I. On Understanding Heidegger

The name of Martin Heidegger overshadows the present scene not only of German but also of Continental and Spanish-American philosophy. This very fact implies an enigma, at least to the Anglo-American world. What can account for the still growing fascination with a thinker of Heidegger's type ? Certainly not the volume of his published production. Besides, his largest work, Sein und Zeit, is a torso, and according to his own recent announcement it will for ever remain so. Yet it confronts its reader with a language and a style of thinking more demanding, if not actually forbidding, than most other philosophy, present or past. And while some of the circumstances surrounding Heidegger's way of life are highly unconventional compared with those of the typical German university philosopher, neither his personality nor his appearance are sufficient to account for his impact on the academic and non-academic world.

It would be misleading, however, to think that Heidegger has never made an impression on Anglo-American thinkers. A measure of this impression may be found in the tribute which an analytic philosopher like Gilbert Ryle once paid to Heidegger in a review of his magnum opus, which in spite of its severe strictures and negative conclusions contained such sentences as the following:

I have nothing but admiration for his special undertaking and for such of his achievements in it as I can follow. . . . He shows himself to be a thinker of real importance by the immense subtlety and searchingness of his examination of consciousness, by the boldness and originality of his methods and conclusions, and by the unflagging energy with which he


tries to think beyond the stock categories of orthodox philosophy and psychology.1

It is also worth mentioning that after Sidney Hook's return from a study trip in Germany in the early thirties John Dewey expressed to him considerable interest in Heidegger, particularly in his conception of the human situation and in his concept of concern (Sorge), to which there are indeed not a few parallels in Dewey's own thought.2

Another approach to Heidegger's thinking is suggested by the present vogue of Paul Tillich's Systematic Theology. For Tillich himself has acknowledged the decisive influence which Heidegger's thought has had on his work since 1924-25, when the two were colleagues at the University of Marburg, i.e., during the time when Heidegger's Sein und Zeit was in the making. 3 Heidegger's impact was even stronger in the case of Rudolf Bultmann, whose so-called "demythologization" (Entmythologisierung) of New Testament theology is arousing increased interest even outside Germany.4

But the fundamental paradox remains. To resolve it fully one would have to consider not only the voice which has aroused such an amazing echo but also the acoustic conditions for its reception in Germany and in other parts of the world. Even before that, a clear and complete presentation and interpre-

1 Mind XXXVIII (1929), 355-370.

2 Personal communication; see also his Portrait: "John Dewey," The American. Scholar XVII (1948), 108.

3 "In Marburg, in 1925, I began work on my Systematic Theology, the first volume of which appeared in 1951. At the same time that Heidegger was in Marburg as professor of philosophy, influencing some of the best students, existentialism in its twentieth century form crossed my path. It was years before I became fully aware of the impact of this encounter on my own thinking. I resisted, I tried to learn, I accepted the new way of thinking more than the answers it gave" (Kegley, Charles W. and Bretall, Robert W., eds., The Theology of Paul Tillich. New York, Macmillan, 1952, "Autobiographical Reflections," p. 14). - See also Paul Tillich, The Interpretation of History (New York, Scribner, 1936), p. 39 f. - Tillich's theology stresses, for instance, the distinction between Being and "a being" very much as Heidegger did from Sein und Zeit on; see Paul Tillich, Systematic Theology I

(1951), p. 163 ff.; Love, Power, and Justice (1954), pp. 18 ff. Also, Tillich's whole conception of ontology, whose subject is described as being, as distinguished from the sciences which deal with beings, reflects Heidegger thought. To be sure, thus far Heidegger has steadfastly refused to identify Being with God, as Tillich now does.

4 Here Heidegger's existential interpretation is used as a means to determine just what the non-mythical sense of the Biblical text implies. See Dinkier, Erich, "Existentialist Interpretation of the New Testament," Journal of Religion, XXXII

(1952), 87-96; Macquarrie, John, An Existentialist Theology. A Comparison of Heidegger and Bultmann (London, SCM Press, 1955).


tation of Heidegger's entire philosophizing, as far as publicly accessible, would be indispensable. Such an assignment would be a staggering one. It must be left to those who are prepared to submerge themselves in Heidegger's writings to the extent of pondering them line by line like any classical text that requires interpretation by a commentary, yet without giving up their critical attitude toward his weird if impressive style.

Luckily, the needs of the present enterprise are more limited. For all it requires is to determine the connection between the Heideggerian enigma and the Phenomenological Movement, on whose development Heidegger has exerted such a fateful and almost fatal influence. This calls merely for the discussion of the phenomenological aspect of his work. To be sure, it cannot be taken for granted that such a separation is feasible. But this possibility is at least suggested by the fact that Heidegger himself has dropped all references to phenomenology from his later writings.

The most formidable hurdle for any attempt to understand Heidegger, particularly the Heidegger of the decisive middle period, is no doubt linguistic. No reader without an exceptional command of German can expect to fathom the sense and the full connotations of Heidegger's language. The delay in English translations is clearly related to this primary difficulty. But even the native German finds himself all too often stymied by Heidegger's way of writing, which would almost call for a translation into ordinary German. For Heidegger has a way of not only forming new terms based on obsolete root meanings, but of using existing words for new and unheard-of purposes without providing a glossary as a key or introducing his new uses by explicit definitions. Thus even the German reader has really no alternative to learning Heidegger's vocabulary just as he learned his mother tongue, i.e., by watching its uses and by trial and error. We shall see later that the problem of language is actually the one which has blocked Heidegger's main attack on his central problem.

The difficulties of Heidegger's style would seem to deepen the enigma of his impact. It therefore seems worth pointing out that it was not until the appearance of Sein und, Zeit that Heidegger's literary style had fully developed. Hardly any of his


peculiarities occur in his earlier publications, such as his thesis on Duns Scotus. In fact, his initial success and reputation was built mainly on his lecturing in Freiburg and Marburg and on the expectations it had aroused. It was only on this foundation that the publication of Sein und Zeit in volume VIII of Husserl's phenomenological yearbook made such a deep impression. That the style of Heidegger's teaching differed considerably from that of his writing can be gathered from the recent publication of some of his lecture courses. They show little of the knottiness of the central sections of Sein und Zeit. In fact his lecturing is characterized by its "clear and deliberate way," to which even a master of clarity in the Anglo-American world like Ralph Barton Perry testified after attending one of his classes. Also in personal contacts, in his calm plainness and unassuming directness, Heidegger presents a striking contrast not only to his pontifical manner of writing and carefully timed desk performance, but also to the aloofness typical of too many German scholars, a contrast which may have contributed to making his amazing and often mystifying message all the more effective.

However, Heidegger's philosophical significance will have to rest on his publications. There is no way of getting around these. Few, if any, second-hand accounts can pave the way to them. Almost all of those now available in English are marred by the mere fact that they are found in the misleading context of accounts of existentialism, which Heidegger repudiates. Most of them fail to realize the development in Heidegger's thinking. And they are even less adequate as introductions to the phenomenological aspects of Heidegger's work. Thus the challenging problem of providing a real introduction to Heidegger's thinking remains unsolved to this hour. In stating this I do not mean to imply that it can be solved, especially at this stage when important evidence is still missing. Yet the attempt ought to be made, if only for the sake of better relations between the main philosophical currents of our time.

There is one final suggestion which I would like to offer before turning to my limited assignment, all the more since it has a bearing even on the development of Heidegger's attitude toward the phenomenological approach. Since Heidegger's Holderlin studies began to appear in 1936, it has become manifest that



poetry holds a unique place in Heidegger's thinking. In 1954 a little volume "From the Experience of Thought" appeared in which two short poems of his own surround a sequence of reflections consisting of mood-setting half-sentences, striking in their imagery, on one page, and quasi-Presocratic aphorisms on the opposite page. They suggest a synthesis of the styles of Holderlin and Parmenides, Heidegger's main guides in recent years. This turn to poetry provides perhaps the best clue to Heidegger's secret. It suggests at the same time that he is fundamentally much closer to the poets of the world than to its pure philosophers. Coleridge, Thoreau, and T. S. Eliot are more congenial to him than even a philosopher-poet like Santayana.

2. Heidegger's Place in the History of Phenomenology

How far is Heidegger's thinking rightfully to be included in the history of the Phenomenological Movement ? This question, which is of considerable importance for the present enterprise, is usually not even raised; nor is it easy to answer it.1 The accepted story, especially among outsiders, says that Heidegger is Husserl's legitimate heir, as evidenced by his succession to Husserl's chair in Freiburg; that consequently Heidegger's philosophy represents the rightful development of Husserl's phenomenology; and that the case for or against phenomenology can be settled by looking at its logical outcome in Heidegger's work. But there are also those who, partly because of their better knowledge of Husserl's final repudiation of Heidegger's thinking, and perhaps also from a desire to acquit phenomenology of responsibility for Heidegger's philosophy of existence, see in him merely a corruptor of, or even a deserter from, "orthodox" phenomenology.

The history of Heidegger's association with phenomenology is almost entirely the history of his association with Edmund Husserl. His contacts with Scheler in the later twenties came at a time when Scheler's interest in phenomenology as such had weakened considerably, and when philosophical anthropology

1 See however Delfgaauw, B., "La phenomenologie chez Martin Heidegger," 6tudes philosophiques IX (1954), 50-56, and Hyppolite, Jean, "Ontologie et phenomenologie chez Martin Heidegger," ibid. 307-14.


was their main common concern. No serious contacts with the Munich Circle seem to have occurred.

A final appraisal of the relationship between Husserl and Heidegger presupposes first of all adequate knowledge of the facts. To be sure, important evidence, such as the complete Husserl-Heidegger correspondence, is still inacccessible. But enough material is available to reconstruct at least the outline of the story. As far as Husserl's side of the relationship is concerned, it has all the earmarks of a personal tragedy, where fault-finding would be as futile as it would be silly. Besides, most of it is irrelevant to our story, which concerns only the temporary association and final estrangement between two thinkers too independent-minded and too committed to their distinctive tasks to allow more than a temporary association. There is, however, need for a simple recording of the chronological facts in this relationship.

Apparently there were no personal contacts between Husserl and Heidegger during the Gottingen period. True, Heidegger's interest in Husserl was strong enough to make him wish for a chance to study under him personally. But financial necessities prevented this and forced him to complete his studies at the University of Freiburg in his native state of Baden.1 When Husserl arrived in Freiburg in 1916, Heidegger had not only completed his academic education under Heinrich Rickert, but had been admitted to the faculty as a Privatdozent, whose inaugural lecture on July 27, 1915 dealt with the concept of time in historiography. The preface to his habilitation thesis on Duns Scotus, in which he acknowledged Husserl's help in connection with his request for a publication grant, suggests that the first personal meetings occurred immediately upon Husserl's arrival. But it was apparently not until the end of Heidegger's military service during the First World War and the beginning of his full scale teaching that closer contact was established. Heidegger was therefore never Husserl's pupil in a sense of the term which would justify the expectation of a special personal loyalty to Husserl, any more than this could be expected of the Munich phenomenologists. Moreover, Heidegger was an established scholar in his own right, with a record of several publications,

1 Oral communication.


before he had ever met Husserl. However from then on an intense philosophical and personal relationship and friendship between the full professor and the young Privatdozent began to take shape, particularly after Heidegger had become Husserl's assistant in his academic duties. In order to fully understand this relationship one has to realize that Husserl started his Freiburg teaching with an almost entirely new group of students, Edith Stein being the only candidate for the Ph.D. degree, soon to become his private assistant, who had come with him. What was even more important, Husserl's philosophical development since the publication of the first volume of his Ideen with its new idealistic interpretation of phenomenology had left him practically isolated. All the more anxious was he to attract mature students and scholars as collaborators in the tasks of coping with an ever increasing number of new problems and of organizing the accumulating piles of his manuscripts. Husserl soon discovered the originality and vigor of his new colleague. At the same time, Heidegger's lively interest in phenomenology aroused in him hopes for close co-operation, especially after his forthcoming retirement, and of Heidegger's eventual succession to and continuation of his own work where he would have to leave off. It is probably an unanswerable question how far Heidegger himself gave encouragement to this hope. However, the fact that Heidegger identified himself with the cause of phenomenology is manifest from the very titles of his lectures from 1919 on, when he first announced a course on "Phenomenology and Transcendental Philosophy of Value," the latter meaning clearly the Neo-Kantian value theory of Heinrich Rickert. From then on until his transfer to Marburg as full professor in 1923, Heidegger offered every semester courses and seminars in whose titles the word 'phenomenology' occurred. This continued even during the five momentous years which he spent in philosophical independence at Marburg. During the first semester after his return to Freiburg as Husserl's successor, he again announced pheno-menological seminars. All the more conspicuous is the total absence of the word from Heidegger's academic offerings after that, except in connection with a course (in 1930-31) on Hegel's Phdnomenologie des Geistes.

There is parallel evidence in Heidegger's publications. The


Duns Scotus book of 1916, without expressing an explicit commitment, displayed intense interest in Husserl's phenomenology and an attempt to use it for a historical interpretation. Sein und Zeit, which appeared in the phenomenological Jahrbuch while Heidegger was still in Marburg, and which in its separate book edition carried a special dedication to Husserl ("in Vereh-rung und Freundschaft"), contained the most pronounced espousal of phenomenology, although the specific references to Husserl are relatively rare and insignificant. However, the word "phenomenology" is missing in "Vom Wesen des Grundes," Heidegger's contribution to the Festschrift for Husserl's seventieth birthday in 1929, published one year after Heidegger's return to Freiburg.1 Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik, appearing during the same year, uses the term only twice in relatively minor places in connection with the characterization of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, which, in Heidegger's eyes, turns out to be ultimately inadequate for a task which he himself intends to complete by his new Fundamentalontologie. After that I can trace only two more explicit references to phenomenology in Heidegger's writings. Both occur in the "Letter on Humanism" (1949), which includes Heidegger's most illuminating philosophical autobiography thus far. Here, after acknowledging the relative superiority of the Marxian interpretation of history to all others (because of its awareness of the alienation and homeless-ness of modern man in the world) Heidegger states:

Since neither Husserl nor Sartre, as far as I can see thus far, recognize the essential place of the historical factor (das Geschichtliche) in Being, neither phenomenology (die Phenomenology) nor existentialism has entered the dimension in which alone a constructive debate with Marxism can take place.2

This statement sounds as if Heidegger had dissociated himself completely from all phenomenology, and not only from Husserl's version of it. It would, however, be rash to infer on the strength of one such passage alone that Heidegger has repudiated phenomenology lock, stock, and barrel. In the very same letter

1 This Festschrift, whose editors are not mentioned, but which was clearly prepared by Heidegger without the cooperation of the older collaborators of the Jahrbuch, has no dedicatory preface, but carries a motto from Plato's Sophistes (254 A), Heidegger's favorite Plato dialogue at the time, which, in its characterization of the philosopher, sounds like a curious homage to Husserl.

2 Platons Lehre van der Wahrheit, p. 87.


there occurs another sentence which emphasizes that he wants to "hold on to the essential help of phenomenological viewing" (die wesentliche Hilfe des phanomenologischen Sehens}, while rejecting the "improper aspiration" to "science" (Wissenschaft) and "research" (Forschung) (p. 110). Besides, Heidegger has never rejected the Phenomenological Movement in its entirety. What, then, is the meaning of and the deeper reason for his abandonment of all phenomenological terminology? Here again it becomes important to secure more factual information about the development of the relations between Husserl and Heidegger in the period of their actual co-operation.

During Heidegger's Marburg years his direct contacts with Husserl were naturally less frequent, although Heidegger kept passing through Freiburg on the way to his ski-hut in the Black Forest. There was, however, one attempt at concrete co-operation whose failure throws considerable light on the entire relationship. Presumably as a sequel to his London lectures in 1922 Husserl was asked to write an article on Phenomenology for the 13th edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He seems to have considered this occasion important enough to invite Heidegger to collaborate with him on a joint statement, based of course on his own draft: this would also give him a chance to make Heidegger a more active participant in the latest phase of his transcendental phenomenology. The history of this article has been described in considerable detail, though not exhaustively, by Walter Biemel.1 In the present context the following documents deserve special attention:

oc. Heidegger's unpublished independent draft of 1927, consisting of eleven typewritten pages, clearly prepared after he had already completed Sein und Zeit, with Husserl's annotations to it.

P. Heidegger's comments on Husserl's main draft, representing Heidegger's attempt to formulate the common ground as he saw it at the time.

Heidegger's draft is particularly instructive if compared with Husserl's preceding version. For here Husserl, after a brief introductory definition, had started immediately with a dis-

1 "Husserl Encyclopaedia Britannica Artikel und Heideggers Anmerkungen dazu," Tijdschrift vow Philosophic XII (1950), 246-280.


cussion of phenomenological psychology. Thus making the subjective sphere his point of departure, he had moved in the second part to the more radical form of subjective phenomenology - transcendental phenomenology. Heidegger's draft begins with a general introduction of more than two typewritten pages dealing with "the idea of philosophy and the regress (Ruckgang) to consciousness," in which the primary concern of all philosophy is characterized as "being qua being," which is, as we shall see, Heidegger's one pervading theme. Parmenides is mentioned as the first thinker to state it. Now to Heidegger the remarkable thing is the fact that from the very start this problem has been linked up with a reflection (Besinnung) upon the thought about this "being." Phenomenology is then characterized as "the basic realization of the necessity of a regress to consciousness, the radical and express determination of the way and of the laws governing the steps of this regress, and the fundamental demarcation and the systematic explorations of the field opened up during this regress." 1 While this formulation seems to go far toward meeting Husserl's insistence on the all-importance of the study of transcendental subjectivity, Heidegger adds at once: "It stands in the service of ... the question about the being of what is (Sein des Seienden} in the articulated variety of its types and stages" - an addition which establishes the connection with the theme of Sein und Zeit. Psychology as a positive science is then declared incapable of taking over the task of the needed science of subjective experience in which transcendent being constitutes itself. - After this introduction Heidegger's draft runs almost completely parallel to Husserl's account of phenomenological psychology as published in the rather free translation of the original in the Encyclopaedia Britannica. The published version shows that Husserl left out Heidegger's introduction completely. Judging from his notes and bracketings, he seems to have objected particularly to the passages in which Heidegger characterized the goal of philosophy as concern with Being.

1 "Die grundsatzliche Einsicht in die Notwendigkeit des Ruckganges auf das Bewusstsein, die radikale und ausdruckliche Bestimmung des Weges und der Schritt-gesetze dieses Ruckganges, die prinzipielle Umgrenzung und systematische Durch-forschung des auf diesem Ruckgang zu erschliessenden Feldes bezeichnen wir als Phanomenologie.''


For the second part of Husserl's article, entitled "Transcendental Phenomenology," the Husserl Archives contain no draft from Heidegger's hand. The half-empty last page of the typescript makes it unlikely that there ever was one. There exists, however, a letter from Heidegger, dated October 22, 1927, in which he attempts to define his position with regard to transcendental phenomenology and to the transcendental reduction in particular, very much along the lines of the sections in Sein und Zeit which discuss transcendental philosophy (pp. 207 ff.). Reading these statements, particularly in retrospect and in the light of the parallel statements and silences of Sein und Zeit, it seems difficult not to see how completely Heidegger had moved away from Husserl's position, how wide the gap between their interpretations of phenomenology had become, and how little of Husserl's transcendental philosophy, and particularly of his transcendental reduction, was acceptable to Heidegger. In fact Husserl's letter of December 26, 1927 to Roman Ingarden contained the statement that "Heidegger has not grasped the whole meaning of the phenomenological reduction." It is thus not surprising that the final version of the Britannica article does not seem to include any of Heidegger's draft. Thus the attempt to use the occasion to bring about an agreement between the two protagonists of Freiburg phenomenology had had just the opposite result.

A second case of an attempted collaboration was Heidegger's editing of Husserl's Gottingen lectures on inner time consciousness, dating back to 1905 and 1910, in the volume of the Jahr-buch (IX, 1929) that followed immediately upon the publication of Sein und Zeit. Heidegger's interest in such a topic was only natural. However, his brief preface introduces these lectures merely as supplements to the Logische Untersuchungen without so much as a reference to Husserl's later intensified analyses. It may well be that it was this fact which left Husserl disappointed with the results of Heidegger's editing.

In spite of mounting misgivings, Husserl clung to the hope that he could win Heidegger over after his return to Freiburg. Hence he submitted his name as that of his only qualified successor. None of this hope materialized when Heidegger took over Husserl's chair in the fall of 1928. Instead, after the first two months, their contacts became less and less frequent.


Around this time Husserl also returned to an intensive study of Sein und Zeit, partly with the aid of his new assistant, Eugen Fink, who had been trained by both Husserl and Heidegger. His marginal comments to this work and to Heidegger's Kant book (Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik) reveal his growing awareness of the differences between himself and Heidegger and his suspicion of hidden attacks in Heidegger's text.1 Apparently his main impression was that Heidegger, by substituting human existence (Dasein) for the pure ego, had transformed phenomenology into anthropology, the very same anthropology which Husserl had once fought in the first volume of his Logische Untersuchungen as a species of psychologism. The absence of any reference to Husserl's doctrine of the phe-nomenological or transcendental reduction and, in fact, to practically all of his recent work made him conclude that Heidegger's phenomenology had not yet passed beyond the natural or "naive" attitude, and that his philosophy was simply another form of "objectivism," "naturalism," or "realism."

Indications are that Husserl began to express his disapproval of Heidegger's phenomenology with increasing frankness soon after Heidegger's return to Freiburg. The most explicit repudiation of Heidegger's philosophizing appeared on the last pages of the terminal volume of the Jahrbuch (XI, 1930), notably in a Nachwort to the Ideen, which presented a slightly amplified version of Husserl's preface to the English translation by W. R. Boyce Gibson. Here, in an opening section omitted from the translation, Husserl protested against certain objections not explicitly listed, but clearly attributed to Heidegger, and declared sweepingly that all of them were

based on misunderstandings and fundamentally upon the fact that one misinterprets my phenomenology backwards from a level which it was its very purpose to overcome, in other words, that one has failed to understand the fundamental novelty of the phenomenological reduction and hence the progress from mundane subjectivity (i.e., man) to transcendental subjectivity; consequently that one has remained stuck in an anthropology, whether empirical or a priori, which according to my doctrine has not yet reached the genuine philosophical level, and whose interpretation as philosophy means a lapse into "transcendental anthro-pologism" or "psychologism." 2

1 For samples of these notes see Alwin Diemer, Edmund Husserl, p. 29 f.

2 JPPF XI (1930), 551; also Husserliana, V, 140.


This charge was pressed home further in a lecture on Phanomenologie und Anthropologie" which Husserl gave in Berlin and Frankfurt in 1931,1 though still without mentioning Heidegger's name. Here anthropologism, which Husserl characterizes as a psychologism that builds phenomenology on human existence (menschliches Dasein], is termed the diametrical opposite of transcendental phenomenology. Around this time Husserl also began to refer to Heidegger and Scheler as his philosophical antipodes.

These and similar developments were responsible for the fact that Heidegger dropped all references to phenomenology in his writings and lectures, perhaps also in deference to Husserl's prior claim to the term. Without a formal break, even personal contacts seem to have subsided long before Heidegger became involved in national socialism. There is no sign that Heidegger tried to alleviate Husserl's difficulties during the Nazi regime. But it should be pointed out that the humiliations meted out to Husserl as a racially Jewish member of the Freiburg faculty occurred after the end of Heidegger's official leadership of the university.

These ascertainable facts make it plain that after Husserl's denunciation Heidegger no longer considered himself a member of the Phenomenological Movement in Husserl's sense. The quiet demise of the phenomenological yearbook, whose management during these years had been chiefly in the hands of Heidegger and Oskar Becker, himself a much closer associate of Heidegger than of Husserl, is additional evidence.

But this does not settle the question whether Heidegger, in accepting Husserl's "excommunication," also meant to dissociate himself from the whole Phenomenological Movement in the wider sense. The fact that he has failed to revive the fahrbuch would seem to suggest that he is at least no longer interested in its continuation. However, a final answer to this question will have to wait for the discussion of Heidegger's own conception of phenomenology and its development later on.

j. Heidegger's Basic Theme: The Quest for Being and Time Before we pursue further the question of the nature and function of Heidegger's phenomenology it will be necessary to

1 PPR II (1941), 1-14.


clarify Heidegger's general philosophy and its development, at least to an extent which will make it possible to determine and understand the place and function of his phenomenology in this wider framework.

Heidegger recently expressed the characteristic idea that every great thinker "thinks only one single thought" (einen einzigen Gedanken).1 There is no difficulty about discovering such a focal idea in Heidegger's own thinking. One of its most instructive expressions occurs in a seemingly minor place, the postcript to What is Metaphysics? of 1934 and reads:

Man alone of all existing things . . . experiences the wonder of all wonders:

that there are things-in-being (dass Seiendes ist).2

There is perhaps no better way to describe the basic difference between Heidegger's and Husserl's fundamental purposes than to contrast this sentence with a parallel statement in Husserl's writings: "The wonder of all wonders is the pure ego and pure consciousness." (See p. 87). Heidegger's fundamental wonder is objective Being, Husserl's, subjective consciousness. The two problems are sufficiently connected to account for the temporary coalition between the two. But they are ultimately so far apart that Husserl and Heidegger were bound to part company. This same fundamental difference is also expressed in Heidegger's historical orientation centering in Aristotle and, later, in Parmenides, toward whom Husserl was particularly indifferent, compared with Husserl's focal interest in Descartes, whom Heidegger opposes strenuously.

Heidegger himself claims that he is the first thinker in the whole history of philosophy (including phenomenology, as Husserl deduced with amazement in his marginal comments to Sein und Zeit) to have raised explicitly the question concerning the sense of Being.3 The legitimacy of such a claim presupposes clarification of its meaning.4 Heidegger is convinced

1 Was heisst Denken? p. 20.

2 Was ist Metaphysihf Sixth edition 1951, p. 42. See also Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik, 2nd ed., p. 204: "We are familiar with things in being - but being itself? Are we not always attacked by dizziness (Schwindel) when we are to define or only to grasp such matters?"

3 Einfuhrung in die Metaphysik, p. 64.

4 It may be well to recall that Heidegger's mystery of Being as such is not entirely unknown to other thinkers, though not to philosophers in the school sense.


that man lives usually in complete oblivion of the question of Being (Seinsvergessenheit). In fact, in his "Brief uber den Humanismus" he states that Sein und Zeit originated from the fundamental experience (Grunderfahrung) of the general forgetfulness of Being, an experience which would seem to be the complement of the wonder of Being itself. It is this forgetfulness of Being which Heidegger blames for the decline and crisis of man's history on this planet.

But what precisely is the sense of this question about Being (Sein; lately Heidegger sometimes uses the old-fashioned spelling Seyn for emphasis) ? To begin with, it is not Being itself, but the meaning (Sinn) of Being which Heidegger wants to explore. At first sight one might think that all that is involved is the discovery of the referents of the word "Being" by a listing of its uses. As a matter of fact, especially in his recently published Einfuhrung in die Metaphysik, Heidegger goes to a considerable extent into the etymology and even into the grammar of the word "sein." However, beginning with Sein und Zeit, it becomes apparent, though only gradually and indirectly, that "sense of Being" ("Sinn von Sein") means something much more specific. For here "sense" is characterized mainly as the final end (das Woraufhin) which makes a thing intelligible (p. 151). This would seem to presuppose that Being as such has a definite destination. Actually Heidegger tells us that only human existence can be with or without meaning. Being has meaning only insofar as it has import for a human being (Dasein),1 "protrudes" into such a human being (sofern es in die Verstandlichkeit des Daseins hereinsteht). It would appear, therefore, that the whole question concerning the sense of Being has a rather limited scope, since

A particularly striking example can be found in the following passage from Coleridge's The Friend:

Hast thou ever raised thy mind to the consideration of existence, in and by itself, as the mere act of existing? Hast thou ever said to thyself thoughtfully, It is' heedless in that moment, whether it were a man before thee, or a flower, or a grain of sand, - without reference, in short, to this or that particular mode or form of existence ? If thou hast attained to this, thou wilt have felt the presence of a mystery, which must have fixed thy spirit in awe and wonder. . . . Not to be is impossible:

to be, incomprehensible. If thou hast mastered this intuition of absolute existence, thou wilt have learned likewise that it was this, and no other, which in the earlier ages seized the nobler minds, the elect among men, with a sort of sacred horror. . . . The power which evolved this idea of being, being in its essence, being limitless, comprehending its own limits in its dilatation, aud condensing itself into its own apparent mounds - how shall we name it? ... (The Complete Works. New York, Harper, 1868, II, 463 f.).

1 I shall translate Heidegger's peculiar use of the German word Dasein for the thing-in-being called man (SZ p. 11), by "human being" or "human existent."


it affects only its relation to man. However, in his later writings Heidegger seems to have expanded the meaning of the question considerably. Thus the introduction to the sixth edition of What is Metaphysics? (1951) characterizes "sense" as the "accessible or open area in which something can be understood." Also Sinn von Sein and Wahrheit des Seins are here identified.1 Both expressions seem to designate being in its capacity of being knowable.

A fuller understanding of the significance of Heidegger's wonder also presupposes a clear grasp of two related conceptions, that of the "ontological difference" and that of "mode of being" (Seinsart).

The ontological difference (ontologische Differenz) is the distinction between Sein and Seiendes. It is not quite easy to render this distinction in English, especially in the absence of an unambiguous participle equivalent to Seiendes; "what has being" or "thing-in-being" (a suggestion by B. Q. Morgan) may be the most adequate equivalent and less artificial than Ralph Manheim's "essent." It is Heidegger's contention that the neglect of this distinction is responsible for the increasing failure not only of western philosophy but even of western civilization. For they became more and more diverted from a contemplation of Being to a study of, and finally to the technical use and subjugation of, the things-in-being. Thus metaphysics, science, and technology increasingly take the place of what should properly be called ontology or the study of being. Specifically metaphysics, as it has developed since the time of the early Greeks, has become sidetracked almost completely into research on the things-in-being, their natures and their uses.

How far is it possible to study Being in independence of the things-in-being, as Heidegger's demand for a fundamental revision of all previous philosophy implies ? There is hardly any explicit answer to this question in his published writings. The approach in Sein und Zeit, however, suggests that it is primarily, if not exclusively, by the analysis of a specific "thing-in-being," namely human being (Dasein), that Being can be understood. Thus Being appears to be a dependent attribute of things-in-being, an abstract property or dependent part. Yet Heidegger

1 p. 17, see also Vom Wesen der Wahrheit, Anmerkung (p. 26).



seems to assign it much higher dignity, particularly in the later phases of his philosophy. For here Being assumes an active role, revealing itself to or hiding itself from thinking, and even determining the fate of the things-in-being. Metaphorically Heidegger compares it to a lightning or storm.1 In this respect, Being reminds one to some extent of the Aristotelian and Thomist conception of existentia as an active "form." One of the crucial questions for Heidegger's philosophy of Being is how far not only the "ontological difference," but this conception of the place of Being in relation to the things-in-being is tenable. Otherwise the whole emphasis on Being at the expense of the things-in-being may amount to a case of "misplaced concreteness" (Whitehead), i.e., of hypostatizing Being into a separate entity.

Being as such, however mysterious, may at first sight seem to be a rather undifferentiated, if not monotonous, topic which hardly lends itself to very extensive and illuminating study. What relieves this possible uniformity is the fact that Being occurs in a variety of forms (Seinsarten). Even before Heidegger, German philosophers were in the habit of distinguishing, for instance, between real being and ideal being (the being of mathematical entities, of Platonic Ideas, or of values). Heidegger, to be sure, rejects, or rather ignores, these earlier divisions. Instead, he introduces such types of being as the mere occurrence of physical objects (Vorhandensein), the "availability" of daily utensils (Zuhandensein, literally: at-handedness), to which he even assigns priority in our immediate experience, and the various modes of being of man, the human being. Especially at the time of Sein und Zeit the study of the modes of being in the human being is the foundation of Heidegger's enterprise. In its course Heidegger distinguishes between such constitutions of being (Seinsverfassungen) as existence (Existenz), moods (Stimmungen), concern (Sorge), or being-toward-death (Sein zum Tode). This raises the question as to the difference between Heidegger's concept of "mode of being" and that of other qualitative charac-

1 Holzwege, p. 32; Vortrage und Aufsatze p. 229. Karl Lowith, Heidegger, Denker in duftiger Zeit (S. Fischer Verlag, 1953), p. 39, points out a strange retreat from this position between the fourth edition of What is Metaphysics? (1934), where Being is characterized as independent of the things-in-being, and the fifth edition (1940), where Heidegger states that Being never occurs without things-in-being.



teristics of the things-in-being. No explicit discussion of this fundamental concept occurs in Heidegger's published writings.1 In its absence it seems hard to justify his determined attempt to distinguish his separation of an "ontological study of human existence" confined to the modes of being (existentiale Analytik) from an analytics of existence in all its qualitative features. This may not invalidate the merits of Heidegger's accounts qua selective analyses of certain features of human existence; but it makes it dubious how far what he offers can be taken as an account of the human mode of being and as indicative of being in general. Also, the lack of a clear concept of mode of Being threatens to blur the borderlines between Heidegger's "ontology" on the one hand and science - anthropology in particular - on the other. The clarification of the concept of mode of being would seem to be crucial both for an understanding and for the ultimate evaluation of Heidegger's enterprise.

While thus Being (in contrast to the things-in-being) and the modes of being (in contrast to the qualitative differences among the things-in-being) form the central theme of Heidegger's thinking, at least a second theme must be mentioned at the very start: time. It occurs as the companion of Being in the title of Heidegger's central work. Actually, it can be traced even in his writings before Sein und Zeit. However, Heidegger's concern with time is not independent of his primary theme, Being. For Being is to him essentially temporal. The idea of a timeless or even eternal being is for him illegitimate. Hence he also calls time in rather Husserlian but indefinite terms "the possible horizon for an understanding of Being," a formulation which implies that time is the most promising frame of reference for the exploration of Being. But Being is described not only as temporal but also as historical. The full meaning of this characterization can be understood only in the light of Heidegger's conception of history. Thus, by its essence, Being has history, a history which is actually its own doing as well as its undergoing.

If thus Being, in contradistinction to the things-in-being, and time, as its frame of reference, represent the persistent themes of Heidegger's philosophizing, it seems somewhat surprising

1 For this problem see also Alphonse de Waelhens, La Philosophic de Martin Heidegger (Louvain, 1942), p. 309.



that Heidegger's thought, especially in his own eyes, has been subject to so many misinterpretations. These are reflected particularly in the various labels that have been attached to it. Specifically, Heidegger's philosophy has been classified inter-changeably as existentialism, philosophy of existence, philosophical anthropology, metaphysics, or ontology. Heidegger himself has protested against all these labels, in some cases from the very beginning, in others only in the course of his later development, but certainly only with limited success. The facts behind these protests are briefly the following:

?. Heidegger has always disclaimed to be an existentialist or even a philosopher of existence. For human existence is to him neither the primary nor the ultimate philosophical problem. The belief that his is a philosophy of existence is actually the result of the incompleteness of Sein und Zeit. For while Heidegger planned to use his existential studies only as an entering wedge for his major problem, the sense of Being in general, the non-appearance of the later parts meant that only his analytics of existence was available. The impressiveness of the published sections was responsible for the fact that they became effective as studies of human existence for their own sake, all the more since the direction of Heidegger's next steps remained largely in the dark. In other words, in the public eye Heidegger became an existentialist despite himself.!

?. Heidegger has always denied being a philosophical anthropologist after the manner of Max Scheler. The impression that he is one has arisen chiefly since his Kant book, which, even more than Sein und Zeit, used the human being as its point of departure, and stressed Kant's interest in man as an essentially metaphysics-minded being. Even Husserl, as seen above, shared this view about Heidegger. But while some aspects of philosophical anthropology were of considerable interest to Heidegger during his middle period, he certainly used them only as stepping stones on the way to ontology.

?. Heidegger no longer wants to be considered a metaphysician. The contrary impression is due particularly to his Freiburg

1 See "Brief fiber den Humanismus" in Platons Lehre van der Wahrheit, p. 73;

Letter to Jean Wahl in Bulletin de la Societe Franfaise de philosophic XXXVII (1937), p.193.


inaugural address of 1929 on "What is Metaphysics?," to his book on Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics, and to his various lecture courses on metaphysics, one of which was published under the old name as late as 1953. However, after 1936 Heidegger began to announce the need of an Uberwindung of metaphysics, a word which at first sight seems to mean a conquest or overcoming of metaphysics, but which Heidegger, who later came to regret this phrase as misleading, now connects with the German word verwinden, meaning literally "getting over a painful experience"; he thus implies that metaphysics was a necessary phase in the history of Being.1 What is involved for Heidegger is the distinction between Being and thing-in-being. He now holds metaphysics responsible for the fateful preoccupation with the thing-in-being (Seiendes), instead of with the fundamental theme of Being itself. Obviously, Heidegger's protest against being called a metaphysician has to be judged in the light of this peculiar definition and interpretation of metaphysics.

?. But Heidegger does not even want to be classed any longer as an ontologist. At the time of Sein und Zeit, ontology, in contrast to metaphysics, was characterized as the study of Being itself, and this study was described as the only worthy subject of a phenomenological philosophy. Its task was to be prepared for by a "fundamental ontology" [Fundamentalontologie] of human being (Dasein). In recent years, however, Heidegger has come to the conclusion that the old term is too closely linked up with traditional metaphysics to express his own meaning.

?. In fact, for similar reasons, Heidegger now even rejects the very name "philosophy." This name has become so hopelessly discredited that it can no longer serve as the proper title for Heidegger's new way of thinking. For "philosophy" is in fact the "enemy" of thinking.2 The proper name for Heidegger's philosophizing is Thought of Being (Denken des Seins). Nevertheless it is still true even for him that such "thinking" is based on "love of wisdom." 3

Thus in Heidegger's own eyes Thought of Being is something utterly unique and unclassifiable. We need not examine this

1 Vwtrage und Aufsatze, p. 71 ff.

2 Holzwege, p. 247.

3 "Brief fiber den Humanismus" in Platons Lehre van der Wahrheit, p. 119.



implicit claim in the present context. The question which concerns us is whether and to what extent Heidegger's thinking can still be considered phenomenology. Heidegger's silence on this point is certainly not without significance. It is, as he intimated to me in conversation, also related to his new aversion to all labels and traditional classifications. This does not yet answer the question, however, of how far not only the name "phenomenology" but also the thing is absent or has disappeared from his thought. It is this question which will concern us now.

4. The Development of Heidegger's Thought of Being

It is not only Heidegger's 'Being' which has a history. This is also true of his thinking about Being. For our purposes it will be important to trace at least its major stages.

Even a merely factual account, let alone a full understanding, of Heidegger's intellectual history would presuppose much more biographical material than is at present available, especially in the absence of almost all autobiographical statements.! At least in this respect Heidegger's reticence expresses the complete subordination of his personality to the Seiche, the matter under consideration; the first personal pronoun is unusually rare in Heidegger's writing.

On the basis of Heidegger's writings I shall distinguish three main periods in his development relevant to the present enterprise. They are not marked by abrupt breaks but rather by accelerated transformations. There is a preparatory period in which Heidegger formulates his basic theme, but is still in search of an adequate method of attacking it. After the personal encounter with Husserl begins the period of the maturation of Sein und Zeit, in which phenomenology is the dominant methodo-logical principle. A third period is characterized by the abandonment of the plan of Sein und Zeit, and by a method which no longer emphasizes phenomenology.

1 Some indications about the world of his early childhood can be found in a brief little privately printed autobiographical sketch. Der Feldweg, written after his sixtieth birthday. More significant data, especially about his later philosophical development, can be derived from the Brief uber den Humanismus and from the chronological notes to the smaller essays and lectures published since Sein und Zeit in front or in the back of these publications.


a. preparatory period - The Feldweg depicts Heidegger as the little son of the sexton of St. Martin's church in Messkirch, Baden, "whose hands often rubbed themselves hot in ringing the church bell ... which had its peculiar relationship to time and temporality." It is generally known that until 1911 Heidegger was first a novice in a Jesuit seminary in Freiburg. As to the reasons for and the form of his leaving, no authentic information is available. It is not even known whether and to what extent his obvious move away from the Catholic Church has led to a formal severance of his ties with it. In any event, lately Heidegger has protested vigorously against being classed as an atheist.

For one piece of significant information about his philosophical development I am indebted to Martin Heidegger personally:

The first philosophical book, put into his hands casually by one of his teachers at the Seminary, that made a lasting impression on his mind was a doctoral dissertation on the multiple meanings of being in Aristotle (Von der mannigfachen Bedeutung des Seien-den nach Aristoteles}; its author was Franz Brentano. It would be hard to understand how this comparatively dry though most scholarly and acute treatise could have affected Heidegger so deeply, unless the question of the meaning of Being had already been simmering in him at that early period.

Heidegger did his Ph. D. work under the supervision of Hein-rich Rickert in Freiburg. Even before its completion in 1913 he published a critical survey on recent research in logic for a Catholic magazine.1 It showed his familiarity with the whole range of logical studies, including even the mathematical logic of Russell and Whitehead. Husserl is mentioned repeatedly. Thus he writes:

We would like to assign far-reaching significance to Husserl's circumspect and most felicitously formulated investigations. For they really broke the spell of psychologism and set in motion the clarification of principles mentioned before (p. 466).

Besides, Husserl is credited with having at the same time "founded" phenomenology (the "study of the meaning of acts") theoretically "and having done successful work in this difficult

1 Literarische Rundschau fur das katholische Deutschland XXXVIII (1912), 465-472, 517-524, 565-570.


area" (p. 520). Heidegger's Ph.D. thesis dealt with the theory of judgment according to psychologism, much in the free Neo-Kantian spirit of the Freiburg philosophy of the time. The sections published in two instalments in one of the leading philosophical periodicals of the day1 show solid workmanship in the traditional style. Here Heidegger identifies psychologistic elements not only in Wilhelm Wundt but also in Franz Brentano and the later work of Theodor Lipps. Husserl's critique of psychologism is mentioned only in passing at the very start of the thesis in words almost identical with those of the earlier survey.

The year 1912 also sees the publication of a brief article, "Das Realitatsproblem in der modernen Philosophic," in the Catholic Philosophisches Jahrbuch der Gorresgesellschaft (XXV, 353-363) on the problem of reality in modern philosophy. Its main ostensible purpose is a discussion of the critical realism of Oswald Kulpe, the founder of the Wurzburg School, recommending with minor reservations his epistemological work to the attention of Aristotelian Scholastics, with whom Heidegger still seems to identify himself. Perhaps even more important is the fact that the article expresses for the first time Heidegger's concern with the problem of Being, though in the traditional form of the epistemological problem of reality. Against a cavalier dismissal of this problem he insists that "the energetic liberation (Sichlosringen) from the pressing deadweight (Bleilast) of a supposed truism (Selbstverstandlichkeit) is a necessary condition for a deeper realization of a task which calls for solution." Also the article presents in detail the case against Humean and Machian "conscientialism" (Konszientialismus) and against Kantian phenomenalism in a way which makes Heidegger's later tacit refusal to follow Husserl's phenomenological idealism much more intelligible. Again Husserl's name appears only once in a footnote in connection with the critique of psychologism in logic.

The momentous thesis which Heidegger submitted on the occasion of his admission as a Privatdozent to the University of Freiburg in 1915 dealt on the surface with a merely historical subject: Duns Scotus Doctrine of Categories and Meanings.

1 Zeitschrift fur Philosophic und philosophische Kritik CLV (1914), 148-172; CLVI (1915), 41-78.



However, it is noteworthy that in choosing a medieval thinker Heidegger picked Duns Scotus, an "individual thinker with unmistakably modern features" (p. 12), rather than Thomas Aquinas. The main basis for his study was the so-called "Grammatical, speculative!.," incidentally the very same text which had attracted Charles Sanders Peirce on his way to his "phenomeno-logical" studies of the categories, so much so that he called himself a Scotist realist1 but which since then has been traced back by Martin Grabmann - who gives high praise to Heidegger's acute interpretation "in the terminology of phenomenology" -to an otherwise unknown magister Thomas of Erfurt.2

The contents of Heidegger's seemingly rather specialized and remote study are of much greater significance for his development than would appear from the title. For it shows Heidegger in full transition not only from scholastic philosophy but even from Rickert's transcendental philosophy to Husserl, in fact not the Husserl of the Logische Untersuchungen but of the Ideen. This is all the more remarkable since at that time Heidegger was not yet in personal contact with Husserl, although the concluding chapter may have been written after Husserl's arrival in Freiburg. Actually, Heidegger's first book shows more of the letter and the spirit of Husserl's early phenomenology than any of his later writings. Besides, it reveals in retrospect remarkable indications of Heidegger's entire later development, although it still maintains connections with his scholastic and theistic past.

It is true that on its face the book carries a dedication to his main academic teacher, Heinrich Rickert {in dankbarster Vereh-rung), and that it often uses the language of his philosophy. Also, while intimating considerable reservations, Heidegger still expresses great hopes for the theory of value (Preface and p. 235), a term which he has since then rejected with increasing vehemence. However, a glimpse at the index of persons reveals that, while both Rickert and Husserl are the most frequently quoted authors, there is even a slight edge in favor of Husserl. In addition to that, Husserl's decisive importance is stressed not only for the "pure logic and theory of meanings" (p. 14 footnote

1 Charles K. McKeon, "Peirce's Scotistic Realism" in Wiener, Philip P. and Young, Frederic H. eds., Studies in the Philosophy of Charles Sanders Peirce (Harvard University Press, 1952), pp. 238-50.

2 Mittelalterliches Geistesleben (Munchen, Max Hueber, 1926), I, p. 116 ff.



1), but also for the "phenomenology of the noetic acts" (p. 102). Intentionality in Duns Scotus is interpreted in Husserlian terms (p. 130). Finally, Husserl's statements about "pure consciousness" are cited as "giving a decisive preview (Duchblick) of the richness of consciousness" and as "destroying the often pronounced opinion about the emptiness of consciousness in general" (p. 234, footnote).

These appraisals, in combination with the extensive programmatic statements in the introductory and concluding chapters, offer considerable clues as to the reasons for Heidegger's turn toward a Husserlian phenomenology, including even its emphasis on the subjective. In his by no means uncritical account of medieval philosophy Heidegger stresses its lack of methodical consciousness, its missing urge and courage to ask questions independent of authority, and the absence of a connection between abstract principles and concrete life:

The Middle Ages lack what makes the characteristic of the modern spirit: the liberation of the subject from his ties with his environment, the firm establishment in his own life. . . . For medieval man, the stream of his peculiar life with its manifold entanglements, diversions, and reflections in its varied and widely ramified conditioning is mostly buried (verschutter), and is not recognized as such. (p. 8)

True, Heidegger makes a strong plea for the scholastic method, but only because it includes "elements of phenomenological intuiting (Betrachfung), perhaps more than any other" (p. 11). He also points out that "at least insofar as it is permeated by the genuine spirit of Aristotle" it is oriented toward descriptive content rather than toward an empirical and genetic explanation. But he also admits that its metaphysical way of thinking cancels and even makes impossible the "phenomenological reduction." Ultimately, Heidegger stresses the need for intensified study of the scholastic psychology, which is anything but psycho-logistic and is favorable to a study of the phenomena of intentionality. Its theory of meaning represents a good case of a going back to the subjective act of signifying. Then he adds revealingly:

I consider the philosophical, in fact the phenomenological exploration of the mystical, ethico-theological, and ascetic literature of medieval scholasticism as particularly urgent for decisive insight into the basic character of scholastic psychology (p. 15).


In this context Heidegger reveals his plan of a study of Master Eckhart's mysticism (p. 232 note).

Thus it is strikingly clear that at the time of the thesis Husserl's emphasis on subjectivity fitted in extremely well with Heidegger's reservations against, and criticisms of, scholastic philos-phizing. It provided for Heidegger the modern balance against the traditional scholastic objectivism from which he came. Presumably this was another reason why he had chosen Duns Scotus as a symbol for his new enterprise.

Finally, the Duns Scotus book foreshadows Heidegger's next phase by linking it with his basic theme: Being. For in spite of the need of a subjective logic to supplement the objective logic of scholasticism he announces the ultimate need of a translogical metaphysics (the word is printed in bold face) as the real optics (eigentliche Optik) of philosophy, which is to go beyond the logical problems of categories and meanings. For the first time a brief footnote (p. 237) expresses the hope of an early, more detailed study about Being, Value, and Negation, which is to include basic definitions (prinzipielle Festsetzungen). Here is the nucleus of Sein und Zeit. But there are also other signs of future developments, e.g., in the demand for a breakthrough through the totality of the knowable to "true reality" and "real truth" (p. 236).

The Duns Scotus thesis also announces the theme of history. The "living spirit," which is said to underlie the whole logico-epistemological sphere with its problems of categories and meanings, is said to be essentially historical. A historical philosophy of this living spirit, as Heidegger seems to envisage it in conclusion, would embrace both philosophy and mysticism. For philosophy as a mere rationalistic structure is powerless, while mysticism as mere irrationalistic Erieben is purposeless. It will have to come to terms with the most powerful historical Weltanschauung, that of Hegel, whose name ends the book, as a motto from him had opened it.

Time and history also form the subjects of Heidegger's inaugural lecture on "The Concept of Time in Historiography." Here an even more basic motif of Heidegger's later work is stated, although its connection with the problem of Being is not yet visible to anyone but the informed. For ostensibly it is only


historiography which is under consideration. The time concept of history is, however, contrasted sharply with that of natural science in a way which shows Heidegger's familiarity with the science of Einstein and Planck. As distinguished from the latter, historical time is characterized as heterogeneous and qualitative, since condensed or "crystallized" in the life of historical beings;

it is not identical with the time of the mere chronicle of events. This too would seem to point toward a more subjective type of time, as lived in human existence. There is however no explicit reference to phenomenology in this lecture.

Thus the basic themes of Heidegger's phenomenology, Being, time, and history were already formulated when Heidegger came in personal contact with Husserl. Also, in addition to these goals, Heidegger had already decided that a subjective approach in the manner of Husserl's phenomenology was the most important extension of the Aristotelian-scholastic methods needed for a successful approach to these problems. But not until Heidegger took up full scale lecturing after the end of the First World War was it manifest that he wanted to be counted as a phenomeno-logist rather than as a follower of Heinrich Rickert.

b. the phenomenological period - I have already recorded the external facts of the subsequent period in Heidegger's development as far as his relationship to Husserl personally is concerned. But I have not yet attempted to show their meaning in the light of Heidegger's philosophical growth.

No adequate information about the content of Heidegger's phenomenological courses and seminars between his first Freiburg lectures and Sein und Zeit is available. Hence there would be little point in speculating about the meaning of their announced titles. Heidegger himself indicates, however, that as early as 1919-20 he had introduced his analysis of environment (Umweltanalyse) and his "hermeneutics of factual existence" (Hermeneutik der Faktizitat) in a course entitled "Selected Problems of Pure Phenomenology." This makes it plain that from the very start Heidegger took the liberty of interpreting and developing phenomenology in his own way and for his own purposes. It also stands to reason that his subsequent courses discussed further themes of Sein und Zeit, which he started


writing in 1922.1 Thus very soon Heidegger's phenomenology took on a very different character from Husserl's and even from the one he seemed to be advocating in the Duns Scotus book.

To trace these differences in detail would require a complete analysis of Sein und Zeit. I shall merely point out some of the major peculiarities of this astonishing torso, comparing it particularly with Husserl's approach.

oc. Perhaps the most striking thing for anyone who comes to Sein und, Zeit from a reading of Husserl's studies is the complete difference in language and terminology. Even apart from the form of expression, very rarely does there seem to be a similarity of concerns or overlapping of topics. Specific references to Husserl's writings are surprisingly rare, probably less in number than in the much shorter Duns Scotus book, and they take up only minor items, mostly from the Logische Untersuchungen. The reductions, both eidetic and transcendental, Husserl's major concern since his Ideen, are not even mentioned by name. However, apart from the dedication, Husserl is given general credit in a paragraph which states that

the following investigations would not have been possible without the ground laid by Husserl, whose Logische Untersuchungen meant the breakthrough to phenomenology.

In a footnote to this paragraph Heidegger also acknowledges his personal indebtedness to Husserl, who had made possible his further progress (einige Schritte vorwarts) by "familiarizing" him "during his Freiburg apprenticeship (Lehrjahre) with the most diverse areas of phenomenological research by intense (ein-dringliche) personal guidance and by the freest possible access to unpublished studies." (p. 38). However, a study of Husserl's manuscripts published since then or otherwise known to me provides little evidence that Husserl's unpublished writings have influenced Heidegger's work except by way of challenge.2 What is responsible for Heidegger's implicit rejection of some

1 Information given on the cover of the record "Zum Atomzeitalter" (1955).

2 The reference to Ideen II (Sein und Zeit, p. 47 footnote) represents a good example of such stimulation. This raises the question of possible influences in reverse from Heidegger on Husserl. If at all, these have hardly been conscious ones. At most one might suspect that such concepts as that of the Lebenswelt, or even the use of the term "existential" in Husserl's later manuscripts, may be an unconscious assimilation of some of Heidegger's motifs. See also Alwin Dierner, Edmund Husserl, p. 65 f.


of the basic features of Husserl's later philosophizing ? Ultimately the answer has to be given in the light of Heidegger's basic theme, Being, and of the question how far Husserl's method of reduction could have helped him in determining the meaning of this Being. As far as the eidetic reduction to general essences is concerned, one might perhaps think that Heidegger was heading for an interpretation of Being as such, and hence that he could not object to the eidetic method of generalizing abstraction. But one of his first theses is that Being has not the nature of a genus (p. 3). As a "transcendental" concept in the old scholastic sense it "transcends" the customary categories, hence no kind of generalization would be able to reach it. Besides, Heidegger makes a special point of emphasizing that Being, particularly in the case of human being, is fundamentally individualized, something which is easily ignored in any Platonizing approach.

As to the phenomenological or "transcendental" reduction, even in the form of mere bracketing of existence, the explanation is perhaps even easier to find. For the reduction consists primarily in suspending, at least temporarily, the question of whether any given phenomenon has being. How can such a method help in exploring the nature of Being ? Even though Husserl believes that it ultimately can, it would seem rather strange to approach such a problem by first looking away from it. Also it is certainly true that in performing the reduction Husserl took little time to first establish what it was that he suspended when he bracketed "existence" and concentrated on "pure phenomena" only. In other words, for Heidegger's undertaking eidetic and transcendental phenomenology were at best useless, at worst falsifying, when existence and being were at stake. Apparently Heidegger tried on occasion to divert Husserl from his stubborn insistence on the reductions, but to no avail. Yet, for unstated reasons, he did not see fit to bring the issue out into the open.

Nevertheless, there are passages in Sein und Zeit where this difference nearly comes to the surface. And at least on one such occasion Heidegger intimates the deeper reasons for his avoidance of traditional terminology, including that of Husserl's phenomenology with its concepts of consciousness (Bewusstsein), subject, and personality. As he puts it, they are all characterized by a "strange insensitiveness" {Bedurfnislosigkeit) to the question


of Being in the things designated by the word "being" (in German the word Bewusstsein actually includes the component "being"). For although in comparison with Dilthey and Bergson "the phenomenological interpretation of personality is fundamentally more radical and transparent, it does not reach the dimension of the being of Dasein." (p. 47). It is at this point that Heidegger's new hermeneutic phenomenology is ready to step in.

Thus emphasizing the differences in approach and development between Sein und Zeit and Husserl's thought should of course not minimize the common themes and perspectives which a more penetrating study would be able to bring to the surface. Even though Heidegger avoids demonstratively such terms as "intentionality," the phenomenon it designates is omnipresent in his concept of "being-in-the world." Even more obvious is the common interest in such topics as "world" and "time." This is certainly more than a coincidence. But without further evidence than the texts there is very little chance to determine the kind and amount of influences.

P. In spite of the obvious differences, even Heidegger's new phenomenology shared with Husserl's version at least the general area of departure, namely man himself, if not in the form of the conscious subject, at least in that of human being (Dasein). For the strategy of Sein und Zeit consists in an attack upon the meaning of Being by way of an analysis of the being of man, inasmuch as he is the privileged entity who is concerned about his being and has thus a certain understanding of Being, however defective, from the very start. Man is thus fundamentally "ontological," i.e., thinking about the "on" (being). So the plan of Sein und Zeit in its first half provides for an analysis of this human being. This half is subdivided into three sections, of which only two have been published, the first being a preparatory analysis of human being for its ontological structure, the second giving a fundamental (urs-prungliche) analysis of this being in its relation to temporality. The third section, whose publication has now been abandoned for good, was to furnish the transition from human being and human temporality to time and Being itself; here human being was no longer to function as the exclusive clue to Being. The second half of the work, also abandoned, was to be reserved for a "phenomenological destruction" of the


history of ontology based on the analysis of temporality, and was presumably meant to supply a confirmation of the conclusions of the systematic first half by means of a critical interpretation of three decisive chapters of the history of philosophy.

This approach, beginning from human being and leading to Being itself, reflects at least to some extent Husserl's primary emphasis on subjectivity, as developed in the Ideen and in his later writings. It differs from these, however, by the substitution of human being for pure consciousness. What is the real meaning of this substitution, and what is the relationship between these two conceptions? Here lies perhaps the decisive difference between Husserl's and Heidegger's phenomenologies.

Heidegger's concept of human being is closely linked up with his concept of existence, although strictly speaking existence (i.e., the "possibility of being or not being oneself") is only one of several basic features of human being. It is at this point that Heidegger's phenomenology makes its momentous and fateful contact with the philosophy of existence, which, going beyond Heidegger's own intentions, has since led almost to an identification of phenomenology and existentialism. There is thus far no way of telling what led Heidegger to the adoption of his new concept of existence, which differs basically from the scholastic use (opposed to essence), as it is found even in Heidegger's Duns Scotus book. It seems likely that the study of Kierkegaard (which became widespread in Germany after the First World War and which was promoted further by Jaspers' account of him, even before Jaspers himself had fully developed his philosophy of existence) had a good deal to do with it.1

But even more important is an understanding of the purpose of Heidegger's analysis of existence. For Heidegger wants it to be understood that this analysis is not to be a full-fledged study of human existence in the sense of Jaspers' philosophy, for which Heidegger uses the German adjective "' existentiell." His own analysis is meant to be "existential," a new coinage in German, which is supposed to convey the idea that human existence is to be studied only for its "categories," not for its what or nature,

1 See, e.g., Sein und Zeit, p. 338. Actually, Kierkegaard's name appears only three times and relatively late in Sein und Zeit, and then merely in an incidental manner (pp. 190, 235 note, 338).


since this is all that is needed for the proposed approach to Being in general. To be sure. Being for Heidegger is the decisive part of human being, so much so that he is not even sure whether there is an essence of man over and above his being: For "The essence of human being lies in existence" (p. 42). In view of this, one may well doubt whether there would be anything left for a philosophy of existence after Heidegger's analytics of existence had carried out its task. Existence, as Heidegger sees it, is anyhow a non-theoretical affair, which can be handled only by actual existing, not by any kind of theoretical analysis (p. 12).

But this does not yet explain Heidegger's reason for replacing consciousness by human being. Heidegger's answer is that Husserl's conscious ego, as well "as that of Descartes, leaves the question of the being of such consciousness completely unanswered.1 This may seem somewhat surprising since Husserl, although he "brackets" the being of the whole "transcendent" world, insists all the more on the "absolute," "apodictic," and indubitable being of pure consciousness, without, to be sure, elaborating on what such absolute being involves. What Heidegger seems to be missing must be the discussion of the "meaning" of being as he himself supplies it, something which has to do with the objective of consciousness in its constitutive functions. Though in his last stage Husserl seems to have considered such problems explicitly under the heading of teleology, this certainly does not amount to anything comparable to Heidegger analytics of human being.

While Heidegger thus believes he is even more radical than Husserl himself with his return to the transcendental ego, he is in another sense unwilling to go so far. Perhaps this can best be illustrated from Heidegger's comments on the following sentence in Husserl's draft of the Encyclopaedia Britannica article: "If I carry out the (transcendental) reduction for myself, I am not a human ego." In his comment Heidegger underlines "I am" and "not" and adds, "or perhaps I am precisely that, in its most specific, most amazing ('wundersamst') existential possibility." In the margin he also asks: "Why not? Isn't this activity a

1 Sein und Zeit, pp. 46, 207 f. This point is also made with great emphasis in Heidegger's comments on Husserl's Encyclopaedia, Britannica article (Tijdschrift voor Philosophic, XII, p. 274).


potentiality of man.. . ?" Here is the deepest root of the growing disagreement: For Husserl, man is an entity constituted by his consciousness; for Heidegger, consciousness, even in its sublimated phenomenological form, is conversely an activity of man, constituted by him. Without presuming to rule on the merits of the case, I submit that the ultimate difference is based on a difference of focus: Husserl is interested primarily in the epistemo-logical aspect (How do we know about man?), Heidegger in the "ontic" angle (What is Being and what are the foundations for philosophizing and phenomenologizing in the midst of it?). Heidegger undertakes to shift the center of gravity of phenomenology by making human being, rather than consciousness, its hinge. For those who do not share his ontological concern, this amounts indeed to an entirely new phenomenology with an anthropological foundation. The phenomenology of Sein und Zeit is still subjectivistic to the extent that it makes man its point of departure. But this is certainly no longer a transcendental subjectivity in Husserl's sense.

y. Still another point about Heidegger's position in Sein und Zeit deserves discussion here, especially in view of the fact that Heidegger by-passes Husserl's method of reduction: his attitude toward phenomenological or transcendental idealism.

Husserl's marginal notes to Sein und Zeit make it plain that to him Heidegger's philosophy appeared to be nothing but another type of realism, related even to the old scholastic realism of Thomas Aquinas, from whom, he thought, Heidegger had not yet freed himself completely. Heidegger himself certainly does not acknowledge any such commitments, but rather claims that his new approach unhinges the whole stalemated problem of realism and idealism, which relates the issue to the question of dependence upon consciousness, rather than upon human being. But apart from rejecting Husserl's point of reference Heidegger admits a realistic element in his concept of "Erschlossenheit," i.e., literally, the unlockedness or accessibility in the things as encountered in our world. He opposes realism only insofar as it is supposed to imply the reducibility of Being to things-in-being (p. 21 Of.) -hardly one of the customary interpretations of realism. A few pages later he denies specifically that reality, in the sense of physical and cultural things, is dependent upon human being.


He does assert, however, that "only as long as there is human being, i.e., the ontic possibility of understanding of being, is there {"es gibt") such a thing as "Being." Unless the "es gibt" is interpreted in a Pickwickian sense, this certainly sounds like idealism at its strongest. It should be added, however, that since then Heidegger has interpreted this statement in the sense that "only as long as human being is," i.e., man as the "clearing" of Being (die Lichtung des Seins), does Being hand itself over (ubereignet sick) to man.1 Hence the "es gibt" must have meant literally "giving itself," not "occurring," in which case being might well precede and survive the "gift-stage."

Clearly, this cannot be considered a satisfactory adaptation of Husserl's transcendental idealism. Heidegger's later development completely removes the seeming traces of the transcendental idealism of this period.

S. The above discussion of Sein und Zeit merely means to bring out aspects that have bearing on Heidegger's general development. Hence, instead of the problematical attempt to summarize its other theses, of which I shall select later those that illustrate his phenomenological method, I shall simply try to indicate the stage at which Heidegger leaves his reader at the end of the published two sections of the first half of the work.

The preparatory analysis of human being in the first section, starting from man's everyday existence, had led to a determination of the "meaning of Being" (Sinn des Seins) of human being for which Heidegger uses the term Sorge (concern). The second section had attempted an interpretation of human being as a whole by introducing the element of time in the form of temporality, i.e., the time-structure of our existing. In fact, temporality was now called the "meaning" (Sinn) of concern (Sorge), which had previously been called the being of human being. Thus the published sections of the work reach at least Heidegger's first objective: the determination of the meaning of one type of Being, the Being of the potentially most revealing thing-in-being, man. This leaves other types of being undetermined. More important, it leaves the climactic question of the meaning of Being in general still unanswered, much as one can surmise that the temporality of human being was meant to be

1 "Brief fiber den Humanismus" in Platons Lehre van der Wahrheit, p. 83.



the bridge to "Time and Being," the announced topic for section III. The last pages of the published part leave the reader with a string of questions, which may at first seem to be merely rhetorical, aimed at intensifying the reader's expectation. In retrospect, however, one notices certain ominous undertones of indecision as to the best possible way to attack the major question. In fact, we are told in the end that there is no chance of settling the controversy about the interpretation of Being, since thus far it has not even been stirred up (entfacht).

But if Sein und Zeit is incomplete, one might at least think of it as a complete and final treatment of a more limited subject with the more appropriate title "Human Being and Temporality" (Dasein und Zeitlichkeit, actually the title of section II). The difficulty with such a restrictive interpretation is that too often in the development of these sections we are told to wait for the final denouement of points discussed merely in a preliminary fashion. In view of this fact the question arises whether Heidegger's later work can in some way provide the missing keystone for the impressive arch which he built in Sein und Zeit.

Heidegger's contribution to the Husserl-Festschrift of 1929, "Vom Wesen des Grundes," is ostensibly not directly related to Sein und Zeit. It is not easy to determine the exact place of this study, which is unusually compact and far from easy to interpret. It certainly does not elucidate the meaning of 'ground' in any customary sense. The essay follows the pattern of Sein und Zeit, inasmuch as it approaches the problem of ground by way of the study of Dasein, particularly in the form of what Heidegger i;

now calls "transcendence," namely the self-transcendence of man in the direction of a world. This transcendence itself is traced back to man's freedom, which might make one think that Heidegger wants to derive the world from a free act of the human being, which would amount to a kind of existential idealism. But this is not the case. For freedom, as Heidegger soon adds, consists, paradoxically enough, in letting the world take its own course (W altenlassen), which sounds more like an act of giving freedom than of having it. The final analysis of the free act of grounding reveals human being as not only projecting the world (Weltentwurf), but as having been taken over by the world (Eingenommensein). In fact, human being is now conceived of as


being in the midst of being other than human being. Thus, while human being still appears as the primary access to such concepts as "ground" and "being," it is now ontologically imbedded in being and certainly not equipped with any kind of constitutive function and superiority as it is in transcendental idealism.1

About one year after his return to Freiburg Heidegger delivered his celebrated and perhaps most widely quoted inaugural lecture, "What is Metaphysics ?" Ostensibly it still advocates a revival of metaphysics, which is to include the exploration of the ground of the things-in-being. Indeed, the postscript of 1934, and even more the introduction of 1951, show to how many misinterpretations his formulation of the basic question of metaphysics ("Why is there something and not rather nothing at all?") had given rise. The impression was certainly defensible that Heidegger was on the way to a reconstruction of metaphysics in its most comprehensive sense, rather than to its re-orientation around the problem of Being in contrast to the things-in-being. This, among other things, may account for his later efforts at "overcoming" or "getting over" metaphysics.

The lecture itself fits into the approach of Sein und Zeit, in its move from human being to Being. But it views the problem of Being from a new side, namely from its contrast to nothingness. According to Heidegger, nothingness itself, puzzling though it is, becomes accessible in the fundamental experience (Grund-erfahrung) of human existence called anxiety, in which the things-in-being seem to retreat or flee away from us. To Heidegger this metaphysical experience is actually a part of human being, in fact the fundamental event in human experience, so much so that he even states that metaphysics is human being itself. Thus it is still the subject in the form of man, with his questions and experiences, that seems to supply the privileged approach to Being as such.

In 1929 Heidegger published his third book, Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik. To some extent this may be considered as an installment of the projected first section of the second half of Sein und Zeit, which was to furnish a "phenomenological destruction" of the three major ontologies that Heidegger

1 About the "misleadingness" of this essay as seemingly dealing with the metaphysics of things-in-being, see Der Satz vom Grunde (1957), p. 84.


considered to be the main obstacles to his fresh start. But as it stands, the book seems to have been conceived independently and can be considered as a kind of historical prolegomena to Sein und Zeit as a whole. It is the first of those historical interpretations which in a unique way combine painstaking documentation in securing the original texts with admitted violence in their use. It is also a first example in Heidegger's writing of the form of dialogue between himself and the great philosophers of the past which is so characteristic of Heidegger's later philosophizing.

Seen in a wider context, the Kant book means simply an indirect corroboration and reinforcement of Heidegger's main plea in Sein und Zeit, the need of a "fundamental ontology" of human being focused on the phenomenon of temporality as the foundation of a genuine philosophy and metaphysics. To this extent it does not represent any significant shift in Heidegger's development. Nevertheless it is a highly instructive piece, particularly if compared with a fuller and less forced view of Kantian philosophy.

Revealing, for instance, is the interpretation of the Critique of Pure Reason as an attempt to lay the foundations of a metaphysics based on the nature of man. Man is now defined not as an a priori ideal subject, however empirically imperfect, but as finite, chiefly because his knowledge is primarily Anschauung -the latter a view well in line with phenomenology, but perhaps questionable in the light of Kant's view of the relation between Anschauung and Begriff - and because this Anschauung is non-creative and dependent on something already in existence (p. 31), hence derivative - a view which indicates again the realistic element in Heidegger, if not in Kant.

Another distinctive feature of Heidegger's interpretation of Kant is the decisive weight he attaches to the synthetic imagination (Einbildungskraft) as the root of the synthesis between intuition and thought, particularly in connection with the problem of the doctrine of the transcendental schema. Equally important is the role given to time for an understanding of the workings of the synthetic imagination.

But the most important aspect of the book is the explanation Heidegger gives for the disappearance of the synthetic imagination from the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason.


For Heidegger sees in it a sign of Kant's retreat (Zuruckweichen) from the implications of his own approach: he cannot bear the realization of the subjective character of the subject (p. 194). "To question one's way (Hineinfragen) into the subjectivity of the subject, the 'subjective deduction,' leads into darkness." In the attempt to lay a subjective foundation for the Critique of Pure Reason Kant had actually undermined it: the foundations threaten to cave in and to reveal the abyss (Abgrund) of metaphysics. Regardless of how clear and convincing this interpretation is, one of the implications of Heidegger's concluding critique of Kant's approach is that it indirectly reveals the failure of the subjective approach, so basic to Husserl's phenomenology of subjectivity, which had led Husserl to increasing interest in and admiration for Kant. To Heidegger, subjectivism was now a failure, in view of the essential finiteness of man, i.e., the dependence of his Anschauung on powers not in himself. And Kant's failure spelled Husserl's failure as well.

Finally, there is the fact that the book, dedicated to the memory of Max Scheler, contains a discussion of Scheler's idea of a philosophical anthropology as an alternative foundation for metaphysics. This is rejected in favor of the "fundamental ontology" of Sein und Zeit, which alone is said to make possible an understanding of the finiteness of man. Thus, although there are indications of further developments in Heidegger's thought, the fundamental approach to Being through human being remains unchanged. Yet no basic progress beyond Sein und Zeit is apparent from Heidegger's publications during the twenties.

After 1929 the roster of Heidegger's publications shows another conspicuous gap. The early thirties were the period of his temporary but intense involvement in the affairs of the Nazi regime. In the present context his political expectations and early disillusionment are without immediate significance. What is significant, however, is the fact of his association with a political movement as activistic and violent as Nazism. It is true that authentic existence, as Heidegger conceived of it at the time, called for resoluteness (Entschlossenheit, a word which in customary German has exclusively voluntaristic connotations). But beyond the meaning of an orientation toward death (Sein zum


Tode), Sein und Zeit had failed to define the kind of life this would spell.1

Quite possibly during these years Heidegger had the strange illusion that not only could his own philosophy assimilate some of the Nazi ideology but also that he could offer the latter a more adequate philosophy than Alfred Rosenberg's "Myth of the Twentieth Century." The grotesqueness of this error does not make the spectacle of this episode any more edifying.

The only separate publication from this period is Heidegger's Pectoral Address of 1933, entitled oddly enough "The Self-assertion of the German University." The revealing part about it is the reinterpretation of science in the context of the new political pattern as he conceived of it. The address contains Heidegger's supreme appeal to the will as the lever for shaping man's destiny in his universe and, in the case of science, for unlocking the essence of all things. What is more, the universe now appears so antagonistic to man that this address expresses the closest approximation to explicit atheism that can be found anywhere in Heidegger's writings.2 In a sense this speech, together with similar utterances from this period, represents the high watermark and possibly the turning point of Heidegger's trust in the capacity of human being to force Being to surrender its secret. Nietzsche's will-to-power is its symbolic expression. The failure of Heidegger's excursion into the political world spells not only the end of his activism but also of his trust in human being and the powers of subjectivity as embodied in the will.

c. under the sign of Holderlin - To what extent has there been a break in Heidegger's thinking since Sein und

1 There is a characteristic story of a student of Heidegger who emerged from one of his lectures with the exclamation: "I am resolved: Only I am not sure on what.*' See K. Lowith, "Les Implications politiques de la philosophic d'existence de Heidegger" in Les Temps Modernes II (1946), 347.

2 "If that is true which Friedrich Nietzsche, the last German Philosopher who passionately sought God, said, namely that 'God is dead' - if we have to accept seriously the forsakenness of modern man in the midst of the things-in-being . . . then the perseverance of the Greeks before the existing world, initially in the spirit of admiration, now becomes a completely unsheltered exposure to the hidden and uncertain, i.e., the questionable." Science now becomes an "inquiring, unsheltered perseverance {Standhalten} in the midst of the uncertainty of the things-in-being as a whole" (p. 12 f.). By contrast, Heidegger's reinterpretation of Nietzsche in 1943 {Holzieege 1950, p. 293 ff.) leaves us wholly uncertain as to his own position. It is perhaps not insignificant that Sartre, who labelled Heidegger an atheist, was in Freiburg around the time of this Pectoral Address.



Zeit and, more particularly, since the end of his involvement in politics ? Certain changes, such as the disappearance of the term phenomenology, are manifest. But do they justify the belief that Heidegger came to reverse himself? The case for such an interpretation has been stated most clearly by as informed a critic as Karl Lowith.1 However, Heidegger himself asserts that there is no such break. Certainly he has not repudiated Sein und Zeit, but keeps referring to it, as if he considered it his most permanent and presumably his greatest achievement.

I shall begin by presenting the concrete evidence for the view that there have been serious shifts in Heidegger's thinking, sufficient to set his later period apart from what was described earlier.

There is, first of all, the postponement and apparently now the abandonment of the plan of publishing the missing parts of Sein und Zeit. Heidegger's own explanation for this reversal is that the third section of the first half of Sein und Zeit, which, under the title of "Zeit und Sein," was to furnish the final answer to the question of the meaning of Being, was "held back" (hence, it seems to have existed) at the time of the publication of the first sections "because thinking failed in the attempt to express adequately the turning (Kehre) - from 'Sein und Zeit' to 'Zeit und Sein' - and did not reach its goal by using the language of metaphysics." 2 It is not exactly easy to appraise the difficulties for which language alone is held responsible here. But it is hardly insignificant that what Heidegger was most worried about in the context of this quotation is the danger of a subjectivistic interpretation of Sein und Zeit. Thus, he is anxious to stress the need of a thinking that "leaves behind subjectivity" and the idea of "achievements of subjectivity" (p. 69 f.), which seemed to be suggested particularly by the concept of an existential project (Entwurf) introduced in connection with the hermeneutics of human being.

Heidegger adds that the lecture Of the Essence of Truth "conceived and read in 1930 but not printed until 1943," throws a "certain light" on the thinking of his decisive "turn" in Sein und Zeit to Time and Being. The modesty of this claim and in fact

1 Heidegger, Denker in durftiger Zeit, Chapter I.

2 "Brief fiber den Humanismus" in Platons Lehre van der Wahrheit, p. 72.



the delay in the publication of the lecture is possibly explained by a note at its very end to the effect that it was to be supplemented by a second lecture "Of the Truth of Essence": But "this lecture miscarried (misslang) for reasons now hinted at in the letter Uber den Humanismus." Since no specific reference to the lecture occurs in the letter, it may be inferred that it was again the inadequacy of the language of metaphysics which was at the root of this second failure.

These two striking admissions of change of plan and failure must be taken together with the evidence afforded by Heidegger's actual publications in the years since 1933. These consist almost exclusively of lectures and smaller essays, which in recent years (since 1950) have been combined in book form. They also include the edition of some important courses and even a little volume of poetry and aphorisms (Von der Erfahrung des Denkens). There is however at present no promise of a book which could take the place of the missing parts of Sein und Zeit.

On the other hand, there is a surprising widening in Heidegger's range of interests. There is particularly a seemingly sudden new interest in fine art, music, and particularly in poetry, which was conspicuous by its absence in the earlier period. This became manifest almost abruptly after the end of Heidegger's excursion into politics, and expressed itself particularly in the sequence of his commentaries on some relatively neglected and difficult poems of Holderlin, the Hellenizing German Romantic, on Rilke (whom he rejects in spite of obvious affinities), and on the recent poet Georg Trakl. Besides, Heidegger reveals an intense interest in the nature and meaning of technology. This increased range of topics, however, by no means indicates an abandonment of his original concern, rather its pursuit into new areas.

The present context does not call for a detailed account of all these efforts but merely for an attempt to point out some of the pervading features and results of this ongoing period, sufficient to determine its relationship to the earlier outspokenly phenome-nological phase in Heidegger's development.

To begin with more external characteristics, Heidegger's writings of this period are not only shorter but more rounded within their more limited scope. They show a deliberate attempt to avoid the traditional terminology of philosophy, yet try all



the harder to squeeze all the juices of literal meaning out of the old word shells, and sometimes even to instill new life into them. Many terms and concepts, especially the more technical ones, disappear from his vocabulary. Others are reinterpreted and even re-spelled, such as existence (now: Ek-sistenz) or Sein (often:

Seyn), and some are added, such as Ge-Stell for the products of technology, or dingen as the mode of being of the "thing" (Ding). On the whole, the fewer new terms Heidegger uses, the more he overloads the existing ones. The style is less involved, and especially the lectures display a clarity of organization and even of diction which makes them perhaps the best introduction to Heidegger's entire thought. One senses an intensified need for communication and contact .with the audience, especially in the lectures. This does not mean that their sense is easy to assimilate. Even now there is very little attempt to prove points in any traditional sense of the word by "for's" and "because's." "Nothing can be proved in this area, but some things can be shown." 1 One does not even notice a sustained effort to show them. Instead, we find mostly the bare pronouncement of a "truth" which, if it does not ask to be accepted on the writer's say-so, makes high demands on the reader's sympathetic efforts at understanding and verification.

Perhaps the most startling change in the content of Heidegger's later thought is that Being, the distant goal of Sein und Zeit, suddenly appears to be so close and manifest that hardly any special approach or method seems to be needed to discover it, once we have stopped running away from it. After the 438 pages of Sein und Zeit, which constantly stressed our utter ignorance of the meaning of being, in fact our unawareness of the question, and which made Being seem the darkest possible mystery, to be approached via human being and even via the experience of nothingness, it now appears that Being is essentially open and unconcealed all the time and that we have direct access to it, provided we do not forget it. Yet even Heidegger says that we live in, and in fact are nothing but, a "clearing" (Lichtung) in the midst of Being, which seems to imply that around this clearing Being is still a dark jungle. What is more, it is not given to human being or thinking to force its way into Being, but it is

1 Identitat und Differenz, p. 10.



primarily Being itself which reveals itself to thinking by its own initiative, its speaking to us (Zuspruch). Man can do nothing but either resist or accept it in "mellow tranquillity" (Gelassenheit der Milde). It is significant that in this context Heidegger often uses a German expression which comes very close to the equivalent of grace: Huld, i.e., graciousness, or Gunst, i.e., favor of Being.

The clearest expression of this new interpretation of thinking as mostly receptive is to be found in Heidegger's lecture course on Was heisst Denken? It is for this reason also that Heidegger now calls man, in a language reminding one of Rilke, the "shepherd" or "guardian" of Being, whose main function it is to watch "the house of Being," namely language. "Was heisst Denken?" distinguishes four senses of the question about the meaning of thinking, based upon various meanings of the word "heissen" in German, which comprises "meaning" and "bidding." To Heidegger the most important of these meanings is "What bids us to think?" The answer to this is none other than: Being itself. Thinking thus loses its character of a spontaneous activity and consists instead in an acceptance and listening to the voice of Being.

It is part of the same pattern that thinking now moves into the immediate neighborhood of poetry. And while Heidegger still distinguishes between the thinker who "says" Being and the poet who "names" the Holy,1 the latter is certainly not the inferior, and at times it would even seem the superior, of the thinker. There are actually places where even thinking appears as one of the offshoots of poetry. It needs to keep close to poetry, which is its "good" and hence its healthy (heilsam) danger, as opposed to itself, its "evil" danger, and to philosophy, its "bad" danger. 2

It is obvious that this type of thinking leaves little room for anything like a method. Actually, logic in Heidegger's new sense means something entirely different from the traditional logic, in which he sees practically nothing but the precursor of "Logistik" or mathematical logic, another branch of modern technology. It is obvious that this must also affect the idea of phenome-

' Was ist Metaphysik? Nachwort, p. 46. 2 A us der Erfahrung des Denhens, p. 15.


nology as a philosophical method which approaches its object in the spirit of research. For no method is called upon to enforce the revelation of truth, at best it can prepare the way of truth in the thinker.

One other element in Heidegger's later period, closely related to this Being-centered approach and of considerable importance for his new attitude toward phenomenology, is his attack on subjectivism and subjectivity in philosophy. This should be contrasted with his plea for the need of subjective studies as a supplement to the objective logic of the categories in the Duns Scotus book.1 Sein und Zeit represented an effort to substitute human being for the subject of pure consciousness, but it still approached Being from the same direction. Now "not only every kind of anthropology and every subjectivity in the sense of man as a subject has been left behind, as it was already in Sein und Zeit ... but the way of the lecture undertakes to think by beginning from this new ground (the Da-sein)." 2 Da-sein in this new sense, in which the hyphen makes the first syllable emphatic, is no longer human existence in its relation to the world but rather to what is there, i.e.. Being in its openness or "truth," something into which man can enter.3

Perhaps Heidegger's strongest condemnation of subjectivism develops out of his critical discussion of Nietzsche's philosophizing. For he sees in it an extension of Descartes' way of thinking. Descartes' ego cogito, which is also Husserl's foundation stone, becomes to Heidegger the symbol of the modern age. It represents an insurrection against Being as such, converting all things-in-being into objects for a subject and ultimately sucking them into subjectivity. As a result they are reduced to mere perspectives under the control of the value decisions of the will-to-power.4 In spite of his high regard for Nietzsche as a thinker, Heidegger thus sees in him the climax in the revolt of subjectivism.

1 "Without taking account of 'subjective logic' it does not even make sense to talk about immanent and transcending {"transeunt"} validity. ... Objectivity (Gegenstdndlichkeit) makes sense only for a predicating subject, without which it will never be possible to bring out the full meaning of what is meant by validity (Geltung). (Die Kategorien- und Bedeutungslehre des Duns Scotus, pp. 234 ff.).

2 Vom Wesen der Wahrheit, p. 27.

a Was ist Metaphysik? Einleitung (1951), p. 13.

4 Holzwege, p. 241.


A case may be made for the view that Heidegger himself reversed his attitude toward the will during the period of his Nazi involvement. At first the will to a vaguely conceived national destiny had seemed to him also the guide to Being. His disillusionment with this final outburst of the will, coupled with his return to a poet as contemplative as Holdedin, may well have something to do with his final repudiation of all types of subjectivism. No wonder the turn away from phenomenology, at first only in the form of a rejection of Husserl's transcendental subjectivism, now confirmed his disinterest in any kind of subject-centered approach.

One other change around this time made likewise for Heidegger's latest disinterest in phenomenology. Up to the time of his Rectoral Address of 1934, Heidegger had never displayed any fundamental reservations or objections to the idea of science in the German sense of the word, which comprises both the natural sciences and the social and historical studies (Geisteswissenschaften). Nor did he object to Husserl's idea of philosophy as a rigorous science. He used to insist that the special sciences are dependent branches of philosophy, and that, if completely emancipated from philosophy, they become degenerations of philosophy. But even in the address of 1933 science appears as one of the highest possibilities of human existence. Besides, Heidegger has exerted a highly stimulating influence on several scientific studies, chiefly the sciences of man.1

This attitude toward science changes with Holzwege, where for the first time science as such comes under attack. Heidegger now states that in science, as contrasted with art, no original truth is found but merely the development of what is already known (p. 50). An even more serious stricture against science follows as a result of Heidegger's attack on modern technology, in which he sees nothing but an outgrowth of the modern metaphysics of the will, an attack which is related to Heidegger's earlier analysis of the things of our daily environment by such concepts as utensil (Zeug). Thus modern science, along with the totalitarian state, is interpreted as a necessary consequence of modern

1 See especially M. Heideggers Einfluss auf die Wissenschaften, Festschrift zu seinem 60. Geburtstag. Bern, 1949.


technology, on which science is said to be based.1 It is an even more serious charge that science is called a degeneration of "thinking," since it does not really think at all.2 Besides, the "startling" realization is said to emerge that the sciences cannot comprehend what is meant, for instance, by nature, by history, and by language. Only reflective meditation (Besinnung) can do that.3 It is obvious that Heidegger's increasingly anti-scientific tone is also apt to affect the cause of any philosophy like phenomenology which aspired to be scientific, or at least to cooperate with science.

What is the upshot of Heidegger's long search for Being ?

?. The only definitive and deliberately simple answer is that Being is "Itself" (in connection with Being Heidegger often writes the German pronoun es for Being with a capital E). Most other statements about it would have to be merely negative.

?. Among the various characteristics of Being, the outstanding one is its "truth." Truth, however, is interpreted by ^ >? Heidegger on the basis of a literal dissection of the Greek word "a-letheia" as un-hiddenness (Un-verborgenheit) or openness. Nevertheless, Being is apparently not given oo without any concealment (B ergon); it also seems to have a tendency to hide and to withdraw. Its openness is a clearing, but apparently a clearing in a dark forest, full of Holzwege (blind alleys).

?. The revelation of Being in its truth is its own doing. It should therefore be conceived as an active rather than as a passive process, and Being as in a sense self-determining. Thus Heidegger uses the German intransitive verb 'ereignen' (to happen) in a new transitive manner to indicate that Being makes things happen. All that our thinking can do is to "let Being be" (Seinlassen).

?. Being is temporal, not timeless or eternal. Although Heidegger has failed to present the demonstration of this thesis in Sein und Zeit, he clearly holds to the view that the two are inseparable.

1 Holzwege, p. 267; Vortrage und. Aufsaze, pp. 45 ff.

3 Was heisst Denken? p. 4.

3 "Wissenschaft und Besinnung" in Vortrage und Aufsatze, p. 66.


?. Being has a history in the sense of a development. This history of Being is perhaps the main explanation of the seeming inconclusiveness of Heidegger's search. In reading his Einfuhrung in die Metaphysik (1935) one receives at first the impression that here at last Heidegger has found the saving word: namely that Being is presence (Anwesenheit). However, closer inspection reveals that even this is at best the answer of the Greeks. It therefore describes merely the Greek phase in the history of Being, in which only one of its temporal dimensions had been considered. It has been followed by other phases, the most fateful one in recent times when Nietzsche conceived ' of Being as an expression of the will. Thus all the changing views of Being are actually parts of Being itself. Such an answer raises, to be sure, the further question as to the connecting link between all these events in the history of Being: What is it after all that allows us to ascribe them all to one and the same substratum. Being?

?. Heidegger's most recent discussion of Being also suggests that it is the ground of all things-in-being. Being itself, however, is groundless.1

?. Perhaps the most significant feature of Being in Heidegger's most recent accounts of Being is its interdependence with man: Man needs Being, and Being needs man. Both belong together.2 It hardly needs spelling out how much such an astonishing estimate can add to the stature of man at the price of the autonomy of Being. Nevertheless, this view suggests a final balance between the two poles, Being and man, the objective and the subjective. To what extent are such results adequate answers to Heidegger's great initial question, even in his own sense? At times one might feel that he himself does not want an answer, but prefers to leave the question open with all its tantalizing mystery, and that a "genuine shipwreck" (echtes Scheitern) on the rocks of the question would satisfy him very well (SZ 148). The last dictum of Was heisst Denken?, especially in the form of the lecture as published separately in Vortrage und Aufsatze, seems to imply

1 Der Satz vom Grund, p. 205.

2 Der Satz von der Identitat, p. 22 ff.



that we are not even yet ready to receive an answer. We are at best on our way, in the "neighborhood" of Being. Now it may well be that we are not yet ready. But how about Heidegger himself? How can he tell us that we are close to the answer unless he himself knows it ? Thus far he has not revealed to us that he does, and the only chance is that it is to be found in his desk, in that section of Sein und Zeit which he is no longer willing to release.

5. Heidegger's Conception of Phenomenology

Thus far we have studied merely the role of phenomenology in the history of Heidegger's thinking without trying to give a full idea of what he means by it. It is now time to fill this gap. We shall do so by first taking account of Heidegger's own interpretation of phenomenology and then by observing it in action in some of its more instructive applications.

There would seem to be little point in discussing Heidegger's conception of phenomenology prior to Sein und Zeit. For the references to phenomenology in the Duns Scotus book suggest that at that period Heidegger believed himself to be in complete agreement with Husserl's interpretation of it. By contrast, Sein und Zeit reveals that Heidegger had gone considerably beyond Husserl, and that he was fully aware of it. We shall therefore begin with an analysis of the phenomenology of Sein und Zeit. Subsequently we shall discuss Heidegger's later methodology, with a view to determining how far this can still be considered as phenomenological.

a. hermeneutic phenomenology - Heidegger introduces his own conception of phenomenology in the second (methodological) chapter of the introduction to Sein und Zezt, after having stated in a first chapter "necessity, structure, and prerogative of the question of Being." But before characterizing this phenomenology itself, he discusses a task whose solution he considers indispensable before the question of Being can be attacked with any chance of success: the so-called destruction, also named the "phenomenological destruction," of ontology.



The need of such a purge is a consequence of Heidegger's conviction that no fresh start can be made until we have identified and neutralized the metaphysical preconceptions which falsify the very formulations of our philosophical problems, in fact even the description of our phenomena. Words such as "consciousness," "subject," or "substance" are the results of metaphysical theories which have vitiated our whole approach to the phenomena. In this respect even Husserl's phenomenology is still too naively dependent on tradition and anything but free from presuppositions. It is the task of phenomenological destruction to liberate us from unconscious servitude to our metaphysical past.

However, the iconoclastic term "destruction" is not to be understood in the merely negative sense of a repudiation of all tradition or of any kind of ontological nihilism or relativism. Instead, "destruction" is characterized as a loosening up of the hardened tradition and the removal (Ablosung) of the screens (Verdeckungen) for which tradition is responsible. Destruction in this sense has actually a positive referent, the primordial (ursprungliche) experiences from which the tradition was formed, and which constitute its birth certificates. It is in this sense that Heidegger intends to "destroy" the history of ontology at the three decisive crossroads of western philosophy, Kant, Descartes, and Aristotle (in that order), in an obvious attempt to retrace and reverse the steps these thinkers had taken. It is, however significant that in the outline of Sein und Zeit Heidegger postponed this destruction to the second half of the work, which ha? shared the fate of Part I, Section 3. Apparently it was thus not phenomenology which presupposed the destruction, but destruction which presupposed the phenomenology of the original experiences.

What, then, is phenomenology in Heidegger's sense? In the published parts of Sein und Zeit Heidegger offers two conceptions of phenomenology, the more developed one actually only of a preliminary nature (Vorbegriff), the definitive one, called the idea (Idee) of phenomenology, unfortunately sketched only in a passing manner which appears to be a prelude for a fuller treatment, presumably in the missing parts of Sein und Zeit. Thus the preliminary concept still is, to all intents and purposes, Heideg-


ger's most explicit formulation of his own conception of phenomenology.1

From the very start Heidegger made it amply clear that what he understands by phenomenology in Sein und Zeit was not identical with what Husserl meant by it, and that he claimed the right to develop it on his own beyond the stage it had reached with Husserl. To be sure, he saw in Husserl's phenomenology the indispensable foundation for such a development, but significantly enough, in this context he mentioned only the"break-through" to phenomenology in the Logische Untersuchungen, not the Ideen, its developed form. Even more significant, he states that it is not the essential thing about phenomenology to be actual as a philosophical school ("Richtung"): "Potentiality stands higher than actuality. To understand phenomenology consists in seizing it as a potentiality." (p. 38) Also, to Heidegger phenomenology is neither a "standpoint" nor a "school":

it cannot ever become one "as long as it understands itself." For:

The term "phenomenology" means primarily a concept of method. It does not characterize the qualitative content (das sachhaltige Was) of the objects of philosophical research, but the mode of approaching them (das Wie). . . . The title "phenomenology" expresses a maxim which can be formulated thus: "To the things themselves!" - in contrast to all the unsupported (freischwebenden) constructions, the accidental findings, the blind acceptance of concepts verified merely in appearance, and the pseudo-questions which, often for generations, strut about (sich breit-machen) as "problems." One might reply, however, that this maxim is after all pretty obvious (reichlich selbstverstandlich) and, besides, an expression of the principles of all scientific knowledge. One does not understand why this triviality should be included explicitly under the head (Titelbezeichnung) of a type of research. It is indeed a 'triviality' (Selbsiverstdndlichkeit) which is at stake, one which we want to approach more closely insofar as this is relevant to the elucidation of the method of this treatise (p. 27 f.)

Heidegger's preliminary account of this seemingly "trivial" method takes its characteristic point of departure from an analysis of the word "phenomenology" in which the two components "phenomenon" and "logos" are distinguished and inter-

1 The one contained in his counter-draft to Husserl's Encyclopaedia Britannica article (see p. 280) was hardly meant to be much more than an attempt to help Husserl in the formulation of his own conception, in a manner that seemed to Heidegger more effective; witness the occurrence of the term "consciousness" in this definition, a terra which Heidegger had already eliminated at the stage of Sein und Zeit.


preted first separately. The result differs from Husserl's interpretation so vastly that it might be well to start here by contrasting the two.

When Husserl took up the term "phenomenology," as shown in Ch. Ill (p. 103) he gave no explicit definition or discussion of what he meant by "phenomenon." It was only as his idea of phenomenology crystallized into something distinctive and fundamental for philosophy that he felt the need for a redefinition. After abandoning Brentano's sense of the term in Logische Untersuchungen (II, 1, p. 371), he assigned to it a precise meaning, first in his momentous lectures on the "Idea of Phenomenology" of 1907, and then in the Introduction to the Ideen. Here the "pure phenomena" of the new phenomenology are described as non-individual, i.e., as the general essences of empirical phenomena obtained by the eidetic reduction, and, in addition to that, as non-real, refined by the phenomenological reduction, which had bracketed their reality. Consequently, their ontological or metaphysical status was deliberately left undecided at the start, while the final word was that they owed their being to consciousness.

No such neutrality, let alone dependence upon consciousness, is implied in Heidegger's concept of phenomenon. Instead, "phenomenon" is here interpreted as "what shows itself," more specifically even as "what shows itself in person (das Sich-an-ihm-selbst-zeigende) or what is manifest (das Offenbare)." This manifestness does not preclude the possibility that at times Heidegger's phenomenon hides behind a misleading appearance. But it is clear that it is not the distillate of special reductive operations. It is rather an autonomous entity with powers of its own, independent of and prior to our thinking.

However, this does not mean that Heidegger simply returned to the colloquial use of the word "phenomenon" as used in ordinary discourse and also in science. True, Heidegger took cognizance of the common (vulgar} sense of the word as one among several others, notably one which applies to the empirical world, and which is presumably also the "phenomenon" of natural science. From this Heidegger distinguished the "phenomenological concept of phenomenon" as that of a phenomenon which "first and foremost" (zunachst und zumeist) does not show



itself but remains hidden as the meaning (Sinn) and ground {Grund) of what shows itself (p. 35).

Hence the "phenomenological phenomenon" requires much more by way of direct demonstration and verification than a merely descriptive phenomenology, which Heidegger mentions only in passing, and for which he seems to have little use. It calls for a method which makes us see what is normally hidden and forgotten. Now "logos," the second component of the word "phenomenology," means in Heidegger's intensifying interpretation of its literal meaning a method of making us see what is otherwise concealed, of taking the hidden out of its hiding, and of detecting it as "unhidden," i.e., as truth {a-letheia) l Thus phenomenology in the genuine sense of the word becomes to Heidegger the method of uncovering the hiding or "interpretation" (Auslegung), which he also calls the methodical meaning of phenomenological description, (p. 37).

Now the primary phenomenon which needs uncovering in this sense is Being, the victim of our usual forgetfulness of the "ontological difference" between Being and the things-in-being. In fact, for Heidegger the science of Being of the things-in-being or ontology is declared possible only as phenomenology. Moreover, although no further reason is given, it turns out that for Heidegger even the converse holds: according to its content phenomenology coincides with ontology. Having gone so far, Heidegger finally concludes that philosophy itself is nothing but "universal phenomenological ontology based on the hermeneutics of human being (Dasein)," which by implication makes phenomenology the one and only philosophical method.

Quite apart from the startling boldness of this deduction, the idea of such a phenomenological ontology contrasts sharply with Husserl's conception. For to Husserl, at least at that time, the name "ontology" stood not for the science of the Being of things-in-being, but primarily for a branch of his pure logic, i.e., the eidetic science of the pervasive categories of all things-in-

1 He is, however, not the first to suggest this. See Nicolai Hartmann, Platos Logik des Seins (Marburg, 1909), p. 477. - As to the philological soundness of this interpretation see now Paul Friedlander, Plato I, Ch. XI: Aletheia. For Heidegger's etymology and etymologizing philosophy of logos see also Was heisst Denken ? pp. 120 ff., 170 ff. and Vortrdge und Aufsatze, pp. 257 ff. Husserl's meaning of "logos" as developed in Formate und transzendentale Logik deals only with the several strata of logical entities.


being (formal ontology), followed by "regional" ontologies dealing with the supreme categories of each science in their different essential natures. True, in Husserl's conception even these ontologies had to be underpinned by phenomenological derivation from original intuitions. But such a phenomenologic-ally supported ontology was clearly restricted to a limited area of the things-in-being rather than to Being as such. Heidegger's is restricted in a very different sense, inasmuch as it deals only with a certain feature of all things-in-being. Presumably he would leave Husserl's problems completely to the sciences.

But what exactly is the new type of interpretation which Heidegger's phenomenological ontology demands? It is in this connection that the term "hermeneutics" appears in Heidegger's phenomenology, which also goes by the name of "hermeneutic phenomenology." Hermeneutics is not a new term. It has its origin in Biblical exegesis and has also been applied to the interpretation of historical documents; Dilthey, to whom Heidegger pays repeated tribute, brought the word into prominence. But as Heidegger now uses the term it no longer refers to documents or symbolic expressions, but to non-symbolic facts of the real world, to human being or Dasein. In fact it is the interpretation of this particular type of being for which Heidegger reserves the term "hermeneutic." Only indirectly is hermeneutics relevant to ontology in general, since it deals with Dasein, i.e., that type of being which provides the foundation for the interpretation of Being in general (p. 47).

What does it mean to "interpret" such a non-symbolic fact as human being? Interpretation aims at the meaning of the thing interpreted. It therefore presupposes that what is to be interpreted has meaning. Now it is one of Heidegger's basic assertions that human being has meaning in a sense which admits of interpretation. For human being is essentially related to its own being as that which is "at stake" for it: "The essence of being consists in its being toward" (Zu-sein) (p. 42). That "toward which" human being exists consists, to be sure, primarily in a possibility, notably the possibility of being authentic or inauthentic. Hence in this orientation toward possibilities beyond itself, human being is capable of an interpretation which identifies these



possibilities ahead of itself by determining its "what-for" (woraufhin, um-zu}.

But human being is not only capable of such interpretation, it also demands it. For just as Being has a tendency to fall into oblivion, so human Being has an inherent tendency to degenerate. Heidegger calls this in German Verfallen, which may be understood in the sense of decay but also of infatuation and escape, a characteristic of the everyday mode of human being from which hermeneutic phenomenology has to take its start. This also explains why hermeneutic interpretation has to swim, as it were, against the current, and to use a certain violence, as Heidegger candidly admits.

This poses the problem of how such an interpretation can actually be carried out and what its criteria are. Heidegger himself points out that understanding and interpretation depend on certain preconceptions. Thus every interpretation of ordinary items in daily life is related to a frame of relevance (Bewandtnis-ganzheit) which embraces it (Vorhabe), implies a preview (Vor-sicht) looking toward anticipated meanings, and requires conceptual patterns for it [Vorgriff) (p. 150). Heidegger admits that this procedure is anything but free from presuppositions, and that it has all the earmarks of a vicious circle. He maintains, however, that the anticipations of hermeneutic interpretation are not determined by chance ideas or popular conceptions but by the "things themselves." He makes no attempt to link this procedure with general scientific methods other than those used in the historical studies. But it would not seem too difficult to relate it to the logic of hypothesis, if not to the use of heuristic concepts.

Hermeneutic phenomenology may thus be defined as a method of bringing out the normally hidden purposes of such goal-determined things-in-being as human beings. It presupposes, of course, that these beings possess such a purposeful structure;

but there seems to be no reason why this presupposition should not be verifiable and also actually verified. Hermeneutics thus uses methods which go beyond mere description of what is manifest and tries to uncover hidden meanings by anticipatory devices. It is almost surprising that they are not compared and contrasted with the techniques of psychoanalysis in its attempts



to uncover the unconscious. One can only suspect that for Heidegger these would be of much too conceptual or theoretical a nature, and lacking in a sufficiently basic interpretation ot human being within the total frame of Being.

To be sure, all this still concerns only the preliminary concept of Heidegger's phenomenology. It leaves the question of its definitive concept unanswered. As to this, the only clues which Heidegger supplies in Sein und Zeit occur in a section close to the end of the existential analysis of human being (p. 357 ff.). Here, after temporality has been diagnosed as the final "sense of the Being of human being," Heidegger tries to apply this new insight to various human enterprises, among them science. And since, especially at this stage, Heidegger still considers phenomenology a science, this interpretation has bearing on phenomenology as well. Science, or more specifically theoretical scientific activity, is here interpreted as a modification of our usual circumspect concern with our environment. In this activity our practical interests are either neutralized or overlooked. However, no application of this general interpretation of science to the science of phenomenology is given. It stands to reason that it would show even the phenomenological approach as a restriction of the concrete meaning of everyday living. On the other hand phenomenology might be at the same time the very kind of scientific interpretation which could reveal the limitations of the merely scientific approach.

In what sense and to what extent, then, can hermeneutic phenomenology claim to be phenomenology in the original sense of the term? Quite apart from the element of violence needed in the kind of interpretation Heidegger performs, it certainly goes beyond the "immediately" given, if immediacy means manifest givenness. It requires anticipations which go beyond it, as any explanatory hypothesis does, and requires extrapolation beyond what is directly present. Certainly this is phenomenology in an enlarged sense. Whether in spite of this it should be acknowledged as genuine phenomenology must largely depend on how far it is possible to underpin its extrapolations to the meanings of the phenomena by intuitive verification of a more than merely private and persuasive nature. To what extent has Heidegger succeeded in doing this?



b. Hermeneutics in action - This section will attempt to present some representative examples of hermeneutic phenomenology, concentrating on those which have achieved a certain notoriety. Without question Heidegger's most substantial phe-nomenological analyses occur in Sein und Zeit. No attempt will be made to render the argument of this work, although we shall follow its sequence of topics. It will, however, be well to recall Heidegger's methodological strategy. He starts with a "preparatory analysis of human being," which takes its departure from what is given "first and foremost" (zundchst und zumeist) in our everyday existence (Alltaglichkeif). It is only on this foundation that he advances to a level of interpretation which digs down to the deeper origins of meaning (ursprungliche existentiale Interpretation).

The main difficulty in the presentation of the following examples is due to the extreme condensation of Heidegger's accounts. Rarely, if ever, does he give descriptions in the sense of the earlier phenomenologists. He mostly points at the phenomena by means of new, provocative and, at times, stunning terms which keep even the native German groping his way toward a tentative understanding.

(I) Ipseity ('Jemeinigkeit') and 'Existence.' Heidegger begins his analysis with the provocative sentence:

"The thing-in-being whose analysis is our task is we ourselves. The being of this thing-in-being is each one's "mine" (je meines)." (p. 41). To this personalized character of being Heidegger then attaches the synthetic label J emeinigkeit, which, translated literally, would amount to something like "each-his-ownness." "Ipseity" has at least dictionary status and might do for our purposes. What does it involve?

Heidegger's conception is clearly related to Kierkegaard's picture of the single existing individual in his ultimate loneliness, although Heidegger does not mention him in this context. However Heidegger is not interested in this aspect for its own sake, but for the sake of ontology. His main point is the fact that human being in its "ipseity" is "related to" (verhalt sich zu) man's own personal being, to which it is "handed over" (uberantwortef). This is interpreted immediately in the sense that human being


is directed toward this, its own being (Zu-sein) and that it is this being which is at stake for it in its living - in fact that such being is its only stake. (This interpretation is as essential to Heideggers' ultimate objective as it may seem questionable to a more sceptical reader. For even if ipseity should prove to be one of the fundamental characteristics of human being, does it follow that essentially it is preoccupied by the question of Being, and primarily of its own being?)

From ipseity with its concern for one's own being Heidegger also derives the insight that human being is always oriented toward future possibilities of its own. For the fundamental possibility of choosing these possibilities, especially the possibilities which he calls "to be oneself or not to be oneself," i.e., to assume one's authentic way of being or to dodge it, Heidegger introduces the term "existence," in a sense which clearly differs from all previous usages. Scholastic as well as Kierkegaardian. It is in this sense that we are to understand Heidegger's key sentence: "The essence (Wesen) of human being lies in its existence," i.e., in its possibilities to choose different ways of being. One might well wonder whether this is not an overstatement, since even possibility presupposes at least some actualization as its base. In fact, later characterizations make it clear that "existence" in this narrowest sense does not exhaust the "essence" of human being but that it also includes such actualized characteristics as facticity (Geworfenheit) and falling-for (Verfallen), about which we shall hear more.

In considering Heidegger's concept of "existence" one must not overlook the fact that after Sein und Zeit he introduces one more sense of the term, namely as man's "standing in the clearing of being, "as "being open for the openness of being," or as "standing in the midst of being" in such a way that he has access to being.1 Heidegger's new spelling of the term, "Ek-sistenz" in his later writings, which first appears in Vom Wesen der Wahrheit (1943), is a typical attempt to resurrect the etymological literal sense of a

1 To be sure, Heidegger does not seem to admit that there has been such a shift. Thus in the Nachwort to Was ist Metaphysik? (Sixth Edition, 1951, p. 14) he maintains that even in Sein und Zeit existence meant the "openness of the human being, who stands open for the openness of being" and that he "stands in this openness by enduring it" (ausstehen). A similar unacknowledged reinterpretation takes place in the case of concern (Sorge), which is no longer confined to human being, but referred to being as such.


word. Even more startling is the characterization of human being as "ec-static," i.e., as "standing in the clearing of being"; in fact now man himself is called the "clearing of being."1 No derivation, phenomenological or otherwise, of this transition from the first to the second interpretation is given. It reflects the change from the hermeneutics of human being to the "thought" of Being.

(2) Being-in-the World. Possibly the most important structural characteristic considered in hermeneutic phenomenology is being-in-the-world (in-der-Welt-sein). For human being, as Heidegger understands it, does not, and even cannot, occur except in the framework of an encompassing world with which it belongs together, into which it -finds itself inserted. This is not simply a matter of a part-whole relationship, where the human being is encased in the world like a box within a box. The relationship is much more intimate. Both are what they are only in being related to one another.

If thus being-in-the-world is the basic structure of human being, consciousness and particularly knowledge are only modifications of this underlying fundamental relationship. However, within this close-knit relationship Heidegger distinguishes three components: (1) world, (2) that which is in the world, (3) the relation of being "in." They are analyzed at first separately.

Under the heading of "worldliness" (W eitlichkeit) of the world Heidegger investigates the world of daily experience in contrast to the derivative world of science. It has its center in human being and coincides with our subjective environment (Umwelt) or milieu insofar as it is experienced. Heidegger shows impressively how the things within this world are given primarily not as physical objects, which simply occur "before our hands" (vor-handen), but as usable things or utensils (Zeug), which refer to possible applications within a practical world and are thus "handy" (zuhanden). Things of this type refer to one another and form systems of mutual reference of meaning.

While not entirely novel, these analyses represent perhaps one of the most interesting and fruitful parts of hermeneutic phenomenology. They have influenced particularly the attempts of phenomenological psychopathologists such as Ludwig Bins-

1 "Brief uber den Humanismus" in Platons Lehre von der Wahrheit, p. 69.


wanger to understand the world of psychopathic personalities in its inner coherence. World and worldliness embrace and support the otherwise unrelated intentional structures distinguished by early Husserlian phenomenology. Yet it must not be overlooked that Heidegger's own interest in these structures is only transitional, since he uses human being only as his point of departure for the analysis of its Being, not as its destination.

(3) The Impersonal ('People'). An even more influential example of hermeneutic phenomenology occurs in connection with the analysis of the carrier, the "who," of human existence in the world. It begins with an important discussion of the ego - an unreliable guide for hermeneutics - and of social existence in a shared world. After that, in less than four pages, Heidegger gives one of the most impressive accounts of everyday personal existence in its tendency to escape from itself and to fall into inauthentic being (Verfallen). As such it accepts the guidance and control of the subject signified by the impersonal pronoun "one" or "people" (the German "man"). Thus "one" is constantly concerned about keeping at the proper distance from other people, yet at the same time in a state of subservience which allows the other to determine the form of his existence. "One" wants to keep close to the average. Other possibilities of existence are levelled down by our constant regard for what "people" do. Thus the "one" takes over the load of our personal existence, makes us exist in a dependent and inauthentic fashion. Human existence is first and foremost that of "one," not of "self."

There are, to be sure, plenty of precedents and successors for this interpretation among writers both philosophical and non-philosophical. Sociologists will inevitably be reminded of G. H. Mead's concept of the "generalized other." But quite apart from the problem of the exact meaning of his conception, its general framework is quite different. And so is its evaluation:

Mead is concerned with the evolutionary problem of the social matrix from which the individual self arises. For Heidegger it is a matter of describing a form of inauthentic social existence in which the individual tries to escape into an impersonalized average existence. The problem of authentic existence hardly seems to arise for Mead. - David Riesmann's concept of other-



directedness would be a more pertinent recent equivalent of Heidegger's "people."

"Naked is he (the concrete man) flung into the world .." William James in The Sentiment of Rationality

(4) Moods and 'Facticity.' Before Heidegger, moods (in German "Stimmungen," i.e., literally "attunements") may have been of some interest to psychologists and phenomenologists of feeling. But in contrast to the "intentional" or referential feelings, moods were usually considered as merely subjective affairs, of no cognitive significance beyond their own whimsical occurrence. This changes in the light of Heidegger's hermeneutics. Now that human being has been found to be inserted into a world with meanings centered in it, and now that the center of this world has been considered, the question of their relation is raised, i.e., that of man's existence within such a world. For this relation Heidegger uses the equivalent of the English 'being there,' i.e. Da-sein, this time spelled with the two components of the word separated and hyphenated in the obvious intention of reviving their literal meanings. For we are there in this world in the sense of finding ourselves in a peculiar fundamental situation [Befindlichkeit). It is Heidegger's contention that we can find out about the meaning of this fundamental situation by interpreting certain fundamental moods. Strangely enough, the moods which he selects are not so much those where we are "in tune," but those that show us out of tune (or "sorts,") such as fear and anxiety. What they reveal is Being as a burden. Even the elated moods reveal this by way of liberating us from this burden (p. 134). (Why this interpretation is the correct one, and not rather its opposite, is never discussed. There is, after all, the buoyancy of those who seem to be supported by the surge of something like a vital elan, whose absence is revealed in the depressive moods).

The burden of human existence as thus manifested according to Heidegger consists in the poignant fact that human being "is and has to be," "whence and whither, however, remain in the dark." This is obviously the feeling expressed in the well-known lines of Edward Fitzgerald's Omar Khayyam'.


I came like water, and like wind I go Into this Universe, and Why not knowing Nor Whence, like water willy-nilly flowing.

For this situation of facticity Heidegger coins the striking though ponderous word "Geworfenheit," which would have to be rendered by a passive participle of verbs like to throw, to fling, or to cast. However, to Heidegger "thrownness" is not a mere brute fact:

it represents an intimate part of our way of being, even though it is usually pushed into the background. Moods also give access to certain characters of our world as a whole, of our social being, and of our existential possibilities. Thus threateningness or dreadfulness is revealed to us in the mood of fear or dread.

In none of these interpretations does Heidegger ever raise the question whether and to what extent moods are reliable guides for an understanding of the world, even if they should be good clues for the interpretation of our own feeling about it. This question is all the more urgent since some moods are taken as signs of the opposite of what they seem to attest. No matter how significant one considers these interpretations, the question of their limitations is inescapable.1

(5) Anxiety and Nothingness. Few items in Heidegger's philosophy have given rise to more protests and even ridicule than these. Anxiety (Angst), as Heidegger sees it, is the most revealing of all the fundamental situations (Grundbefindlichkeiten). But what does it reveal? In order to appraise this, one must consider Heidegger's distinction between anxiety and fear in their hermeneutic significance.

Fear is characterized as a mode of human being in which we are afraid of something more or less definite, notably the dreadful. Its stake (worum) is human being itself. The function of fear is to expose us to the threatening in a way which makes us concerned. This characterization by function, in which the directional aspects, the source, and the stake of the experience are stressed, whereas its intrinsic nature is not even mentioned, constitutes a good illustration of the difference between hermeneutic and descriptive phenomenology.

1 0. F. Bollnow in his book Das Wesen der Stimmungen (Frankfurt, Vittorio Klostermann, 1942) gives an important critical development of Heidegger's analyses with very different results.


By contrast, anxiety is described as the condition which is behind our everyday escape into (small) talk, curiosity, and ambiguity. What threatens us here and makes us flee is "nothing in particular," something which is "nothing and nowhere." Ultimately Heidegger diagnoses the object of anxiety as the world as such and our whole position in this world. In such a state of anxiety the world appears with the peculiar character of un-canniness (Unheimlichkeif). The "nothing" revealed by the anxiety of Sein und Zeit thus consists of the uncanny indefiniteness of the world as a whole and of our being in the world.

The interpretation of anxiety and of the nothing to which it refers is pushed somewhat further in the lecture Was ist Metaphysik?, which has attracted particular attention. Here the "nothing" serves as a direct foil for Being itself, Heidegger's real concern in his seeming preoccupation with nothingness. Anxiety is now interpreted as a pulling away from the nothing. He identifies this nothing with the things-in-being in their entirety. In this experience they seem to drop away from us and to hold us off at the same time. It could perhaps be compared with the experience of agoraphobia, in which the more distant objects seem to recede from us, or with the pattern of the expanding universe according to the latest astronomic views. It is this peculiar movement which to Heidegger makes the essence of what is commonly called "nothing." Hence Heidegger's nothing is not an entity but an event or character which attaches to the world in the peculiar mood of anxiety. For this event Heidegger coins a special verb from the noun nothing, "nichten." It is therefore unfair to charge Heidegger with having hypostatized the nothing, while it is true that he denies the origin of the term from negation or from a process like annihilation. Against the background of this experience Being stands out all the more clearly and poignantly. It is another question how far the character of nothingness is the necessary obverse of the experience of Being, as Heidegger implies.

Even more startling and provocative is Heidegger's formula for man's position in relation to this "nothing": "Human being is suspension (Hineingehaltenheit) into the nothing"; or "man is the stand-in (Platzhalter) for the nothing." The second, quaintly striking formulation seems to suggest that the nothing is a


phenomenon which depends on human beings and could not be without them. The first, even more daring, assigns to the nothing the status of a surrounding medium. Both convey the idea of a unique distinction of man as a being who stands not only in the midst of being, but also finds himself exposed to the possibility of non-being, and who in this sense can transcend the mere fact of his being.

(6) Concern ('Serge') as the Fundamental Structure of Human Being. Thus far the hermeneutics of being-in-the-world with its various expressions has not yet supplied the pervading clue by which Heidegger would like to make human existence intelligible, and which he calls the Being of human being. It is the function of the phenomenology of anxiety as the fundamental mood of the human situation to bring out this structure. Anxiety is always concerned about the existential possibilities of human being, caught by its facticity and trying to escape into everyday existence. Human being thus shows a threefold directedness:

(1) it is ahead of itself toward its future possibilities (Sich-vorweg-sein); (2) it is already involved in its factual being (schon-sein in ...); (3) it is lost in the world of its daily occupations (sein bei ...). For this threefold structure Heidegger uses the German word Sorge. It can best be rendered by the much more appropriate "concern," "care" being a more dubious equivalent, since Heidegger, none too successfully, wants to exclude all connotations of worry. Concern, then, is at the root of all our dealings, especially our practical dealings and aspirations in our everyday life, our willing and wishing. It shows man as primarily reaching out into the future, as tied to his past into which he finds himself "thrown," and as diverted by the world of his present.

"On the dialectical or ideal (not biological) relation of life to death I think Heidegger is splendid."

George Santayana, Letters, p. 381.

(7) Death. All the preceding analyses are included by Heidegger among the preparatory ones. One of the most characteristic examples of existential interpretation on the deeper level (ursprunglich) is that of death. Compared, for instance, with


Scheler's posthumously published analysis of death1 it might seem rather meager. Thus Heidegger never attempts to describe the way in which the process of dying constitutes itself, however inadequately and distantly, in human consciousness. Yet, what Heidegger is interested in is not the phenomenon of death, but its role as the event which "completes" human existence. Thus he identifies and characterizes death only as the most authentic possibility of human existence, the one in which existence itself becomes impossible. Human existence is essentially "existence toward death." This does not mean that death is the goal of human existence. But it does mean that it is oriented toward it, at least by way of anticipation.

Much about Heidegger's interpretation of man's attitude toward death as the ultimate possibility which ends all possibility, and about his attempts to escape it is impressive. Nevertheless, one wonders why facing this possibility in stern resoluteness should be his one and only authentic possibility. True, Heidegger is not obsessed by the physical or theological aspects of death. Nevertheless, he does not even consider any alternative authentic possibilities of human existence, such as the fulfillment of a life project in the spirit of Goethe's Faust or the supreme unconcern about death of Spinoza's wise man.

The same pattern can be observed in Heidegger's hermeneutics of conscience, of guilt, and of resoluteness (Entschlossenheit), a word which in its German literalized meaning expresses to Heidegger a certain type of openness (Erschlossenheit). A somber preoccupation with necessary failure, with guilt and futility (Nichtigkeit) seems to permeate this whole section of Sein und Zeit more than any other part of the book. However, Heidegger always refuses to put these interpretations into a theological framework. This very fact may have made them all the more attractive to theologians, who could look upon them as independent confirmations of their revelational diagnoses of the human condition.

(8) Temporality. With the subject of temporality we reach the point or "horizon" from where Heidegger hopes to answer not only the question of the meaning of human being but of Being

"Tod und Fortleben" in Nachlass I. p. 1-52; Gesammelte Werke X, 9-64.


itself. The published parts of Sein und Zeit lead at least far enough to show how time is rooted in human existence in the form of "temporality."

Temporality is introduced as the "meaning" of the concern (Sorge) which makes up the Being of human being. It is not exactly easy to determine what "meaning" signifies in this context. Indications are that what Heidegger has in mind is something like a frame of reference or "horizon" for the projects of human existence; but there also seems to be the connotation of a final purpose (woraufhin), which makes our secondary projects possible (p. 324). However, there is a clear parallelism between temporality in its three phases of future, present, and past, and the three aspects of Sorge in which we are ahead of ourselves toward the possibilities of future existence, are immersed in the facticity of our past, and "fall for" the escapes of our present.

In the pattern of temporality Heidegger assigns priority to the future, which he interprets, in accordance with one literal meaning of the German word "Zukunft," as that which comes toward us. This future is even said to originate our present and our past. Another feature that goes with this is that temporality is not properly a thing-in-being. It is not even correct to say that time "has" being. Rather does it "temporalize" itself. The German word which Heidegger uses in this context, "zeitigen," is not completely new. In ordinary contexts it stands either reflexively for the coming into being (sich zeitigen) or transitively for the bringing into being of various things as time goes on. But one could certainly not say that time itself is the result of Zeitigung.1 While Heidegger does not give any definition of the term, one gathers that time has a mode of being completely its own. It almost sounds as if time produced itself like a causa sui, since it does not seem to originate from human beings or from Being in general.

Temporality is also characterized as "ecstatic." There are no signs that Heidegger wants this term to be understood in the

1 As mentioned before (p. 149) the term appears also in an extended sense, in the manuscripts, mostly unpublished, of Husserl's later period, which deal with the deepest layer of constitution in consciousness, the constitution of time. Whether the term drifted from Heidegger to Husserl must remain an open question. Certainly, if so, it has changed its meaning in the process.


traditional sense of a mystic ecstasy. Rather does he think of an intensified literal meaning of the word, in the sense of standing beside itself (ausser sich), which is used to convey the idea that human being in its temporality is always reaching out beyond itself, that it is beyond itself, i.e., in the future which "comes toward" it, that it goes back to its past facticity, and that it meets its present. Thus future, past, and present are also called the "ecstasies" of temporality (p. 329). Temporality, at least in the form in which it is the backbone of human being, does not consist of unrelated phases, but forms a dynamic system of references in which one form implies the other.

There is of course still a considerable gap between the mere temporality of human being and the time of Being in general. But it stands to reason that what Heidegger has in mind is a certain parallelism between the time structures on both levels. In view of the incompleteness of Heidegger's philosophy of time it would be hard to evaluate it as to its originality and its adequacy. According to his own testimony, it has grown chiefly out of his dialogue (Gesprach) with Aristotle, Augustine, Kant, and Hegel. However, he rejects Bergson's ideas with almost surprising violence. Perhaps the most original feature of Heidegger's conception is the emphasis on the prerogative of the future. To be sure, certain ideas of Whitehead, of John Dewey, and of G. H. Mead could be related to it without too much effort. Heidegger's interpretation, however, differs very significantly from Husserl's descriptive phenomenology of our inner time consciousness as contained in his Gottingen lectures of 1905, which Heidegger edited and published one year after the appearance of Sein und Zeit.

To what extent can temporality be accepted as the sense of human existence in any ordinary meaning of the word "sense" ? It would hardly do to say that the passage of temporality and time makes up the sense of human being. At best one might understand it as the setting or raw material of our being. It is hard to shake off the impression that in these sections Heidegger is so preoccupied with the more general ontological problem that he no longer cares for an intelligible interpretation of human life rather than for what function temporality may have as a clue to the structure of Being as such.


(p) Historicity. Before Heidegger, phenomenologists had attached only limited and secondary importance to the problem of history. Husserl had even launched a vigorous attack on historicism as one of the many forms of contemporary relativism. This, however, did not mean that he wanted to ignore history completely. Thus the phenomenological "platform" of 1913 had expressed the idea that phenomenology would be in a position to utilize the insights of the earlier philosophy much more fully than ever before. Husserl himself, in his selective way, had tried increasingly to relate his enterprise to the previous history of thought and to justify it in this light.

From the very start Heidegger's attitude toward history was of a very different nature. Historical studies were one of his first major interests. As a Catholic theologian he had immersed himself not only in Thomism but also in its sources in Aristotle, in Augustine, and in the mystic tradition of Master Eckhart. In the philosophical atmosphere around Heinrich Rickert he had then developed an intense interest in German idealist thought from Kant to Hegel and particularly in Nietzsche. But he had also become deeply interested in the problems of history as such, of historiography, and of its theory, particularly along the lines of Wilhelm Dilthey. Later on, especially during his Marburg years, his interest spread backwards to Plato and to the very beginnings of Greek thought in the Pre-Socratics (a term which Heidegger detests). If there is any area which he has comparatively neglected, it is that of Anglo-American philosophy.

As early as his inaugural lecture of 1915, Heidegger had taken up the problem of historical time as distinguished from the time of the physical sciences. It now found its proper place in the existential analysis of human being. Later developments have made it clear that he assigns to history a major place in the structure not only of the things-in-being but also of Being itself. We noted before that his strongest objection to Husserl has been the latter's lack of a sense of history.

It would be misleading, however, to see in Heidegger's interest in history simply an increased accent on historical studies within phenomenology. Actually the very translation of Heidegger's vocabulary involves a problem for the proper understanding of his real concern. German has at least two terms for history,


"Geschichte" and "Historic." Since the latter is somewhat old-fashioned and obsolete, Heidegger reserves it for the merely antiquarian study of the past, in which he does not want to have any part. "Geschichte," however, which usually has no substantially different meaning, is interpreted by Heidegger in the literal sense derived from the German word geschehen, i.e., to occur or to happen. Hence it is used to express the actual happening of historical events, or history in the making. It is tempting to coin for this second "historicity" an artificial term like "occurrency" or "proceedingness."

However, the important thing is to understand the phenomenon so designated as Heidegger interprets it. The historicity of human being consists primarily in the individual's fate (Schicksal) based on his own resolvedness (Entschlossenheit) within an inherited yet chosen frame of possibilities. There is both impotence and freedom in such an existence. The foundation of historicity is the temporality of human being as outlined above. As was the case with temporality, the center of gravity of historicity lies in the future. For human being is oriented toward the future, ultimately toward man's only authentic possibility, death. From this final "shipwreck" it is thrown back to its facticity, which gives it pastness (Gewesenheit). In taking over the inherited possibility of its 'thrownness' (Geworfenheit) it can become instantaneous (augenblicklich) in its time (p. 385). Resolvedness allows us to recapture the past in the form of a tradition, which is in a literal sense a re-petition or re-acquisition (Wieder-holung).

In mentioning these aspects one has to admit that an attempt to convey a concise picture of Heidegger's hermeneutics of historicity is particularly risky, not only because of its unusually top-heavy formulation, but also because of its position at the end of the published part of Sein und Zeit, thus presupposing the assimilation of the essentials of the preceding interpretations. Hence it would make little sense to attempt an evaluation, however tentative, of the phenomenological merits of these analyses. Even without that, it is possible to acknowledge the originality of Heidegger's attack upon the problem of history's place in human existence. It keeps away equally from a blind worship of history as an enslavement to the past, and from a futile rebellion against it. Even though it leaves too many obscurities and



ambiguities, it points the way toward intensified phenomenological studies of the historical consciousness and history's place in human existence.


since 'Sein und Zeit' - The fact that the term "phenomenology" has practically disappeared from Heidegger's writings since Sein und Zeit has been mentioned above. It is perhaps even more significant that even his own expression 'hermeneutics' no longer occurs. Does this mean that the phenomenological method and its hermeneutic modification have disappeared along with these terms? That this is not entirely the case may be gathered from the passage in the "Brief uber den Humanismus" quoted on p. 279, which reaffirmed the "essential aid" of phenomenological seeing while rejecting the "improper aspiration to science and research." The real question is therefore to what extent and in what sense phenomenology can still be said to be a decisive factor in the structure of Heidegger's thought. The answer to this question depends chiefly on an adequate understanding of Heidegger's new approach to Being, for which he uses the plain German word Denken. Besides, we shall have to consider Heidegger's new attitude toward method in general, as expressed in his ideas about "ways of thinking" (Denkwege).

What does Heidegger in his later writings mean by "thinking" ? Certainly nothing like the techniques of abstract reasoning as studied by logic in the technical sense, which Heidegger repudiates as a form of mere technology. Even more important is the fact that he does not conceive of thinking in the way Kant and Husserl did, namely as the opposite of Anschauung or intuiting and as restricted to concepts. The main task in clarifying the phenomenological status of Heidegger's Denken is to determine the place of what, in the phenomenological tradition, had been called intuiting (Anschauung) in the structure of Denken.

Denken, after having been introduced as the main correlate to Being and Truth in a rather casual fashion, finally became the subject of Heidegger's lecture course of 1951 and 52, published in 1954. Here the way in which Heidegger tried to elucidate the structure of thinking is based partly on etymology, partly on the translation of a fragment from Parmenides.


The etymological approach leads to the interpretation of thinking as Gedanc (a medieval German word), Andacht (i.e., literally, worshipful meditation), and Dank (i.e., thanksgiving). By Gedanc Heidegger understands the "collected, all-collecting remembrance" also identified with Gemut or heart, very much after the model of Pascal's logique du coew. Actually Heidegger regards logico-rational thought as a narrowed-down version of Gedanc, which includes remembrance (Gedachtnis) in the sense of holding fast to what is collected. It also implies affection ( Zuneigung) of the heart toward what is made present by thinking in the sense of a thanks-giving of listening reverence toward the things to which we are indebted. All these hints, based on intensified interpretations of root meanings, add up to a conception of thinking as an intent and reverent meditation with our whole being on what makes the content of our thinking. "Being mindful" might be the nearest English equivalent of such a conception.

The approach via the Parmenides text uses a passage usually translated as "It is necessary to say and to think that Being is" (fragment 6). Without following Heidegger's highly characteristic discussion all the way, I shall concentrate on his interpretations of the terms 'saying' (Greek: legein) and 'thinking' (Greek: noein). Legein is understood primarily as making something lie (or appear) before us (vorliegen lassen); noein is taken to mean not merely a receptive process but an active taking before us: we take something into our heed or guard (in die Acht), leaving it, however, exactly as it is (D 123 f.). The two are inseparable parts of thinking. Taking something into our heed is described as making what lies before us come toward us. It is not a reaching out (Zugreifen) toward it (D 127) nor any attack upon it. More important, it is not a matter of concept (Begriff). Thus while "thinking" thinks in accordance with the things, it thinks without concepts; according to Heidegger this is true even of thinking in the sense of Aristotle.

What can be derived from these characterizations, which never add up to a sustained description of what goes on concretely in a specific case of thinking ? Clearly, this thinking is anything but a methodical procedure for which definite rules could be prescribed. It is a matter of the whole human thinker, including


his heart as well as his intellect, insofar as this distinction is still permissible. It seems to be neither completely receptive nor spontaneous, but in any case it stands under the commanding guidance of the object of thought, i.e., Being, which determines its content.

Is it possible to identify such a non-conceptual thinking simply with intuition in the old phenomenological sense? No explicit statement for or against such an interpretation can be found in Heidegger's own writings. In answer to a personal inquiry Heidegger intimated that he avoids the terms "Anschauung" and "Intuition" chiefly because of their past associations, among them, it may be assumed, with Husserl's Wesensschau. It should also be noted that the operations of thinking as characterized above are hardly those in which we are actually cognizant. At best these operations precede or follow cognition. The etymological interpretation of thinking in the sense of "being mindful" and the one based on the Parmenides text, according to which thinking makes its object lie before us, seems to refer to a phase which prepares actual cognition, while "taking under one's guard" describes one that follows it. However, even though Heidegger's account of thinking does not mention the cognitive phase explicitly, he certainly does not exclude it. But is this sufficient ground for asserting that thinking is identical with the phenomenological intuition ?

Heidegger's later writings contain little reference to method in the traditional sense. But there is all the more frequent reference to a motif which is actually a translation of the Greek word methodos (i.e., "way after") namely, "way of thinking" (Denk-weg). These Denkwege occur particularly in two types. One of them carries the German title Holzwege, i.e., forest paths or roads that chiefly serve the lumbermen but to everyone else are nothing but blind alleys; whence 'auf dem Holzweg sein' means colloquially 'to be on the wrong track.' Heidegger uses this word as the title for six long essays seemingly without mutual connection. Only in his mystagogic prologue does he hint that the lumbermen and the rangers )(Waldhuter, reminding us of the "guardians of Being") "know" these paths. The Feldweg, however, designating a private winding country path through the fields, is used by Heidegger as the title of a charming autobio-


graphical reminiscence.1 This path seems to assume almost the role of a messenger of truth and even of a comforter to man. Thus, in the unarticulated language of the things around the Feldweg, "God is finally God." Yet the last message of the Feldweg remains in a resigned chiaroscuro: "The message (Zu-spruch) is now quite distinct. Is it the soul that speaks? Is it the world ? Is it God ? Everything speaks of resignation to the same thing. ... It grants the inexhaustible power of the simple" (das Einfache).

None of Heidegger's later "ways" has the nature of an easy royal road or even of a normal highway. They are all byways. There is no assurance as to their destination nor any claim to universal validity. And there is no clear prescription telling us how to use them. Thinking consists in a being "underway," which actually builds the way.2 It is also a lonely way. And Heidegger even seems to doubt the advisability of making this way "publicly visible." Thus "thinking," even insofar as it is in our power and not simply a response to the initiative of Being, is clearly nothing that can be put into the form of a method to be taught and learned.

There are other characteristic proofs for this conclusion. In his decisive attempt to force the proper translation and interpretation of the Parmenides text quoted above Heidegger speaks about the necessity of a leap, the leap of a single glance (Blick) which catches sight of what Parmenides meant. This almost sounds like Kierkegaard's celebrated leap into faith. Apparently we can prepare for such a leap. But Heidegger does not tell us how (p. 141). One can only tell what he sees in such a leap. But reasons and counter-reasons are ineffective. More recently Heidegger, playing on the double meaning of the word "Satz" in German as "proposition" and as "leap," even used such fundamental logical propositions as the "law of sufficient reason" and the "law of identity" as starting points for a leap into Being whose abruptness does not allow for any methodical approach.3

Another indication of the non-methodical character of the new "thought" is Heidegger's repudiation of the term "research."

1 See also Hohwege, p, 194;. Vortrdge und Aufsatze, p. 184.

2 Was heisst Denken?, p. 164.

3 Der Satz vom Grund, p. 95 f., 157; Identitdt und Differenz, p. 24 f.


To him research is the mark of modern science, which is characterized by a certain preconception (Entwurf) of its field and by its method. The researcher becomes actually a technician in the service of the conquest of the world by the subject man. Reflection (Besinnung), which Heidegger contrasts to this research as the proper task of philosophy, apparently cannot be described in terms of a clear and teachable method.1 Even more indicative of this non-methodical character of the new kind of thinking is its affinity with poetry, as Heidegger conceives of it and even practices it. It would exceed the possibilities and needs of this discussion to give an account and attempt a clarification of what Heidegger means by poetry. But it is clear that it goes far beyond the creation of a merely imaginative world. Poetry not only finds truth, it even establishes it, says Heidegger, using one of his favorite but enigmatic words "stiffen." It "names" the Holy, and is thus the road toward the Divine and indirectly toward God.2 In any case, poetry is a parallel enterprise to thinking, in its highest achievements even superior to thinking. At times Heidegger now seems to think of thinking itself as merely a form of poetry.3 Certainly there are no longer any sharp borderlines between them. And both seem to be much more under the guidance and control of Being than of man, the poet or thinker.

This poses the question of whether there are any tests for this kind of thinking. Heidegger himself raises it in connection with one of his boldest, most forced interpretative translations. Here he admits that no scientific proof is possible, but he also rejects mere faith. Instead, "Thinking is the poetry (Dichten) of truth of Being in the historical dialogue of the thinkers" (geschichttiche Zwiesprache der Denker).* This dialogue is a recurrent motif in Heidegger's philosophizing. But it is obviously not so much dialogues among contemporaries which he has in mind. Some of these, like the meeting between Heidegger and Ernst Cassirer in 1929 were memorable events.5 But they have hardly modified or tested anyone's beliefs, but were chiefly public confrontations.

1 Holzwege, p. 69; translated by Marjorie Grene in Measure II, 269 ff. See also Vortrdge und Aufsatze, p. 45 ff.

2 Was ist Metaphysik? Nachwort (1934), 6th edition, p. 46.

3 Aus der Erfahrung des Denkens, p. 25; Holzwege, p. 343. < Holzwege, p. 302 f., 343.

5 See, e.g. Hendrik J. Pos, "Recollections of Ernst Cassirer" in Schilpp. P., ed., The Philosophy of Ernst Cassirer, pp. 67-69; Sein und Zeit, p. 51 f.


The dialogue which is the testing ground for Heidegger is that with the texts of the great thinkers of the past, to whose interpretation he seems to have turned as his favorite approach to the problems. However, a dialogue in which the real partner is silenced from the very start offers little guarantee that we shall hear anything but an echo of the speaker's own voice. In fact, Heidegger himself seems to be aware that his own interpretations are by no means valid for all times nor, for that matter, for anyone else but himself.1

What has become at this stage of Heidegger's earlier interpretation of phenomenology, notably of his hermeneutics ? We remember that the ground for such a phenomenology was laid by the so-called phenomenological destruction. Even without using the name, Heidegger has continued this technique, especially in his Holzwege, where, for instance, the discussions of Nietzsche and Anaximander offer excellent examples of it. Here a searching interpretation of the texts serves as preparation for a more original approach to the phenomena.

It is less easy to say what has become of the hermeneutic method of Sein und Zeit. For it is not only the term that has disappeared: human being, the one and only subject of such interpretation, no longer constitutes the privileged topic of Heidegger's investigations. The themes of his later thinking are no longer taken from such a limited area, but include not only works of art but also aspects of Being itself. This means that interpretation no longer takes the exclusive form of uncovering the true purposes of human being. But this does not mean that interpretation as such is abandoned. To be sure, it is not Being itself or truth which requires Auslegung. Now it is primarily texts which form the starting points for Heidegger's own philosophizing. Their interpretation had been a constant concern of Heidegger's lectures and seminars, beginning with his Aristotle interpretations of 1921/22. The first large-scale example to reach the wider public was the Kant book. The explanation of Holderlin's poetry, beginning in 1936, applied this interpretation to a new area. Holzwege, especially in the case of the fragment from Anaximander, gave a first sample of Heidegger's interpretation of Pre-Socratic texts, which were followed by the Parmenides

1 Was heisst Denken? p. 110.


interpretations in Was heisst Denken ? But how do these interpretations differ from the scholarly interpretations of the philologists ? True, Heidegger often begins with a careful study of the texts. But he wants his analysis to be clearly distinguished from merely philological interpretation, for which he shows little taste or respect. For he is not afraid of doing violence to his texts in order to "understand" a thinker better than he has understood himself, whether his name is Kant or Plato. "In contrast to the methods of historical philology, which has its own task, a thinking dialogue is subject to different laws." !

Whatever the methods and limitations of these new interpretations of given texts may be, in what sense can they be claimed to be phenomenology, even if they should still be hermeneutics ? The answer must depend on the extent to which they still deal with phenomena, even if this term is understood in Heidegger's own sense of "what shows itself by itself." It could hardly be claimed that texts as such, poetic or otherwise, are such phenomena. Hence it would be rather inappropriate to describe their interpretation as genuinely phenomenological.

How far, in fact, do Heidegger's last writings deal directly with phenomena? The "unhiddenness" of Truth and Being would seem to make hermeneutic interpretation superfluous. On the other hand "truth," being merely the "clearing" within Being, leaves enough darkness around it to challenge the hermeneutic thinker. However, as long as Heidegger himself does not offer such a hermeneutics of Being and of Truth, and especially as long as he does not do so explicitly and in some detail, it would be premature to label his present preludes to it as a hermeneutics of Being.

It should also be noticed that Heidegger's thinking has now abandoned all pretense of being "scientific." The hermeneutic phenomenology of Sein und Zeit, even in its "definitive concept," still tried to be science and seemed to maintain Husserl's original aspirations toward a rigorous science. How far this amounts to a difference in Heidegger's actual procedure rather than to a difference in his self-interpretation is another matter. But it highlights again the degree to which Heidegger has drifted

1 Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik. Preface to the 2nd ed., 1950.


away from his original conception of phenomenology and his hopes for it.

In conclusion, I should mention the fact that in September 1953 I had a unique opportunity to interview Martin Heidegger personally about his present attitude toward phenomenology. Without quoting his words, I feel entitled to render the sense of his answers as follows: Heidegger frankly admitted and restated his rejection of transcendental phenomenology. But he did not express any intention of dissociating himself from the Phenomenological Movement, as far as its general substance is concerned. Nor did he say or imply that any substantial change in his methods had taken place since the publication of Sein und Zeit, particularly not with regard to such innovations as the phenomenological destruction and phenomenological hermeneutics. As far as the abandonment of Sein und Zeit is concerned, he intimated that the new approach from Being to human being by no means excluded the earlier one from human being to Being. In fact he stated that if he ever should rewrite Sein und Zeit he would try to combine the two approaches. In other words, for Heidegger this is a matter of a both-and, not of an either-or.

I shall not attempt to discuss this self-interpretation in the light of the evidence already presented. In any event, Heidegger did not deny the obvious shift in his approach. He thus confirmed my conjecture that phenomenology, understood as the hermeneutic interpretation of human being, has lost its priority in the pattern of his thinking. How far there can be any such thing as a phenomenology within the framework of the later approach must remain an open question. Heidegger does refer to the "essential aid of phenomenological seeing." However, there are no conspicuous examples of it in his later writings except those strewn in among his interpretations of texts. This is one reason why no illustrations of this later phenomenological thinking will be added here. Heidegger's original phenomenology remains that of Sein und Zeit.

6. Toward an Appraisal of Heidegger's Phenomenology

I began the attempt to introduce Heidegger's phenomenology by a remarkable tribute taken from Gilbert Ryle's review of Sein und Zeit. It would, however, be misleading to conceal the


fact that in spite of his sympathetic approach to Heidegger's text he came out with a rather disastrous estimate of his phenomenology. His final conclusion concerning its significance for the entire Phenomenological Movement seems worth pondering even in retrospect:

It is my personal opinion that qua First Philosophy Phenomenology is at present heading for bankruptcy and disaster and will end either in self-ruinous Subjectivism or in a windy Mysticism. ... I hazard this opinion with humility and reservations, since I am well aware how far I have fallen short of understanding this difficult work.

At least to some extent this modest prophecy, read with all its qualifications, has come true. It has proved so at least for that part of the German phenomenology of the thirties with which Ryle was acquainted (he clearly was not with Scheler). For Husserl's radicalized subjectivism failed to produce the promised final systematic statement in a version that satisfied the master himself sufficiently to authorize publication.

As to Heidegger's phenomenology, Ryle anticipated remarkably the trend toward an increasingly mystic approach. And since Heidegger had captured the minds of most German phenomenologists and "stolen the show," as it were, his final abandonment of the label "phenomenology" can be interpreted as the liquidation if not as the bankruptcy of the Movement. The fact that even Husserl's erstwhile assistants, Ludwig Land-grebe and Eugen Fink, have declared phenomenology a closed chapter could be considered as the final confirmation of the prophecy.

But whether or not it has proved correct, more important than the prognosis is the diagnosis, which in Ryle's case is more than debatable. The following attempt to evaluate Heidegger's phenomenology is not meant as an assessment of his philosophizing as a whole. Its limited objective will be (1) to determine to what extent Heidegger's philosophy was really phenomenology and hence can be taken as representative of phenomenology as such:

(2) to point out the peculiar strengths and weaknesses of Heidegger's phenomenologizing.

a. TO WHAT EXTENT IS HEIDEGGER A PHENOMENOLOGIST? Clearly Heidegger never was a phenomenologist


in the strictest sense defined by Husserl's subjectivist transcendentalism with its idealistic implications, even though, especially at the time of Sein und Zeit, he rejected traditional realism. In particular, he never accepted the phenomenological reduction in Husserl's sense.

As to the strict sense of phenomenology, in which attention to the ways of givenness becomes essential (sense y). the hermeneutic analyses of Sein und Zeit hold at least considerable implicit interest. This is particularly evident in the interpretation of moods as revealing more or less indirectly the fundamental situation of human being.

It may be more dubious whether Heidegger's phenomenology fits into the framework of a phenomenology in the wider sense, which emphasizes the insights into essences (sense p). For hermeneutic phenomenology intends to treat human existence as each one's own, although one might say that in the final analysis it still gives a diagnosis of human existence in general. It should also be mentioned that quite often Heidegger speaks of certain features as "essentially" belonging to Being or thinking, and even refers to essential laws, which would seem to imply that he at least practices eidetic phenomenology even if he does not want to preach it.

It is, however, by no means clear whether Heidegger belongs any longer unconditionally within the framework of the Phenomenological Movement in the widest sense oc. The first test, acceptance of intuiting as the ultimate source and test of all knowledge, could be justified probably even in the case of Heidegger's later philosophy of thinking, in which phenomenological seeing is appealed to as an essential help, if not as the substance of his approach. What is more questionable is whether he still identifies himself actively with the Phenomenological Movement, even if he does not dissociate himself from it completely. Perhaps the real question is whether Heidegger still recognized the survival of such a Movement at all. Certainly he himself does not give evidence of any active interest in its continuation or revival.

Summing up, we must remember: Phenomenology was for Heidegger fundamentally only a means for the solution of his basic problem. This means proved to be only partially effective. It never was an integral part of his philosophy. Heidegger had


come to Husserl's phenomenology with his task all laid out. In the days of his emancipation from scholastic and transcen-dentalist philosophy (Rickert), and especially after meeting Husserl, he thought that a hermeneutic phenomenology of human being (in contrast to Husserl's descriptive phenomenology of pure consciousness) offered the best chance for the solution of his problem. His failure to win over Husserl to this approach and the ensuing rift between them were factors in his retreat from phenomenology in the technical sense. More important was the realization that the approach to the problem of Being via an analysis of human being was not the hoped for master key to the riddle of Being, since the transition from the temporality of human being to the time of Being itself could not be made. It was this retreat from the prerogative of the subjective in the sense of the human which entailed his detachment from phenomenology with its primary interest in the given as given. Phenomenology, insofar as it is still a part of Heidegger's recent approach, is no longer its decisive part. It was fundamentally nothing but a phase in his development. No wonder he now seems disinterested in its present and future.

This conclusion does not discharge us from an evaluation of Heidegger's concrete phenomenological achievements. In what follows I shall therefore offer some observations on the points that seem to me relevant to such a more detailed appraisal beyond the incidental remarks that have been made in earlier sections of this chapter.

b. STRENGHTS AND WEAKNESSES OF HEIDEGGER'S PHENOMENOLOGY - There can be little question that in his hermeneutic phenomenology Heidegger has attacked a variety of phenomena, such as fear, anxiety, and concern, which had not been taken up before by phenomenologists, and that he has brought out some of their aspects and characters in a way that shows his unusual perceptiveness and penetration.

Nevertheless, Heidegger's accounts of these phenomena, taken as phenomenological descriptions, are often meager, chiefly because he usually limits himself to attaching to these phenomena striking and evocative names instead of determining their constituent elements, their varieties, and their comparative


characteristics. This lack is clearly related to the fact that Heidegger considers the task of a mere description of manifest phenomena to be superfluous. The concern of his hermeneutic phenomenology is to uncover the hidden phenomena and particularly their meanings. However, the question seems legitimate whether in this regard Heidegger does not share the naivete of many explanatory sciences which overlook the fact that what is manifest is not always thoroughly perceived, assimilated, and understood in its structure and its varieties. It is for such reasons that the descriptive basis for Heidegger's interpretations is often too narrow.

This raises the whole question of the rights of hermeneutic phenomenology. Difficult though it may be, Heidegger's program of a phenomenology that attempts to investigate the hidden aspects of the phenomena (the "phenomenological" phenomena) is more than justifiable, particularly if it can succeed in making them directly accessible rather than leaving them in the realm of merely hypothetical explanations which can be only indirectly verified. This applies particularly to the hermeneutic interpretations of human being and existence. Doubts concerning them apply more to the practice than to the principle of this obviously ambitious and difficult enterprise. Rarely if ever does Heidegger seem to consider the possibility of interpretations other than his own. And often, for instance in his discussion of moods, one cannot overcome the impression of a biased approach which prevents him from considering alternatives. Never does he seem to feel the need of showing his readers his criteria. There is a finality about his monumental and oracular pronouncements which ignores the question of evidence and strains the critical sense of all but the devotees.

If one recalls the caution and carefulness which characterized the work of the early phenomenologists, one cannot help being amazed at the blitheness with which the new phenomenology takes, for instance, the manifestness (Offenbarkeit) of Being for granted. The seeming qualification that Being also tends to hide, or that we are forgetful of it, does but little to relieve the stunning boldness of the claim. If we are also told that it is Being itself which plays this game of hide and seek on a cosmic scale, it seems hard to avoid the impression of a fantastic drama with-



out personal protagonists. Surely, in the name of a critical phenomenology such claims must not go unchallenged.

Lack of patience with the critical reader leads to what is perhaps the severest handicap of Heidegger's phenomenology:

the difficulty of its formulation and transmission. In raising this point one must not minimize the creative originality and power of Heidegger's diction and style. If these qualities alone could determine the rank of philosophy, there would be no question in my mind that Heidegger's achievement is unique. There is a certain grandeur in his writing, even if in places but one step separates the sublime from the ridiculous.

But there are requirements for philosophical language other than style. Heidegger himself, who has thought deeply about language, has an extremely high conception of its nature and capacities. Perhaps its most exalted formulation is implied in the statement: "Language is the house of being. In this house man has his abode." 1 It is for this reason, too, that ultimately poetry, in preference to the non-verbal arts, receives such a preferred rank in Heidegger's thinking.

In view of this estimate it is all the more significant that precisely difficulties of language, the "house of being," have blocked the way of Sein und Zeit beyond its published parts and have apparently interfered even with the development of Heidegger's second approach in Vom Wesen der Wahrheit (see p. 311). To be sure, it is the language of metaphysics which failed, not language as such. But what language can supplant it ? Hardly the language of the poet, who "names the Holy," but does not "tell Being," as the "thinker" is expected to do.

This difficulty leads to the even more serious, and in a sense gravest, crux of Heidegger's phenomenology: its communicability through language. Heidegger's obvious intent to awaken and even to shock his reader into a realization of the phenomena has all too often defeated his own purpose. The squeezing and bending of existing words by literalizing their meanings, whether etymologically justified or not, without additional guidance to the reader by way of definitions or examples, is apt to create a twilight of uncritical semi-understanding among the gullible, and of hostile misunderstanding among the more critical. True,

1 "Brief fiber den Humanismus" in Platons Lehre von der Wahrheit, p. 53.


phenomenology has always had to face the problem of devising new terms for new phenomena. But it has never been enough to coin such terms without also introducing the reader to the new phenomena. Just this is one of the functions of a descriptive phenomenology. Lack of patience and empathy with his readers is the worst weakness of Heidegger's hermeneutic phenomenology. It reduces it to a more or less private enterprise or esoteric cult. Yet it would seem to me that this is by no means an irremediable weakness, and that it should be possible to salvage a good deal of Heidegger's insights by a less reckless and violent approach to the problem of communication. It may well be that the success of French phenomenology, including its Heideggerian ingredients, is due to greater concern for this problem.

One final doubt is raised by the approach of Heidegger's later writings. Phenomenology in its early stage was characterized by its courageous attack on the things themselves, regardless of previous opinions and theories. There is in Heidegger an increasing tendency to go to the "things" by way of classical texts and by an interpretation based primarily on etymology and at best secondarily on an appeal to the phenomena. It is thus again the secondary world of books and traditions which gets between the "things" and their fresh intuition. To be sure, it would be a sad loss if phenomenology should deprive itself completely of the insights of the past, which now also include the insights of the earlier phenomenologists. But it would be just as fatal if "going to the sources" should again assume the sense of going to the texts, instead of going to the phenomena. The way from Sein und Zeit to Was heisst Denken? shows an alarming tendency in this direction.

Once in the twenties, in one of his exuberant moods at the height of his cooperation with Heidegger, Husserl exclaimed:

"Phenomenology, that is Heidegger and me." Had it been so, Ryle's prophecy would indeed have come true. But here, as in Husserl's case, I shall invoke Heidegger's own words, with which he vindicated his independence of Husserl in Sein und Zeit: "The essence of phenomenology does not consist in its actuality. Higher than actuality stands potentiality."

Later chapters will tell the story of the development of these unexhausted potentialities.


7. Heidegger's Following and Phenomenology

Compared with the academic influence of other phenomenologists such as Husserl and Scheler, Heidegger has unquestionably the largest following. Even some of Husserl's Freiburg students like landgrebe and fink have come so much under the influence of Heidegger that a recent bibliography of German philosophy of existence may be justified in including them among his "immediate students." 1 Others include oskar becker, F. J. brecht, walter brocker, hans Georg Gadamer, Gerhard Kruger, Karl Lowith (the last two among his keenest critics), wilhelm szilasi, his Freiburg successor, and karl-heinz volkmann-schluck. Beyond them there is a widening circle of thinkers inside and outside Germany who are more or less his disciples in the non-academic sense.2

It is another question whether these followers practice Heidegger's phenomenology. No sweeping answer to such a question should be given without detailed conscientious examination. However, on the whole, there is in the literature of the Heideggerians little explicit reference to phenomenology. Some of Oskar Becker's studies, particularly his earlier ones, those of Karl Lowith, and in a wider sense perhaps even those of 0. F. Bollnow would seem to be most phenomenological in character. So is the work of the Swiss psychiatrist Ludwig Binswanger, which owes much to both Husseri and Heidegger, though he finally emancipated himself even from Heidegger.

Then there is the question of the extent to which Heidegger's followers have maintained the level set by the master. It is one thing to practice a thinking as unique and self-willed as Heidegger's. It is another matter to duplicate it without imitating the mannerisms of the master and especially the artificialities of his language. Unfortunately, the result has been too often turgid imitation, combined with an uncritical worship of the words of the master.

1 O. F. Bollnow, Deutsche Existenzphilosophie (Bern, Francke, 1953).

2 Werner Brock, the editor of Existence and Being, is one of these. - See also the list of contributors to the two Festschrift volumes published, on the occasion of Heidegger's 60th birthday.



Major Works

Die Kategorien- und Bedeutungslehre des Duns Scotus (1916) Sein und Zeit. I. Halfte (1927) (SZ)

Translations: Spanish (1951) by Jose Gaos; French (excerpts from the second section in Qu'est-ce que la metaphysique? (1938) by H. Corbin;

an English translation is promised by Blackwell's. "Vom Wesen des Grundes" in Festschrift fur E. Husserl (1929)

Translations: French (1930 and 1938) by H. Corbin Kant und das Problem der Metaphysik (1929)

Translations: French (1954) by W. Biemel and A. de Waelhens Was ist Metaphysik:? (1929) - Nachwort (1944); Einleitung (1951)

Translations: French (1931 and 1938); Spanish (1933); English (1949) by R. F. C. Hull and Alan Crick in Existence and Being, edited by Werner Brock1 - a careful, conscientious effort. The "Einleitung," translated by Walter Kaufmann, appeared in his Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre (1957), pp. 207-21 Die Selbstbehauptung der deutschen Universitat (1933) Holderlin und das Wesen der Dichtung (1936)

Translations: French (1938); English (1949) by Douglas Scott in Existence and Being - fair. Vom Wesen der Wahrheit (1943)

Translations: French (1949) by A. de Waelhens and W. Biemel;

English (1949) by R. F. C. Hull and Alan Crick in Existence and Being -good. Platons Lehre von der Wahrheit (1947)

Contains also the "Brief uber den Humanismus" an Jean Beaufret. Holzwege (1950)

Translations: English (1951), second essay only, by Mar j one Grene in Measure (1951), 269 ff. Einfuhrung in die Metaphysik (1953)

Translations: English (1958) by Ralph Manheim - on the whole reliable and readable, though not as close to the original as possible. Was heisst Denken? (1954) (D) A us der Erfahrung des Denkens (1954?) Vortrage und Aufsatze (1954) Was ist das ~ die Philosophic? (1956)

Translations: English (1958) by W. Kluback and Jean T. Wilde with German text added. Der Satz vom Grund (1957) Identitat und Differenz (1957)

1 "Existence and Being," a title not used by Heidegger himself, characterizes very well the poles of his thinking, but is hardly indicative of the content of a volume two thirds of which consist of Brock's helpful paraphrase of Sein und Seit, followed by the translation of four original essays in the last third. These essays, selected by Heidegger himself for the occasion and even prefaced by a brief "Note" (p. 249), are a puzzling combination, especially if meant as an introduction for Anglo-American readers, since two of the four essays are interpretations of Holderlin poems, which are put before the two metaphysical essays. Heidegger himself seems to be merely concerned lest they be considered as -'contributions to research in the history of literature and esthetics," which he deprecates, pleading merely that the four essays "arose from a necessity of thought."


Monographs in French and German biemel, walter, Le concept de monde chez Heidegger, Louvain, Nauwe-

laerts, 1950

Careful analysis of a central concept in Heidegger's thought against the

background of the problem of Being, based chiefly on his earlier work. furstenau, peter, Heidegger, Das Gefuge seines Denkens. Frankfurt,

Klostermann, 1958

A well-informed attempt to show the unity of Heidegger's thought

from Sein und Zeit to the latest works. gaos, jose, Introduccidn a el Ser y el Tiempo de Martin Heidegger. Mexico,

1951 lowith, karl, Heidegger, Denker in durftiger Zeit. Frankfurt, Fischer,


A series of three penetrating studies on the development of Heidegger's

thought, pointing out important changes in his later work.

de waelhens, alphonse, La philosophic de Martin Heidegger. Louvain, Institut superieur, 1942

Thus far the most detailed study of Heidegger's central works up to 1942, focussing on his existential analytics, but including a discussion of its phenomenological features.

---, Phenomenologie et verite. Essai sur revolution de I'idee de verite chez Husserl et Heidegger. Paris, Presses Universitaires, 1953 The second and larger part of this perceptive study deals with the fate of the idea of truth in Heidegger's thought, including his later works.

Large Studies in English:1

grene, marjorie, Martin Heidegger. New York, Hilary, 1957

An informed but not altogether sympathetic brief interpretation, omitting a number of central doctrines. The connections with phenomenology are hardly mentioned. Important passages are given in both German and English.

langan, thomas, The Meaning of Heidegger. A Critical Study of an Existentialist Phenomenology. New York, Columbia, 1959 An attempt to show the unity of Heidegger's work. Its phenomenological aspect is only named but never explained

Articles in English

cerf, walter, "An Approach to Heidegger's Ontology," PPR I (1940),


delius, harald, "Descriptive Interpretation," PPR XIII (1953), 305-23 earle, william, "Wahl on Heidegger on Being," Philosophical Review

LXVII (1958), 85-90

1 The Anglo-American reader will find considerable help in the Heidegger chapters of several books on existentialism, especially in Alien, E. L., Existentialism from Within; Blackham, H. J., Six Existentialist Thinkers (1951), Ch. V.; Collins, James, The Existentialists (1952), Ch. V.; Kuhn, Helmut, Encounter with Nothingness (1951) (where especially the connections between phenomenology and existentialism in Heidegger are discussed very helpfully in Ch. VIII). But few of these much too comprehensive accounts are free from factual errors.


farber, marvin, "Heidegger on the Essence of Truth," PPR XVIII (1958), 523-32

freund, E. H., "Man's Fall in Heidegger's Philosophy," Journal of Religion XXIV (1944), 180-87

glicksman (grene), marjorie, "A Note on the Philosophy of Heidegger," Jownalof Philosophy XXXV (1938), 93-104 (Student impressions from Freiburg 1931-2).

gray, J. glenn, "Heidegger's "Being," Journal of Philosophy, XLIX

(1952), 415-22. (Clear account of Heidegger's later philosophy)

---, "Heidegger's Course: From Human Existence to Nature," Journal of Philosophy LIV (1957), 197-207

---, "Heidegger Evaluates Nietzsche," J. of History of Ideas XIV

(1953), 304-9.

hinners, richard, "The Freedom and Finiteness of Existence in Heidegger," New Scholasticism XXXIII (1959), 32-48

kaufmann, F. W., "The Value of Heidegger's Analysis of Existence for Literary Criticism," Modern Language Notes XLVIII (1933), 487-91

kraft, julius, "The Philosophy of Existence," PPR I (1941), 339-58 Discussion by Fritz Kaufmann I, 359-64 and rejoinder 364-5.

lowith, karl, "Heidegger: Problem and Background of Existentialism," Social Research XV (1948), 345-69

---, "M. Heidegger and F. Rosenzweig on Temporality and Eternity,"

PPR III (1943), 53-77 marx, werner, "Heidegger's New Concept of Philosophy. The Second

Phase of Existentialism," Social Research XXII (1953), 451-74 merlan, philip, "Time Consciousness in Husserl and Heidegger," PPR

VIII (1948), 23-53 richey, clarence W., "On the Intentional Ambiguity of Heidegger's

Metaphysics," Journal of Philosophy LVIII (1958), 1144-48 schrader, george, "Heidegger's Ontology of Human Existence,"

Review of Metaphysics X (1956), 35-56 schrag, calvin, 0., "Phenomenology, Ontology, and History in the

Philosophy of Heidegger," Revue Internationale de philosophic XII

(1958), 117-32

stern, guenther (anders), "On the Pseudo-Concreteness of Heidegger's Philosophy," PPR VIII (1948), 337-71

strasser, stephen, "The Concept of Dread in the Philosophy of Heidegger," Modern Schoolman XXXV (1957), 1-20 taubes, S. A., "The Gnostic Foundations of Heidegger's Nihilism,"

Journal of Religion XXXIV (1954), 155-72 tint, H., "Heidegger and the Irrational," Proceedings of the Aristotelian

Society LVII (1957), 253-68 trivers, howard, "Heidegger's Misinterpretation of Hegel's Views on

Spirit and Time," PPR III (1943), 162-68 turnbull, robert G., "Heidegger on the Nature of Truth," Journal of

Philosophy LVII (1957), 559-65 weiss, helene, "The Greek Conception of Time and Being in the Light

of Heidegger's Philosophy," PPR II (1942), 173-87 werkmeister, W. H., "An Introduction to Heidegger's 'Existential

Philosophy'," PPR II (1941), 79-87


Ph. D. Theses

glicksman (later grene), marjorie, The Concept of Existence in Contemporary German Philosophy. Radcliffe, 1935 hinners, richard C., Heidegger's Conception of the Question "What is

the Meaning of to-be?" in Sein und Zeit. Yale, 1955 malik, charles M., The Metaphysics of Time in the Philosophies of

A. N. Whitehead and M. Heidegger. Harvard, 1937 stavrides, ria, The Concept of Existence in Kierkegaard and Heidegger.

Columbia University, 1952 tweedie, donald F. Jr., The Significance of Dread in the Thought of

Kierkegaard and Heidegger. Boston University, 1954 versenyi, laszlo, Heidegger's Theory of Truth. Yale, 1955 wyschogrod, michael, Kierkegaard and Heidegger. The Ontology of Existence. Columbia University, 1954; London, Kegan Paul, 1954

Most Comprehensive Recent Bibliography

lubbe, hermann, "Bibliographic der Heidegger Literatur 1917-1955," Zeitschrift fur philosophische Forschung XI (1957), 401-52


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