom Leben), different from the vision of the world (Weltanschauung). In this development, philosophy became progressively and gradually defined as the science of being (Wissenschaft vom Sein), as it can be seen in the fundamental problem of phenomenology and in his course on Introduction to philosophy (1928-1929). He abandoned the idea of philosophy as rigorous science and spoke about the incomparability (Unvergleichbarkeit) of philosophy and science. Therefore, he concludes that philosophy is neither the vision of the world nor a science. And this means that philosophy cannot be overcome by science (unüberwindliche Zweideutigkeit), since it is a pre-theoric science, that is, it comes before science itself.

If one wants to make a sort of inventory of Heidegger’s evolution from 1919 to 1929 about the idea of philosophy and science, one must therefore distinguish four main stages:

1) Philosophy is defined as science but in opposition to the Weltanschauung in the early 1920s. It is concerned about all of life, i.e . Umvwelt, Mitwelt und selbstwelt 105 in a sort of cohesion (Lebenszusammenhang) while science is a decomposition of life.
2) Philosophy is defined as science but in a critical sense as related to the question of being, during the period immediately preceding and following the publication of Sein und Zeit.
3) The theme of the “insurmountable ambiguity” (unüberwindliche Zweideutigkeit) of the essence of philosophy compared to science as it appears in the late 1920106.
4) In 1926107, Heidegger claimed that science needs philosophy to explain its concept. But he added that, still, philosophy is a critical science, and, in this sense, philosophy is very different from science (unterscheidende Wissenschaft), because it goes beyond beings as phenomena.
5) Philosophy is a transcendental science whose object is beyond the beings as factual objects. This is the reason why for Heidegger philosophy is to be defined as the science of being in general (general ontology).108
6) When the general ontology is concerned about the meaning and the sense of being, it becomes the fundamental ontology. And this fundamental ontology, as the ontology of Dasein, begins with the analysis of Dasein as preparatory to the question of the sense and the meaning of being in general.
7) Thus, the fundamental ontology of Dasein is preparatory to general ontology and this general ontology is related to the regional ontology.
8) This means that there is still a sort of dependence of sciences and philosophy in the sense of the dependence between regional ontology (science) and general ontology-fundamental ontology (analytic of Dasein).
9) There is a sort of unity between science and philosophy, as Heidegger said, and this is an affair of destiny (Sache des Geschicksals)109, since any science has a history (geschichtlich), given that any science is a possibility of existence of a Dasein and not a valid proposition or an autonomy science.

Thus, for Heidegger, in relationship to science, philosophy is neither a Weltanschauung110 , nor a science. It is rather an absolute knowledge of the entire being of Dasein, and thus the foundation of science (Grundgeschehen des Daseins)111. For this reason, the relationship between philosophy and science for Heidegger is not based on opposition, but rather on cooperation between science and ontology but with the apriori of ontology over science. The scientific facts should be viewed in the light of general ontology and ontology without science is a ground without being grounded. The following arguments are thus implied:

1) The question of being aims for Heidegger “at ascertaining the apriori conditions not only for the possibility of the sciences which examine beings as beings of such and such a type, and, in doing so, already operates with an understanding of Being, but also for the possibility of those ontologies themselves which are prior to the ontical sciences and which provide their foundation.112
2) This means that the priory of any ontology is the clarification of the question of the meaning of being. Heidegger conceives this clarification as the fundamental task of ontology.
3) But because, this ontology is fundamentally oriented toward the concrete existence (Dasein) and tries to study the being of Dasein (of what is there), it cannot be separated from the facticity of life, that is, from the concrete existence.
4) Since it begins with the analysis of Dasein, ontology addresses then the question of the being of Beings (Das Dasein des Seiendens).
5) In questioning the being of Dasein, ontology for Heidegger, searches the foundation of existence in general (general fundamental ontology). In Sein und Zeit, we observe that this foundation is identified to the metaphysics of Dasein.113

Therefore, for Heidegger, the fundamental ontology is the analysis of Dasein which is different from a scientific investigation and this requires that there is Dasein.

“Die Seinsfrage zielt daher auf eine apriorische Bedingung der Möglichkeit nicht nur der Wissenschaften, die Seiendes als so und so Seiendes durchforschen und sich dabei je schon in einem Seinsverständnis bewegen, sondern auf die Bedingung der Möglichkeit der vor den ontischen Wissenschaften liegenden und sie fundierenden Ontologien selbst. Alle Ontologie, mag sie über ein noch so reiches und festverklammertes Kategoriensystem verfügen, bleibt im Grunde blind und eine Verkehrung ihrer eigensten Absicht, wenn sie nicht zuvor den Sinn von Sein zureichend geklärt und diese Klärung als ihre Fundamentalaufgabe begriffen hat.”114


1) Thus, Martin Heidegger makes clear that Dasein is not like other concrete objects and existences which are at the hand, Vorhanden, that is to be used. It is not supposed to be categorized, and to be examined like other objects which have properties to be examined in the case of scientific investigation. Dasein is not like other beings, is not a what but a who,115 which cannot be observed (demonstrated) like other objects.
2) The only one way to analyse Dasein is to use the method of phenomenology and not the scientific method of observation and experimentation, since Dasein is not something which we can study with our scientific toolbox116.
3) When we consider the various ways of describing Dasein, in occurrence Dasein’s Being, Dasein being-in-the-world,117 being with118, Dasein being in time, we shall understand why Dasein is not just existence but is also human existence.
4) For Heidegger, the question about Dasein is the question not just about existence in general but about how the human being is related to the question of being.
5) Thus, Da-sein, it is the site, “Da”, for the disclosure of being, Sein.
6) And since Sein is something which is enigmatic, that means at the same time clear and obscure, visible and invisible, revealed and unrevealed, “that which is ontically closest and well known, is ontologically the farthest and not known at all119, then we understand that it cannot be approached from the perspective of experimental sciences.
7) Since Sein is at the same time uncovered and covered ( Offenheit, und Verborgenheit), it is beyond the domain of observation.

Thus, the relationship between ontology and science should take cognizance of this mysterious character of Sein. Contrary to the ontic sciences, which examines the factual existence, the existence of Sein cannot be analyse scientifically by Dasein, since it remains for Heidegger, both uncovered and covered at the same time, and its truth is always, Aletheia (ἀλήθεια) as unclosedness, unconcealedness and disclosure. The only one way to approach the question of Sein is to use the method of onto-phenomenology, which allows the Being to reveal itself. For this reason, Heidegger distances himself from ontic investigation and opts for the way of ontological investigation-through the medium of Dasein - human Dasein-Mensch, in order to understand the meaning of being.

“Wissenschaft überhaupt kann als das Ganze eines Begründungszusammenhanges wahrer Sätze bestimmt werden. Diese Definition ist weder vollständig, noch trifft sie die Wissenschaft in ihrem Sinn. Wissenschaften haben als Verhaltungen des Menschen die Seinsart dieses Seienden (Mensch). Dieses Seiende fassen wir terminologisch als Dasein. Wissenschaftliche Forschung ist nicht die einzige und nicht die nächste mögliche Seinsart dieses Seienden. Das Dasein selbst ist überdies vor anderem Seienden ausgezeichnet.”120

After this establishment of the criteria of demarcation between ontic and ontology in the project of Heidegger, let us now consider the function that he assigns to the fundamental ontology of Dasein.

I.6. The ontology of Dasein

For Heidegger, the fundamental ontology of Dasein does not just means the priority of Dasein but also the truth about the question of being. For this reason, the consideration of the historical Dasein, is just a means of access to the question of being in general, because Dasein is an original openness to the question of being.121


1 Otto Muck SJ, born on 26 December 1928 in Vienna, Austria, studied philosophy, mathematics, physics and theology in Vienna, Pullach and Innsbruck. In 1951, he joined the Society of Jesus and was ordained priest in 1958. From 1962, he taught Christian Philosophy at the Theological Faculty of the University of Innsbruck. As a guest lecturer, he also spent time in Mexico and the United States of America. From 1969 to 1970, he was Dean of the Faculty of Catholic Theology, and from 1975 to 1977 he was Rector of the University of Innsbruck. He took on important roles in the Society of Jesus as well: From 1966 to 1969 and 1970 to 1979 he was Rector of the International Theological College, Canisianum, and from 1969 to 1973 he was Rector of the Jesuit College in Innsbruck. In 1997, he retired from his work at the University of Innsbruck. Ever since, he has been dedicating his time to scientific activities and pastoral work.

2 M. Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, Tübingen,1967, 4. We shall be using several times this edition to quote the german version of Being and Time during our redaction.

3 To understand the genesis of Being and Time, one can consult Stephen Mulhall and Routledge, Philosophy Guidebook To Heidegger and Being and Time, London, 1996. The authors note that, Heidegger is one of the most controversial thinkers of the twentieth century. His writings are notoriously difficult; they both require and reward careful readings. Being and Time, his first major publication, remains to this day his most influential work. In addition, the authors present Heidegger’s life and the background of Being and Time, the ideas and text of Being and Time, Heidegger’s continuing importance to philosophy and his contribution to the intellectual life of our century.

4 On the critics that Heidegger addressed to technic, one can consulr, Heidegger and technic. The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays, translated by William Lovitt, NewYork, Harper & Row, 1977. This essay contains: The Question Concerning Technology (GA 7), The Turning (GA 79), The Word of Nietzsche: ‘God Is Dead’ (GA 5), The Age of the World Picture (GA 5), Science and Reflection (GA 7). The question concerning technology is one of Heidegger’s most popular, showing up in many humanities courses about technology. That is generally a good thing because the essay starts with Aristotle’s theory of forms, which will likely be most students first introduction to his metaphysics. Heidegger then explores the different meanings of the Greek techne and its evolution to the modern term technology, and how the changes reflect, the thinking of man has changed since Aristotle’s Athens. He presents the advancement of technology related to regression of thinking and the advancement of what he calls a genuine nihilism. Cfr, p.112.

5 Heidegger interpreted the Kantian Critic of pure raison in the perspective of ontology. See, Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics (GA 3), translated by James S. Churchill, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1962.

6 Let us note that, Sein und Zeit, Heidegger’s masterpiece, was dedicated to a friend who even took the time to read the entire manuscript before publication: Edmund Husserl. The latter will deal rustically with the question of Being, in the horizon of time. It was already as a professor that Heidegger wrote Sein und Zeit before being elected rector of the University of Friborg in 1933.Heidegger begins the analysis of Dasein, by quoting a passage from Plato’s Sophist on the multiple meaning of the term “being.” Then he questions the question of the meaning of being. As today, we do not have an answer to this question, so it is necessary to “pose in completely new terms the question of being”. In Sein und Zeit he affirms: “the concrete elaboration of the question of the meaning of” being “is what the treaty which follows is aimed at”. He demonstrates that, the forgetfulness of being today has its antecedents. Where the Greeks lay the foundations for the interpretation of being, it is also there that the question of the meaning of being is declared superfluous: from being it is said that it is the concept the More general, but also that it is indefinable. On the other hand, being is considered obvious and self-evident, whereas for Heidegger, being remains enigmatic.

7 A very good introduction to the understanding of the key questions raised by Heidegger in his Being and time, is given by William Large in his Introduction to Being and Time. He starts by first placing the book in the context of Husserl’s phenomenology, mostly through the History of the Concept of Time. Then Being and Time is explained by examining five major themes. In his introduction the author notes that this volume is different from the other guides to B&T because it is oriented by Heidegger’s reception in France, but the content is mainly about explaining B&T itself, with scattered references to Blanchot, Derrida, and Foucault; the most referenced interpreter is Dreyfus. The Study includes a glossary and a section on further reading that summarizes lectures and essays by Heidegger, and the most popular books in the secondary literature.

8 We shall see, the expression, In-der-Welt-Sein, it must be emphasized here that the In does not indicate a passive inherence, immanence-in the sense that I will be in the world as the baby is in the sell of his mother-but a movement of presence has something. I am in the world, being exposed, thrown. The term in Being and Time names Dasein itself as existence. We shall note that the world is not the totality of what is but already a relationship of transcendence.

9 M. Heidegger, SZ, 1967, 17, 19.

10 The word Dasein will be several times used in this redaction.The meaning of this word, which appeared in the 17th century, is a reality, existence. Kant thus uses it when he speaks of the proofs of God’s existence, or when he writes that existence is absolutely not a real predicate, but only expresses the position of a thing, or certain determinations in it. See here The Critic of pure reason, p.429. Existence, like Dasein for him, does not determine the essence of a thing, what it is, but merely poses it in itself as being. Dasein does not take up the old metaphysical concept of existentia. But, for Heidegger, indeed, Dasein is not an existent, or one being among others, it is the only one that exists to exist in the proper sense of the term, it exists. The essence of Dasein is what is and what is nothing but its existence. In a letter to Jean Beaufret in 1945, Heidegger explains that Dasein is a key to his thought, but often gives rise to serious problems of interpretation. For him Dasein does not mean here I am, but rather to be here to be there. And the there is precisely for him, Aletheia, as Unverborgenheit, or revelation, openness.

11 In fact, is agreed that Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) the contributions to philosophy (of the event) may justifiably be called the second major work of Heidegger after Being and Time. For, after the fundamental ontological elaboration of the question of Being in Being and Time, they contain the first elaboration of the historical way of the same question. In other words, it is a historical developpement of the question of meaning of being in the work of Martin Heidegger. The main thesis explains that Being-historical thinking unfolds the essence of being no longer in the transcendence of beings on its truth of being (horizon), but in the execution of the occurred design from the eventual throw-off of the truth of being. Beiträge zur Philosophie includes the ideas developed in the Letter on humanism as well as the Essence of the truth and the question about God. It inaugurates a”turn” not just in the thinking of Heidegger, but first the “turn in the understanding of the question of the meaning of being, where the truth of being and being-there belong together.

12 M.Heidegger, Being and Time, Joan Stambaugh Traduction, 2010,1. In our interpretation of Martin Heidegger and the several references regarding Being and time, we shall be using the translation from german published by Joan Stambaugh in 2010. The abbreviation BT refers also to the title Being and Time while SZ refers to the German text Sein und Zeit, the edition of 1979.

13 J. Brechten, Geschichtliche Transzendenz bei Heidegger, Die Hoffnungsstruktur des Daseins und die gott-lose Gottesfrage, Verlag Anton Hain: Meisenheim am Glan, 1972, 13. Die Siensvergessenheit ist die Vergessenheit des Unterschiedes des Seins zum Seienden( Heidegger, Holzwege, 4, Auflage, Frankfurt 1963, 336.

14 J. Brechten, Geschichtliche Transzendenz bei Heidegger, 27.

15 The concept analytics is applied here to Dasein, in a sense of the analysis, in the sense of separating something into component parts or constituent elements in order to get its full meaning (with an accent on argumentation clarity and precision), in order to have the extension of the definition. Applied to Dasein, the analytical method is not just a reasoning method but also an interpretation. It is about analysing the term Dasein, not only from the signification of the word but also from its onto-phenomenological reference in the philosophical project of Martin Heidegger. Thus we shall use more the term analysis of Dasein rather than analytics to make a difference with the analytical method in philosophy.

16 J. Brechten, Geschichtliche Transzendenz bei Heidegger, Die Hoffnungsstruktur des Daseins und die gott-lose Gottesfrage, Verlag Anton Hain : Meisenheim am Glan, 1972, 13.

17 Beda Allemann, Hölderlin und Heidegger, Antlantis Verlag, Zürich und Freiburg im Breisgau, 1954, 12.

18 P. Ludovica Coriando, Der Letzte Gott als Anfang, Zur ab-Abgründen Zeit-Räumlichkeit des Übergangs in Heideggers Beiträgen zur Philosophie ( Vom Ereignis), Wilhelm Fink Verlag, 143.

19 H. Danner, Das Göttliche und der Gott bei Heidegger, Meisenheim am Glan, 1971, 1.

20 Beda Allemann, Hölderlin und Heidegger, 80.

21 On the overcoming of metaphysics as deconstruction of traditional metaphysics, one can consult, The End of Philosophy, translated and introduction by Joan Stambaugh, New York, Harper and Row, 1973. It Contains: Metaphysics as History of Being (GA 6), Sketches for a History of Being as Metaphysics (GA 6), Recollections in Metaphysics (GA 6), Overcoming Metaphysics (GA 7). In the introduction the translator relates the ontological difference to Appropriation/Ereignis: What does metaphysics, which Heidegger defines as the separation of essence and existence that began with Plato, has to do with the ontological difference of Being and beings? One might say that the tradition, particularly the medieval tradition, would equate these two distinctions. Being (esse) is the essence of beings, of what exists (existentia), the essence in the sense of the universal One which unifies everything. For Heidegger, the distinction essence-existence actually belongs in the tradition on the side of Being, but the difference between Being and beings, although constantly presupposed by all metaphysics, was never thought. Only when metaphysics reaches its completion does the possibility arise of transforming the ontological difference, of thinking it from the unthought presupposition of all metaphysics back to its essential origin in Appropriation. In the Section IX of “Overcoming Metaphysics”, Heidegger explains how to do it. Overcoming- Überwindung - metaphysics is thought in the manner of the history of Being. It is the preliminary sign of the primal incorporation- Verwindung - of the Oblivion of Being. More prior, although also more concealed than the preliminary sign, is what shows itself in that sign. This is the Appropriation [ Ereignis ] itself. What looks to the metaphysical way of thinking like the preliminary sign of something else, is taken into account only as the last mere illusion of a more primal opening out. Overcoming is worthy of thought only when we think about incorporation. This perduring thinking still thinks at the same time about overcoming . Such remembrance- Andenken -experiences the unique Appropriating of the expropriating - Enteignung - of beings, in which the need of the truth of Being, and thus the origination - Anfaengni s- of truth, opens up and radiates upon human being in the manner of a parting - abschiedlliich-. Overcoming is the delivering over of metaphysics to its truth- Die Ueberwindung ist die Ueber-lieferung der Metaphysik in ihre Wahrheit - Pp. 91-92.

22 M.Heidegger, SZ, 151.

23 M.Heidegger, SZ, 12.

24 We shall make here a difference between Being and being. Here we shall speak of Being as Sein and Dasein the existence of human being. The expression Dasein, most of the time will be referred to the individual human existence, according to the meaning it has in the philosophy of Martin Heidegger which is the centre of our discussion.

25 M.Heidegger, BT, 13.

26 B. Allemann, Hölderlin und Heidegger, 120. Die Mythologie des Späten Hölderlin mit ihrer Geschichte von Göttertag, Götternacht und neuer Epiphanie der Götter oder eines Gottes wird für Heidegger in weitem Sinne ontologische Deutung und Transposition zur Vorgestalt der sich ereignenden Geschichte der Seinsentbergung, der Seinsverbergung-vergessenheit und eines anderen Anfang (Norbert Fischer, Friedrich-Wilhelm von Herrmann, Die Gottesfrage im Martin Heideggers Denken, Deutschen Nationalbibliothek, Meiner, Hamburg, 2011, 239, 143.

27 Hans-Jürg Braun, Martin Heidegger und der christliche Glaube, Theolgischer Verlag Zürich, 107

28 Hans-Jürg Braun, Martin Heidegger und der christliche Glaube, 107.

29 M. Heidegger, Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie (Translated Basic concepts of Aristotelian philosophy), Marcuse Archive, University of Frankfurt, summer semester 1924, p. 1. There is also a possibility of finding the same expression in Kisiel T Kisiel, The Genesis of Heidegger’s ‘Being and Time’ (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1994), p. 287. Kisiel draws attention to the fact that this dictum became a pure ideological expression against the redaction of biographies among those influenced by Heidegger.

30 H. Otto, Martin Heidegger, Unterwegs Zu Seiner Biographie, Frankfurt, New-York, 1988-Einleitung.

31 Meßkirch is a town in the district of Sigmaringen in Baden-Württemberg in Germany.

32 H. Otto, Martin Heidegger. Unterwegs Zu Seiner Biographie, 45.

33 the dissertation of Franz Brentano, titled, on the Manifold Meaning of Being according to Aristotle

34 M. Heidegger, “My Way to Phenomenology,” in On Time and Being, trans. Joan Stambaugh (New York: Harper & Row, 1972), 74, quoted in Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings, ed. David Farrell Krell (San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1993), 3.

35 David Farrell Krell, Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 1993), 5.

36 H. Otto, Martin Heidegger. Unterwegs Zu Seiner Biographie, 48, 50.

37 H. Otto, Martin Heidegger. Unterwegs Zu Seiner Biographie, 99.

38 Martin Heidegger: bibliography-Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy, First published Wed Oct 12, 2011.

39 V. Farías, Heidegger and Nazism, trans. Paul Burrell (Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 1989) 52-53.

40 David Farrell Krell, Martin Heidegger: Basic Writings (San Francisco: Harper Collins), 1993, 7.

41 Hugo Otto, Martin Heidegger. Unterwegs Zu Seiner Biographie, 76.

42 Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Internet, 22-3-2017), 2.

43 H. Otto, Martin Heidegger. Unterwegs Zu Seiner Biographie, 87.

44 H. Otto, Martin Heidegger. Unterwegs Zu Seiner Biographie, 121.

45 “The faculty had nominated him for the chief philosophical Lehrstuhl at Marburg, held previously by Hartmann, but the ministry of culture in Berlin refused the appointment since in the past decade Heidegger had not published a book. Through Edmund Husserl in Freiberg, Heidegger’s manuscript, an unfinished treatise with the title Sein und Zeit, Being and Time, dedicated to Husserl, found a publisher. Two copies of the page proofs were mailed to the ministry. They were returned marked “Inadequate.” When Being and Time appeared in February of 1927 the ministry withdrew its disapprobation and granted Heidegger the Marburg chair (David Farrell, Basic Writings, pp. 16-17.)

46 Heidegger versucht die Wahrheit des Seins selbst zu denken, 5 und dieses Denken geht und zwar noch von der Metaphysik hergesehen, in den Grund der Metaphysik zurück. See, M. Heidegger, Was ist Metaphysik ? Aufgabe, Frankfurt 1960, 8. The Essence of Truth, on Plato’s cave allegory and Theaetatus, is a repeat of the same course given two year earlier. Yet, while the sections have similar names, he often discusses different aspects of the dialogues. This is the time he was rector at the university. See also, The Essence of Truth On Plato’s Cave Allegory and Theaetatus (GA 34), translated by Ted Sadler, London, Continuum, 2002. This course, presented at the University of Freiburg during winter semester 1931-32, covers both an exploration of truth as unhiddeness via a close reading of the Allegory of the Cave from Plato’s Republic, and a reading of the discussion of knowledge in the middle of Plato’s Theaetetus. But the question is what truth itself is. The first step towards understanding this question is the insight that man comes to himself, and finds the ground of his Dasein, in that event of deconcealment which constitutes the unhiddenness of beings. p. 56. See also Logic as the Question Concerning the Essence of Language (GA 40), translated by Wanda Torres Gregory and Yvonne Unna, Albany, State University of New York Press, 2009. This is a lecture of Winter semester 1925 at Marburg, after which he went to the hut and wrote Being and Time. The fifty-three lectures can be considered in three parts. The first, the prolegomenon, is on psychologism (reducing logic to just the workings of the mind), Husserl’s critique of it, and the need to return to Aristotle to ask the question of truth. The second is on λογος, humans’ a priori need to make sense of things, and truth as uncoveredness in Aristotle’s Metaphysics book. The third part is an early draft of the Kant book that would be published in 1929. One can also consult, Parmenides (GA 54). Translated by Andre Schuwer and Richard Rojcewicz, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1992. This is a lecture course, Parmenides and Heraclitus, presented at the University of Freiburg during winter semester 1942-1943. Heidegger examines Parmenides’s poem and the question of truth. Towards the end he notes that the Greek understanding of truth is critical to Western history. The primordial essence of truth is aletheia not because the Greeks were visual, but instead the Greeks could only be visual because it is aletheia that determines the relation of their humanity to Being. This and only this, namely that the essence of truth originates as aletheia, but precisely in such a way as to conceal itself forthwith, is the event of the history of the Occident. Cfr. p,147.

47 The interpretation of Pre-Socratics by Heidegger is more visible in his commentaries of Anaximander and Parmenides, The Beginning of Western Philosophy (GA 35), translated by Richard Rojcewicz, Indiana University Press, 2015. It is a lecture course from summer semester 1932. The course begins with an interpretation of Anximander’s saying, similar to the essay on the saying from 1946 that was be published in Holzwege. Heidegger also examines Anazimander’s dictum on the ἄπειρον through his ontological lens. The investigation of the bits of Anaximander, occupies twenty-five pages. In the next fifty pages, Heidegger anticipates and responds to other scholars’ reactions to his interpretation, and further elaborates it. Heidegger then turns to interpreting Parmenides’s poem for the second half of the course, covering most of the extant fragments of the poem.

48 Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (Internet, 22-3-2017), 4.

49 In this publication Heidegger examines the relationship between language and logic. We also see a new contribution in his publication Logic as the Question Concerning the Essence of Language (GA 40), translated by Wanda Torres Gregory and Yvonne Unna, Albany, State University of New York Press, 2009. See also, The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic (GA 26), translated by Michael Heim, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1984. This is a lecture course, on Logik, presented at the University of Marburg during summer semester 1928. In the first part of this course, Heidegger examines Leibniz’s Doctrine of Judgment. In the second he studies the Principle of Reason.

50 Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (Internet, 22-3-2017), 5

51 The most important and known are: Being and Time (Sein und Zeit) (1927)” What is metaphysics ?” (1929)- Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics (1929)- The Essence of Truth (1943)- Paths that lead nowhere (1935-1946)- Letter on Humanism (1947)- Introduction to Metaphysics (1953)- Essays and Conferences (1954)- What do you think? (1954)- What is philosophy? (1956)- The principle of reason (1957).

52 Because of the controversial aspect of Heidegger’s political life, we have chosen ad libitum not to consider this element in our presentation of his life. Our focus is on his philosophical journey and contribution.

53 On Heidegger and Hannah Arendt, one can consult, Letters 1925-1975, edited by Ursula Ludz, translated by Andrew Shields, Orlando, Harcourt Books, 2004. Correspondence between Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt. All the surviving written documents of the personal relationship between Arendt and Heidegger are presented here for the first time, from the Marbach papers of Arendt and Heidegger as well as from the Hannah Arendt Papers in Washington, D.C. They include 119 letters, postcards, and notes from him to her and 33 texts from her to him.

54 Encyclopaedia of Philosophy (Internet, 22-3-2017), 1.

55 Here, one can consult, On thinking, Bremen and Freiburg Lectures Insight Into That Which Is and Basic Principles of Thinking (GA 79), translated by Andrew J. Mitchell, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2012. It is a series of four lectures delivered in Bremen, in December 1-2, 1949, and Basic Principles of Thinking was Heidegger’s last lecture course at Freiburg, summer semester 1957. The four Bremen lectures were: “The Thing”, “Positionality”, “The Danger”, and “The Turn”. Versions of some of these lectures have been translated before: “The Thing” twice, “The Turn”, and “Positionality”, translated as “The Ge-Stell”, and used in the 1953 lecture “The Question Concerning Technology”. These lectures were Heidegger’s first of public engagement since he had returned to teaching after his foray into university administration and politics in the early 1930s, and so they are the debut of the new directions in his questioning of being and the major themes of his later works. The first of the Freiburg lectures was earlier translated as “Principles of Thinking”, and the third as The Principle of Identity.

56 On Hölderlin’s Poetry, we shall refer to the Elucidations of Hölderlin’s Poetry (GA 4), translated and introduction by Keith Hoeller, Amherst, New York, Humanity Books, 2000. It Contains: “Homecoming / To Kindred Ones”, Hölderlin and the Essence of Poetry, “As When On a Holiday...” “Remembrance”, Hölderlin’s Earth and Heaven, The Poem. See also Hölderlin’s Hymn “Germania” and “The Rhine” (GA 39), translated by William McNeill and Julia Ireland, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2014. This lecture course, presented at the University of Freiburg during winter semester 1934-35, is the first of the Hölderlin lectures; the others are GA 52 and GA 53. Heidegger first discusses those themes in Introduction to Metaphysics, and in “The Origin of the Work of Art” and Contributions to Philosophy. This is his first use of beyng (Seyn) for a non-metaphysical sense of being. See also, Hölderlin’s Hymn “The Ister” (GA 53), Translated by William McNeill and Julia Davis, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1996. This is a lecture course presented at the University of Freiburg during summer semester 1942. The course is split into three parts. First Heidegger looks for metaphysics in “The Ister”, then he returns to a passage of Sophocles’ Antigone he had used, more briefly, in a 1935 course, Introduction to Metaphysics. Finally, he examines more of “The Ister”. Hölderlin’s poems have been translated especially for this book, to help understand Heidegger’s interpretation of the German. In the first lecture Heidegger refers to Ereignis in poetry.

57 Dasein is not “man,” but is nothing other than “man”- it is this distinction that enables Heidegger to claim that Being and Time is something other than philosophical anthropology, against the flash interpretation. Dasein is a human being, but more than a human being.

58 Hildegard Feick, Index zu Heidegger Sein un Zeit, Tübingen 1964, 25.

59 M.Heidegger, Der Brief Über den Humanismus, 15.

60 M.Heidegger, SZ, 221.

61 M.Heidegger, SZ, 226.

62 J. M. Demske, Sein, Menschen und Tod; Das Todesproblem bei Martin Heidegger, Verlag Karl Alber Freiburg-München, 1963, 19.

63 J. M. Demske, Sein, Menschen und Tod, 22.

64 Karl-Heinz Volkamann-Schluck, Die Philosophie Martin Heideggers, Eine Einführung in sein Denken, Neumann Königshausen, 27.

65 Der zweite Teil gliedert sich ebenso dreifach: 1. Kants Lehre vom Schematismus und der Zeit als Vorstufe einer Problematik der Temporalität. 2. Das ontologische Fundament des »cogito sum« Descartes’ und die Übernahme der mittelalterlichen Ontologie in die Problematik der »res cogitans«. 3. Die Abhandlung des Aristoteles über die Zeit als Diskrimen der phänomenalen Basis und der Grenzen der antiken Ontologie.

66 M. Heidegger, SZ, 1967, 39.

67 Brentano, Aristotle’s multiple significance of being.

68 Aristotle Metaphysics-science of the first causes and first principles: Heidegger criticizes Aristotle to have considered Onto-theology, the science of the Supreme Being to be the prima Scientia or the first philosophy

69 We can remind that Aristotle did never used the word metaphysics, it is a classification of his work by Andronikos, in two parts: Physics (theory of changes and movements) and metaphysics-science of being as being.

70 Aristotle, Metaphysik, T, 1, 1003a 21.

71 Aristotle, Metaphysik, E, 1, 1025b 21: Die Prinzipien Und Ursachen des Seienden suchen wir, aber, wie wir wissen, insofern es Seiendes ist.

72 K. Müller, Glauden-Fragen-Denken, Bd,2, 622-623.

73 Aristotle, Metaphysik, E, 1, 1025-1026a.

74 On the discussion between the ontology of Heidegger and the one of Aristotle , one can consult, Aristotle’s Metaphysics Theta 1-3 On the Essence and Actuality of Force (GA 33), translated by Walter Brogan and Peter Warnek, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1995. This is a lecture course, “Interpretations of Ancient Philosophy”, presented at the University of Freiburg during summer semester 1931. Heidegger translates Metaphysik Theta 1-3, on the way to a very close reading of Aristotle’s ideas on the question of being. See also The Essence of Human Freedom (GA 31), translated by Ted Sadler, London, Continuum, 2002. In this course, presented at the University of Freiburg during winter semester 1930, Heidegger addresses first the meaning of being in Aristotle’s Metaphysics, and then uses that as a basis to study freedom and causality in Kant’s Critiques. Heidegger suggested also a commentary of Plato and Aristotle. See, lato’s Sophist (GA 19). Translated by Richard Rojcewicz and Andre Schuwer, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1997. This is Heidegger’s lecture course at the University of Marburg in the winter semester of 1924-25, devoted to an interpretation of Plato and Aristotle. The first part of the lectures to an extended commentary on Book VI of Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, folowed by a line-by-line interpretation of Plato’s dialogue.

75 W. Dilthey, Gesam melte Schriften, I, Leipzig 1923, 129.

76 On ontological difference, see Basic Concepts (GA 51). Translated by Gary Aylesworth, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 1993. It is Text of a lecture course given at Freiburg in the winter semester of 1943.

77 M. Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, Tübingen 1967, 2.

78 Werner Brock, Existence and Being, Gateway Edition, 1949, 11.

79 On the frequent reference to the ancient philology, one can consult, Heidegger and ancient philosophy, Basic Concepts of Ancient Philosophy (GA 22), translated by Richard Rojcewicz, Bloomington, Indiana University Press, 2007. This 250-pages volume has Heidegger’s notes for a lecture course given at Marburg summer semester of 1926. The final third is comprised of excerpts from two students’ transcripts of the course. Heidegger covers the ancient Greek philosophers from Thales to Aristotle, using the latter’s Metaphysics as a guide. Plato’s allegory of the cave and Theatetus get extended treatment, as do Aristotle’s texts that address being. Plato on the idea of the αγαθόν is excerpted here, and the concluding remarks of the course. See also Early Greek Thinking. Translated by David F. Krell and Frank A. Capuzzi, New York, Harper & Row, 1975. Contains: The Anaximander Fragment (GA 5) later translated in Off the Beaten Path, Logos (Heraclitus, Fragment B 50) (GA 7), Moira (Parmenides VIII, 34-43) (GA 7), Aletheia (Heraclitus, Fragment B 16) (GA 7). In the first essay on the Anaximander Fragment, Heidegger describes how Being is concealed more in λήθη than it is revealed in Αλήθεια. This sentence summarizes things nicely: As it reveals itself in beings, Being withdraws. see p. 26. Later in the same essay Heidegger discusses the ontological difference and celebrates its concealment in Western philosophy. The oblivion of the distinction, with which the destiny of Being begins and which it will carry through to completion, is all the same not a lack, but rather the richest and most prodigious event: in it the history of the Western world comes to be bourne out. It is the event of metaphysics. What now is stands in the shadow of the already foregone destiny of Being oblivion. P. 51

80 Heidegger gibt in Sein und Zeit der Method des postmetaphysischen Denkens den Namen Destruktion (Karl-Heinz Volkamann-Schluck, Die Philosophie Martin Heideggers, Eine Einführung in sein Denken, 27

81 M.Heidegger, BT, 49, 27.

82 M. Heidegger, The Basic Problems of Phenomenology (GA 24), 17.

83 D. Henrich, Bewusstes Leben und Metaphysik, in ders, Bewusstes Leben. Untersuchungen Zum verhältnis von Subjectivität und Metaphysik, Stuttgart ,1999, 194-216, here,195.

84 Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics (Pourquoi y a-t-il quelque chose plutôt que rien)

85 Real-substant-Vorhanden -He qualifies the mode of being of all that is not of the order of Dasein, that is to say, the real, of the res or the thing insofar as it is laid before it, or under-the-hand. This last translation has the advantage of bringing out the radical Hand, the hand, especially since vorhanden is opposed, in Being and Time, to Zuhanden, which designates everything that one handles in a broad sense, all that is usable, all that is instrumentalize for a given end of Dasein. In this sense the Vorhanden is what is at hand, which is in front of the eyes, which is observable.

86 M. Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics, 23.

87 The regional ontology includes what Thomas Kuhn called revolutionary science, which established a new paradigm against the routine of science.

88 M.Heidegger, BT, 12.

89 M. Heidegger, Einleitung in die Philosophie, ed. O. Saame, and I. Saame Speidel, 1996, lectures 1928, 9.

90 M.Heidegger, Metaphysische Anfangsgründe der logik im Ausganng von Leibniz, éd. K. Held, 1978, lectures of 1928-Indiana University Press-see, BT, 13.

91 M.Heidegger, BT, 13.

92 M.Heidegger, BT, 11.

93 M.Heidegger, BT, 154, 182, 436.

94 M. Heidegger , Introduction to Metaphysics, 31 and 34.

95 Elad Lapidot, Etre sans mot dire, la Logique de Sein und Zeit, Zeta Books, 73.

96 M. Heidegger, Beiträge Zu Philosophie, éd. F-W, Von Herrmann- 1989, manuscripts of 1936, 8.

97 The word ontology is understood as knowing-logos about being-on, onta. The same word is used for theology, theos-logos, knowledge about God. But precisely, Heidegger uses this word to describe philosophy as knowledge of the being of beings. For him, ontology says that it is what it is and how it is, from the view of its being. When Heidegger speaks of fundamental ontology he has in mind the sense of being as such, its foundation. It is in this logic that he will also speak of the ontological difference, that which separates being from beings. This difference has been forgotten by traditional metaphysics because it has been devoted more to the study of beings. The study of beings is considered by Heidegger as an ontic, or a scientific discourse, and that of God becomes a theology. In short, ontology studies being as such. It is fundamental when it is based on the essence of being. But theology studies God and the ontic studying the being, in the sense of a scientific study.

98 Published in 1912 in le Literarische Rundschau für das katholische Deutschland edited by Josef Sauer, professor at the university Fribourg (where he is in discussion with Cohen, Natorp, Bolzano, Windelband, Rickert, Lask, Meinong, Husserl)

99 Based on the research of Galilee.

100 It should be noted that at the end of his life, he was concerned, with the question of technic (Ge-stell) is discussed. Heidegger discusses the history of physics as well as the tension between realism and idealism. He emphasized more the domination that science and technic exercises on philosophy and their ambition to objectivize life and existence.

101 M. Heidegger, Zur Bestimmung der Philosophie, Klostemann, Frankfurt am Main, Gesamtausgabe, Band 56/57 (noté par la suite GA, 56/57), 1987, 88.

102 M. Heidegger, GA, 56/57, 116.

103 Ibid., p. 117.

104 M. Heidegger, Ontologie (Hermeneutik der Faktizität), GA 63, 1988 (cours du semestre d’été 1923).

105 M. Heidegger, Grundprobleme der Phänomenologie (1919/20), GA 58, 1993, 8 and 10.

106 Fr. Dastur, Le concept de science chez Heidegger avant le “tournant” des années trente, 9.

107 M. Heidegger, Die Grundbegriffe der antiken Philosophie, GA 22, 1993, §§ 3 et 4.

108 M.Heidegger, Die Grundprobleme der Phänomenologie, GA 24, 1975, § 3 (trad. fr. Les Problèmes fondamentaux de la phénoménologie, Paris, Gallimard, 1985).

109 M. Heidegger, GA 29/30., 279, 283 (Search of the General being as the foundation of all beings,)

110 M. Heidegger, Die Grundbegriffe der Metaphysik, Welt-Endlichkeit-Einsamkeit, GA 29/30, 1983, 2-3 (tr. fr. Les Concepts fondamentaux de la métaphysique, Monde-finitude-solitude, Paris, Gallimard, 1992, 16).

111 Ibid., § 7, 34 (tr. Fr, 46).

112 M. Heidegger, Being and Time, §3.

113 M. Blay (dir.), Dictionnaire des Concepts philosophiques, coll. « Larousse in extenso », 2012, 880 P, Sein und Zeit, 322.

114 M. Heidegger, Sein und Zeit, 1967, 11.

115 “Here we are seeking that which one enquires into when one asks the question ‘Who?’ By a phenomenological demonstration (1) we shall determine who is in the mode of Dasein’s average everydayness.” (M. Heidegger. Being and Time, 53).

116 Note that we cannot also apply science’s familiar reductionist strategy here: Dasein is not some object to be broken into parts which can then be classified and understood individually19, then added up again to understand Dasein as a whole (man’s Being] is not something we can simply compute by adding together those kinds of Being which body, soul, and spirit respectively possess - kinds of Being whose nature has not as yet been determined.” (Heidegger H. 49 Being and Time)

117 Being-in-the-world and other structures of Dasein turn out to be equiprimordial: they are prior and impossible to “get behind”, so much so that they must be presupposed and cannot be questioned

118 As in the case of another existential, being-with: “Being-with is such that the disclosedness of the Dasein-with of Others belongs to it; this means that because Dasein’s Being is Being-with, its understanding of Being already implies the understanding of Others. This understanding, like any understanding, is not an acquaintance derived from knowledge about them, but a primordially existential kind of Being, which, more than anything else, makes such knowledge and acquaint

119 M. Heidegger, Being and Time. 44,

120 M. Heidegger, SZ, 1967, 11.

121 M. Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics,133 and 146, 32 and 34.

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Human Existence Before God
The ontology of Martin Heidegger and its relevance for Christian Philosophy and Theology
University of Innsbruck  (Christliche Philosophie)
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This dissertation was submitted at the university of Innsbruck in jun 2019 for the conclusion of the PhD program in Christian philosophy under the direction of Professor Christian Kanzian of the university of Innsbruck. It was evaluated and appreciated by Prof Otto Muck of the same university.
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Dieudonné Mbiribindi Bahati (Author), 2019, Human Existence Before God, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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