The Early Heidegger's Philosophy of Life: Facticity, Being, and Language

The Early Heidegger's Philosophy of Life: Facticity, Being, and Language

Copyright Date: 2012
Published by: Fordham University Press
Pages: 288
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    The Early Heidegger's Philosophy of Life: Facticity, Being, and Language
    Book Description:

    In his early lecture courses, Martin Heidegger exhibited an abiding interest in human life. He believed that human life has philosophical import while it is actually being lived; language has philosophical import while it is being spoken. In this book, Scott Campbell traces the development of Heidegger's ideas about factical life through his interest in Greek thought and its concern with Being. He contends that Heidegger's existential concerns about human life and his ontological concerns about the meaning of Being crystallize in the notion of Dasein as the Being of factical human life. Emphasizing the positive aspects of everydayness, Campbell explores the contexts of meaning embedded within life; the intensity of average, everyday life; the temporal immediacy of life in early Christianity; the hermeneutic pursuit of life's self-alienation; factical spatiality; the temporalizing of history within life; the richness of the world; and the facticity of speaking in Plato and Aristotle. He shows how Heidegger presents a way of grasping human life as riddled with deception but also charged with meaning and open to revelation and insight.

    eISBN: 978-0-8232-4621-2
    Subjects: Philosophy

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
  3. List of Abbreviations
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Preface
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  5. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xvii-xxii)
  6. Introduction
    (pp. 1-20)

    From the beginning of his philosophical career until the end, Martin Heidegger followed one path. He was interested in the question of Being. Much has been said about the path Heidegger traveled. Being, for Heidegger, is the original event or process that lets all beings be. It is that original source that, though not itself a being or thing, enables everything that is to be what it is. Heidegger’s lifelong endeavor was to continue to probe this original source, the Being of beings. In the pages that follow, I engage Heidegger’s question about Being once again by looking at two...

  7. Part I: Philosophical Vitality (1919–21)
    • 1 Science and the Originality of Life
      (pp. 23-45)

      Reading Martin Heidegger’s early lecture courses is exciting and not simply because of the various ways in which they presage concepts and themes in his later work. Many of the initial interpretive forays into these courses have focused on the development of Heidegger’s concepts on the way toBeing and Timeand beyond. Identifying how and when various concepts developed is essential to understanding Heidegger’s thought, and throughout this book I attempt to show how Heidegger’s phenomenology of life develops into an ontology of Dasein. But the early lecture courses, and his other writings and manuscripts from 1919 to 1925,...

    • 2 Christian Facticity
      (pp. 46-60)

      In the last chapter we saw that because factical life emerges from an origin, it remains in constant renewal. This renewal of factical life is such that phenomenology, the original science of life, would always experience its vitality in myriad ways. Heidegger refers to this as the tapestry of life, and science can restore that sense of vitality to its own research through an encounter with the factical richness of that tapestry, which, with reference to the scientific world, Heidegger called the pretheoretical. In his lecture courses on the phenomenology of religion, Heidegger is still investigating factical life, but we...

  8. Part II: Factical Life (1921–22)
    • 3 Grasping Life as a Topic
      (pp. 63-82)

      It is clear that for Heidegger, philosophy is a way to live your life so that it can be retrieved from its tendency toward decline. As he says, philosophy is a How of life, which is constantly taking life back—indeed, taking itself back—from decline. In the lecture coursePhenomenological Interpretations of Aristotle: Initiation into Phenomenological Research(G61), which Heidegger delivered in the winter semester of 1921–22,¹ the third and final section undertakes an extended investigation of the problem of factical life; so in this chapter and the next I provide a thoroughgoing analysis of this particular...

    • 4 Ruinance
      (pp. 83-100)

      In this chapter, I am still looking atPhenomenological Interpretations of Aristotle: Initiation into Phenomenological Research(G61, from winter semester, 1921–22), the text on factical life, but my focus is now on the relationships among factical life, its world, and what Heidegger describes as factical life’s ruinance.¹ With ruinance, Heidegger is showing the various ways that life is weighed down by the world and distracted by worldly concerns. There is thus an important shift that takes place in this course from the notion of factical life as a source of vital and intense life-experience to the ways in...

  9. Part III: The Hermeneutics of Facticity (1922–23)
    • 5 The Retrieval of History
      (pp. 103-119)

      “Phenomenological Interpretations with Respect to Aristotle: Indication of the Hermeneutical Situation,”¹ known as Heidegger’s “lost manuscript,” is the prospectus that he sent to Marburg and Göttingen for the purpose of attaining teaching positions at those universities. It is both historically and philosophically important because in it Heidegger outlined his current and projected philosophical interpretations of Aristotle. Gadamer, in his introduction to the subsequent publication of the manuscript (1989) after its rediscovery, titledHeideggers “theologische” Jugendschrift(Heidegger’s “Theological” Youthful Writings), maintains that there are two impulses motivating the young Heidegger’s interest in Aristotle: (1) a critique of Aristotle’s understanding of Being...

    • 6 Facticity and Ontology
      (pp. 120-138)

      InOntology: The Hermeneutics of Facticity(G63), from the summer semester of 1923, we find a remarkably illuminating analysis of the richness and vitality that emerge from a factical interpretation of life.¹ Heidegger offered this course one semester after he had written the prospectus outlining his plans for future research (Chapter 5). That makes this lecture course the last one he delivered while still Husserl’s assistant in Freiburg before traveling to Marburg to become an assistant professor. What we see in this course, quite explicitly, is that because life is factical, its way of being is Being-in-the-world. Facticity emerges...

  10. Part IV: The Language of Life (1923–25)
    • 7 Factical Speaking
      (pp. 141-161)

      During the winter semester 1923–24, inIntroduction to Phenomenological Research(G17), Heidegger sought a clarification of phenomenology. The purpose of the lecture course was first to define the constituent terms of phenomenology, that is, ϕαινόμενον and λόγος, through a return to Aristotle. That analysis establishes a ground upon which to evaluate Husserl’s conception of phenomenology and, further, his appropriation of Descartes. For the purposes of this chapter, the explicit mechanics of Husserl’s use of Descartes are not as important as Heidegger’s analysis of phenomenology via Aristotle. However, a brief glance at Husserl’s Cartesian insistence on certainty and validity...

    • 8 Rhetoric
      (pp. 162-185)

      In his work on rhetoric, Aristotle provides an articulation of the philosophical facticity of λόγος by making the language of Being-in-the-world concrete. The worldly dimensions of λόγος emerge quite explicitly in a lecture course Heidegger delivered on Aristotle’sRhetoricin the summer of 1924,Basic Concepts of Aristotelian Philosophy(G18).¹ As the title of the course suggests, Heidegger is trying to interpret some of Aristotle’s most basic philosophical concepts (he lists thirty of them on the first day of the class) from within Aristotle’s own philosophical-historical, and thus factical, context. Interestingly, Heidegger claims that the course is not, as...

    • 9 Sophistry
      (pp. 186-210)

      An understanding of Plato’s dialogue theSophist, Heidegger tells us, demands that we acquire the proper vantage from which to understand Plato. That standpoint comes from Aristotle. By going through Aristotle to Plato, and not from Plato to Aristotle, Heidegger claims that he is simply adhering to the hermeneutic principle of proceeding “from the clear into the obscure.” This way, Plato can be interpreted in the most proper way, from out of his own historical situation. In addition to being hermeneutic, Heidegger’s method is also factical. Factical research respects the concrete, historical situation of a particular thinker. By engaging Plato...

  11. Conclusion
    (pp. 211-224)

    From his earliest lecture courses, as we have seen, Heidegger was interested in the relationship that the facticity of life has to the meaning of Being. This connection between human existence and ontology crystallizes in the notion of Dasein, which, as thethereof Being, we might also call the Being of factical human life. As he will say explicitly inOntology: The Hermeneutics of Facticity(G63) from 1923, “Dasein (factical life) is Being in a world” (G63:80/62). Throughout all his early philosophical investigations into science, religion, history, language, and the Greeks, this notion of Dasein, factical life,...

  12. Notes
    (pp. 225-262)
  13. Glossary of Greek Terms and Expressions
    (pp. 263-266)
  14. Bibliography
    (pp. 267-276)
  15. Index
    (pp. 277-294)
  16. Back Matter
    (pp. 295-298)