Heidegger, Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being

Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy Series Editor: James Fieser, University of Tennessee at Martin, USA Continuum Studies in Continental Philosophy is a major monograph series from Continuum. The series features first-class scholarly research monographs across the field of Continental philosophy. Each work makes a major contribution to the field of philosophical research. Adorno’s Concept of Life , Alastair Morgan Badiou, Marion and St Paul , Adam Miller Being and Number in Heidegger’s Thought , Michael Roubach The Crisis in Continental Philosophy, Robert Piercey Deleuze and Guattari , Fadi Abou-Rihan Deleuze and the Genesis of Representation , Joe Hughes Deleuze, Guattari and the Production of the New, edited by Simon O’Sullivan and Stephen Zepke Derrida , Simon Morgan Wortham Derrida and Disinterest , Sean Gaston Encountering Derrida , edited by Simon Morgan Wortham and Allison Weiner Foucault’s Heidegger, Timothy Rayner Gadamer and the Question of the Divine, Walter Lammi Heidegger and a Metaphysics of Feeling, Sharin N. Elkholy Heidegger and Aristotle, Michael Bowler Heidegger and Happiness, Matthew King Heidegger and Philosophical Atheology, Peter S. Dillard Heidegger Beyond Deconstruction , Michael Lewis Heidegger on Language and Death , Joachim L. Oberst Heidegger, Politics and Climate Change , Ruth Irwin Heidegger, Work, and Being, Todd S. Mei Heidegger’s Contributions to Philosophy, Jason Powell Heidegger’s Early Philosophy, James Luchte Heidegger’s Platonism , Mark A. Ralkowski The Irony of Heidegger, Andrew Haas Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology, Kirk M. Besmer Nietzsche’s Ethical Theory, Craig Dove Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra , edited by James Luchte The Philosophy of Exaggeration, Alexander Garcia Düttmann Who’s Afraid of Deleuze and Guattari? Gregg Lambert Žižek and Heidegger, Thomas Brockelman

Heidegger, Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being

Philip Tonner

2. including photocopying.H49T59 2009 193--dc22 2009013821 Typeset by Newgen Imaging Systems Pvt Ltd. ca. ISBN-13: 978-1-4411-7229-7 (hard) ISBN-10: 1-4411-7229-7 (hard) 1. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means. Chennai. Ontology. 1266-1308. 3. Philip. Heidegger. and the univocity of being / Philip Tonner. I. India Printed and bound in Great Britain by the MPG Books Group . B3279. without prior permission in writing from the publishers.Continuum International Publishing Group The Tower Building 80 Maiden Lane 11 York Road Suite 704 London SE1 7NX New York NY 10038 www.continuumbooks. recording. ISBN: HB: 978-1-4411-7229-7 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Tonner. British Library Cataloguing-in-Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library. Duns Scotus. Title. 1889-1976. or any information storage or retrieval system. cm.com © Philip Tonner 2010 All rights reserved. electronic or mechanical. metaphysics. Heidegger. John. p. Martin. Includes bibliographical references.

Scotus and Univocity Section One The Question of Being Analogy.Contents Acknowledgements Abbreviations of Heidegger’s Works Introduction General Introduction The Univocity of Being The Modern Predicament 1. Univocity and Phenomenological Philosophy Being and Some Other Key Terms The Phenomenology of Being and the Question of Dasein Transcendental Philosophy vii ix 1 1 2 5 10 10 19 21 27 27 27 32 35 37 39 41 44 48 49 49 57 58 60 65 65 72 74 . Scholasticism and Time The Presupposition of the Tradition Section Two Scholasticism. Analogy and the Interpretation of Heidegger The Phenomena of Beingness and Time Beyond Being The Analogical Interpretation of Heidegger’s Text 3. Heidegger. the Medieval Experience of Life Univocity and Phenomenology Destruction and Tradition Metaphysics Phenomenological Philosophy and Aletheia Descartes. The Problem of Univocity in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy From Heidegger to Aristotle Medieval Philosophy Scholasticism 2.

Ereignis and Epochal Immanence A History of Being Section Two The Tradition The History of Metaphysics The Medieval and the Modern A History of the Modern: Subjectivity 6. Univocity and the Problem of History History and Civilization Art and History Fractured History Language and Poetry The Fate of Univocity The Re-enchanted Forest Being Mortal Conclusion Appendix: The Univocity of Being: Deleuze Notes Select Bibliography Index .vi Contents Univocity from 1916 to 1927 Cartesian Connections and the Medieval Ontology Dasein. Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought Section One Mysticism The Present Age The Later Heidegger A-Letheia . Being and Univocity Univocity and Analogy 5. Univocity and the Question of Analogy 79 85 89 94 94 107 114 117 117 117 125 126 128 133 137 137 140 145 151 153 153 157 161 167 169 174 177 180 185 189 196 209 4. Univocity and Fundamental Ontology Husserl and Heidegger Phenomenology.

Robin Downie. patience and . I would like to thank Dudley Knowles. formerly of the Department of Philosophy at Glasgow. Later comments from Brian Elliott and Richard Stalley have proven invaluable in improving the overall coherence of my argument. for their continued support. I would like to extend my thanks to the Department of Philosophy at the University of Glasgow. both of whom gave me helpful comments on aspects of the penultimate draft. for making my time there unforgettable. While conceived at Warwick. I owe both of them thanks for their continued support of my projects. I would like to thank all the members of staff and postgraduate students of the Department of Philosophy who made my time there enjoyable. David kindly met with me to discuss some difficult points of interpretation and his comments on an earlier draft undoubtedly improved the text as a whole. Scott Meikle. I would also like to extend my warm thanks to David Campbell. I would like to thank Miguel de Beistegui. Particularly. The argument of the present work has certainly benefited from his input. Susan Stuart (now at HATII). Jane and William. and my uncle Philip. any errors or omissions in the book as a whole remain my fault. I would like to extend my considerable thanks and warm gratitude to Alexander Broadie for his sustained help and guidance over the years. Philip Percival. Of course. I would like to thank my mum and dad.Acknowledgements The original idea for this book occurred to me while I was studying philosophy at the University of Warwick. all of whom have made their contribution to my thought over the years. Particularly. Peter Poellner. I would like to thank Sarah Campbell and Tom Crick and the team at Continuum for their help and support with the final preparation of the manuscript. staff and students. this text was written in Glasgow. Particularly. Paul Brownsey. I would like to thank Gerald Moore and Michael Nix. I would like to extend my warm thanks and gratitude to my family and friends. Stephen Houlgate and Keith Ansell Pearson for their early encouragement and advice. Anne Southall and Susan Howel.

viii Acknowledgements encouragement throughout this and other projects. Also. this book is dedicated to her. Lastly. Philip Tonner Glasgow 2009 . I would like to thank our friend Bill Craw for his support throughout my studies. I would like to thank my partner Lynsey for putting up with me throughout this and other projects.

Indiana University Press. Harper Torchbooks. F. Basil Blackwell. G. KPM Kant and The Problem of Metaphysics. J. Stambaugh. A Translation of Sein und Zeit. State University of New York Press. Hofstadter. J. 1971. Trans. Fried and R. Kluback and J. . J. Trans. Polt. A. The University of Chicago Press. Wilde. Trans. 1992. WIP What is Philosophy?. Trans. Heim. Capuzzi. Illinois. R. The University of Chicago Press. M. 1978. Trans. De Paul University Chicago. J. PLT Poetry. Kisiel. Trans. Macquarrie and E. Yale University Press. Vision Press. Hofstadter.Abbreviations of Heidegger’s Works BPOP The Basic Problems of Phenomenology. 1992. Prolegomena . BT Being and Time . Harper and Row. H. 1978. Trans. 1990. 1977. Krell. Trans. EGT Early Greek Thinking. 1975. Stambaugh. D. D. Trans. Trans. ID Identity and Difference. Lovitt. Trans. OTB On Time and Being. Stambaugh. Robbins. T. ed. 2000. Indiana University Press. The Dawn of Western Philosophy. 1988. F.A. HCT History of the Concept of Time. EOP The End of Philosophy. Thought. Stambaugh. Trans. Souvenir Press. TMFL The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic. Trans. 1963. QCT The Question concerning Technology and Other Essays. Trans. BT (2) Being and Time. J. Indiana University Press. W. Harper and Row. BW Basic Writings. Language. Taft. 1972. DS Duns Scotus’ Theory of the Categories and of Meaning. 1996. W. 1973. Krell and F. Robinson. T. A. Routledge. IM Introduction to Metaphysics. Condor. 1969. 1962. Trans. Indiana University Press.

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The result of the tradition of metaphysics. This work constitutes the first stage of a lifelong quest for an appreciation of the question of the meaning of being. Heidegger maintains. reawaken our sense for the ‘meaning of this question’ and we must raise it once again. is bound up with the fate of the question of the meaning of being. In recent years much ink has been spilt trying to come to terms with Heidegger’s thinking. inseparable with coming to terms with the entire history of philosophy. guided his thought throughout his life. Since an adequate answer to the question of being is not to be found in this tradition we must. has in Heidegger’s view. In any attempt to do this. Partly because of his style of doing philosophy. a style that goes back to the texts of past philosophers in the Western tradition and attempts to elicit what he calls the ‘unsaid’ from their works. Heidegger attempted to reawaken our sense of urgency in the face of this question. Today we do not have an answer to this question and we are not even concerned about our inability to comprehend it. intimately related to this question. particularly the thought of Plato and Aristotle. all of his works are. coming to terms with his thought is. It was this question that Heidegger posed in Being and Time and that. Heidegger holds that this question has been forgotten in modernity. It is a matter of history that what has come down to us as the Western tradition of philosophy has been massively influenced by Aristotle’s thought. in one way or another. together with raising the question itself. in Being and Time. Our fate. Perhaps one of his most important insights was that there is ‘a kind of .Introduction General Introduction Heidegger’s philosophy is guided by one question: what is the meaning of being? Despite the fact that it was this question that stood out in antiquity as the question of philosophy. as historically engaged agents who are sensitive to the meaningful world of things. in an important sense. become over the years calcified into what we now know generically as the Western tradition of philosophy. it is the problem of the meaning of being that must act as guide. in one way or another.

the very posing of this question is Dasein’s mode of being and Dasein receives its essential nature from being itself. The question of being refers to being and not to beings. This is a problem for Heidegger since it is his conviction that all ontology. Heidegger agreed with Aristotle that the fundamental question of philosophy is the question of being. Minimally. Rather. Heidegger holds that in order to elucidate this question we must take an entity as a paradigm and make its being transparent. ultimately. and to the philosophy of John Duns Scotus in particular. open a space for the univocity of being to emerge as the proper expression of the meaning of being. Since posing the question of being is a fundamental possibility of our being. from Heidegger’s point of view. . the univocity of being entails that there is a fundamental concept or sense of being under which falls anything whatsoever that exists. Although ‘being is always the being of an entity’.2 Heidegger. ‘it’ is not itself an entity nor a class of entities. has there been given a satisfactory answer to the question of the meaning of being. Nevertheless. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being science whose remit is being qua being’. qua Dasein. The Univocity of Being My central aim in this book is to develop an interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy in terms of the univocity of being. that is rendered transparent. will persist visionless and corrupted from its raison d’être if it fails to clarify the meaning of being and to understand this clarification to be its most fundamental task . How can there be a unified sense or meaning of being when being is said in many ways? A concern with a unified sense or meaning of being was a major concern of Heidegger’s and there is an affinity between his thought and Aristotle’s. Since we use the predicative ‘is’ in many ways Aristotle searched for a unitary meaning of being that founded all of the various ways in which it is said. it is appropriate that it is us. for Heidegger. Achieving this is impossible without reference to Aristotelian-scholastic substance ontology in general. from antiquity through medieval ontology down to the present. there is an ontological difference between being and beings. no matter how internally consistent and apparently useful its categories are. Scotus raised philosophical univocity to its historical apotheosis. Such a view plays a distinctive and crucial role in both Scotus’s and Heidegger’s philosophy. there has been an engagement with this science. In fact.1 Despite the fact that in the history of philosophy. nowhere. The question of being must be elucidated adequately. in so far as both thinkers.

To that extent. Thomas Sheehan has interpreted Heidegger’s text in terms of the analogy of being. both these views uphold a fundamental univocal sense of being and it is just this parallel that I shall have cause to explore. Among the few exceptions to the rule of passing over the concept of univocity with reference to Heidegger have been the partial readings put forward of his thought by Deleuze in Difference and Repetition and by Allers in his ‘Heidegger on the Principle of Sufficient Reason’.3 Part of my project here will be to gain a fuller understanding of what this statement means for the interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy of being. Attributing the doctrine of philosophical univocity to Scotus is not controversial. a fundamental sense of being as opposed to nothing underscores any further determination of that concept and for Heidegger time emerges as the horizon for the understanding of being. The word univocity rarely features in the index to translations of Heidegger’s works. and most scholars do not note univocity as a point of interpretation let alone discuss its significance to Heidegger’s thought. Significantly. employing a Scotist move. you might expect a brief discussion of this notion in the literature: but you would be disappointed. Heidegger ‘follows Duns Scotus and gives renewed splendour to the Univocity of Being’.Introduction 3 For Scotus the univocity of being is expounded in terms of being’s opposition to nothingness : all being is opposed to nothingness regardless of the determinations of being into infinite being and finite being.2 For his part. With regard to Heidegger. his work will form an important point of reference. In recent years. things are more complicated. Doing this will involve discussing Heidegger’s relationship to Duns Scotus and to traditional metaphysics more generally. Hitherto. the univocity of being emerges as the temporal configuration of being. this is significant because early in his career Heidegger wrote a book-length study on what he took to be philosophical texts of Scotus. As witness to this . This is not to say that interpreters of Heidegger’s works have not come close to raising this question. For Scotus. Deleuze interprets Heidegger in terms of the thesis of univocity. While different in important respects. if it figures at all. the early Heidegger’s relationship to Scotus has emerged as an area of novel scholarship in terms of the renewed interest in Heidegger’s earliest philosophical engagement. univocity has not played an important role in Heidegger interpretation. understood as meaningful presence. Accordingly. analogy is impossible without a prior univocity. It is my view that. On the face of it at least. On this reading. In Heidegger.

. I propose to go all out after an interpretation of his thought that explores this notion. Howsoever Heidegger characterizes his philosophy of being explicitly. univocal. This is enough to characterize both philosophies of being in terms of univocity. Two initial questions are prompted by this approach: first. is not a matter of opposing their doctrine to an alternative view that claims that being has a plurality of senses. Also. never stated explicitly but is clearly basic to Heidegger’s philosophy . implicitly or explicitly. Caputo. Deleuze and Allers have been beacons of light in this regard. perhaps. . . . albeit in different ways. remains an implicit commitment and as such can serve as an interpretive tool for characterizing his philosophy. my engagement will seek to place the entirety of Heidegger’s thought in a critical relation to the univocity of being. they do nonetheless have something in common. it is a matter of ‘as well as’ rather than ‘in opposition to’. While certain commentators have intimated that Heidegger’s view upholds univocity. to Scotus. . The young Heidegger based his Habilitation thesis on what he took to be the work of Scotus and scholars have explored this area thoroughly. and thus unavoidably. Whereas the attention paid to the early Heidegger’s engagement with Scotus has remained largely within the confines of scholarly intellectual biography. to uphold univocity. BEING is an univocal term. That is. for example. motivates my project. To be sure. One consequence of this has been that Heidegger’s relationship with Scotus beyond this text has remained largely unexplored. but neither has offered a sustained discussion of this theme. John Van Buren and John D. even if being is univocal for Heidegger does his concept of univocal being have anything in common with Scotus’s view of being? My answer to the first question is that univocity. My answer to the second question is that while Scotus’s and Heidegger’s concepts of being differ radically from each other.4 Heidegger. Allers. . I will be comprehensive in my . and so have begun to chart this territory. [is that] . For both thinkers. while not explicitly thematized in his work. I am pursuing univocity in connection with Heidegger because it has been suggested that Heidegger’s view of being follows the path of analogy. fundamental conviction which is. affirms: a . his concept of being is.4 This remark when taken with Deleuze’s pronouncement that Heidegger ‘follows Scotus’. implicitly. is the doctrine of the univocity of being explicitly significant for Heidegger? Second. Scotus and Heidegger share a commitment to being having one prevailing sense. for both thinkers. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being there is the work of Theodore Kisiel.

should be treated with a degree of suspicion and scepticism. As such. modern European philosophers have attempted to oppose a novel response in terms of an ‘other’ . philosophy contains within it a response to the condition of modernity. as present in Heidegger’s text. entails a commitment to a kind of thinking without recourse to traditional ontotheological grounds. and should be. It is this problematic that is at stake when Heidegger’s thought is interpreted in terms of univocity. as I understand it. philosophy cannot base its program on any foundation beyond the epochal play of the concealing and revealing of being. The Modern Predicament Philosophical univocity. all of which take their point of departure from the conviction that ‘metaphysics’. a modernity characterized by three coordinate concerns or circuits of interpretation. from his beginnings in the Scotus dissertation through to Being and Time and then to his later critique of representational thinking and ontotheology. has been and must be surpassed.5 Modern European philosophy can be understood in terms of its point of departure. I will provide a reading of Heidegger’s thought as a whole taking the thesis of the univocity of being as my point of departure. in one way or another. Given the importance of Heidegger’s thought to contemporary European philosophy such a project is necessary. Deleuze has listed three contexts within which this move has been made. broadly understood. the thesis of the univocity of being. implies immanence. The univocity of being. It should not have recourse to a ground or foundation outwith ‘experience’. the death of God and/or the human. From a point of crisis. (2) The Death of the Human and (3) other forms of thought.Introduction 5 reading of Heidegger’s philosophy and I will show the limit and extent of univocity in his thought. For this reason my concern with his very early work is subordinated to my larger aim of interpreting his text generally in terms of univocity. in his order: (1) The Death of God. is a central guiding concern of his thought. They are. be they theological or humanist. properly interpreted in terms that uphold being as meaningful presence. make a claim to atemporal universality. All historical human beings are entitled to is their limited finite interpretations of things and any appeal to principles of order which. To put this in Heideggerian terms. Philosophy is. committed to a certain form of immanence. which amounts to a destabilization of traditional metaphysical points of departure. I will show that.

When. whereby the subject is firmly at the centre of things. reasonably enough. and this substitution has been bound up with the rise of consciousness and the birth of the subject. In Heidegger’s case this new manner of philosophizing was initially phenomenology. the question of being. In principle. from a biographical point of view. this has been the idea of humanity or ‘the human’. shall be intimated in my discussion of his so called ‘later philosophy’. not bound by the same fate as metaphysics. ‘finished is the belief in the substitution of humanity for God. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being form of thought. an illegitimate appeal to transcendence. the subject is destabilized as the source of meaning and value. This issue of crisis and of ‘thinking differently’ connects with other currents in European thought throughout the 20th Century. in modern European philosophy. the broadly Cartesian transformation of philosophy. from the point of view of the posttraditional thinker. Historically. which would then act as the source of order and value in the universe. or vice versa. particularly with philosophies that emphasize innovation and revolution in contradistinction to those that emphasize traditionalism and conservatism. In effect. From this point of view. Heidegger sought further to abandon any commitment to traditional metaphysics in order to think the event of the revelation of being to and for thought.6 This is . but such a move is. the substitution for God of another source of value and order. takes on a further significance. with the substitution of the idea of the human for God there has only been the substitution of one point of order and value for another and as Deleuze has put the point. The death of God heralds for philosophy the abolition of the distinction between two worlds: one of being and the other of becoming and it heralds also the loss of any recourse to a transcendent ground that would provide the foundation for this temporal world of becoming. Phenomenology represented a method by which Heidegger could answer the traditional metaphysical problem. The death of God heralds the loss of the ultimate principle of order and source of all value in the universe that was prevalent in the metaphysical tradition. is the successor of phenomenology. which is one of the central motifs of modern European philosophy. the issue of the extent to which Heidegger abandoned conservatism in favour of innovation.6 Heidegger. Later. the death of the human is intimated: the death of the human means that it is no longer possible simply to replace God with another idea. with his non-representational thinking. other replacements are possible. One response to this loss has been. the belief in the Human-God who would replace God-the-Human’. Such a substitution does not require us to think differently. which.

Heidegger conceives himself as preparing the way for a return of the Holy. Without recourse to some transcendent source of order and value it may seem that the task of the thinker is insurmountable. this crisis is a crisis over metaphysics. in anticipation of death. That is. Heidegger’s response to the condition of modernity is bound up with a manner of thought that attempts to let beings be. and this has a temporal connotation. being is revealed to Dasein. Several consequences follow from this: particularly. individual or communal. Death is that fundamental non-relational certainty which serves to individualize the Dasein in its concrete existence. What things actually mean for a Dasein will of course be different. construed as metaphysics. One theme that I will return to repeatedly is Heidegger’s thematization of death and finitude. The modern age of technology. but it does herald the return of the ‘divine’ or the most high in human affairs. the general current of thought which asserts the Protagorean doctrine that ‘man is the measure of all things’ takes the form of the will to power: the unceasing attempt. Integral to Heidegger’s response to modernity was the attempt to abandon the will to power which he took to be central to the modern metaphysics of subjectivity. The univocity of being obtains at the level of meaningful presence. This is not the return of the Christian God. the way in which things can be meaningfully there or meaningfully present for ‘you’ becomes revealed. It is his view that in the anticipation of death. which is phenomenology. In this fundamental experience being. Later. and attempts to think non-representationally without recourse to metaphysical grounds. is the end product of modern subjectivism/humanism/anthropocentrism. he attempts to think without why. must remain atheistic. but. In modernity. Heidegger rejects philosophy. is something to be lamented rather than applauded. is revealed. Heidegger’s view is that. In his early thought Heidegger shows himself to be a methodological Nietzschean. . in fundamental ontology Dasein is at the centre of Heidegger’s ontological universe but Dasein is not the subject in the Cartesian sense. for the univocity of being to obtain in Heidegger’s text. the indifference to the divine and the Holy. to subordinate the earth to human control. How can one respond to this crisis? For Heidegger. in its univocity as meaningful presence. which for Heidegger is modern humanity’s way of relating to being. philosophy. what is important is that they mean something. From Heidegger’s point of view. Now.Introduction 7 the crisis of modern European thought. Being is nothing less than the meaningful presence which things can have for a Dasein or for a community. which is characteristic of modernity.

the individual is a practically engaged agent and. In Being and Time care is defined as ‘ahead-of-itselfalready-being-in (a world) as Being-alongside (entities encountered withinthe-world)’. Heidegger’s critique of previous positions centres around the two fundamental terms of his own thought. being and Dasein. the univocity of being in terms of time is the conception of being in his thought. the meaningful presence which things can have for Dasein. In Being and Time Heidegger takes up the various issues surrounding the Cartesian philosophy and finds weaknesses in its conception of being. To that extent. . is sensible. Dasein is its temporality. As such. all being is understood in terms of time. The individual’s task in a world that precludes any recourse to a founding transcendence is one of coming to terms with the inherent finitude of existence and the inevitability of death. It is my view that it is the univocal sense of being in terms of time that Heidegger will determine in his own terms. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being According to Heideggerian existential phenomenology. that functions as the guiding principle for his critique of the tradition of philosophy and the thought of being in terms of analogy alone. as confined by finitude and death. The critique of the philosophy of analogy is an important aspect of Heidegger’s thought and it is a problematic to which he returns throughout his career. . all previous philosophers have passed over both his sense of being as meaningful presence and his understanding of the being who understands being. In what follows. I will explore Heidegger’s critique of the tradition of philosophy in terms that allow the univocity of being to emerge in its proper place as an expression of his radical philosophy of being. given our inherent finitude. provides the rationale for my repeated return to this theme. As he puts it: ‘Dasein . In section 65 of that text Heidegger reveals that the ontological meaning of care is temporality. As always. is unified by care (Sorge).8 Heidegger. . being is univocally understood in terms of time and being itself is temporal. the would-be master of the earth seems to be overplaying his hand. Thus. considered alongside the claim that being is revealed in the anticipation of death. Dasein. It may be that Heidegger’s mature response to the meaningful world of things.7 Dasein’s temporality is revealed as the transcendental horizon for the understanding of being. that we let them be . the life of the individual has a certain tragic essence. is time itself’. The finitude of existence and the inevitability of death is the tragic essence of existence. Being. This fact. when revealed ontologically. For Heidegger. From Heidegger’s point of view. In History of the Concept of Time (a text that Kisiel has called the phenomenological draft of Being and Time) Heidegger accuses Descartes of reformulating an analogical conception of being.

it is still univocal. Being may essentially unfold as appropriation but. This concern is the revelation of being qua meaningful presence together with the opening up of Dasein as finitude.Introduction 9 Heidegger came to employ the word Ereignis. as meaningful presence. This is a temporal event and being is revealed in the anticipation of death. which can be translated as the event of appropriation . . rather than ‘being’ to name his central concern.

for Heidegger. In spite of the importance of this question in the history of philosophy Heidegger notes that he faces three prejudices in his day against raising it again. The concept of being. Heidegger notes that in medieval ontology being was denoted as a transcendens in that it transcends the categories. In the discussion of these prejudices the importance of Aristotle’s philosophy of being for Heidegger emerges. despite its universality. ‘being is the transcendens pure and simple’. Hegel. The universality of being transcends the universality of a genus. inaugurates the question of being. The three prejudices are: (I) being is the most universal concept. no longer gives Aristotle’s problem of the unity of being as over against the multiplicity of categories the place it deserves in ontology. He is concerned with both. (II) as a concept. He agrees with this. . He notes that Aristotle put the problem of the unity of this transcendens on a new basis with his concept of the unity of analogy but notes that he failed to fully shed light on this problem. who. which is headed by a quotation from Plato’s Sophist . still looks to ancient ontology as his clue. (I) Being is indeed the most universal concept but its universality is not that of a class or genus. being is indefinable. From these passages it is possible to elicit two readings of the meaning of this question.Chapter 1 The Problem of Univocity in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy From Heidegger to Aristotle The prelude to Being and Time . and (III) as a concept. remains the ‘darkest of all’ and we must discuss it further. He proposes to bring these to light at the outset of his enquiry. being is self-evident. Heidegger refers to the meaning of the word being and to a phenomenon of being.

synonymy and paronymy. What is at stake for Aristotle is far more than the meanings of words. In any comporting of oneself towards beings as beings there is a priori ‘an enigma’. nor does it mean that it is permissible to overlook this question. the notion of being is made use of and is. Aristotle attempted to answer the question of the meaning of being and Heidegger notes that this put this question on a new basis. However. Things are synonymous if the same name applies to each in the same sense each time. These notions are all intimately related to the ambiguous verb ‘to be’ and the ambiguity of this verb discloses a fundamental and profound fact about the structure of reality. therefore. average kind of intelligibility. Rather. not words. The fact that being is indefinable does not dispel the question of the meaning of being. But this. and the definitions of homonymy. in fact demonstrates being’s unintelligibility. Being cannot be conceived as an entity and can never have the concept of definition in traditional logic applied to it. from Heidegger’s point of view. For Aristotle. The centrality of Aristotle’s problem for Heidegger emerges most clearly with regard to the first prejudice. the difference between being and beings. This is the problem of the ontological difference. Aristotle saw definition as a way to tackle and illuminate the metaphysical structure of reality itself. Synonyms are thus susceptible of a general definition. He is concerned with things. (III) The prejudice of being’s self-evidence is based upon the idea that when any thinking. speaking and comporting of oneself towards beings or one’s self. as Heidegger calls it. synonymy and paronymy apply to things. intelligible without effort. Aristotle failed to satisfactorily deal with this question and this fact makes it necessary to raise the question of being again.The Problem of Univocity in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy 11 (II) The prejudice of the indefinability of being is parasitic upon the prejudice of its universality. for despite this pre-understanding of being the meaning of being is shrouded in darkness and so it is necessary to raise the question of the meaning of being again. For Aristotle. many philosophical terms were homonyms the most important of which is the . things are homonymous if the same name applies to them but in a different sense each time. Rather. This problem is firmly in mind at the opening of the Categories where he begins with definitions of the notions of homonymy. The question concerning being perplexed Aristotle from the time he wrote the Categories through to his mature works that were collected together under the title of Metaphysics. Homonyms are not. this indefinability demands that we face up to this question.

particular and the crucial notion of substance (ousia). Primary substances are the ultimate subjects of predication. species and genera which subsume particular existents. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being verb ‘to be’. ‘man wins’) and those said without (‘man’. Secondary substances are the things that are predicable of the primary substances but do not inhere in them. . In the totality of beings (things that are) all are either predicable of (said-of) something or not and either inhere in (are ‘in’) something or not. They are the classes or universals. This is so because both name and definition are related to some further thing in a focal way. . man. Things are paronymous if their names are related in a certain way. ‘win’. along with homonymy. The remaining two divisions of the schema are occupied with non-substantial beings that inhere in substances. properties and relations the second is a division of reality itself by four.e. Whereas the first division seems to apply to subjects and their various acts. and animal is a genus of the species. The second chapter of the Categories begins with a division of reality. With this schema there is the first hint of a division between the notions of universal. Aristotle says: The species in which the things primarily called substances . From these definitions follow the definitions of equivocal and univocal terms corresponding to homonymy and synonymy respectively. ‘runs’) combination. Paronymous things are denoted by either the same name or a modification of that name and they are almost identical with regards to definition. [i. . another case in which things are said in many ways. they are individual particular things which are numerically one. so these – both man and animal – are called secondary substances. are. For example. . the individual man belongs in a species. primary substances] . This scheme of homonyms and synonyms allows for particular things to be both homonymous and synonymous because there may be names that apply to both but in different senses and other names that apply to both in the same sense.12 Heidegger. In the Categories Aristotle distinguishes between primary substances and secondary substances. Aristotle divides the ‘things that are said’ into those said with (‘man runs’. Primary substances are not said of a subject nor are they in a subject. He then divides up the ‘things that are’ (beings) into four kinds. Aristotle’s examples are of an individual man and an individual horse. are called secondary substances.1 Secondary substances exist in a less fundamental way than primary substances and could not exist without them. as also are the genera of these species. . Paronymy is slightly different although it is.

Those things said without combination comprise the famous list of the ten categories. and in so doing a space of univocity opens up between the different orders of being. Thus. quality. For Aristotle. Each genus. the said-of relation is definitional of the individual particular thing. Thus. by contrast with genus. The first category of substance is rather different than the other nine. This is important because Aristotle assumes a harmony between language and reality to the extent that synonymy and homonymy are properties of things.e. with the strict definition of that species firmly ‘in mind’. The ten categories are: substance. time. place. provided that it is not subordinate to another. a secondary substance is invoked in the definition of a primary substance since in such a case the primary substance is indicated by the name of their species. numerous ways in which a particular existent met with in our experience may be characterized. So. has its own particular set of differentiae . is a member of that genus) in addition to being a man (i. So. if ‘P’ is said-of ‘Q’ and ‘Q’ is said-of ‘R’ then ‘P’ is also said of ‘R’. by dint of his substantiality. the order of being with which Aristotle is concerned with exists in a univocal way. position. Substance is never ‘in’ anything else. Synonymy is also involved when. quantity. when an individual particular man (Socrates) is defined by the secondary substance ‘man’ (species) he is being defined by the name of his species. such as ‘footed’.e. if that species) is an animal (genus) then Socrates. relation. activity and passivity. Applying this it is the case that if Socrates (primary substance) is a man (species) and man (i. These ten categories refine those things that are said (predicates) and give more information about the things that are (beings). in the said-of relation. reveals the nature of the individual particular thing. They are.e. are things that are . Chapter four of the Categories makes a return to the division between things that are said with and those said without combination. ‘winged’ or ‘aquatic’ for the genus animal. the said-of relation. In contrast to homonymy and paronymy. which are both cases where things are said in many ways. a member of that species). The characteristic feature of substances and differentia is that ‘all things called from them are so called synonymously’.2 This is so since all the predicates they admit are predicable both of the individual particular things and of the species. Species. Synonymy corresponds to univocity. by contrast. in effect. for example. The other nine categories. state. an individual man is subsumed under the general definition of animal.The Problem of Univocity in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy 13 Chapter three of the Categories introduces the transitivity of predication. synonymy is an example of things being said in the same sense of every thing of which it is said. is an animal (i.

the other nine categories are in substances. and it is possible only within such a formulation. but he maintained that Aristotle never managed to clarify and develop the problem of being. Aristotle’s ontology is in many ways the apotheosis of Greek ontology in general and the referent of Heidegger’s text. to a large extent. The Metaphysics can be seen. In the Metaphysics Aristotle develops the problematic of the Categories. Book Gamma of the Metaphysics opens with the proclamation that there is a kind of science that investigates ‘being qua being’. Heidegger derived his question of being from Aristotle. Heidegger does not simply reject Aristotle. This science is radically different from all other sciences for it does not first mark out a specific region and then examine the ontological constitution of the things . never mind solve it. As we shall see. No substance can ever be in anything else because something’s being in something else precludes it being definitional of that thing. this destruction is only possible in terms of the formulation of this question. which drew heavily on the Categories. From this he hopes to be able to reinvigorate and reawaken the urgency of these problems and concepts so as to exhibit their limits and possibilities. The destruction of the tradition of ontology is crucially important since: the history of ontology is essentially bound up with the way the question of Being is formulated. in what must be regarded as an Aristotelian-scholastic setting. Destruction and retrieval will ultimately lead to our liberation from the calcified tradition and allow for a proper understanding of Dasein’s being and ultimately to a proper understanding of being generally. in keeping with his general approach to figures in the history of philosophy. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being ‘in’ other things. Rather. 3 So. Within this destruction and retrieval Greek ontology is particularly important since it determines the conceptual character of philosophy from antiquity right down to the present day. as seeking to resolve the philosophical problems that are left over from the Physics. This process is known as retrieval and it is conceived as following the destruction of the history of philosophy which he called for in the early stages of Being and Time . That is. Heidegger seeks to trace Aristotle’s conceptual creations back to the fundamental experiences to which they are a response.14 Heidegger. Aristotle’s Metaphysics is made up of 14 books that hold together more like a selection of related essays rather than one systematic treatise.

is the primary science. metaphysics. Now. the problem that Aristotle faced was how is first philosophy. engages in general speculation about ‘that which is qua that which is’. if being were said simply synonymously across all ten of the categories then we would be dealing with one genus and Aristotle’s problem would not arise. The fourth way is in terms of potentiality and actuality. Essentially. The third is in terms of truth and falsity. the science of being qua being. This problem is made all the more complicated by the fact that being is spoken of in many ways. metaphysics turns out to be the science that studies ‘the primary causes of that which is qua that which is’. The particular axioms of the regional sciences do not apply across all sciences in a straightforward manner. conceived as ontology. Aristotle sought to reduce this plurality of ways in which being is said to one generic unity. their application is analogically determined in that they mean something slightly different when applied to a different subject matter. The problem of a general science of being is still open since being is said in different ways in each of the categories. The first way ‘accidental being’. Taken this way. is where beings are denoted in terms of an accidental or coincidental/contingent way of being. first philosophy qua ontology. Books Zeta and Eta discuss being in the sense of the categories. between the multiplicity of ways of saying being there would be no commonality at all. In Delta VII Aristotle distinguishes between four ways in which being is said. If being is said simply homonymously across the ten categories the problem of being could not be solved since. The second way in which being is said is in terms of substance and the ten categories. The result is that the problem of being is concerned with how being is said in the sense of the categories and in the sense of potentiality and actuality. Because potentiality and actuality are in fact modes of substance the problem of being turns out to be concerned only with the way being is said in the categories. Being. however. Potentiality and actuality receive treatment in Theta . First philosophy is also characterized as theology. Rather.4 In this context we can interpret Aristotle’s notion of first philosophy as ontology. In order to show that first philosophy was possible Aristotle had to show that the many ways that being is said ultimately reduce to one primary way. is not a genus. The first stage of this reduction is the elimination of the ways in which being is said in the first way and third. These particular beings are unified under a highest genus. The science of being qua being. .The Problem of Univocity in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy 15 that fall within its bounds. Recalling the definitions at the start of the text of the Categories. As such. possible? Sciences are generally concerned with particular regions of beings.

is a relation of naming based upon things having different relations to one focal thing that is so named in an ultimate way.) it would follow that such analogy could never designate only one homogenous genus. a slight difference between the two. Despite this. there is analogy. The derivative name is a new form of the original name. by contrast. The categories can also be construed as classes of predicates that may be applied to primary substances. There is. Analogy is inappropriate because it is not genus specific. Analogy is somewhat inappropriate in regard to a solution of the problem of being despite the fact that Aristotle does hold that there is a relation of analogy between all categories. ‘anthropologist’ from ‘anthropology’. Paronymy. In addition to paronymy. is the situation where a derivative name of some thing is instantiated on the basis of its relation to a prior name of some related thing. . it is used across different genera. For example. however. in some cases. for in both cases an individual particular thing is subsumed under a general name. If the ten categories are conceived as highest genera (substance would then be the highest genus of all substances and quantity would be the highest genus of all quantities etc. The primary substances are neither said-of anything else nor are they in anything else. by contrast. 5 Analogy is based upon a similarity or. Aristotle needs to ground the science of being qua being. They are the ultimate subjects and exist in the most fundamental way and all other uses of ‘is’ will be related to how it is used in terms of these primary beings.16 Heidegger. in book Delta VI Aristotle uses analogy to designate the relation of paronymy ‘those things are one by analogy which are related as some further thing is to some yet further one’. identity of relations between at least two things. It is different from metaphorical language which is based upon similarities between states or properties. Paronymy. This kind of analogy may be called analogia entis. introduced in the Categories. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being Aristotle did hope to solve this problem and so took it that there must be some kind of relation between the ways being is said across the ten categories. ‘historian’ from ‘history’ and so on.6 Analogy is different from paronymy in that it is based on similar relations between terms that are heterogeneous. a relation of analogy holds between the following ‘Henry is a man’ and ‘Prodigality is a vice’. If the categories are construed in this way then it follows that being is used in each of the ten categories in such a way that the notion of being in each category is related to the way being is used in the fundamental category of substance. Paronymy and analogy are often taken as different ways of expressing the same concept. for example. There are two candidates for this relation. Paronymy is sometimes referred to as the pros hen relation.

but not simply across ten categories. so too must be its object. Since primary substances. since all ways in which being is said are pros hen related to the focal case of substance (ousia) it follows that the domain or subject matter of first philosophy or ontology is substance. There is a further reduction in Aristotle’s Metaphysics of first philosophy as ontology. following Philipse in his Heidegger’s Philosophy of Being. the notion of substance provides . being is indeed said in many ways. So. It is not spoken of by homonymy. in the Metaphysics. paronymically related to saying being in a singular highest genus. This radicalizes Aristotle’s thesis that being is said in many ways. In section three of Being and Time Heidegger puts forth the thesis that there are different regions of being each with their own set of categories. another by being a sign of it. something else has to fulfil this requirement. [100 3b] . are mutable and ultimately perishable. But it is spoken of with regard to one thing and a single kind of nature. are seen as compounds of form and matter. substance becomes the highest genus. it is said across a plurality of regions of being each with their own set of categories. . this . . . will not exhaust the examples of things spoken of with regard to something in this way. This too is a case of reduction by paronymy. The science of substance has to reduce to theology since the object of theology. Heidegger will reject this assumption. Its position is similar to that with health. one thing is said to be healthy by dint of preserving health. Rather. For Aristotle. . the science of the Deity. For Heidegger. Everything that is healthy is spoken of with regard to health. the Deity. is immutable. Therefore. This reduction is carried out . Since true scientific knowledge is immutable. another by dint of producing it. substance.me -) be because of the requirement that true scientific knowledge (episte directed towards eternal objects. Central to Aristotle’s analysis in all of this is the view that there is only one set of categories for being.The Problem of Univocity in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy 17 If we combine the notions of the categories as classes of predicates and as highest genera then the use of ‘being’ in categories other than that of substance will be. which. to theology.7 In line with the interpretation of the categories as highest genera. This is precisely what Aristotle does in Gamma 2 where he says: Now that which is is indeed spoken of in many ways. the science of substance. another by being capable of having it.

By contrast to Aristotle. With the reduction of ontology to theology this only constituted a further reduction to the being of some other being. Aristotle failed to recognize the ontological difference. With Aristotle all the categories are related to the fundamental category of substance and the fundamental category of substance is inappropriately applied to Dasein. By this. a subject-predicate sentence is the linguistic expression of the ontology of substance-property metaphysics. Heidegger objects to this universalization of one set of categories to fit all regions of being. In particular. but it is still a being. and with this fateful error being fell into oblivion and the ontology of presence (substance) began. Aristotle did not manage to raise the question of being properly because the being of all beings is. matter is formed. this can never be the case with a Dasein. by his doctrine of the primacy of substance. By applying concepts like form and matter to human existence Aristotle analysed human existence in inappropriate terms. the difference between being and beings. For example. This view. reduced to the being of a being. the Aristotelian notion of substance is inappropriately applied to Dasein. Aristotle’s ontology provided the basis for the development of traditional logic. for example. When. When this process is finished there exists. Yet. in conjunction with his misunderstanding of ontology as concerned with substance. Heidegger conceives of Dasein as the ultimate ontological centre to which all other regions of being are related. Heidegger accuses Aristotle of erroneously universalizing ontological concepts derived from the sphere of artefacts over all other regions of being. This being may be more foundational. we should forge a set of ‘categories’. in production. Once production is completed and the form of the knife has been actualized there is nothing further for the knife ‘to do’. Heidegger had to overcome Aristotelian metaphysics and reawaken the question of being. The manufacturer conceives of the form of the knife prior to production. Most notably. The essence of the knife can be stated as a ‘what’. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being the conceptual centre of all the categories and the ten categories apply throughout the sciences. Dasein is not a ‘thing’ at all. Instead of universalizing one set of categories to fit all regions of being Heidegger argues that the limitations of this set should be realized and new appropriate sets of categories should be forged that apply to the various regions of being. what Heidegger calls existentialia . a tool is created. that are appropriately expressive of Dasein’s mode of being. . God. led Heidegger to reject Aristotle’s further reduction of ontology to theology. most problematically to Dasein.18 Heidegger. a knife where once there was just formless matter.

To be Dasein is to be there. From the perspective of Being and Time the term ‘Dasein’ can be applied to any human being. Faith grounded the intelligibility of the world.9 . There is no better statement summing up the nature of questioning in this period than that of St Anselm of Canterbury: Fides quaerens intellectum . faith seeking understanding. For the most part Dasein understands itself in terms of its world and the objects of its circumspective concern. there can be a Dasein of differing contextual configurations.The Problem of Univocity in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy 19 Medieval Philosophy Medieval philosophy is distinguished by the fact that the Christian worldview dominated the lives of its exponents. Consideration of the medieval and particularly the Scotist doctrine of being is important for an appreciation of Heidegger’s view of being. values that we are still far from really exploiting. Writing to Father Engelbert Krebs (1919) he affirmed that: I believe that I – perhaps more than those who work on the subject officially – have perceived the values that the Catholic Middle Ages bears within itself. For the medieval philosopher faith was the space of philosophy. The task of the medieval philosophers was bound up with the task of interpreting their world and the dictates of their faith. But the very early Heidegger. Accordingly. the Heidegger before Being and Time . Heidegger gave this expression to a view of the religious character of medieval scholastic thought: Scholasticism and mysticism belong together essentially in the medieval worldview.8 Although written with the intention of announcing his move away from ‘dogmatic Catholicism’ this letter bears witness to the lasting influence medieval thought was to have on him and to the understanding of it he claimed for himself. Many have dismissed medieval philosophy on the grounds that it is merely a grand rationalization of faith. The world of the medieval philosopher and the Dasein of faith is just one such configuration. The two pairs of ‘opposites’ – rationalism–irrationalism and Scholasticism–mysticism – do not coincide with one another. clearly saw the remarkable character of medieval philosophy. Dasein’s world is a context of significance in which it goes about its business. There are many possible worlds which Dasein could inhabit and understand itself in terms of. Somewhat earlier. here and now in a world and to understand oneself in terms of that world.

tends not to distinguish between analogy and paronymy. Equivocity. strictly speaking. This relation is understood in terms of focal meaning. It is the turn from Catholicism to Protestantism. Heidegger. The highest conceptual expression of this age was the philosophy of analogy. grounded as they are in the transcendental horizon of being. On this reading. As noted. Against this and from the perspective of fundamental ontology. for Caputo in Demythologizing Heidegger. for Aristotle. However. neither is as strong in this as equivocity. a term Heidegger employs when characterizing a philosophy that determines a highest ontological and/or theological principle in metaphysics. it is paronymy which is the more ontotheological . Dasein is firmly placed at the centre of Heidegger’s ontological universe. Heidegger’s move away from dogmatic Catholicism in 1919 represents. One can read Heidegger’s text in terms of his changing religious views from an early concern with demythologizing the mythic scriptural world to remythologizing the world in terms of a Greek neomythology. the first turn or change in orientation in his thought. it has nonetheless been known as part of the doctrine of the analogy of being. . All possible regions of being must in some way relate to Dasein. In Being and Time Heidegger held that much of what needed destroyed in the tradition arose out of the philosophy of Aristotle.20 Heidegger. Even though. on a Heideggerian ontology. Of paronymy and analogy. Analogy and paronymy are both instances where being is said in many ways. which is Dasein’s temporality. and ultimately to the Deity. when dealing with Aristotle. Ultimately. Many scholastic philosophers followed Aristotle in their doctrine of analogia entis and regarded paronymy as an instance of analogy. makes no sense since the propositions of ontology carry a temporal sense. The ‘middle ages’ are an epoch in Heidegger’s sense of that term. paronymy may be different from analogy. Aristotle’s most fundamental mistake was taking the question of being to be about substance (ousia). Aristotle uses the term ‘analogy’ at least once for the relation of paronymy. Both paronymy and analogy are cases in which being is said in many ways. the Deity is at the centre of the ontological universe and there is an analogy of being between the categories. In an Aristotelian universe all the categories relate to substance. They are a historically defined configuration of meaning. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being Heidegger’s thought was always bound up with certain religious concerns. the ‘discrete reappropriation’ of the doctrine of analogia entis that commentators like Taminiaux read into Heidegger would be more properly described as a reappropriation of paronymy.

That framework included the doctrine that reality can be divided up into substances and accidents. Aristotle does not thematize Dasein in its true nature.The Problem of Univocity in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy 21 On a Heideggerian ontology. univocity/ synonymy is implied when a secondary substance is predicated of a primary substance since there is a common content of meaning (specifically. . All the propositions of ontology are temporal propositions. Dasein is always a who and never a what. the form of a living corporeal substance. Within the Aristotelian philosophy of being. there are two interrelated problems with Aristotelian philosophy. Now. Their unity is a unity of analogy. Second. Aristotelian ontology could only present an ontology of things that are simply there or present-to-hand . On Aristotle’s view. Scholasticism The metaphysical framework within which the medieval philosophers operated was profoundly influenced by the Aristotelian heritage. The univocity of being is rooted in Dasein’s temporality. the univocity of being in terms of time implies that time is the common sense in all discourse and comportment regarding being. definition) intended between the two regions. Particularly. but they cannot arrive at the kind of being appropriate to Dasein. such as Socrates. univocity will be implied between various regions of being since when they are intended they will be intended temporally. The Aristotelian categories may be applied to objects. As far as Heidegger is concerned Dasein is not a thing at all. First. Aristotelian substance ontology instantiated the metaphysics of presence that Heidegger sought to overcome. For Heidegger. it is by virtue of their focal reference to substance that the diverse categories of being are intelligible as categories of being. Dasein is never just one more thing amongst others. Dasein has its being to be and is possessed of a self-relation in a way that no thing is. a concept is univocal if what is intended by it is intended in the same sense. a human being is a thing of a particular type. from Heidegger’s perspective. with reference to Dasein’s temporality. Corporeal substances are composites of matter and form. Similarly. in Heidegger’s ontology. Heidegger also holds that in order to avoid carrying over all the pre-suppositions of the traditional discourse an entirely new vocabulary is required that can be appropriately applied to Dasein. In Aristotle’s Categories. Aristotle fails to note the crucial difference between being and beings: he is the father of the forgetfulness of being and of the tradition Heidegger sought to destroy in Being and Time .

As theology. Brentano goes so far as to quote Pico de la Mirandola’s assertion that ‘without Thomas Aristotle would be mute’. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being is his soul: soul is that which structures matter in such a way that it is constituted as the living flesh and blood of a particular body. In philosophical terms this entails that God is the first efficient cause of all beings and further that God is the primary being. Accidents. drew heavily on Aristotle’s medieval commentators. For Aquinas the ‘name’ of God is revealed in Exodus in terms of being: as it reads in the Vulgate translation. it provoked a distinct response. It is worth noting that the text that first brought the question of being to Heidegger’s attention. As such. The problem Aquinas faced was posed in terms of the unity of the concept of being. For Aquinas metaphysics or first philosophy has as its object being qua being or being in general (ens commune) and it is precisely in terms of this science that Aquinas faces up to the problem of the analogy of being. such as Aquinas. are further kinds of form that take an individual substance. it is also separated by the advent of monotheistic and creationist philosophical theology.22 Heidegger. It is: what kind of unity does the concept of being possess . equivocity and analogy. With the revelation of God qua Creator we have reached the Aristotelian-scholastic paradigm and God is seen to be that primary being to which all other beings have focal reference. ‘Ego sum qui sum’. accidents depend for their existence on substances and in turn account for the ontologically derivative characteristics of substances. as their substrate. ‘I am who am’. examples are height and colour. such as Socrates. When in the middle ages the Aristotelian philosophy of being was approached by Christian thinkers. Franz Brentano’s On The Several Senses of Being In Aristotle . This prompts the traditional distinction between special metaphysics dealing with the Deity and general metaphysics dealing with being in general (ens commune). was conditioned by his reading of Scripture where the creation of the universe ex nihilo by God is revealed. Aristotle’s universal science deals with the primary kind of being upon which all others depend. There is further continuity between Aristotle’s and medieval Aristotelian-scholastic ontology that is paramount with regards to the related issues of univocity. Such a metaphysical view of reality is broadly continuous with the Aristotelian substance ontology. Aquinas’s reading of Aristotle’s philosophy.10 For Aquinas God alone is being essentially: the being of a creature is necessarily other than its essence and is given the creature by God’s efficient causality. Aristotle’s philosophy is separated from the scholastic philosophy by more than just the gulf of around a thousand years. for example.

The Problem of Univocity in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy 23 if it is to apply to all beings and if it is to apply across all the categories of being? His answer is that being is predicated analogically and not purely univocally nor purely equivocally. the doctrine of analogy maintains God’s absolute transcendence of creatures. Aquinas himself accepted this view and held also that the highest degree of being in a particular genus participated in the lowest degree of being in the genus immediately above it. is participated in by beings but esse does not participate in anything else and there is only one being that does not participate in esse but is esse : this being is God. that which is) is used in just a single way. Aquinas rejects the view that names (such as being) are predicated of God and creatures univocally. the term being may be ‘said’ to mean substance and it may be ‘said’ to mean accident. the act of being or esse . nonetheless. the term being applies to both. hierarchical conception of reality. and underpinning this view is a metaphysics of participation. Every other being receives its perfection by virtue of its participation in esse . there are different kinds of substance that exist within the created universe. Aquinas rejects the equivocal predication of names of God and creatures since. This is the doctrine of the hierarchy of being. God would not be transcendent. Essentially. Therefore. Since. through living beings to purely rational beings and ultimately to the most self-sufficient. by the Aristotelian-Thomist view. so holds the analogical thinker. there would be no common ground or sense between these names and any hope of natural knowledge of God would disappear. For example. If this were the case. it is held. The view itself originates in the pagan ancient world and predates Aquinas in its elaboration by Christian philosophers.11 Existence. God. Analogy is the middle ground between univocity and equivocity. Aquinas defends analogical predication of certain names of God. The philosophy of analogy elaborated by Aquinas was a natural ally of this vertical. Also. The principle thinker in this regard is perhaps Pseudo-Dionysius the Areopagite (or Denis the pseudo-Areopagite) who elaborated the Celestial Hierarchy and the Ecclesiastical Hierarchy. the being of God and the being of creatures are separated by an absolute gulf. In the most general terms the hierarchical view of being holds that there is a scale of being that ranges in ascending order from inanimate beings. by equivocity. The metaphysical view of a hierarchy of being was widespread in medieval philosophy. particularly of the pure . rational being. Aquinas maintains the Aristotelian principle that being ‘is said in many ways’ against the Parmenidean principle that being (or. It is Aquinas’s view that in reality there are different degrees or levels of being (entitas).

Despite the absolute gulf separating the being of God from the being of creatures. Duns Scotus was one of the most significant of the scholastics to pursue a philosophy of being in terms of the transcendentals. not at Thomas. it was a different. being and unity emerge as features of things which exceed the classificatory scheme of the Categories.13 Henry was a neoAugustinian critic of Aquinas and the most important theologian of the generation preceding Scotus. Rather. This is not substance ontology. God is both the principle and cause of the creature. By the time he wrote the Metaphysics. every effect is like its cause. It would be a misreading to see in Scotus a . Death is nonrelational and concretizes Dasein in its very factical being-there: death is the existential principle of individuation . by contrast. aspect of Scotus’s philosophy which would prove decisive. because of the relationship of the creature to God. though related. On Heidegger’s fundamental ontology. what is absolutely singular about any individual Dasein is its death.12 Names are applied both to God and creature analogically. In addition to the important account of haecceitas. This likeness of creature qua effect of God qua uncaused cause is the metaphysical ground for the predication of divine names by analogy. on Scotus’s ontology. Accidental predicates. he is giving an account of Dasein’s way of being. and Heidegger. Although Scotus’s philosophy can be read in relation to the Thomistic philosophy of analogy the critical bent of his work was aimed primarily. In medieval thought such features came to be known under the title of the transcendentals. is not giving an account of the individuality of present-at-hand objects. Substantial predicates treat of the kind of thing that the subject is. Scotus’s philosophy of being also establishes a coherent augmentation of the philosophy of analogy by establishing the univocity of being. When Heidegger wrote his Habilitation thesis.24 Heidegger. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being perfections. Scotus’s concept of haecceitas provided Heidegger with the insight into individuality that he had begun to investigate through his early engagement with Aristotle. This was the concept of haecceitas. is its principle of individuation and unrepeatability by virtue of which it is absolutely singular. In his Categories Aristotle had argued that predicates are either substantial (essential) or accidental. In the Metaphysics. he had realized that this classification was limited. Any individual’s haecceitas. so holds Aquinas. treat of the non-essential attributes of the subject. in his account of death. but at Henry of Ghent (1217–93). nor is it transcendental realism. The mature Heidegger reconfigured this principle of individuation and unrepeatability in terms of his account of facticity and death.

Scotus’s theory of univocity is particularly concerned to respond to Henry’s philosophy of analogy that. particularly with regards to Henry’s philosophy of being. capable of knowing all that is intelligible. is the first ‘object’ of the intellect. in principle. His existence) God cannot be the subject matter of metaphysics. Scotus broke with the view that being was analogical and argued that there must be a notion of being (and the other transcendentals) that is univocal to God and creatures and also to the ten categories. there must be some grounding concept of being shared univocally by analogous and proper notions as they apply to God and creature. as far as Scotus is concerned. In order to preserve God’s absolute transcendence it is important to stress that His divine nature has nothing creaturely about it. Scotus held there to be a certain number of facts that could be known about God independently of revelation. Radically. The problem then becomes. Our concept of being qua being is our most abstract concept. so Scotus believed. the subject matter of metaphysics is being and its goal is God. Rather. denotes ‘all that is intelligible’ and the human mind is. By correctly elucidating the transcendental attributes the existence of God can be inferred. Metaphysics’ proper subject is being as being. Being. If there were not. they would be purely equivocal and natural knowledge of God would be impossible. In large part Scotus takes Henry’s positions as his point of departure rather than Thomas’s. This was the problem of reconciling the possibility of attaining at least some knowledge of God’s divine nature from our knowledge of creatures while at the same time maintaining His absolute transcendence of them. It is arrived at by abstraction from creatures and is not the concept of a thing but is rather the universal . Metaphysics is the particular science which proves these facts. then these concepts would not in fact be analogous. Given that particular sciences do not prove the existence of their subject matter and given that the metaphysician proves facts about God (for example. made explicit the problems facing the doctrine in accounting for the human being’s natural knowledge of God. A central dimension of this debate was one of the recurring issues of the medieval period.The Problem of Univocity in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy 25 simple rejection or negation of the positions held by Henry and the philosophy of analogy but it is true that Scotus forged his own position in reaction to Henry’s. how can any knowledge of God be gained from the creature? Scotus does not flatly reject analogy. then. For Scotus. Being. Rather. What Scotus rejects is the theologians’ reliance on analogy as sufficient for determining a concept of God. God has no reality in common with creatures.

can only be said of God. This is so since every actual being – whether finite or infinite – is actually opposed to nothingness. . These are attributes. For Scotus. Some pure perfections. however. neither contingent nor necessary and so on. there is a concept of univocal being neutral to the alternatives of infinite and finite. But Scotus does not hold that there is an actually existing being that is neither finite nor infinite. If these transcendentals are correctly elucidated. so Scotus thinks. As such. there are also the disjunctive attributes. which also have transcendental status. that univocal being does exist. Thus. the existence of God can be inferred. In a sense. Being is the most fundamental transcendental. they are properties of being.26 Heidegger. such as ‘knowledge’ and ‘will’. metaphysics is the science of the transcendentals and the transcendentals are precisely those attributes of a thing that transcend the ten Aristotelian categories. The pure perfections also have transcendental status. As well as these transcendental attributes. As such. such as the divine attributes of omnipotence and omniscience. That is. truth and goodness/desirability – are coextensive with being. This concept of univocal being can be predicated of both alternatives. though existing only at the conceptual level. metaphysics is natural theology. For Scotus. the univocity of the concept of being has a foundation in reality since being itself is conceived as the opposite of nothingness. Other perfections. He believes. So construed. is desirable. So. the univocity of being is on the side of logic rather than of metaphysics. and nothing more. Of any particular existing being it is possible to say that it exists. also coextensive with being. the doctrine of univocal being as it is elaborated by Duns Scotus is a doctrine about predication. that it is one. such as ‘necessary-or-contingent’ and ‘finite-or-infinite’. The other transcendentals – unity. the univocity of the concept of being has a basis in reality. can apply to God and creatures. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being concept of being considered prior to any determination and taken only as opposed to nothingness. a proof of the existence of God is the goal of metaphysics. that it truly is what it is and that its being what it is.

Heidegger described this text as ‘the first philosophical text through which . My main concern in this chapter will be to raise a problem regarding the interpretation of his philosophy with respect to the notions of analogy and univocity. but they are not in vain. again and again from 1907’. This will show why he became interested in Scotus’s philosophy. From beginning to end he was motivated by a single question. In order to understand how that question was first stirred in Heidegger’s imagination I shall return to his earliest philosophical engagement. Heidegger is in important respects a thinker of paths. In 1907 Heidegger received a copy of what had been Franz Brentano’s doctoral dissertation – first published in 1862 – On the Several Senses of Being in Aristotle. Heidegger was concerned with the same fundamental question: the meaning of being. if our Dasein is to be stirred by the question of Being’. . he offers us different paths to tread through the forest of thought. . The time of ‘systems’ is over he remarks in his Contributions to Philosophy. Such paths may be dead ends (Holzwege). .2 Significantly. As he says of Being and Time in the preface to the seventh German edition ‘the road it has taken remains even today a necessary one. and as such he does not offer us one.1 In this chapter I will largely be concerned with the approach to the question of being as present in Being and Time : that is. Scotus and Univocity Section One The Question of Being It has often been said that Heidegger’s thought exhibits a unity.Chapter 2 Heidegger. one of the distinguishing features of Brentano’s book was that the reading of Aristotle put forward there was influenced by his medieval . Rather. . with the ‘transcendentalhorizonal’ approach as opposed to the ‘being-historical thinking’ (seinsgeschichtliches Denken) of Heidegger’s later style of thinking. Before and after the shift in orientation in his approach. way. He conceived of his thinking as ‘preparatory’ and less grand than traditional metaphysics. [he worked his] .

moral. ‘the question that determined the way of my thought [was] what is the pervasive. aesthetic and cultural. unified determination of Being that permeates all of its multiple meanings?’3 Prior to his abandonment of ‘dogmatic Catholicism’ that he announced in his 1919 letter to Krebs Heidegger had shown considerable interest in the philosophy of the middle ages. This was in line with the milieu of the Catholic Church at this time. Recently. In this respect the question of being was first brought to Heidegger’s attention in an Aristotelian-scholastic setting. Heidegger agreed with Aristotle that the fundamental question of philosophy was the question of being. Further. this question is no simple matter. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being commentators. Many of the writings that express these early interests are now published in the volume Supplements. he demands a return to . includes the cognate identification with their aspiration that a new more Greek God will be born. suggests Van Buren.28 Heidegger. This collection also reprints the author’s book notice to the published version of the Habilitation thesis together with the conclusion to that work that was written as a ‘supplement’ for the published version. simple. They are: the ‘anti-modernist neo-Scholastic phase’ (1909–13). the ‘free Protestant mystical phase’ (1917–early 1920s) and a possible fourth phase that saw Heidegger begin to identify with the death of the Christian God as this is intimated in Nietzsche and Hölderlin. As he says in his letter to Richardson. The problem that motivated Aristotle and Heidegger was the search for a unitary meaning of being and it is with a discussion of this problem that Brentano begins his discussion in his text. This question (how is it possible for there to be a unified sense of being when it is said in many ways?) Heidegger inherited from Aristotle and this question was first roused in him by his reading of Brentano. as witness his Habilitation (post-doctoral teaching qualification) on John Duns Scotus. a text which can be read as the culmination of the very early Heidegger’s philosophical and theological interests. the ‘mystical neo-neo-Scholastic phase’ (1914–16). In these very early writings Heidegger distances himself from the subjectivistic and historicist position of ‘modern’ philosophy and culture as this is expressed in the writings of figures like Nietzsche. It also reproduces the letter to Krebs. As we have seen. From the Earliest Essays to Being and Time and Beyond .4 The earliest period of Heidegger’s engagement displays his interest to be essentially theological. Van Buren has distinguished four possible phases that Heidegger’s thought passed through on the way to the publication of Being and Time . His outlook was essentially anti-modernist and philosophically Aristotelian-scholastic. This identification with Nietzsche and Hölderlin.

Heidegger. with the same ease. timeless and grounded in the being of God. Heidegger promotes Aristotelian-scholastic philosophy. to its manifoldness and possible tensions than the scholastics before him. was written during the mystical neo-neo-Scholastic phase of his thought and.5 Such positive and progressive work will entail a fresh confrontation of the problem of the intentional relation of consciousness to being. he knows how to turn. Heidegger’s Habilitation .7 Heidegger’s engagement with Scotus was motivated by the possibility of retrieving a philosophy of radical singularity expressed in the concept of haecceitas. In the ‘book notice’ he says: This investigation into the history of problems ultimately has a systematic goal: the theory of categories. He has a more extensive and accurate nearness (haecceitas) to real life. His striking individuality as a thinker characterizes him in general as having unmistakably modern traits. . the Scotus Book also displays Heidegger’s appreciation of Scotus’s philosophy in terms of its ‘nearness to real life’: Duns Scotus doesn’t receive our direct attention just because he is rightfully famous for a kind of thought which is unusually apt and critical for logical problems. At the same time. Scotus and Univocity 29 the realist Aristotelian-scholasticism of medieval Europe that upholds a view of being as objective. ‘The Problem of Reality in Modern Philosophy’ (1912). In Heidegger’s hands this concept would become facticity. whose fundamental establishment and organic development has today been made one of the clearly recognized tasks of philosophy.6 In this text the categories of being are approached as a timeless ideal framework by virtue of which intentional judgements access real being. represents an ‘onto-logic’ of the categories of being. On Van Buren’s chronology. In his first published article in an academic journal. from the fullness of life to the abstract world of mathematics. It is precisely in terms of its focus on problems that this text engages the philosophy of Duns Scotus. and this real being is ultimately grounded by God’s absolute being. As far as Heidegger was concerned Scotus presented one of the most philosophically complete and intellectually satisfying paradigms of medieval Scholastic thought and while ostensibly about logical matters. by his own attestation. the Scotus Book . progressive work must be its main concern’. that has always been realist and declares that ‘Positive.

the neo-neo-Scholastic becomes anti-philosopher and the Scholastic interpretation of the presence of God qua summum ens is deconstructed back to the primal Christian experience of the New Testament and the experience of the divine qua deus absconditus.30 Heidegger. Through this engagement. Van Buren argues. Such categories would found a ‘new beginning’ for ontology. Reading the Habilitation as a work on Scotus is complicated by the fact that Heidegger based some of his considerations on the Grammatica speculativa . determines human language. wakefulness and falling to be ontic (that is. Returning to the Habilitation: this text was written under the supervision of the Neo-Kantian Heinrich Rickert to whom the work is dedicated. Practically nothing is known about Erfurt except that he was active in the early 14th century. Such concepts begin to appear in his thought at this time because of his interest in thinkers like Augustine. He took Christian categories such as mystery. Luther. Thought. Heidegger’s early engagement with this concept in the philosophy of Scotus is pregnant with significance for his later philosophy. Pascal. The anti-relativist and anti-psychologistic speculative grammarians of the middle ages held that the way things are determines how the human being can think about them. his interest in whom had been mooted in the Habilitation . accessible only in terms of an alert and anxious faith within the time of the moment. the moment (kairos). Schleiermacher. In this ‘free Protestant mystical phase’ Heidegger intimates themes such as ‘destruction’. ‘the end of philosophy’ (and theology) and ‘a new beginning’ (which in this context is a new beginning of both philosophy and theology) that he will return to in his so called ‘later thought’. . Through his engagement with these thinkers together with his interest in a phenomenology of religion Heidegger sought to gain access to the lifeworld of ‘primal Christianity’ (Urchristentum) and to fashion an adequate conceptual expression of it. regional and/or particular) examples from which general ontological categories could be drawn. Kierkegaard and the medieval mystics. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being Haecceitas/facticity is precisely that excess by virtue of which something is absolutely singular and unrepeatable. a text later shown to be a work of Thomas of Erfurt which had been falsely attributed to Scotus. Human grammar and language are. Heidegger’s interests in logic and metaphysics during this phase of his thinking were complemented and complicated by his theological interests and by the more general interest in developing a phenomenology of religion. in turn. which he had intimated in the Scotus Book and which became bound up with a ‘destruction’ of the essentially Greek concepts through which Christian theology is expressed. the coming (parousia).

loosens up the concepts of the tradition in order to get to the ‘fundamental experiences’ from which these concepts actually arose. nevertheless. or even of an a priori grammar. . Heidegger’s approach in this text shows indications of his later destructive readings of the history of philosophy. be set aside for the sake of purely philosophical interests which as such are concerned with the . these aspects can. . As such. Much later in his Basic Problems of Phenomenology Heidegger will speak of the ‘birth certificate’ of concepts. he tells us in his Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. Heidegger enters into dialogue with a thinker and text from the history of philosophy in the service of current problems. may involve placing oneself in the unsaid of a text (its general presuppositions . From his early point of view. . Destruction aims to uncover the ‘living roots’ and ‘life-giving’ experiences from which our concepts arise. ‘Destruction’. a fundamentally positive method. .Heidegger. it is to problems that philosophers turn their attention: Although the religious . Husserl says: Modern grammar thinks it should build exclusively on psychology and other empirical sciences. we see that the old idea of a universal. Heidegger perceived a continuity of this anti-psychologistic project in his own time with the appearance in 1901 of the second volume of Husserl’s Logical Investigations. every natural language has to obey ultimate grammatical principles. has unquestionably acquired a foundation and a definite sphere of validity. political and cultural aspects . . . Scotus and Univocity 31 in effect.8 Heidegger’s concern with the current problems of philosophy as they were coming to light in the writings of Husserl was a factor in the style and content of the Habilitation thesis itself. The task of the speculative grammarian was to study these ultimate structures of language. contra psychologism.9 Erfurt had followed Scotus to such an extent that when questions of authorship were settled they did not discredit the interpretation Heidegger had put forward. Central to this task is the question as to whether these concepts are appropriate to the subject matter or domain which they organize or determine. Destruction. are indispensable for the understanding of the genesis and historical conditions of a philosophy. a function of universal ‘forms of thought’ which reflect the way things are. There. As against this. from our pointing out that there are a priori laws which determine the possible forms of meaning. problems themselves.

32 Heidegger. This text is the text of a cancelled lecture course Heidegger proposed to deliver in 1919–20. Such a destructive move is nothing less than the performance of the method of his phenomenology of religion and the living side of these texts is an expression of the medieval lifeworld. the Medieval Experience of Life From the time of the Habilitation Heidegger had displayed a significant interest in medieval mysticism. an approach that will play a central role in the fundamental ontology of Being and Time . This side of the period can be found in its religious dimension.10 Destruction. are explored by Heidegger in his engagement with mysticism in the early ‘The Philosophical Foundations of Medieval Mysticism’. ‘researching lifeworld’ of scholasticism. Through an incipient destructive method of philosophizing Heidegger could break through the surface of the ‘schoolbooks’ to their living side. and was to be deployed in the interpretation of scholasticism. Heidegger’s thought was always on the move and the method of destruction was also prompted by an engagement with medieval mysticism. Heidegger’s early engagement with medieval mysticism would ultimately pay dividends. At key points Heidegger’s thought is deployed in a critical relation with certain mystical thinkers. Medieval mysticism was for Heidegger a fusion of the religious lifeworld of primal Christianity and the scholarly. In a practically identical passage from the much earlier Habilitation Heidegger says: ‘What is not said needs to be considered if there is to be productive insight and thorough evaluation of the wealth of scholastic thought’. Significantly. in these notes Heidegger discusses medieval mysticism in relation to Luther. In this sense mysticism and scholasticism did not represent polar opposites. that which Heidegger – following Dilthey – calls the medieval ‘experience of life’ (Lebenserfahrung). Very early in his engagement with medieval thought he rejected the view that Scholasticism and mysticism represent a pair of opposites in the medieval context. such as letting-be (Gelassenheit). Heidegger regarded the living side of the texts of the middle ages as of fundamental importance. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being which might otherwise remain concealed) in order to force it to speech. Analogy. was already present in its infancy in the Habilitation. Themes that will become important in a distinctively Heideggerian sense. The conceptually rich and abstract philosophies of the middle ages express the ‘form of life of medieval .

The concept of analogy is ‘lived’ in the middle ages. kairological time and temporal motion (kinesis). his topic was not ‘being’ but the mysterious depth-dimension. as the dominant principle in the categorial sphere of sensible and supersensible reality.Heidegger. Aristotle’s text is certainly one of the main sources of inspiration for Aquinas.11 Here the concepts of ‘experience of life’ and ‘form of life’ prefigure the explicitly phenomenological concept of the lifeworld. Historically. ‘worlding’ (Welten). By the early 1930s Heidegger’s point of view on analogy had shifted. However. in texts such as Being and Time. . Heidegger’s relationship to the thesis of analogy did not remain constant throughout his writings. Destructive reappropriation is not mere repetition. In the period of fundamental ontology. the doctrine is bound up with transcendence. Heidegger destructively reappropriates this thesis on the basis of a univocal conception of being in terms of time. and the engagement Heidegger had with texts in the history of philosophy exhibits this kind of approach. most associated in the middle age with the philosophy of St Thomas Aquinas. event of appropriation/appropriating event (Ereignis). in a sense.12 The analogy of being. Here the thesis stands as the highest conceptual expression of the medieval understanding of being. Given my topic of univocity the example Heidegger gives of the conceptual expression of the medieval experience of life could not be more appropriate: the concept of analogy . As such. Heidegger did not subscribe to an analogy of being where being is understood as some kind of substance. . as Van Buren puts it. the concept of analogy arose explicitly with the philosophy of Aristotle. And. but the title for . Scotus and Univocity 33 man’. it expresses the lifeworld of the medieval Christian. It is the conceptual expression of the particular form of inner Dasein that is anchored in a primordial. is the conceptual crystallization of the relation of the human soul to God. He came to see this thesis as a ‘stringent aporia’: The analogy of being – this designation is not a solution to the being question. it contains the conceptual expression of the qualitatively filled and value-laden experiential world of medieval man that is related to transcendence. indeed not even an actual posing of the question. appears at first glance to be an utterly faded and no longer meaningful schoolbook concept. transcendent relation of the soul to God and lived precisely in the Middle Ages with an unusual reserve. of the temporal granting of being which he explores in terms of ‘there is/it gives’ (Es gibt). It is a retaking of a question.

From Heidegger’s point of view. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being the most stringent aporia. The analogy of being qua aporia distracts attention away from the possibility of a genuine posing of the question of being.34 Heidegger. . The problem is. not as a question of being but as a welcomed means of formulating a religious conviction in philosophical terms. Even though for Heidegger. . What is striking is that despite all the other changes of perspective that have transpired in Heidegger’s thought from the writing of his Habilitation to these lectures in the 1930s he still holds analogy to be the expression of a fundamentally religious point of view. and along with it all subsequent philosophy right up to today. played a role. the impasse in which ancient philosophy. Ereignis . the analogia entis . Analogy is still seen as the expression of a religious conviction but qua expression of a religious conviction the concept is seen negatively as an aporia. is enmeshed. just as for Scotus and other scholastics. . as it had been while he was preparing his Habilitation . albeit in these negative terms. In his mature writings Heidegger regards medieval scholastic thought to be a paradigmatic example of ontotheology and he criticizes it as such. (2) as having being of itself or having it from another. Consider the following example drawn from Scotus’s text: a thing [res] is primarily classified (1) as created or uncreated. Towards the end of the passage that I’ve quoted here. (3) as necessary or possible. In the Middle Ages.13 The conceptual expression of a fundamentally religious orientation is now regarded negatively. being was the ‘first object of the intellect’ and to this extent the scholastic view is repeated by Heidegger in his claim that Dasein’s understanding of being is its most fundamental characteristic and that being is its most natural concern. as Heidegger expresses it. In the 1930s the philosophy of the middle ages and the philosophy of analogy was as sharply in focus for Heidegger. all analogy does is provide a formula for determining the being of creatures in relation to the creating and preserving God of Christian philosophical theology. that the philosophy of analogy does not actually pose the question of being. Heidegger refers to the problem of equivocity. Such genuine posing of the question of being would intimate the central concern of Heidegger’s thought. univocity and analogy in exactly the terms that the medieval philosophers approached this problem. we should not conclude that his relationship with medieval thought is one of simple continuation and appropriation.

His engagement with Scotus allowed him to ‘go all out after the factic’ and problematize Dasein’s concrete life.e. the finite goes by the common name of ‘creature’. It was Scotus’s concept of haecceitas that gave Heidegger the insight he required into individuality.14 God is a being and – as Heidegger would say – Scotus has failed to think the particular giving of being that is named by the Ereignis. including that of ontology. each with three divisions. With that concept. In section 8 ‘Design of the Treatise’ Heidegger states that Being and Time will be composed of two parts. as posed by Heidegger in Being and Time . Scotus’s thought remains ontotheological . Scotus has thought univocal being but he has not thought the granting of being. is nothing less than the radicalisation of this understanding. Nevertheless. Being and Time is made up of only the first two divisions of the first part of the projected text: ‘the preparatory fundamental analysis of Dasein’ and ‘Dasein and temporality’. In order to elucidate this I must engage with the text of Being and Time . and that this conception is related – in a less than straightforward manner – to a concern running through Heidegger’s thought beyond Being and Time . All questioning. In its concrete life Dasein has an understanding of being and the question of being. as I have intimated. However. contingent]. Material that was intended to form the first division of the second part – ‘Kant’s doctrine of schematism and time. Scotus entered into proximity to real life. Univocity and Phenomenology My view is that Heidegger’s concept of being is ultimately univocal from the standpoint of Being and Time . it was through an engagement with this supreme metaphysician that Heidegger gained a valuable insight. . The created. and necessary thing or being we call God. in Heidegger. has its origin in the concrete life of Dasein. So construed. self-existent. Haecceitas promised Heidegger access to the crucially important ‘place’ of real life.. Scotus and Univocity 35 (4) as finite or infinite. infinite. As published.Heidegger. the ‘from another. Scotus remains a metaphysician who thought in terms of the substance ontology that Heidegger attempted to overcome. haecceitas became facticity. so Heidegger says.’ the possible [i. there is an immediate problem: Being and Time is incomplete. The uncreated.

and that is.15 In this letter scholasticism is put alongside Aristotle. Rather than reproduce this letter here (since it is already reproduced in Kisiel’s The Genesis of Heidegger’s Being and Time) I will instead restrict myself to reproducing the brief mention of Aristotle and Scholasticism he gives there. the lecture course. The omission of the section on ‘time and Being’ is significant. He turns to them ‘for the strict formulation of certain ontological problems’.36 Heidegger. If it is par for the course in the interpretation of Heidegger to note his most important influences and to do so by naming Husserl and Aristotle then the Aristotle connection stands in need of a qualification. The Basic Problems of Phenomenology consists of an elaboration of division 3 of part 1 of Being and Time . The early Heidegger did hold the view that with Aristotle there was a falling away from the vitality that surrounded the being question and he considers it necessary to engage in a destruction of the history of ontology. This attention to the ‘strict formulation’ of problems is in keeping with Heidegger’s conviction that his methodology – phenomenology itself – is guided by the idea of ‘scientific philosophy’. of scientific philosophy. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being as a preliminary stage in a problematic of temporality’ – received attention in Heidegger’s 1929 publication Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. Phenomenology. Although Heidegger did not go public with his thoughts on time and being in a published manuscript at this time he did explore this matter and in order to get a perspective on the question of being in fundamental ontology it is necessary to engage with other texts that surround Being and Time . and how the medieval ontology has been taken over into the problematic of the “res cogitans”’ and ‘Aristotle’s essay on time. albeit in a more mature way. as providing a way of discriminating the phenomenal basis and the limits of ancient ontology’ – are attended to in the 1927 lecture course The Basic Problems of Phenomenology. as he understands it at this stage in his career. is the method of ontology. That qualification is the addition of scholasticism into the mix. In 1927 the being question was thought by Heidegger with an intimate connection to the Aristotelian-scholastic context with which it was first formulated. In a letter to Bultmann in 1927 Heidegger outlines his project. Scholasticism in the period of Being and Time did not yet have the significance it was to attain in Heidegger’s later thought. However. Part two of Being and Time was intended to outline the ‘basic features’ of . This was part of the problematic of Being and Time as it was set out in section 8 of that treatise. Material intended to be discussed in the last division of the first part – ‘time and Being’ – and the last two divisions of the second part – ‘the ontological foundation of Descartes’ “cogito ergo sum”.

This tradition has congealed and is in need of destruction. Heidegger did not aim to give a historically accurate picture of a previous philosopher in all their specificity. It falls back and understands itself in terms of the reflected light of that world. Destruction and Tradition From the perspective of Being and Time . What is unsaid can be just as important as what is said. rather. Another feature of this fall is that Dasein falls prey to the tradition of philosophy which thus prevents it from being its own guide either in inquiring or in choosing. With the tradition as master what it transmits . Destruction (or destructuring as Stambaugh has it) was a central element of Heidegger’s early problematic and is intimately related to his later ‘history of being’. The character of their thinking has been determining for all that has followed since. particularly Aristotle’s. a dialogue. in some important respects. In his 1955 What is Philosophy? Heidegger was still concerned with the notion of destruction: Destruction does not mean destroying but dismantling. to make ourselves free for what speaks to us in tradition as the Being of being. Destruction is necessary if the history of the question of being is to be brought to light.16 Destruction is. For the most part Dasein understands itself in terms of the world which it is in. one where the interpretation has to pay attention to the unsaid of a work. putting to one side the merely historical assertions about the history of philosophy. liquidating. what Heidegger calls its ‘concealed inner passion’ in Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. Destruction involves laying out the orienting presuppositions concealed in a text. Scotus and Univocity 37 the phenomenological destruction of the entire history of ontology from Greek thought through to modern philosophy. temporality was the guiding principle. The result of the Greek philosophy. In this task. he sought to engage with them in order to think the matter itself. it is Plato and Aristotle that initiate the philosophical tradition. Destruction means – to open our ears. This is why radical phenomenology is nothing other than their questioning ‘brought back to life’.Heidegger. All questioning – including the being question – is an ontic possibility of Dasein but Dasein tends to misunderstand itself. has been the substance ontology integral to the tradition. The unsaid of a text comprises its concealed and orientating presuppositions.

Rather. Such a move involves bringing oneself positively towards being. To paraphrase Heidegger. construction and destruction . It begins by moving from beings to being and being is unified as the meaningful relatedness which beings can have for Dasein. Reduction implies that the method of phenomenological vision or seeing is directed not simply toward a being but toward the very being of that being. As Heidegger says: . The destruction of the history of ontology is inseparable from the way the question of being is itself formulated and in Being and Time he proposes to implement that destruction at decisive junctures in the unfolding of the tradition. As such.38 Heidegger. In Basic Problems of Phenomenology Heidegger augments his conception of phenomenology in terms of the three equiprimordial notions of reduction. Construction projects an entity/being upon its ontological structure and allows its being to come into view. Greek ontology has. The move is from beings to being. the tradition had become self-evident material there at one’s disposal for reworking. By the time of Hegel. Heidegger’s method of phenomenological reductive-construction is conceived as the conceptual interpretation of being together with its structure. so Heidegger contends. with the ‘peculiar character’ given it by the scholastics. Heidegger understands this task as proceeding from the question of being with the aim of destructuring the Greek ontology until the primordial experiences from which the nature of being was first determined. being must be brought into view. It is the Greek ontology (which means. It obstructs our access to the primordial sources from which the concepts and categories of the tradition have been drawn and it makes us forget that they even had such a source. Being does not become accessible in the same manner as beings. As such. Plato and Aristotle) and its history that determines the conceptual character of philosophy from antiquity to the present. But. this beginning happens at a particular point in history. Although the medieval conceptions of being had been ‘taken over dogmatically’ from the Greek ontology the scholastics did manage to engage in serious work and take matters further within the limits of the Greek ontology. The middle ages saw the Greek ontology shaped into a body of doctrine. being is not simply found there in front of us. reduction projects the being upon the way it is unconcealed. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being becomes concealed. This tradition must then be ‘loosened up’ and its ‘concealments dissolved’. Projecting the being which is antecedently given upon the structures of its being is called by Heidegger ‘phenomenological construction’. been transmitted down through Suarez’s Disputationes metaphysicae to the transcendental philosophy and metaphysics of the present age.

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This commencement is obviously always determined by the factual experience of beings and the range of possibilities of experience that at any time are peculiar to a factical Dasein, and hence to the historical situation of a philosophical investigation.17 Beings can be accessible in different ways at different times and are accessible relatively to different individuals. Since Dasein is historical in its very existence, its possibilities of access to, and modes of interpretation of, beings must themselves be diverse, varying as they will in different historical situations. It is Heidegger’s view that in antiquity an average concept of being was forged and was employed in the interpretation of all beings. From Plato and Aristotle down to Hegel all ontology has been carried out within this average concept of being. Heidegger’s own inquiry is determined by his historical situation along with all its possibilities and the tradition of philosophy. Tradition and its concepts are so pervasive that its influence cannot be overestimated. For this reason even the most radical attempt to begin again is still dominated by traditional concepts and as such, by traditional directions of approach. As questioners, we cannot simply assume that the concepts we employ arose ‘originally’ and ‘genuinely’ from the region of being which it is claimed they fully determine. Necessarily then, along with reduction-construction there is also destruction . Heidegger conceives destruction to be a critical process in which the traditional concepts from which we must begin are destructed down to the experiential sources from which they arose in the first place. Only by means of such a destruction can the concepts of ontology be assured phenomenologically. The method of phenomenology is thus unified as reduction-construction-destruction and destruction signifies a fundamentally positive approach to the history of philosophy.

Metaphysics
Whereas Heidegger in his later phase sought to overcome metaphysics, in an important respect fundamental ontology sought to complete it. As he says: Fundamental Ontology is the metaphysics of human Dasein which is required for metaphysics to be made possible.18

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In at least this respect then, we are entitled to see Heidegger as taking further the Kantian Copernican Revolution. ‘Laying the ground for metaphysics’ is possible only on the foundation of time, and pursuing this question is, in important respects, as aspect of the problematic of Being and Time. In Kant and the Problems of Metaphysics, Heidegger gives us one of his most succinct formulations of the notion of retrieval. There retrieval is understood as the opening-up of a problem’s long-concealed possibilities. By working these out, the problem itself is transformed. This is why Heidegger sought to reappropriate or retrieve elements of the tradition. Such retrieval repeats the motivating questions or ‘matter of thought’ of a previous thinker in a way that brings that matter to life again and allows it to be reimplemented in an authentic way. Such an authentic way pays attention to how the concept in question arose from Dasein in its factical life. This is why inquiry begins with Dasein and a ‘hermeneutics of facticity’. Phenomenology is pervasively concerned with the origin or genesis of our concepts in experience. This method aims to go back and discover the origin of concepts in their experiential base. Only by so doing can their validity to their subject matter be established. As Heidegger vividly puts it with regard to the metaphysical concepts of essentia and existentia: We must try to obtain a clue to the origin of these concepts . . . We shall ask what their birth certificate is and whether it is genuine or whether the genealogy of these basic ontological concepts takes a different course, so that at bottom their distinction and their connection have a different basis.19 It is in this sense that one is justified in talking of a genetic phenomenology. Heideggerian genetic phenomenology aims to derive the genesis of our concepts from their experiential and intentional base. For Heidegger, intentionality is founded upon the understanding of being. Intentionality is the directional nature of consciousness. To be conscious is to be conscious of something. To intend something is to point at it. Such directionality is provided for by his concept of the understanding of being. Dasein is in such a way that it has a pre-theoretical understanding of being. This pre-theoretical understanding of being is Dasein’s second priority; Dasein is ontological . Consider the famous hammering example from Being and Time where Heidegger describes the operation of making an item in a workshop. This example concerns the sphere of operative intentionality. Here the intentional directedness of ‘hammering’ is the construction of a finished product. This particular direction is, however, only possible

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on the basis of Dasein’s prior understanding of the being of the particular world of tools and work, where the concept of world is construed as a system of significance relations or references, and so as a general context of significance. The scholastics understood existence as actualitas. Actualitas derives from agere/actum which signify the activity of a subject. As such, the medieval notion of existentia harbours within it a concealed reference to a conception of Dasein as productive agent. As such, and as Heidegger will argue, the ancient and medieval understanding of being moved within the horizon of productivity despite the fact that both ancient and medieval thinkers were unaware of this implicit reference of their understanding of being to Dasein’s productive comportment. Their understanding of being is genetically related to the activity of the artisan, a productive agent who establishes a form in formless matter. From the point of view of fundamental ontology, Dasein is at the centre of Heidegger’s ontological universe. ‘To be’ is to be understood by Dasein and the world is a holistic totality of significance relations wherein the being of anything is defined by its use or readiness-to-hand in relation to Dasein. To this extent, the birth certificate of concepts is to be found in Dasein’s productive and experiential activity.

Phenomenological Philosophy and Aletheia
Now, because of the belonging together of construction and deconstruction philosophical method has a determinate historical dimension. In this respect the history of philosophy, which is sometimes held to be separable from philosophical problems, a view that Heidegger would have found scarcely intelligible, belongs essentially to philosophy, taken as scientific phenomenological research. Phenomenology and the history of philosophy belong essentially together. Our concepts are the outcome of a particular historical context. This conviction will play a prominent role in Heidegger’s critique of scholasticism. Although, in a sense, Aquinas and Scotus were part of Heidegger’s world and are part of ours, the world that they inhabited was not ours. Part of the project of destruction was the retrieval of elements of the tradition. Indeed, Taminiaux has argued that it could be demonstrated that the project of fundamental ontology is a combination of what Heidegger took to be the core insights of Husserl and Aristotle. In the late text ‘My Way to Phenomenology’ Heidegger remarks that Husserl’s distinction between sensuous and categorial intuition was central to the possibility of

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coming to grips with the problem of the ‘manifold meaning of being’. The important thing to note here is that categorial intuition grasps the being of a thing. Givenness admits of two levels and Dasein has immediate access to both of them. The presence of the categorial, as Husserl describes it, is a ‘surplus of meaning’ founded on sense perception but distinct from it. This surplus provides for the presence of that which is present in the sensuous act ‘as what and how it is’, that is, it allows that which is present to be present in its being. The agent who utters the statement ‘the sky is blue’ or ‘the ocean is blue’ knows the sky or ocean ‘as’ blue. This as-dimension heralds the surplus. It was while Heidegger was working on the text of Husserl’s Logical Investigations, where the distinction between the two forms of intuition comes into play, that he realized that: What occurs for the phenomenology of the acts of consciousness as the self-manifestation of phenomena is thought more originally by Aristotle and in all Greek thinking and existence as aletheia , as the unconcealedness of what-is present, its being revealed, its showing itself.20 As Heidegger cautions us in Being and Time , it is crucial that we stay clear of any determination of truth as ‘correspondence’ or ‘accordance’, for this is not the primary sense of truth bound up with the concept of aletheia . In the tradition truth has been understood to be the adequation of the mind to reality, the thought is adequate to the thing (adaequatio intellectus ad rem), as such its primary locus was the predicative judgement. Husserl displaced this notion of adaequatio by conceiving of the prior notion of evidence, understood as the self-manifestation of the intentional object as phenomenon to intentionality, as the criterion of truth. The primary locus of truth was no longer confined to the predicative judgement, rather, it is located in intentionality itself and thus in all modifications of consciousness and this insight Heidegger took to be the fundamental trait of Greek thought, if not of philosophy itself. Husserl’s was a considerable breakthrough; he had brought to theoretical determination the phenomenological correlation between noesis (intentional activity) and noema (intentional object); but Heidegger believed Aristotle to be more original, in at least two respects. First, Heidegger insists, Aristotle understands truth as the unconcealedness of beings ‘for’ an unconcealing agent, Dasein. Second, unconcealing is a matter of comportment, of Dasein’s way of being as such. Unconcealing is not restricted to consciousness. The term Dasein, which from the perspective

It is precisely this event that has to be thought. It was named in Heraclitus under the guise of logos and physis and in Parmenides as the ‘belonging together’ of thought and being. It is the ultimate a priori which is. All truth is relative to Dasein. With his reading of the Greeks (particularly Aristotle) Heidegger brought together the notion of Dasein’s acts of disclosing beings (aletheuein) with the notion that beings are ‘self-presentative’ (accessible. Ereignis is the ultimate presupposition of Western philosophy and is the matter that has remained unthought in the entirety of the tradition. As Heidegger will argue.Heidegger. ultimately. As such. This means that Dasein has at its disposal the unconcealed beings with which it has an association. being discloses in Dasein’s being-towardsdeath. Dasein is constituted by disclosedness and there is truth only so long as there is Dasein. on the side of Dasein. in its verbal sense. means. . This is precisely the issue that Heidegger understands as the event of intelligibility in the factical life of Dasein. it remained a path that he considered necessary to reawaken a ‘sense’ for this question. Scotus and Univocity 43 of fundamental ontology can be applied to any human agent. that are far more primordial than Husserl’s overly theoretical ones. Nonetheless. In that text he brought to language a whole range of structures. Heidegger arrived at the point where he saw that beings are self-showing or self-disclosive (alethes) only to the extent that they are correlated by the multiple ways in which Dasein co-performs disclosure. This event is the Ereignis. it is Dasein that is properly understood as ‘true’: Dasein is ‘in the truth’ so to speak. In Being and Time . unfathomable. structures such as finitude and temporality. Combining this aletheiological insight with the phenomenological insight. Dasein (t/here-being or being-t/here) is the site where unconcealment happens. ‘here’ and ‘then’ and indicates a ‘place’ and ‘time’ of an event. It is precisely this aletheiological/phenomenological correlation that Heidegger came to see as already present in pre-Socratic thought. ‘to be present’ or ‘to exist’ and in its sense as a noun ‘presence’ or ‘existence’. The prefi x Da of Da-sein includes in its meaning ‘there’. The essence of the Ereignis is essentially bound up with the essence of Dasein. intelligible). Of primary significance for Heidegger are the ways in which practically engaged Dasein co-performs this disclosure and Dasein is essentially a practically engaged agent. It signifies the very giving of the given and the most pressing question that can be asked is ‘why Ereignis?’ Being and Time is the text where this question received its first public formulation – a formulation that Heidegger himself later came to regard as premature. Ereignis is bound to finite temporality.

Descartes. Both of these barriers are connected. He left undetermined the being of the ‘sum’. He did so with his doctrine of the ‘schematism’ whereby the a priori categories of the understanding are schematized in terms of time. Part of this project involves examining whether the theme of temporality. The only philosopher ever to have come close to the problem of temporality was Kant. In fact Heidegger contends that despite the areas where Kant had gone beyond Descartes he dogmatically carried over Descartes’s position. Temporality did. God. For example. Kant’s appearance in the history of philosophy constitutes a decisive juncture in the unfolding of the tradition. . Createdness in the sense of something’s having been produced was integral to the ancient notion of being and had a dominating presence in medieval scholasticism. Kant and Descartes are crucial in the destruction of the history of ontology. an ens creatum in contradistinction to the ens infinitum . created the other two kinds of substance. individual minds and material bodies. which is required for the proper understanding of being. has ever or could have ever come properly into view. In order to be applicable to what is given in experience such a priori concepts or categories must be invested with a temporal sense. This prevented him from working out a transcendental determination of time in its structure and function. Descartes was a pluralist who upheld the reality of more than one substance: God. Scholasticism and Time Despite his claim to have placed philosophy on a new and sure foundation Descartes left the being of the res cogitans undetermined. remain closed to Kant in its ‘real dimension’ and intrinsic ontological function because he neglected the problem of being (of the way in which things can be meaningfully related to Dasein) and failed to provide an ontology of Dasein. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being With regard to the positive aspect of the destruction of the history of ontology Heidegger proposes to raise the question of whether and to what extent the problematic of being and the phenomenon of time have been thematically brought together. the result of this double effect of tradition was that the essential and decisive connection between time and the ‘I think’ was passed over. And although he brought time back into the subject his conception of it still moved within the traditional understanding. The subject for Descartes was still understood as a created being. the category of substance is interpreted as permanence. the divine substance.44 Heidegger. neither material body nor mind could be created or destroyed. Ultimately. however. Except by divine power.

the verb ‘to be’ einai and the noun ‘being’ ousia and in Aristotle’s philosophy ‘to be’ means to be a substance or to be one of the attributes of substance and as the standard interpretation has it. quality. In the Greek language there is a clear distinction between the terms for ‘beings’. Aristotle’s position was a species of metaphysical realism. since there is an irreducible difference in being between all the categories (substance. Ousia signifies ‘presence’ (Anwesenheit) and beings are understood in their being as presence. For Aristotle. there are as many meanings of being as there are categories of beings. Thus. All other beings are attributes of these primary substances and either inhere in them or stand in some relation to them. quantity and so on) . so Heidegger argues. Scotus and Univocity 45 Descartes was thus nowhere near as radical and his new foundation was nowhere near as new as he took it to be. Aristotle regarded his categories as inscribed in the nature of things: they were not the mere reflection of the human mind. The outward evidence that this is the case is the treatment of the meaning of being as ousia (substance). And this means that they are understood in terms of the mode of the present. The meaning of Dasein’s being is care (Sorge) and the ontological meaning of care is temporality. that the ancient conception of the being of beings is oriented towards the world/nature and that its understanding of being is obtained in terms of time. The outcome of this tradition was the notion that there are manifold meanings of being. the task of destruction involves interpreting the foundation of the ancient ontology in terms of the problematic of temporality. ta onta . The problematic of any ontology must take its clue from Dasein. Descartes depended upon scholasticism.Heidegger. there is the category of primary substance: individual particular things possessed of ontological independence and which occur in nature. The medieval ontology was itself determined by the ancient ontology. When we take this into consideration and pursue the task of destruction we will see. It should come as no surprise that Heidegger maintains that this fact cannot be fully comprehended until ancient ontology has been fully explored with reference to the question of being. what has to be brought to light in order to make this statement philosophically relevant is how the scholastic ontology has influenced the way the tradition has determined or failed to determine the res cogitans in its ontological character. For example. As such. By raising the question of the meaning of being Heidegger placed himself in a critical relation to the Aristotelian tradition of substance ontology. They are read off nature and not imposed upon it or read into it by a subject.

which unifies all the different modes and concepts of being and its temporality serves as the transcendental horizon of the meaning of being as such. All encountering of beings determines their being and there is no other meaning of being than the one donated to beings in Dasein’s understanding. and co-ordinately. The theoretical stance adopted hitherto by philosophers constitutes the fundamental myopia of their approach. the object is taken as able to take that meaning. Heidegger’s analysis is transcendental in the Kantian sense that it uncovers the conditions which make the encounter with beings possible in terms of the way Dasein makes sense of beings. It is this tradition of substance ontology which determined the subsequent tradition of metaphysics from antiquity to modernity and against which Heidegger pitted himself. Dasein’s being is determined by the fundamental a priori of its having a world: its being is being-in-the-world. this approach does have justification for the theoretical inquirer and would be virtually harmless when taken as what it in fact is: namely. It is precisely because Heidegger takes Dasein’s understanding to be the locus of being that he begins with an analysis of Dasein. Heidegger came to regard this broad Aristotelian approach as overdetermined by the dominance of the theoretical attitude and it is Heidegger’s general claim that philosophy has been distorted by this predominance. For Heidegger. Heidegger’s phenomenological description of Dasein’s undifferentiated everyday state (everydayness) aims to render explicit the fundamental structures underlying our pre-understanding of being. Now. It is Dasein’s being. means to be understood as something. a derivative mode of being determined by the manner in which their object is held up by them as the subject matter of inquiry. When this derivative mode of being is regarded as the sole mode of being underlying all beings and as the only mode of . Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being there is no univocal meaning of being that could be predicated of all the categories but only an analogy of being determined by focal reference to the central category of substance. it is Heidegger’s view that these activities comprise both the practical and theoretical. on a Heideggerian ontology. it is Dasein’s understanding which donates meaning to an object. Dasein is always already concerned with itself and its world and always already operates within an implicit pre-understanding of the being of both of these terms. This meaning or significance itself is determined by the context in terms of which our understanding operates and within which we act. Also. care (Sorge).46 Heidegger. In modern Aristotle scholarship it was Brentano who re-established the centrality of the focal meaning of being in terms of substance. ‘To be’.

In all its tasks Dasein is fundamentally bound to the present: Dasein is ‘in’ and is generally absorbed by its world. Everything Dasein deals with has its being in terms of this project and has it only in that it forms part of that project. The fundamental feature of Dasein’s relation to its world is determined by the concern which allows it to regard everything it encounters as part of its project . Dasein projects its whole existence into its world and understands its self together with everything else in terms of the possibilities within the projection it makes of its self. The theoretical inquirer only gains access to ‘mere occurrence’ or presence-to-hand. Dasein always already understands itself and its projects in terms of the constitutive state of the past. Dasein’s ability to make a project of its self is its already existing understanding of its self and its world: this understanding is determined by its past. The unifying term care (Sorge) denotes that basic feature of Dasein whereby all its possible involvements with the world are founded. Such absorption in the present determines our general undifferentiated state of inauthentic everyday falling. Past. Dasein’s life and everyday dealings with its world is determined by its understanding of the being of beings in terms of its practical concerns. Scotus and Univocity 47 being worthy of philosophical elaboration then the other modes of being which Heidegger takes as more fundamental are covered up. There are also the modes of ‘being-with’ other Daseins and ‘in-each-case-mineness’ (mineness) of our concernful selfrelation. However. Dasein projects its self into an anticipated future which is the aim of its various tasks. projects and self-appointed tasks including its relations with its self and others. Taken together. among these four ontological regions of being the mode of theoretical presence-to-hand is derivative because it comes to the fore only when Dasein’s referential totality of practical and personal concerns is passed over. drawing on its past and being concerned with its present constitutes Dasein’s being as temporality. present and . which it still is. In Heidegger’s phenomenology the ontology of presence-tohand is relegated to a derivative understanding of being.Heidegger. this is an initial view of Dasein’s temporality. Rather. The structure of care enables Heidegger to determine Dasein’s being holistically as being-in-the-world. our projection is not a radically free choice of an anticipated future. Dasein exists as these three temporal dimensions simultaneously: being ahead of itself in the future. The concept of care notes the general meaning Dasein gives to its existence in the world and in terms of which it becomes an organic whole. Prior to this mode of being emerging into view there is the more fundamental mode of readiness-to-hand constitutive of our everyday dealings with our environment. Thus.

then things can appear as ‘objects’ to be theoretically understood. in Aristotle with his notion of primary substance. But universals do not exist in this sense. That which is really real is that which remains constantly present. this view can be found in Plato with his doctrine of the Forms. When the inquirer abstracts from that which is closest to them. in Descartes with the dualism of res extensa and res cogitans. The Presupposition of the Tradition As Far as Heidegger is concerned the entire tradition of Western philosophy has unfolded with a presupposition at its core. is bound up with the problem of time. in Kant with his notion of noumena and in the notion of the ‘physical stuff’ presupposed by contemporary naturalism. As Guignon points out. nor is being simply identical with our understanding. Heidegger’s view then is that the substance ontology of the tradition – where substance is understood as sub-stantia . which is the problem of being. that which ‘stands-under’ and remains constant or present through change – is wrong headed. we shall say that they subsist or have being. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being future are what Heidegger calls the ecstases of temporality. Dasein is not a static point nor an instant on an infinite arrow of time but rather the being whose understanding comprises the temporal dimensions of its existence. Being is not created by Dasein. But.21 As Russell’s statement indicates. . in Christian philosophy with God. It is Dasein’s temporality that is the transcendental condition of all understanding of being. can never be contained in a particular here and now. The meaning of being is constituted in Dasein’s understanding and is grounded in the temporal structure which underscores that understanding. This theoretical . The essence of this dichotomy of being and becoming is summarized by Bertrand Russell: We shall find it convenient only to speak of things existing when they are in time .48 Heidegger. Heidegger saw this presupposition as arising out of the theoretical attitude that lies at the heart of traditional philosophy. the world of their concern. where ‘being’ is opposed to ‘existence’ as being timeless. the problem of philosophy. of their agency. The ecstatic nature of temporality is the way in which Dasein is always extended into these temporal dimensions and as such. our (Dasein’s) only access to being is through our (Dasein’s) understanding of being. .

An Introduction: there it is suggested that Heidegger’s project is similar to Kant’s precisely because ‘being’ for Heidegger is a condition of the possibility of our experience of beings. the computer in front of me is ready-to-hand as available to be used in my task of writing this book. in any way. For example. to obscure the prior level from which it is an abstraction. whenever we encounter a being. Section Two Scholasticism. It is precisely in terms of this inquiry into the conditions for the possibility of any understanding whatsoever that Guignon understands the published portion of Being and Time . Scotus and Univocity 49 mode of comportment tends. however. Analogy and the Interpretation of Heidegger A related interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy of being that verges on the issue I want to raise is Caputo’s. Fundamental ontology lays bare the conditions of intelligibility or meaning of things in general by starting with Dasein as that being who has an understanding of being. we must already be in possession of an understanding of being and it is this understanding of being that makes the encounter possible. Given all of this. the analytic of Dasein and this interpretation places Heidegger’s project in a strict relation to the tradition of transcendental philosophy.Heidegger. we must first understand what it means to be. According to Caputo Heidegger believed that the scholastics were metaphysically naïve in that they believed that they could attain objective being-in-itself in the manner of pre-Kantian metaphysics. This broadly epistemological interpretation of Heidegger’s being question is also held by Polt in his Heidegger. That is. when inevitably I run into technical problems. What things are – their being – only becomes accessible to us in so far as the things themselves become intelligible and show up as mattering in some concrete way. before it is present-at-hand as the object of theoretical inquiry for the IT technician. the traditional question of philosophy is posed as the question of the meaning of being. particularly Kant. Part of Heidegger’s project from the beginning was to restore the more original sense things have for us in our everyday engagement with things by displacing the distorting theoretical attitude we tend to adopt in traditional philosophy. Before we can say exactly what the being of any particular thing actually is. Heidegger’s thought is at odds with such a conception and . To this extent it is possible to read Heidegger’s question of being as a question about the conditions of the intelligibility of things.

Heidegger’s critique of scholasticism begins from his general post-Kantian standpoint. As Caputo summarizes the conclusion to Being and Time with relation to the philosophy of analogy: the meaning of Being is time. has to come to terms with the entire premise of transcendental philosophy. Ultimately then. Heidegger is not so far away from Husserl and transcendental philosophy. Heidegger is indebted to the Copernican turn of modern philosophy. This transcendental critique stems from a Cartesian standpoint at odds with the realism of scholasticism. The modern scholastic philosopher. reading Heidegger’s critique. might invoke the doctrine of analogy. Analogy fails because of its implication that there is being-in-itself for the intellect to achieve. Part of Heidegger’s argument is that the practical is primary and the theoretical derivative. that is.23 In so far as being can only ever be understood in terms of time. . Being is projected upon time inasmuch as temporality constitutes the Being of Dasein. however imperfectly. the concept of being is univocal. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being he therefore mounts a criticism of the scholastics from a transcendental point of view. There is being only insofar as it is understood by Dasein.50 Heidegger.22 Such a defence would hold that the scholastic philosopher is not naïve since they are aware that whatever is affirmed of God is also denied of Him: everything said of God has its epistemological origin in this sensible world. since it is with this doctrine that scholasticism achieved a critical self-awareness of the ‘origin and applicability’ of the terms it employs. However. This is at odds with the primacy of the theoretical/speculative amongst some of the scholastics. this defence will not hold water according to Caputo since Heidegger’s critique of scholasticism goes farther than any theory of analogy. Ultimately. all theoretical objects are related back to the existential subject from which they derive their meaning. it is Caputo’s view that the philosopher who intends to respond to Heidegger’s critique of scholasticism and realist metaphysics generally. so Caputo suggests. As such. Caputo goes so far as to say that Heidegger’s genetic phenomenology rules out any idea of objective being-in-itself and therefore of realism. On this account. Thus Heidegger’s claim is far more radical than any theory of analogy. Being is fundamentally related to Dasein’s understanding of being. In fact. Such a pre-Kantian illusion is entertained precisely because the existential genetic origins of this concept have been ignored.

However. there is an important qualification to be made: although there is nothing particularly scholastic about Lotz’s claim that Heidegger’s concept of being is univocal. comes by way of Deleuze’s suggestion in his Difference and Repetition that Heidegger follows Scotus and gives ‘renewed splendour’ to the univocity of being. . Spinoza and Nietzsche wherein concepts drawn from his engagement with these thinkers are deployed in a Nietzschean critique of Platonism. univocity is not upheld. In this study of Heidegger I want to maintain Deleuze’s insight that univocity = immanence. Lotz. is not scholastic and I will not defend a scholastic position. What is at stake in my interpretation of Heidegger is the elaboration of a philosophy of immanence in Heideggerian terms. remained a scholastic thinker. according to Caputo. transcendent and substantial and all other beings are secondary and are in some way derivative of this being. I have caught an arrow fired by Deleuze and have engaged in a reinterpretation of Heidegger’s thought as a result. by being time bound. but this question remains independent of my concern with Heidegger and univocity. Deleuze upholds univocity and argues that no being can be said to be more real than any other and that there is no transcendent being that would necessitate recourse to equivocity or analogy. the problem with Platonism. Generally. Against this. My aim is to interpret Heidegger’s philosophy of being and instead of coming by way of an engagement with Lotz and other scholastic thinkers my interpretation of Heidegger. As such. My project. by contrast. This is an intimation of my view. or the history of metaphysics. Scotus and Univocity 51 In an earlier note to the same chapter of his Heidegger and Aquinas Caputo registers the fact that scholastic philosophers such as Johannes Lotz responded to Heidegger’s critique by pointing out that his concept of being was univocal. attempt to respond to philosophical modernity in the wake of Nietzsche. as Ansell Pearson put it in Germinal Life. It may be that Deleuze forged a schizo-scholasticism. in terms of the thesis of univocity. is that on this philosophy being is taken as either equivocal or analogical: only one being is fully real.Heidegger. Both Deleuze and Heidegger are paradigmatic examples of philosophers who. These beings cannot be said ‘to be’ in the same sense as the original transcendent being. being is univocal and immanent and each being is fully real and equal as an expression of an immanent and expressive (divine) substance. in their own distinctive way. That being is univocal is a central claim of Deleuze’s philosophy and he elaborates an unconventional secret history of philosophy in terms of this concept that draws on Duns Scotus. For Deleuze. The Difference and Repetition of Deleuze .

Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being We are now swimming in the deep waters of Heidegger interpretation.24 Given the problematic of univocity. the Project and the Fulfilment’ in his collection Heidegger. once it has been thrown. and his ‘Introduction: Heidegger. it is crucial to get in view an interpretation of Heidegger that centres on analogy. My reconstruction will focus on three of his texts in particular: his essay in the Cambridge Companion to Heidegger entitled ‘Reading a Life: Heidegger and Hard Times’. He aimed to appropriate elements of the tradition. With regard to the Aristotelian-scholastic dimension. I shall do this by elucidating and discussing Thomas Sheehan’s interpretation. Further. It is just such an interpretation that Sheehan puts forward. Given the importance of Sheehan’s view I will devote the remainder of this chapter to laying out his interpretation. Part of the problem is that the term being (sein) has two meanings .52 Heidegger. Objects such as stones are termed ‘world-less’ and animals are held to be ‘poor in world’. this retrieval has been understood to focus on the doctrine of the analogy of being. Both of these characterizations operate in terms of an analogy with that being whose essence. Let me start by revisiting the problematic of the destruction of the tradition of Western philosophy. his article in A Companion to Heidegger’s Introduction to Metaphysics entitled ‘Kehre and Ereignis : A Prolegomenon to Introduction to Metaphysics’. The Man and the Thinker. This being is Dasein. As the medieval scholastics established what they called the degrees of being in terms of analogy between different kinds of beings and the highest divine being (summum ens) whose actuality contains no potentiality and whose essence is identical with its existence. so Heidegger establishes analogically a hierarchy of the ways of being by reference to Dasein. He suggests that to gain a better grasp of Heidegger’s project the phrase the question of being and the term being should be displaced from the centre of the discussion. is to exist in the world. The phrase question of being is an abbreviation of what was originally referred to as the question of the meaning of being. I have already brought to light the fact that Heidegger conceived the destruction of the tradition as fundamentally positive. Following Taminiaux’s construction of this view: it has been argued that in Heidegger’s analytic of Dasein it is possible to discern a discreet reappropriation of the scholastic concept of analogia entis (analogy of being). In order not to drown I must paint a picture of Heidegger’s path of thought. the form of the question underwent several changes from the question of the meaning of being to the question of the ‘truth of being’ to the question of the ‘place of being’. Sheehan thinks that it is potentially misleading to say of Heidegger that the subject matter of his thought was the question of being.

Crucially. is analogical. nature. Over and above the Being of man. after all. that is. in terms of time. Scotus and Univocity 53 in Heidegger’s texts. artworks and ideal objects. has the tendency to invoke a supreme being or metaphysical super-entity at odds with Heidegger’s intentions. on Sheehan’s view. the transcendental horizon for any understanding of being. At no point do I intend to attribute such a view to Heidegger. To distinguish his unique sense of the term Heidegger adopted such methods as invoking the archaic spelling seyn . the Being of implements.25 On Sheehan’s interpretation then. Phenomenology became Heidegger’s method for analysing the unresolved question of metaphysics about the ‘essence’ or meaning of being and that question is. Rather. Heidegger refashioned the question about the meaning of being in terms of the question about the essential nature of the phenomenological correlation between being as givenness and Dasein and this question is about the analogical unity that underlies all of the possible ways that beings can present themselves for us in order that they be appropriated. for Heidegger. As Sheehan says: talk of Being ‘itself’ can easily lose sight of the analogical character of Being. there is no second level of ‘Being itself’. The ‘univocal something’ that Sheehan mentions above implies the kind of ontotheological view that Heidegger explicitly rejects. . crossing it out and eventually abandoning the word being altogether. the ‘itself’ refers to the analogically unified meaning of Being (in Aristotelian terms. ‘to be’ is to be understood by Dasein. Talk in Heidegger of being ‘hiding itself’ and of ‘sending itself’ can also provoke problems. especially when capitalized. the analogically unified meaning of being must be rooted in Dasein’s understanding since. its pros hen unity) which is instantiated in all cases of the Being of this or that. Heidegger was not after a univocal something that subsists on its own. By contrast to this. Heidegger was after an analogically unified meaning of being. Dasein’s temporality is. my interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy does not suggest that he was after the kind of ‘univocal something’ that Sheehan describes here. being. I emphatically agree with the fact that Heidegger was not after ‘being itself’ in Sheehan’s sense.Heidegger. Heidegger’s concept of being can be read univocally. for Heidegger. Reading the tradition phenomenologically. Sheehan reminds us that the term ‘being’. really about the ‘analogical unity’ that underlies all of the various modes of the being of beings. so Sheehan argues. As I understand Sheehan’s view. Nonetheless.

Both of these sciences are distinct from metaphysics which has as its object being qua being and studies God only secondarily as the First Cause of being. The being of beings is the presence of what is present to Dasein and meaningful presence is itself unified by analogy. Nonetheless. The concept of being in metaphysics refers to either the highest ontological or theological principle determinable in metaphysical inquiry. Only in God. Traditional metaphysics thinks the beingness of beings and is ontotheology. One sense belongs to metaphysics and the other to a pre. Heidegger is inquiring after the possibilizing condition that has provided for the possibility of all determinations of the being of beings hitherto. This principle – Ereignis – is not divine creation but . that which unites the manifold ways in which what is present to Dasein. Being is Heidegger’s term for the meaningful presence that things have to Dasein’s understanding and interest. participate in Him. Aquinas distinguished Sacred Doctrine or theology based on scripture from what has come to be known as Natural Theology or theology based on the study of the world. according to Heidegger. That is. Such is Sheehan’s view. all things have esse from God. he maintains that being has been forgotten in the tradition. Being is manifestly not forgotten in Aquinas’s text. All other things. Rather. There. This is the beingness (Seiendheit) of beings: hence Heidegger’s invocation of the term onto-theology. the existential act of being – God – is placed firmly at the centre of the metaphysical enterprise.or post-metaphysical thinking. its non-representational sense) is the sense intended by Heidegger. Sacred Doctrine studies God as He is revealed in the scriptures: Natural Theology as He is revealed in Creation. as created. Being in general (ens commune) is the proper subject matter of metaphysics. who is being essentially. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being Sheehan’s view then is that. The being of any thing is its meaningful presence to Dasein. For Heidegger. do esse (existence) and essence coincide. there are two senses of being in play here. The object of both of these sciences is God. Now. This pre/post-metaphysical sense of being (that is. Being is relative to Dasein. As such. being has been forgotten by the tradition. Heidegger is not asking about exactly the same thing that philosophers in the tradition have been asking about. All analogical modes of presence or being are united in Dasein as the site of the revealing of the meaningful presence or being of things as such. is present to Dasein. is analogy. Heidegger is aware of all of this. esse . being denotes a pre-ontological principle a priori undiscoverable by metaphysics that possibilizes any determination of the beingness of beings.54 Heidegger. The prima facie oddity of this has been raised by Caputo and Sheehan in relation to the philosophy of Aquinas.

This is the first step in Heidegger’s reading of the tradition. That question is the question of being qua being (on hei on). This question asks after the essence of any particular thing. Metaphysics as ontotheology even holds true of Nietzsche as far as Heidegger is concerned. so Sheehan contends. energeia. In its philosophical sense. ousia . When characterizing the ‘is-ness’ or ‘stateof-being’ of beings qua beings Aristotle employed the term ousia . given it by Aristotle. esse and so on. Sheehan continues. As such. In the second Heidegger will uncover the fact that beingness in all of its constructions is related to Dasein. The analogical unity of beingness. Such a concern with beingness is the generic unity of the metaphysical tradition. Sheehan holds. Scotus and Univocity 55 the very happening of the ‘world of sense’ wherein historical human beings dwell. It is precisely this word.26 The general project of metaphysics is bound up with the philosophy of analogy and the doctrine of substance. the many questions raised in traditional metaphysics ultimately reduce to one. In his The End of Philosophy Heidegger understands the Greek ousia to include both the sense of essence and of existence. Beingness is . The noun ousia is derived from the present participle of the verb ‘to be’. The name for the beingness of beings in the tradition is the ‘being of beings’ and the ‘being of beings’ is named idea. is taken as: the substantial ground and cause of actual beings. is being in Heidegger’s sense of the term. ‘beings’. Sheehan translates ousia as beingness and the question of ‘first philosophy’ is the question ‘what is beingness?’ And. regardless of the particular interpretations of beingness that emerge in the tradition. when found. This. which is coordinate with traditional essentialism. This view is confirmed by Heidegger’s statement in his Aristotle’s Metaphysics Theta 1–3 that all philosophy including and since ancient philosophy is bound up with the ‘stringent aporia’ that is the philosophy of analogy. metaphysics from Plato to Nietzsche follows the path structured by this question.Heidegger. which was translated into Latin as essentia and into English as essence or substance. eimi or einai and the neuter of that participle yields on or onta . ousia became the essential property of beings. although this relation remains concealed. And this question – what is a being? – reduces to the question ‘what is the beingness of beings?’ This kind of questioning is manifestly Aristotelian and belongs to the tradition of substance ontology. It asks after that which makes a being a being in so far as it is in the first place. All metaphysics is ontotheological: ontological in that it transcends particular beings to their beingness and theological in that it seeks out the cause or ground of beings.

The belonging together of beingness and historical humanity. And this means ‘revealedness’. The term that Heidegger will employ for his specific concern will name the meaningful relatedness or intelligible presence that things can have for human understanding and interest. Heidegger’s focus is on that disclosive bond between historical humanity and beingness (the meaningful relatedness things have for human understanding and interest). Heidegger’s phenomenological method was uniquely placed to get into the problem of beingness. Dasein is essential to the event of disclosure. it is the condition of possibility of beings coming to presence in the human world. As such. what enables beingness in the human world? The same question posed in terms of presence reads as follows: if beingness is the presence of beings. which is inseparable from Greek culture. The world of things is present to historical humanity as historical humanity. on Sheehan’s view. It is precisely this bond which is covered over in our everyday lives and in the tradition of metaphysics. Beingness is the intelligible presence of beings. Heidegger’s question puts beingness in focus. Heidegger has. presentness or being-present (parousia). the term ousia (beingness) carries shades of thereness. This bond is proper to historical humans and . determined the fundamental matter of Greek thought in the logos or disclosive bond between historical humanity and beingness: the openness or appearance of things and the essence of historical humanity as letting that disclosure happen. Beingness is the appearing of things for a Dasein. Now. The Greek revelation of being. on Sheehan’s view. The meaning of being is relative to a historical culture’s understanding of itself and its world. In fact. was not explicitly thematized in Greek philosophy. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being Dasein-relative. although there. Heidegger can ask the prior question: what enables the fact that beingness itself can show up? Or. of openness (aletheia) and emergence into presence (physis). which in Greek is aletheia . its meaningful appearance to a Dasein. is summarized in the word eidos : the look of a thing. He wants to attend to the beingness of beings as itself and in its fundamental relationship with historically situated humanity.56 Heidegger. then what enables the presence of presence? As Sheehan has it. As such the aim of Heidegger’s destruction of the tradition was to bring this dimension of Greek thought to light. by raising the question of ousia in such a way that the issue of parousia (presentness or openness) is intimated. The meaning of being in a given epoch is what allows things to show up as they do for members of that historical community. The beingness of beings is bound up with the essence of humanity.

It is named by him: das Ereignis. the very appropriation of historical humans to beingness discloses beings. The appropriation to this bond is the condition of possibility for the event of the revelation of beingness and of the appearance of beings for a situated Dasein. The problem with metaphysics has been the understanding of beingness in terms of only one mode of temporality. the second part of Being and Time would establish by historical deconstruction/destruction what the first had established by phenomenological construction. Since beingness is the presentness of beings it needs to be analysed in terms of temporality. Husserl distinguished sensuous and categorial intuition and showed that beingness is given in categorial intuition. Sheehan argues that the first part of that text was intended to establish the ‘time-character’ of beingness in general based on an account of Dasein’s temporality. to be sure. to this extent. integral to the project of phenomenology. how is it given? Beingness is the very givenness of beings and if this givennessof-beings is itself given it can. beingness must itself become a phenomenon. and that . Remembering. Sheehan argues. In this regard it was Husserl from whom Heidegger took his lead. Description of phenomena is. Scotus and Univocity 57 historical humans are appropriated to it. of course. that Being and Time remained incomplete. the analogy of being (or of beingness) was integral to Heidegger’s project from the start. on Sheehan’s account.Heidegger. More precisely. be treated as a phenomenon and investigated in the ‘how’ of its presencing. as such. It is this primordial event which is the proper matter of Heidegger’s thought. and to be most properly what they always already are. of course. univocal. But Heidegger asks a question that Husserl did not pose. The Phenomena of Beingness and Time In order to engage with the problem Heidegger has set for himself. the present. decisive. historical humans must personally reappropriate their situation of appropriation to this bond. analogously to how sensuous being is given in sense intuition. Beingness is a phenomenon. The second part of Being and Time would then deconstruct traditional ontology to reveal its underlying ‘temporal content’. However. Husserl’s contribution here is. This is the clue Heidegger used in his return to the tradition. but. The how of this giving is bound up with the temporality of Dasein and it will be Heidegger’s contention that all being (or beingness) is understood in terms of time and is. That is. Husserl (and Kant) stood within the tradition that takes the doctrine of beingness (Seinslehre) to be a doctrine of categories.

Ultimately. As such.27 My qualification to this is that being. The change in Heidegger’s thinking refers to the change in style and method that he employed in the presentation of his thought. albeit in different terms). as always understood in terms of time. The meaning of beingness would be revealed in terms of time. in its horizon-forming function called Temporalität . Deleuze. As Duns Scotus argued.58 Heidegger. Beyond Being On Sheehan’s interpretation. This began to occur in the 1930s. the fundamental sense of being in Heidegger’s philosophy of being is univocal in terms of time. Sheehan’s contention is that Zeitlichkeit . on the other hand. It is precisely over analogy that my interpretation will part company with Sheehan’s. I will argue that the unified meaning of being in terms of time must be understood in terms of univocity. is one of the titles given by Heidegger to his central concern: the giving of being in its connection with the opening up of Dasein. Heidegger’s fundamental question remained the same. it does follow that the problem of univocity and analogy is at the centre of Heidegger interpretation. If being is bound up with time then time constitutes the fundamental sense in which being is understood at all. is univocal. My view. . A doctrine of analogy as phenomenologically constructed was always part of Heidegger’s agenda. there can be no analogy without univocity. in effect. There is the matter of the turn (die Kehre) and the matter of the change in Heidegger’s thinking. ‘determines the analogically unified temporal meaning of beingness’. with Duns Scotus (and. Being is given as presence and Dasein is opened up by finitude. the turn is the inner movement of Ereignis whereby finitude opens a clearing in human Dasein wherein beings can show up or appear as what they are. Following Sheehan. The ‘turn’. The change in Heidegger’s thinking refers to the move away from the approach adopted in Being and Time towards his later approach. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being is: the thesis of the analogical unity of all modes of beingness. The change in orientation in his thinking refers to the shift in how the mature Heidegger attempted to bring this inner movement of Ereignis to language. Heidegger’s concern for being and Dasein was in a certain sense preliminary to raising the question of Ereignis. there are two issues in play. is that there is no analogy without univocity. what about the issue of the ‘turn’ from the Heidegger of Being and Time to the later Heidegger? With regards to the question of the turn. If Ereignis is the topic of Heidegger’s thought. then. While it does not follow from this statement that Sheehan is committed to denying the kind of univocity that I am arguing for.

As essentially open. the background of Heidegger’s problematic here is. Seyn . As such.28 In this respect only Ereignis – the ‘It’ which grants being and time – is beyond being. Heidegger elaborated his philosophy of Dasein and Ereignis out of an Aristotelian-scholastic background. it has its being to be. Dasein is imperfect and is always in a process of becoming. Being comes in degrees which form a hierarchical structure from most perfect being to least perfect being. human being is essentially imperfect in this sense. God as the being in whom essence and existence coincide is the being to which perfect self-coincidence and self-presence belong. This lack is what Heidegger names guilt (Schuldigsein) in Being and Time .Heidegger. Now. Examples are ‘Da . Dasein is drawn along with this withdrawal. As Sheehan reconstructs it. Ereignis is the presupposition of all events. Unterschied/ Unterscheidung ’. Sinn des Seins. In support of this we have only to think of Aquinas’s view of human being as marked by transcendental openness to being in general. as the idea of ideas. The Ereignis is the ‘enabling power’. Any particular thing’s degree of being is its degree of perfection. being (reality). the human being is essentially marked by this constitutive lack in being. Temporalität des Seins. Welt . traditional and Aristotelian. All other beings have being to the degree that they approximate God’s perfect self-coincidence. Given the centrality of Ereignis in Heidegger’s thought. is what enables everything else. To the extent that a being remains open it is imperfect. Scotus and Univocity 59 Ereignis goes by many names in Heidegger’s text. Zeit. Human being is never complete and always in a state of becoming. so Sheehan will contend. the condition of the possibility of the phenomenological correlation between being as givenness and Dasein. In so far as human being remains essentially lacking it can never become fully self-coincident. its being is existence . It is precisely this openness which is the condition of possibility of metaphysics. Perfection is itself measured by the extent to which a being has returned to or fulfilled its essence. Dasein and Ereignis belong together essentially. Kehre. never fully achieving full selfpresence. is analogical. As enabling power Heidegger speaks of Ereignis as analogous to the Idea of the Good in Plato: The expression ‘the idea of the good’ – which is all too misleading for modern thinking – is the name for that distinctive idea which. The question of Ereignis entails the question of Dasein as the site of the revelation of being. . in an Aristotelian metaphysics. what about the problem of the analogy of being? Ereignis is the withdrawal that opens up openness. Lichtung.

It is Dasein’s finitude which makes possible the event of the appearance of the being of beings. The Analogical Interpretation of Heidegger’s Text We Now have a coherent interpretation of Heidegger in terms of analogy clearly in view.60 Heidegger. First. There are also animals and objects. As such. Finitude draws Dasein into its becoming and by so doing opens up the open. Heidegger’s imperative (with a considerable Nietzschean echo) is become what you essentially are . Dasein is not the only being in the world. Such is Sheehan’s reconstruction of Heidegger’s view. This clearing is essential for beings to be understood as what they are and for the appearance of being. Dasein is essentially receptive to the presence of beings. Dasein’s finitude was the fundamental matter to be thought. reappropriate your openness. Ereignis is the reciprocal grounding of Dasein and being. Ereignis is bound up with Dasein’s lack in being which draws it out into openness and into the movement of becoming. However. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being This lack that marks Dasein is its finitude and it is this finitude that opens Dasein up. Dasein knows the being of things. Dasein takes things as this or that and sees them ‘to be’ as so taken. Any quasi Bergsonian intuition whereby the being is grasped absolutely from the inside is manifestly ruled out on this Heideggerian picture. that which can become present to Dasein (and be appropriated) is unified analogically. mirroring Dasein’s own incomplete and imperfect self-presence this presence of other beings is always imperfect and partial. Being is relative to Dasein and it is Dasein’s finitude which underwrites its ability to grasp the being of things. Following Sheehan. Ereignis is the opening of the clearing to which historical human being belongs essentially. Dasein only knows the finite meaning of being in any historical context and is fated to know things only as taken ‘as’ this or that. embrace the presupposition that makes you human and allow yourself to be taken up by the Ereignis. The analogy of being in Heidegger is twofold. there is something like a scala naturae present in Heidegger’s thinking that operates in terms of an analogy. Secondly. As essentially open. What they are is relative to Dasein’s understanding and as such. That is. By so doing the possibility of understanding givenness (world) and the particular givenness of beings is provided for. it is the reciprocity between ‘needing’ and ‘belonging’ that constitutes Ereignis and Kehre names this reciprocity qua movement back and forth between the two terms ‘needing’ and ‘belonging’. .

Although analogy does not feature prominently in this quote the notion of degrees of reality does. Scotus and Univocity 61 The fact that what is present to Dasein is unified analogically is possible only because things. . as Heidegger puts it in his lecture course The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics. to being. is nonetheless the being to which something like an understanding of being pertains.29 Precisely this kind of method gives credence to an Aristotelian-scholastic interpretation of his text. the sight of the revealing of being. are ‘poor in the world’: they form a specific class in the Aristotelian manner in contradistinction to Dasein and every individual animal and species of animal is no more or less perfect and complete as any other. this immediately supplies us with a concept of world: world initially signifies the sum total of beings accessible to man or animals alike. . Understanding of being and understanding of world are co-ordinate in the sense that both have the manner of being of presence. by contrast. Animals. reveals itself as one of degree in terms of levels of completeness with respect to the accessibility of beings . Being and Time attempts to establish that existence as Dasein’s manner of being is the ground of presence which is the mode of being of the world and of the beings which make up part of that world. . although always incomplete. as incomplete. Animals remain open to a degree but only in so far as they are taken by and become absorbed in their ‘encircling ring’ of habitual and contextually defined activity. analogy is just round the corner. From there. Out of the three classes. Dasein exists in the midst of beings as ‘the there’ of being. . as they appear. Beings are worldless in so far as they have no access to the being of things. It is only Dasein. Now. The distinction Heidegger wants to articulate between the three ‘classes’ of beings is revealed in terms of the accessibility to beings as beings. variable as it is in range and depth of penetrability. Stones and the like are worldless. Dasein. Thus ‘poor in world’ is inferior with respect to the greater value of ‘world-forming’. Only Dasein can be the ‘Da’. by contrast. that has a relationship to being. Historical humanity is. it is only Dasein who can relate to beings as beings and that is. . are really like that. ‘world-forming’.Heidegger. Dasein is ontological in a way that an animal cannot be. although Heidegger does want to distance himself from a traditional metaphysical hierarchical conception of reality he does proceed as follows: the distinction between poverty in world and world-formation . Dasein. remains open to things in their manifestness and is fundamentally world-forming.

The traditional Aristotelian picture has suffered something of an inversion. For Heidegger. And. The three ecstases form a unity. it is Dasein’s responsibility to be the place where the meaning of being comes to presence. . Being needs Dasein to ‘take place’. Only on the basis of this temporal univocity of being could any analogy of being be built. it is Heidegger’s view that being is always and only understood in terms of time.62 Heidegger. Because Dasein ‘stands out’ into these ecstases. Dasein’s temporality is ecstatical: past. being is the difference it makes that there is something rather than nothing and being is only ever understood as projected upon the transcendental horizon of Dasein’s temporality. The being of all other things is only intelligible in terms of the being of Dasein. Dasein is the site of all meaning and being is only ever understood in terms of time. present and future are the ecstases of temporality: Dasein ek-sists in the sense that it ‘stands out’ into a past heritage. Fundamentally. I maintain that there cannot be analogy without univocity. being is univocal. Precisely because of the central place afforded to temporality by Heidegger in the question of being. Dasein is that focal reference to which all other things relate in their being. Dasein transcends itself and stands-out into these ecstases of temporality. into a present world and into future possibilities. and its making present its situation (Gegenwärtigung). matter to it. the essence of which is to produce itself in time or temporalize in the unity of the temporal ecstases. its retrieval of its thrownness (Wiederholung). Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being Distinguishing animals and objects from Dasein in the way that Heidegger does is only possible on the basis of an analogy with Dasein. Taminiaux’s reading of the discrete reappropriation of analogia entis in Heidegger’s text is also significant in this respect. Essentially. as Heidegger is keen to emphasize. It is this process of temporalizing which makes possible Dasein’s various modes of being. Dasein’s existence consists in its running ahead (Vorlaufen) towards its end. Dasein’s temporality provides for the possibility of beings coming into presence for Dasein. Temporality is Dasein’s ontological ground and the concept of time has to be elucidated with regard to Dasein’s ontological structure. It certainly seems that Heidegger conceived his project in terms of the retrieval of an analogically determined notion of being. Dasein as openness is now at the top of the scale and that which is closed is at the bottom. Dasein really is at the centre of Heidegger’s ontological universe. There is evidence backing up Sheehan’s interpretation of Heidegger in terms of the analogically unified meaning of being. along with the other beings it encounters. its being. This is precisely the issue with which my interpretation of his philosophical text will have to come to terms.

regarding the horizonal schema of the future. each act of temporalizing within the ecstases is different. The ecstasis of the future has a priority in the sense that temporality primordially temporalizes itself out of the future . The horizon of each is its ‘whither’ and Dasein’s temporality is essentially finite. The horizonal schemata also form a unity that is grounded in ecstatic temporality. Even though equiprimordial. The horizonal schemata is the temporal framework that provides for Dasein’s understanding of being and allows Dasein to encounter entities in its world. that being carried away in general . being an issue for it. Horizonal schemata are transcendental in the Kantian sense that they precede intelligible experience and provide for its possibility. these open up the world for Dasein and facilitate Dasein’s understanding of the being of beings. Dasein is carried off by each ecstasis to its own particular horizonal schema but nonetheless remains ‘in’ all three all at once. this priority of the ecstasis of the future is entirely in line with Dasein’s being. Dasein projects and produces the presence which belongs to the present. Scotus and Univocity 63 Although the primary phenomenon of what Heidegger calls primordial and authentic temporality is the future. the univocity of being obtains. Dasein tends to understand itself and its world in terms of its projects. the two texts which are particularly important when considering Dasein’s temporality are The Basis Problems of Phenomenology and The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic. In The Basic Problems of Phenomenology Heidegger describes how the ecstasis of the present carries Dasein off towards its horizonal schema praesens.Heidegger. Praesens enables Dasein to understand and deal with the being of the ready-to-hand within its environment. Further to Being and Time . This is so since ‘to be’ is to be understood by Dasein and Dasein’s understanding is founded on this temporal framework. The horizonal schema of the future is known in Being and Time as the ‘for-the-sake-of-itself’ while the schema of the past is rendered the ‘what has been’. The ecstases of temporality open up their corresponding horizonal schema and taken together. By producing in time and making present or temporalizing enpresenting. If Dasein could not choose future possibilities of being then it is hard to see how its being could be an issue for it in the first place. the ecstases of temporality form an equiprimordial unity. which in Being and Time had been called the ‘in-order-to’. The ready-to-hand are projected upon the horizonal schema of praesens. They also involve transcendence since they provide for Dasein’s transcending beings towards their being. As Polt reminds us. and these have a bias towards the future. At this formal level. Dasein is the ground of presence. Each has its own horizon and ‘carries Dasein off’ on that horizon. Heidegger says in The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic.

Dasein’s understanding of being is determined by the horizonal schema to which it is carried off in ecstatical temporality and being can be given to Dasein only as it is projected upon its transcendental horizon. Dasein is the condition of possibility for any ontology whatsoever and every manner of being other than it is in some way related to it and its temporality. Since being can only ever be projected upon the transcendental horizon of temporality. Rather. Temporality is the origin of the ontological difference. as Heidegger says in Basic Problems of Phenomenology. the unitary meaning of being in Heidegger’s phenomenology must be temporal. Dasein mediates between being and beings by holding open the difference between them and the ontological difference has the mode of being of Dasein: it belongs to existence and existence itself means. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being provides for futurity as such.64 Heidegger. Being is only ever intelligible in terms of time and time is the primary horizon of ontology. it produces the horizon of possibility itself. The ecstasis of the future does not produce a definite possible. the transcendental science. . pure and simple. The univocity of being is grounded in Dasein’s temporality. and that this amounts to the provision of ‘possibility’. It is within this horizon that a definite possible can manifest. The ontological difference is ‘temporalized’ in the temporalizing activity of primordial temporality. Ontology is only possible as a temporal science and temporality is the condition of possibility of all understanding of the being of beings. The unitary meaning of being as it is constituted in Dasein’s understanding is grounded in Dasein’s temporality. to be in the performance of this distinction between being and beings .

As far as he is concerned. has served as a criterion whereby diverse regions of being have been determined. After consideration of the precise formulation of the question of being in Being and Time I shall return to Heidegger’s earlier philosophical engagement and display its relation to the debate over univocity and analogy. Time. The definitions I shall offer here are put forward from the point of view of fundamental ontology and will serve as a reference point for the discussion that follows. The term being in fundamental ontology means something that mostly does not show itself.Chapter 3 Univocity and Phenomenological Philosophy Being and Some Other Key Terms I aim to show that there is an underlying univocal sense of being in Heidegger’s philosophy. Time has this ontological function but. . meaning (or sense) and truth. his investigation into the question of the meaning of being will enable him to show that the central problem of all ontology has its foundation in the phenomenon of time. Nevertheless. Being and time are essentially linked in fundamental ontology. being is the very meaningful relatedness of beings to Dasein’s understanding and interest. being belongs to that which does for the most part show itself. namely beings in that it constitutes their meaning and ground. This will further elucidate my claim that Heidegger’s concept of being is univocal. Thus. so Heidegger states in Being and Time . time. it will be useful to offer some sharp definitions of some of the constant themes that Heidegger investigates throughout his career: being. Before I turn to the elucidation of the question of being in Being and Time. no philosopher has investigated how time has come to have this role and part of his project is an investigation of how time acquired this function. understanding. Part of my aim in this chapter will be to exhibit Heidegger’s path of thought in relation to this concept. however. Heidegger prompts.

Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being Heidegger’s treatment of time is indebted to Husserl’s. When Heidegger reinterprets Dasein’s ‘everydayness’ in terms of time he reveals the fact that Dasein’s temporality can be authentic or inauthentic.66 Heidegger. Whether authentic or inauthentic. He says as much in The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic. the sense in which each ecstases is referred to remains fundamentally temporal. Precisely because time is rooted in Dasein’s understanding it can serve to differentiate diverse ontological regions of being in temporal terms. is the depth dimension of primordial time. this change is a modal change on the part of a transcendental structure that remains fundamentally temporal. Dasein’s temporality is primordial time and it is made up of the ecstases of the past. Heidegger cautions us that his term for understanding. primordial time is the transcendental horizon of being. when authentic. All understanding of being is fundamentally temporal. Verstehen . present and future. Rather. This means that each ecstasis admits both authentic and inauthentic modalities. when inauthentic. Primordial time is the unity of the three ecstases of temporality. Whether authentic or inauthentic. from a transcendental point of view. etc) that it is dealing with. As a unity. It is. By contrast. The question of time is central to my understanding of the concept of being as univocal in Heidegger’s philosophy. after all. temporality qua transcendental. It is anxiety that provides for this existential change. It is this primordial time that Heidegger reconfigures as Dasein’s temporality and it is by virtue of the fact that all being is only ever understood in terms of its transcendental horizon that time can serve its aforementioned ontological function. What Husserl called ‘timeconsciousness’ is time in the primordial sense. Dasein is ‘in’ all three ecstases of temporality equiprimordially and each ecstases is univocally temporal. Beings are disclosed to Dasein by virtue of Dasein’s letting them be involved in a possibility of its . Dasein’s present is reconfigured existentially as a ‘moment of vision/decision’ where its past is taken over in a repetition that reaffirms it in terms that anticipate Dasein’s future qua finite mortality. Dasein ‘forgets’ its throwness and is content to ‘await’ its future while being absorbed in its present in terms of ‘making present’ the objects (tools. Temporality is that phenomenon that makes possible Dasein’s understanding of being. ‘To be’ is to be understood by Dasein and to be understood by Dasein is to be projected upon a (temporal) horizon. Now. is etymologically related to Vorstehen or fore-standing and this means ‘skilled management’. The notion of understanding as it is employed by Heidegger in Being and Time is not restricted to language. For example. primordial time that is authentic or inauthentic and so.

The view of Being and Time that emerges from his later standpoint is a characterization of this text in terms of a failure to move beyond the traditional language of metaphysics. If something ‘has meaning’ for a Dasein then that thing can be said to be ‘understood’. the uncovering/disclosing practically engaged agent in a world of meaningful things. Truth is one of the central terms of Heidegger’s philosophy. when I ask for the meaning of a sign and I am told that it is a road-sign meaning ‘drive slowly’ I can place the sign within the horizon of the activity of driving a car. Regarding it in this way expresses the point of view Heidegger came to have after the change in orientation that occurred in his thought in the 1930s. Truth is uncovering or the unconcealment of a thing for Dasein. The concept of meaning (Sinn) is related to the concept of understanding. a Gelassenheit. Such a form of thought is no longer enslaved to the will to power of metaphysical philosophy and develops themes. The concept of truth is outlined in Being and Time in terms of uncovering. Thus. Thus. This style of thinking would leave metaphysics to itself and engage in a non-representational thinking which responds to the gift of the coming to presence of being. After Being and Time Heidegger sought to engage in what he described as being-historical thinking. understanding is defined in terms of possessing possibilities of being and projecting possible ways of being. Truth as uncovering is fundamentally related to Dasein’s manner of being since being true in the sense of uncovering is only possible on the basis of beingin-the-world. it is worth noting here that his view of Being and Time and the project of fundamental ontology did change as his thought developed. To understand something implies that a proper context is available for it. Revealing the meaning of something is an attempt to understand it. Heidegger refers to such a context as a ‘horizon’. Heidegger’s remark to this effect . already partially explored. Such a thinking is accompanied by a ‘letting be’. a thing having meaning is its revelation as relevant in the life of a Dasein or a community. Naming this phenomenon unconcealment is prompted by the Greek term for truth. Although I intend to defer treatment of issues in Heidegger’s later thought in detail for now. is the context that provides access to a thing. A great deal of the material for my interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy in terms of univocity is contained in Being and Time .Univocity and Phenomenological Philosophy 67 being. such as Gelassenheit. and is characterized as a poetic-thinking without why. then. It is by virtue of Dasein’s projection of possibilities that it understands beings. Meaning. In his later years Heidegger came to view Being and Time as something of a ‘work of transition’. aletheia . For example. in a different context. as early as 1918–1919 in ‘The Philosophical Foundations of Medieval Mysticism’.

It is here that Heidegger proposes to discuss the three prejudices regarding the question of being and these prejudices are couched in terms of universality.68 Heidegger. This dimension of Heidegger’s thought goes some way towards accounting for the distinctly Kantian echo in the language of ‘blindness’ and ‘perversion’ employed by Heidegger when characterizing his task in Being and Time . as we have seen. To recap: being is regarded as the most universal concept. indefinability and self-evidence. This questioning would result in a reorientation of philosophy back to its true path. Immediately. The text of Being and Time does not simply consist of a metaphysical enquiry in the traditional sense. Kehre is Ereignis and it is precisely this matter which is inexpressible by metaphysics. he faces a problem: there is no need to ask the question of being. Metaphysics qua metaphysics is in question just as much for Heidegger as it is for Kant. Heidegger failed to say what he tried to say in Being and Time because he was still enslaved to the traditional language of philosophy. which is itself divided into two parts. The prelude to Being and Time where Heidegger sets out the aim of the treatise. Heidegger takes this to be prejudice born of ancient ontology which itself bars the way to an adequate understanding of that ontology.1 In other words. the path of the question of being. is followed by a substantial introduction. Being and Time occupies a critical relation to metaphysics. an understanding which can be completed only after the question of being has been ‘clarified and answered’. Being and Time sought a move into a more originary questioning than metaphysics. It is a broadly Kantian enquiry in that it fills the space which logically precedes metaphysics. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being occurs in his Letter on Humanism in the context of a discussion of why the third division of part one of Being and Time (Time and Being) was held back. He says: The division in question was held back because thinking failed in the adequate saying of this turning [Kehre] and did not succeed with the help of the language of metaphysics. Heidegger’s thought here about the status of metaphysics is close to Kant’s: fundamental ontology is the metaphysics of human Dasein and is required in order to make metaphysics possible. In the first section of the first part. before he attempts to lay out the ‘formal structure’ of the question of being he confronts the necessity for ‘explicitly restating’ the question of being. He quotes Aquinas: ‘an understanding of being is already included in conceiving .

The universality of being is however not the universality of a class or of a genus: it is not restricted to kinds of things. Analogy. Aristotle failed to bring the problem of the multiplicity of categorial interconnections fully to light. the ratio essendi (order of being) and the ratio cognoscendi (order of knowing) go in opposite directions. Rather. For Scotus. it remains the ‘darkest’ of all concepts. however general. As noted. it is rather than ‘is not’ and being in general ‘is’ rather than ‘is not’. Despite his dependence on Plato’s formulation of the question. Even Hegel’s determination of being as the indeterminate immediate is not sufficient as a solution to the question of being. Heidegger reminds us. what is closest to one is the most mysterious.Univocity and Phenomenological Philosophy 69 anything which one apprehends as a being’. it prompts it. Heidegger reminds us that in the medieval context this problem was discussed widely. Being’s universality transcends the universality of genus. Hegel still – so Heidegger contends – takes his point of departure from ancient ontology but does not pay attention to the problem of the unity of analogy or the unity of being in contradistinction to the multiplicity of categories. As such. Heidegger’s reference here is to the debate between the Aristotelian-Thomist conception of being as analogical and the Scotist conception of being as univocal. to be sure. Aristotle’s understanding of the unity of this transcendental universal was in terms of the unity of analogy in contradistinction from the multiplicity of the categories construed as highest genera applicable to entities. The fact of being’s universality does not answer the question of being: rather. . the question of being first became a problem for Heidegger in an Aristotelian-scholastic context. Nevertheless. Scotus’s point about analogy was not that it was wholly wrong but rather that it presupposed a univocal conception of being in terms of opposition to nothingness. in general. in medieval ontology being is understood as a transcendens because it transcends Aristotle’s categories. puts the problem on a new footing. Heidegger summarizes: if being is the most universal concept this does not entail that it is the most clear and no more attention need be paid to it. and at this mature stage in his philosophical development the question is still being raised with explicit reference to this same context. That Aristotle and the Scholastics should figure so prominently in these early pages of Being and Time is testimony to the continued importance of their ‘strict formulation of ontological problems’. but only in terms of univocity is any solution coherent. Aristotle’s discovery – so Heidegger contends – put the problem of being on a new basis. especially in both the Thomist and Scotist schools. no matter how a being is.

it cannot be appropriate to being since being is not a thing. an enigma.70 Heidegger. indefinability demands that we face up to this problem. Being is in no way a being and cannot be treated as such. Rather. some names refer to more than one universal. Being. a priori . There does not exist a kind of animal which is both a horse and a dog. There is no single account of what it is for something to count as a being and as such. This ‘average intelligibility’ of being does not allow us to merely pass over the question of its meaning in silence. One important case of homonymy is ‘being’. In addition to being. not every name admits just one nominal or real definition. is the least problematic since it is self-evident. definition (horos. A further example is ‘red is a colour’. In all comportment of oneself towards anything at all. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being As supremely universal being is held to be indefinable. He distinguishes (although not in these terms) between nominal definitions. when it is stated that an individual particular man is an animal. By contrast. in its self-evidence and average intelligibility. in all cognition and in all assertion. in fact indicates being’s unintelligibility. Now. more than one definition being required to determine the signification of the term. The concept of being cannot be arrived at through the process of definition used in traditional logic. ‘being’. which state beliefs associated with a thing or name. horismos) was an account (logos) that signifies the essence of a thing. Aristotle’s Categories displays the problem of defining the term ‘being’. Each category admits both particulars and universals. The name ‘horsedog’ signifies no real universal. of all our concepts. The term ‘animal’ constitutes a univocal genus that admits of a single definition. As such. And whereas definition may be appropriate to beings. translated into Latin as substantia and into English as substance). Further. words like bank are homonymous. Being. This is precisely what Heidegger aims to do. the term being does not. For Aristotle. there is no univocal genus under which all beings could be subsumed. being is implicitly already in play. Here one universal quality is being predicated of another. Aristotle’s first category ousia (literally. there are also the other nine nonsubstance categories. ‘Bank’ for example refers to both a financial institution and to the raised earth shelf at the side of river. from real definitions that give a true account of the universal underlying the various beliefs established in the nominal definition. a secondary substance (a universal in the substance category) is being predicated of a primary substance (an individual particular thing in the substance category). Quite the opposite. We always . This indefinability does not justify us in eliminating the question of being from our philosophical milieu. For example. it makes manifest the fact that in all our comportment there is.

are always already situated in our factical life as Dasein. When he finds it. the theme of ontology. Heidegger agrees with the scholastics that being is the transcendens. Phenomenology by contrast does not designate its object or characterize beforehand its subject matter. it will be univocal. It is the method of philosophy construed as ontology. as they present themselves for phenomenological description in the radical way that Heidegger will attempt. When Heidegger elaborates his concept of phenomenology in Being and Time he does so without explicitly appealing to Husserl. Taken together. Heidegger’s question is the radicalization of the pre-understanding of being in which we. phenomena. In Being and Time phenomenology emerges as a predominantly methodological concept: phenomenology is Heidegger’s chosen method of access to being. Phenomenology differs from the positive sciences. the founder of phenomenology as a movement. The question of being is just the radicalization of Dasein’s pre-ontological understanding of being. such as theology. Significantly. in Heidegger’s view. It is this conviction that allows Heidegger to develop the question of being (in section 2 The Formal Structure of the Question of Being) in terms of a seeking guided already by what is sought. ‘To the things themselves’ was Husserl’s rally cry for the phenomenological project and it will be here that Heidegger thinks Husserl did not go far enough. but not as a concept. Without appeal to Husserl. expresses the maxim ‘to the things themselves’. Being is presupposed in ontology. Being is the transcendens precisely because of the ontological difference : being is not an entity or a class of entities. phenomenology means to let that which shows itself be seen from itself in the manner in which it shows itself from itself. . Heideggerian phenomenology is concerned with being. when Heidegger says that the term ‘phenomenology’ expresses the maxim ‘to the things themselves’. What is sought is the meaning of being. Husserl did not question out of the things themselves. however. which have already designated their objects. There is an implicit reference to Husserl. Phenomenon is understood as that which shows itself in itself or the manifest and logos designates a letting something be seen . as engaged agents. Heidegger defines phenomenology in terms of the component parts of that term: phenomenon and logos. This.Univocity and Phenomenological Philosophy 71 already dwell in an understanding of being without explicitly attending to its meaning. Precisely because of this collection of problems surrounding being it is necessary to raise it as a question again. the presupposition of all ontology. Part of Heidegger’s aim is to determine the concept of being: a conceptual determination of what we mean when we use the word ‘being’.

Recall here the threefold characterization of the phenomenological method as the equiprimordial unity of reduction . . this way of seeing phenomenologically. the specific character of the description. The meaning and ground of beings can. is the being of beings. the ‘that which shows itself’. approaching being as Heidegger does. This something that remains hidden and which exhibits itself only in disguise is the being of beings. can be construed in terms of the thinghood of that which is to be described. allows that which for the most part lies hidden. modifications and so on. Understood phenomenologically being is something that mostly does not reveal itself. Destruction is the process of deconstructing or destructuring the concepts which express the being of beings – that are transmitted by the tradition – so as to arrive at their source in experience. construction and destruction that Heidegger instantiated in The Basic Problems of Phenomenology (pp21–23). As Dermot Moran has pointed out. This method. The promise of phenomenology is that it offers a method for getting access to being. The phenomenological conception of phenomenon that Heidegger has in mind. through the way the phenomenon comes to presence in the present age. allowing their being to come into view. The Phenomenology of Being and the Question of Dasein The subject matter of Heideggerian phenomenology is being. of that which is to be given scientific definiteness as it is encountered. Nevertheless. Construction is the projection of beings onto their ontological structure. It lies ‘hidden’. Phenomenology allows being to become the matter of description. Nothing lies behind the being of beings that would not appear. Reduction is the move away from beings towards their being.72 Heidegger. being. as Heidegger despairingly pointed out in the prelude to Being and Time . being belongs essentially to that which does mostly show its self in such a way to constitute their meaning and ground. The term phenomenology can be applied to any exhibiting of anything as it shows itself in itself from itself. to come into view. is deeply phenomenological. its meaning. through the forgetfulness of being (Seinsvergessenheit). Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being The term phenomenology designates the manner in which what is treated in this science is dealt with. Phenomenology is a descriptive science and logos. There is nothing behind the phenomena of phenomenology. according to Heidegger. What mostly shows itself is beings. be covered over or concealed to such an extent that it becomes forgotten. In this sorry state no question arises about the meaning of being.

Understanding itself in terms of its existence Dasein always understands itself in terms of the possibility of being itself or not being itself. Dasein has priority over all other beings. as configured by Heidegger. Rather. as Heidegger puts it in Being and Time . is what Heidegger calls the ‘clearing’: Dasein is ‘the there’ (das Da) of being. now. phenomena make up being: appearance (phenomena as they reveal themselves to a Dasein) is reality and there is no recourse to anything ‘unintended’. The term Dasein is itself an expression of the manner of being of the practically engaged agent qua Existenz (existence). whether it does so by taking it over or by neglecting it. Phenomenology. a there in terms of which it understands itself and in terms of which it becomes who it is. unconcealment. Dasein is not just an occurring thing like a rock. it is its ‘disclosedness’. Dasein is the site that being requires in order to ‘happen’ at all. the essence of Dasein is in its existence. Characterizing being as the ‘meaning and ground’ of beings is significant. Dasein means being-t/here and connotes being there. Dasein’s ontical distinction is that it is ontological. it would not be Dasein. Ontical inquiry is concerned with beings. as being-in-the-world. In Heidegger’s own marginalia to the text (printed in the Stambaugh edition) he notes beside this designation the phrase ‘truth of being’. The terms ontical and ontological refer to beings and being respectively. Heideggerian phenomenological ontology takes its point of departure from Dasein because of all beings Dasein is that being with an understanding of being. here. is so essential to Dasein that without it. Dasein is always there in its world or meaningful context of significance.Univocity and Phenomenological Philosophy 73 Understood phenomenologically. Dasein is the site of the revealing of being and all the key words and phrases – such as difference. In one way or another Dasein always comports itself towards its being qua existence and in this process Dasein’s own being is disclosed to it. Inhabiting a there. Dasein’s being is being-in-the-world. disclosure. emergence. Dasein’s essence consists in having its being to be. Dasein is its ‘there’. As the site for the revelation of being. The . the meaning of being. truth. the truth of being – all refer to the event (Ereignis) of the revelation or gift of being to and for Dasein. only the particular Dasein can decide its existence. is the science of the being of beings: phenomenology is ontology. its ‘being is an issue for it’. Ontological inquiry is concerned with being. Dasein. In short. Dasein is distinguished ontically by the fact that in its being. There is no Dasein without world and no world without Dasein. Dasein is the only being for whom raising the question of being is a possibility.

of the occurrence of the truth of being. Ereignis is the capitalized ‘It’ which gives being and time to thought and Dasein has to remain attentive to this gift. the event of appropriation. attempted to think being in its temporal occurrence: what Heidegger later calls the truth of being. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being term being is Heidegger’s name for the meaningful relatedness that things have for Dasein’s understanding and interest. . The being of beings is the presence of what is present and thought. together with the project of fundamental ontology. as Heidegger understands it. is the way in which being essentially unfolds as the history of the West.74 Heidegger. in Heidegger’s technical sense of that term. Philosophy as metaphysics thinks the being of beings in terms of substantiality and subjectivity. Metaphysics thinks the beingness of beings. This event. in order to think this event Heidegger will have to think non-metaphysically. the period in which he composed the Contributions to Philosophy. Being and Time. the project of fundamental ontology. undergoes a radical displacement. The truth of being is the temporal character of being or presence itself. The temporal occurrence of being as appropriation is the presupposition of all human events and is the origin of being and time. Transcendental Philosophy I have noted Heidegger’s agreement with the scholastic sense of being as a transcendental: being is the transcendens pure and simple . On its own however. it does not think the way in which historical human beings ‘belong’ to the truth of being. abides and passes away. The meaningful relatedness of things to this understanding and interest is their very presence to Dasein. approaching being through the analytic of Dasein. and being belong together essentially. Heidegger will be concerned to think this matter of the difference. Heidegger attempts to think from the temporal occurrence of being as appropriation. that is. As a philosopher of difference. Traditional metaphysics cannot raise the question of the Ereignis. The truth of being is thought in terms of the Ereignis. from around the 1930s. Yet. Heidegger will engage in being-historical thinking which attempts to think the essential unfolding of being in its history: the history of being is being itself. From this point of view. Later. So. The task of the thinker is to think being historically. Heideggerian phenomenology is concerned to occupy itself with the manifold ways in which that which is present comes to presence. The truth of being names the event (Ereignis) whereby being is revealed and things/beings can be meaningfully appropriated into the lives of individuals and communities. metaphysics does not think the difference of being and beings: metaphysics does not approach the truth of being and crucially.

Univocity and Phenomenological Philosophy 75 this sense of transcendental would not be enough to convey Heidegger’s sense of this term. as transcendental-horizonal structure. Being is a transcendental in the sense that it transcends the categories and in the sense that it is a condition for the appearance of beings. This is the Kantian dimension of the project of fundamental ontology: being is the condition of possibility of Dasein’s experience of things since in all possible experience of things an understanding of being is presupposed. The great man implicitly referred to here is Nietzsche. the doctrine of the transcendentals was closely tied to their systematic theological intent. It was his conviction during the period of Being and Time that philosophy must necessarily be atheistic. there is a crucial sense in which Heidegger’s project differs from both Kant’s and the scholastics’. This is an importance aspect of the ontological difference. because it is atheism. Dasein’s understanding of being makes the experience of things/beings possible. Being is a transcendental structure or condition of possibility for the presence of beings. Heidegger had no systematic aims towards the construction of a theology in Being and Time . His phenomenology is not ‘catholic phenomenology’ as some had jibed. allows things to show up for us as what they are. Interestingly. Nietzsche is not among those influences named by Heidegger in his 1927 letter to Bultmann. in its joyful atheism Heidegger’s philosophy of being has a definite Nietzschean motif. Being is also a transcendental in the Kantian sense of transcendental condition or condition of possibility. Prolegomena he indicates that philosophical research. He held that if the transcendentals were elucidated correctly then it will be possible to infer the existence of God. Being. For the scholastics. For Scotus. Proving the existence of God was never part of Heidegger’s agenda. What is in play here for Heidegger is a methodological atheism: Heidegger was not atheistic in the anti-theist Nietzschean sense. There Heidegger points out that he has no ambitions towards a theology but that his work may allow for the construction of Christian theology as a science. Philosophy must be atheistic. In a remark in History of the Concept of Time. He differs from the scholastics in that he does not aim to construct a systematic theology. nor did he have any scholastic aims towards proving the existence of God. . It is in this respect that despite his attention to scholasticism. can become what a great man once called ‘ joyful science’. Now. while being was the subject of metaphysics God was its goal. As a transcendental in both senses – and as transcendent in the scholastic sense of ‘lying beyond’ – being cannot be a being.

It is not too much of an imposition to read this as an ‘existential re-interpretation’ of this central Kantian theme. Heidegger’s destructive-reappropriation of the history of philosophy was to focus on ‘decisive junctures’ in that history. Knowledge can transcend experience . by common consent. It is possible to see something of an anticipation of the very project of destruction in Kant’s critical philosophy. Kant came close to the problematic of temporality. in his own words: ‘this court is none other than the critique of pure reason itself’. Heidegger is not an Enlightenment philosopher. The mistake permeating the tradition of metaphysics. Kant likens the critique of reason by itself to the institution of ‘a court of justice’ wherein reason may secure its ‘rightful claims’ while at the same time dismissing all its ‘groundless pretensions’. Heidegger’s aims were ontological whereas Kant’s.2 Enlightenment generally is the release of humanity from its ‘self-imposed immaturity’ wherein individuals failed to employ their own understanding and allowed themselves to be directed by ‘another’. In his ‘An answer to the question: What is enlightenment?’ Kant reminds us that the motto of Enlightenment is ‘Have courage to make use of your own understanding!’. For Kant. was a conception of the object of knowledge as determined independently of the subject’s knowledge of it. The result of this fall is that Dasein is prevented from being ‘its own guide’ in both decision and inquiry. It is rather a critique of the faculty of reason generally and of the cognitions that reason may approach independently of experience. He did so not simply by attacking actual claims but by enquiring into the very source of metaphysics itself.76 Heidegger. To be sure. But the philosophy of Being and Time does share an affinity with Kant with regards to the ‘task of thought’. particularly with regards to the issue of noumena . the critique of pure reason puts up for decision the possibility or otherwise of metaphysics in general together with its source and ultimate extent. Heidegger sought to problematize the claims of metaphysics and ultimately the determination of being as permanent presence. For this reason. Kant wanted to know whether metaphysics was possible.3 This critique is not merely of ‘books and systems’. according to Kant. were broadly epistemological. Heidegger thought that in an important respect Kant’s philosophy anticipated his own fundamental ontology. Kant explicitly questioned the right of metaphysics to make the claims it made. One such juncture arose with the philosophy of Kant. Fundamental ontology is the metaphysics of Dasein. The self-imposed immaturity that Kant brings to our attention in his Enlightenment essay is paralleled in Heidegger when he contends that Dasein falls prey to the tradition. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being With respect to Kant. Heidegger will differ fundamentally.

transcendental idealism . How can the subject have any knowledge about a reality entirely estranged from its manner of knowing? It was precisely this kind of problem that confronted Descartes. the critique of pure reason is an enquiry effected by reason itself into its capacity to know objects. the sceptic maintains the presupposition of transcendental realism. a non-deceiving God. Reason must undergo an immanent critique in order to determine whether metaphysics. all genuine knowledge is limited to the sphere of immanence and is thus wholly based on sense experience. This guarantor was.Univocity and Phenomenological Philosophy 77 or immanence and attain a reality determined without reference to the knowing subject. for Descartes. Such a rationalistic philosophy can be called transcendent or transcendental realism. Rather than solving the problem of knowledge this position immediately prompts the further question: how do you know that God (another transcendent being) exists? We do not need to raise the question of whether or not Descartes did or not actually prove the existence of God since all that is required for doubt to be cast over the whole enterprise is that doubt concerning God persists. that the dogmatist’s claims to knowledge of mind-independent reality is undermined and at best all they could be justified in claiming knowledge of is appearances. namely. offers an account of the conditions under which objects can be known. such as God and the soul. Importantly. The first half of the first Critique supplies an account of cognition while the second half examines the claims of metaphysics. Such an inquiry demands that the conditions under which objects in general can be known be displayed. is at all possible. What is important is that Kant came to see philosophers engaged in such an enterprise as having only two options: either they can persist in claiming knowledge dogmatically or they will be forced down the path of scepticism or empiricism. that which has constantly resorted to either the extravagance of dogmatism or the non-philosophy of scepticism. The problem with such rationalism is that it renders the pursuit of knowledge vain. Not satisfied with either dogmatism or scepticism and unwilling to abandon metaphysics Kant resolved to abandon the presupposition of transcendent realism. Kant’s positive doctrine. As such. Since the aim of knowledge was mind-independent reality or things in themselves a guarantee was required which would ensure that the subjective representations in the mind of the subject actually corresponded to things as they actually are independent of the subject’s knowledge of them. which transcend sense experience. In and through transcendental idealism the Copernican . As such. The aim of knowledge is still unconditioned reality but the sceptic has come to see the sceptical outcome of this position.

4 As appearance or phenomenon the object of knowledge is knowable for a subject. Space and time are the forms of human intuition. Conceiving of the object of knowledge in this way means that it is conceived as being determined by the subject’s manner of representing what is empirically given to them. there are only the phenomena of phenomenology and thought is confined to – and must work out of – this sphere of immanence.78 Heidegger. there is nothing in Heidegger that corresponds to the noumenal world. Taken as thing in itself or noumenon it is not. We can know nothing of this noumenal world beyond the fact that it exists. Human experience is transcendentally conditioned to be in space and time. Now. It is the world of things considered independently of human experience. there remains a fundamental ‘transcendence’ in Kant’s thought. should be taken in a twofold sense as ‘appearance or as thing in itself’. transcendental realism creeps back into Kant’s philosophy. the object taken in a twofold sense. The phenomenal world is the world of human experience: the world of immanence. Now the object of experience. so Kant argues. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being revolution was carried out in philosophy and it is possible to read Heidegger’s own philosophy in Being and Time in a critical relation to that revolution. In this respect the notion of noumena represents the limits of the subject’s knowledge. With this. This is the world of noumena that is beyond the immanent world of conditioned experience. In this respect Heidegger sought to confine himself to an ‘immanent’ thought in Being and Time . Kant went on to distinguish between the phenomenal world and the noumenal world. Now. The issue of the ontological difference is one of the central points of reference in Heidegger’s . Whatever a human being experiences in the phenomenal world. for Heidegger. we have reached the fundamental problem of Kant’s thought. The object of knowledge is determined by the subject’s knowledge of it. that is. Kant proposes that we may go further in terms of the problems of metaphysics if we assume rather that objects must ‘conform to our cognition’ of them. With noumena. In sum. phenomena make up being and there is an ontological difference between being and beings. this experience will be in space and in time. despite his considerable debt to Kant. Ultimately. Previous metaphysics has assumed that knowledge must conform to objects. A subject can know phenomena but cannot know noumena. to a thought without any recourse (whether in a positive or a negative sense) to a ‘beyond’ or ‘transcendent’. Construed phenomenologically. The content of our knowledge is given to us precisely in the sense that it is not created by the mind. the noumenal world is the world of things in themselves. From this notion of the object.

Dasein is that being for whom its being is an issue and to whom an understanding of being belongs. Dasein is sensitive to the ontological difference: as well as being sensitive to things. Caputo has argued in Demythologizing Heidegger that the early turn from Catholicism to Protestantism coincides with a shift in Heidegger’s philosophical interests from questions of logic to questions of history and from pure (Husserlian) phenomenology to the hermeneutics of facticity. Univocity from 1916 to 1927 The Question of being was raised for Heidegger in an Aristotelianscholastic context as early as 1907 and his interest in this question was prompted by his reading of Brentano. The question of being is none other than the radicalization of the understanding of being that pertains to Dasein. Luther and Kierkegaard and it is evidenced in his philosophical text. what we might call. the fourth phase leading up to fundamental ontology. From 1917 until the early 1920s Heidegger’s thought moved into a free Protestant mystical phase and as Caputo reminds us. Heidegger went so far in 1921 to describe himself to Karl Löwith as a Christian theologian. It also coincides with his shift to the theology of the New Testament from his previous concern with dogmatic theology. The tradition. investigation has to be truly radical and work out of the things themselves as they show themselves. Heidegger’s categories of factical life. Dasein is sensitive to the meaningful relation which things can have for it. beginning with the Greeks and ending with Husserl. That is. In essence. care. Recall Van Buren’s division of Heidegger’s early engagement leading up to his philosophical maturity in his ‘The Earliest Heidegger’. temporality and historicity would be the same wherever they are found. This is the turn from Aristotelian-scholastic thinkers such as Aquinas and Scotus to Pascal.Univocity and Phenomenological Philosophy 79 critique of the tradition in terms of the forgetfulness of being. As Caputo has put it. interwove many themes. From 1914 until 1916 it was mystical and neo-neo-scholastic. forgot the difference between being and beings and co-ordinately they forgot Dasein. Failure to investigate in this manner amounts to a failure of investigation itself. From 1909 until 1913 Heidegger’s thought can be described as anti-modernist and neo-scholastic. The philosophical project that issued in Being and Time . . given Van Buren’s chronology. Being and Time emerged from a retrieval of Aristotle and the Nicomachean Ethics and New Testament life and led to a ‘ jewgreek’ philosophical unity. existence. instrumentality.

such univocal-theoretical foundations would serve to ground diverse manifestations of linguistic phenomena. The sense of univocal in play here is ‘un-equivocal’. Caputo puts this ahistoricist view of these factical categories down to Heidegger’s enthralment to Husserlian phenomenology. In this sense. However. Officially. in addition to this.’ of the ‘category of meaning. This real being is itself founded on God’s absolute being. there should be no dubiety about these foundations. in that text Heidegger forges an onto-logic of the categories. he says: It is incumbent on it to set forth the ultimate. 5 Heidegger is stating that in order to further proceed with an investigation of language that is formal and not. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being whether in polis or ekklesia . Such an aim is at once Husserlian and Neo-Kantian. of the ‘object intended in meaning. To return to the debate regarding univocity and analogy: Heidegger displays a categorial ahistoricism in the Scotus Book . and not set forth an example of a particular way to be. That is. theoretical foundations which lie at the basis of language. In fundamental ontology Heidegger attempted to define universal structures of factical life. as he says. conceptual rendering of ‘meaning in general’. there is no privileged way to be. Caputo argues that the goal of Being and Time was to formalize such factical structures and render them conceptualized formally and ontologically in such a way that they are ontologically neutral from the point of view of their instantiation in a particular context. It is precisely in these terms that Heidegger engages with the debate over univocity and analogy in that text. Without the univocal.80 Heidegger. univocity serves as a unifying term with regards to language in a similar way as I hold it does with regards to Heidegger’s later philosophy of being. from the perspective of fundamental ontology. categorial or otherwise. Regarding the philosophy of language. ideal conceptual framework by virtue of which intentional judgements access real being. That is. then sharp. In these terms. . psychological and historical. regarding them as a timeless. conceptual foundations have to be set forth. During his discussion of a philosophy of language he makes the point about the necessity of a univocal ground that underscores concrete divisions or manifestations of things. wherever it is manifest. the universal science that lays bare common and universal structures of the lifeworld. univocal.’ of the ‘relation of the forms of meaning’ there is no possibility of a certain path in the researches on language. There Heidegger clearly recognizes the Scotian point about univocity being on the side of the logical and analogy being on the side of the real. of existing Dasein.

Moving on from this early period of Heidegger’s thought to consider being. Along with Aristotle. The natural attitude is that attitude of consciousness whereby it is immersed in a world of things and persons and where the reality of the external world is naively accepted. univocity appears here. it is not one among the other predicates that define the essence of beings. that being is given in categorial intuition. as predicate. along with his view on the nature of being. Husserl had himself developed a twofold thesis concerning being in his Logical Investigations. For Husserl. in his later fundamental ontology. the ultimate aim of which was to found phenomenology as a strict science. the most decisive philosophical influence on the Heidegger of Being and Time was Husserl. Husserl recommends suspending this attitude in order to reflect in an unprejudiced manner on conscious life. Taminiaux conveniently summarizes the thesis on being of the Logical Investigations and Heidegger’s appropriation and conversion of it as follows. in connection with the notion of ‘object intended in meaning’. Attempting such an investigation entails awakening from the natural attitude which can be done by revealing the constituting activity of consciousness. In the natural attitude ‘things’ are taken to be independent and prior to consciousness and perception reveals the world as it is. the thesis that being is not a real predicate means that. that being is not a real predicate and in the second. The method of . univocity and analogy in fundamental ontology. In the first place. Husserl’s phenomenological project is further developed. It is in Ideas that Husserl introduces the notion of transcendental phenomenology. in the mystical neo-neo-scholastic phase.Univocity and Phenomenological Philosophy 81 Interestingly. in Ideas I. Pure phenomenology is transcendental phenomenology. by reference to intentionality. The insight that being is given in categorial intuition was taken over by Heidegger and converted into the thesis that the human being has in its factical life an understanding of being and understands or interprets itself with regard to being. It is in just such terms that Heidegger will define univocity. against Kant. Heidegger’s use of this thesis amounted to a statement of the ontico-ontological difference or ontological difference between beings and being: being is in no sense a being. Heidegger regarded Husserl’s work as the summation of the tradition of philosophy from Plato which fell into a metaphysics of presence. His aim was to lay bare a pure phenomenology as a basic science fundamental to philosophy. the work that Heidegger regarded as the breakthrough to and ‘basic text’ of the new method of phenomenological research. as with Kant. Husserl held with Kant.

A further consequence of the epoché is that the personal and cultural prejudices of the inquirer are neutralized and they are rendered a pure ego set apart from all historical limitation. Husserl shared with empiricists the general principle that philosophical clarification of anything whatsoever entails tracking it to the experience in which it is encountered directly. Such variation reveals the invariant structure or essence of an object. It is empirical in that once the universal has been identified it can itself be made the object of scientific judgement.82 Heidegger. It is not things. what is essential to the act is the meaning that . Consciousness is the origin of these objectivities. such as any particular material object. Bracketing allows consciousness to attend to its objects as meant or as meanings. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being transcendental phenomenology is a first person reflection on consciousness. The eidetic reduction allows the inquirer to intuit essences. In Husserl’s view. Husserl’s conviction is that consciousness constitutes the meaning or sense which is bestowed upon what is given in perception. The intuition of an essence occurs when empirical universals are submitted to ‘free’ or ‘imaginative variation’. Husserl’s method of extricating oneself from this attitude involves two reductions: the eidetic reduction and the phenomenological or transcendental reduction . and science aims to specify completely the characteristics of empirical universals. It is by virtue of consciousness’s constituting activity that we can talk about an objective world in the first place and so become immersed in the natural attitude. Intentionality was. science can never fully achieve this goal since it is impossible that a truly comprehensive determination of an empirical concept be reached. Given that the object of an act may not exist what is essential to the act cannot be the existence of the object. Consciousness is intentional: consciousness is always consciousness of something. a three termed structure: act → meaning → object. In such a pure state. It is rather meanings: the very notion of ‘material object’ as such. As such. By virtue of the epoché all conscious acts are taken on the same plane and can be investigated as to their differences from each other. Empirical universals are apparent in judgements which identify particulars as members of a category. Such an intuition of essences is distinguished from any possible grasp of empirical universals. phenomenological inquiry attends to the correlation between the intention (noesis or cogitatio) and object as intended (noema or cogitatum qua cogitatum). The epoché or phenomenological reduction suspends or brackets all claims about empirical reality outside consciousness. This epoché provides for phenomenological description. for Husserl. the ego gains access to universal structures of consciousness. Rather. which are constituted by consciousness.

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it has necessarily as its correlate. As such, existence (both of the object and of the world taken as the totality of objects) can be put in parenthesis leaving the essential structures of consciousness as the field for enquiry. Such a method displays consciousness in its constituting activity of articulating and structuring the world. Since consciousness is intentional, any adequate account of it must also consider its objects with regard to ‘how’ they are intended. Phenomenology has to take account of all possible modes of objectivity for consciousness. Phenomenology gives an account of the different ontological regions of being, such as the human world and the physical world, with regard to ‘how’ they are experienced, through perception or imagination for example. Transcendental phenomenology was intended to resolve all philosophical problems and ground philosophy as a rigorous science. It was Husserl’s view that through the study of consciousness there could be derived a secure foundation for the other sciences. Phenomenology is not just subjective idealism, by virtue of intentionality, but it is a variety of transcendental idealism: all reality is to be taken in terms of the meaning which it has for consciousness. The world is not reducible to the consciousness we have of it (it transcends our consciousness) but consciousness bestows meaning on the world and phenomenology is concerned to analyse how that bestowal of meaning happens. The objective world that is there for us is ultimately the accomplishment of consciousness. Consciousness or the pure ego is considered to be transcendental when it is regarded in its meaning giving relation to the transcendent world. In this sense Husserl’s thought is ultimately a species of transcendental idealism. Consciousness remains the phenomenological residuum , a unique region of being and domain of the novel science of phenomenology; it is of an order of being radically different from extra-mental reality: The realm of transcendental consciousness as the realm of . . . ‘absolute’ being, has been provided us by the phenomenological reduction. It is the primal category of all being . . . the one in which all other regions of being are rooted, to which, according to their essence , they are relative and on which they are therefore all essentially dependent.6 Here we can readily see why Deleuze points out in Difference and Repetition that some readers of Husserl have found in him distinct Thomist echoes. For Husserl, consciousness is absolute being. For Aquinas, absolute being is God. Husserl is not a Thomist. Nevertheless, an echo of a traditional system can be heard in the phenomenological project. In phenomenology,

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it is transcendental consciousness which is attained by the process of bracketing. Individual being along with the empirical self and the empirical world are put in abeyance. As absolute being, transcendental consciousness depends upon nothing beyond itself for its existence and all other regions of being are phenomenologically rooted and phenomenologically dependent upon absolute being or consciousness. Consciousness is immanent being and all that is outside consciousness is transcendent being. The Thomistic echo in Husserl’s thought is this: in phenomenology there is one primary constituting and necessary region of being to which all others are related and on which they are dependent. This is an echo of the traditional doctrine of participation and from here, a phenomenological interpretation of the doctrine of the analogy of being is possible, constituting a further traditional echo in the Husserlian project.7 Though the concept of being refers to many different things it does not do so equivocally. Rather, it refers to its many things with reference to some primary analogon , in a primary sense to which all other uses of the term are analogous. For Aristotle, the primary term to which all others were analogous was ousia . For Aquinas, it was existence, ipsum esse . As encountered phenomenologically, the various orders or regions of being can be read as united in terms of a unity of analogy to the primary region of consciousness. And, when that consciousness is described in the terms Husserl describes it, as necessary and constituting and so on, one can hear the echo of Thomism. It is in his lecture course History of the Concept of Time that Heidegger deals most explicitly with Husserl. In this lecture course Heidegger is still keen to portray himself as a ‘learner’ or beginner when it comes to Husserl. Beginner he may be, nonetheless, his critique of Husserl serves to bring out much of the project of Being and Time and of my own specific problematic. As is to be expected, Heidegger’s critique revolves around the problem of being and it is in this text that he points out that the traditional realms of being are distinguished into temporal, supratemporal and extratemporal being. This is true of the entire tradition from Plato to Husserl. In the tradition, being has itself been reduced to something present and beings have been understood in terms of an analogy to this present being. To date, phenomenology itself operates in ‘fundamental neglect’ of Heidegger’s question of being and the question of Dasein and the more mature text Being and Time will be concerned to overcome this neglect. Heidegger’s concern in History of the Concept of Time is with determining how the newly realized ‘scientific domain’ of phenomenology arises from what is given in the natural attitude. The scientific domain of phenomenology is the region of lived experience, of ‘pure consciousness’ together

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with its correlates. It is the domain of the pure ego, of absolute being. In anticipation of the method of starting with Dasein as immersed in its world, Heidegger proposes to start with the ‘consciousness’ and its mental processes as they are given in the natural attitude. After all, as being-inthe-world, Dasein cannot be sensibly removed from the world, either by epoché, or some other method. On Husserl’s account, the subject or human self is ‘given’ in the natural attitude. This subject performs mental acts (cogitationes) and the totality of such acts is an individual stream of ‘lived experiences’. Reflection is the self-directedness of oneself toward one’s own individual stream of lived experiences. The distinction of consciousness is intentionality. By virtue of intentionality, the transcendent world is, in a certain respect, there in lived experience. That the apprehended object is there in the apprehension is called immanence. Consciousness is always concretized in a particular really existing being. Nonetheless, consciousness is distinct from the world: there are two distinct spheres of being, immanence (consciousness) and transcendence (world). This separation into two distinct spheres of being is remarkable because it is the sphere of lived experience or immanence which establishes the possibility within which the transcendent world that is radically other than it can itself become objective in the first place. The performance of the epoché and eidetic reduction allow a non-individual pure field of consciousness to come into view as opposed to the field of a particular consciousness. The sphere of transcendence is distinct from the sphere of immanence. Nonetheless, everything that can be called objective in immanent experience has the same mode of being as the sphere of immanence. As Heidegger reminds us, this means that the object of immanent perception is absolutely given. The sphere of immanence is distinguished by its absolute givenness. As absolutely given, pure consciousness, reached by means of the reductions, is for Husserl, the sphere of absolute being. This sphere of absolute being is in no way affected by the contingency of the transcendent world. With this position, Heidegger contends, phenomenological reflection has reached its apotheosis.

Cartesian Connections and the Medieval Ontology
At this stage Heidegger directs our attention to the kinship of Husserl’s thought with that of Descartes and suggests that the field of pure consciousness is that field which Descartes construed as res cogitans.8 The

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transcendent world is the res extensa . This is important since division two of part two of Being and Time was intended to discuss the carrying over of the medieval ontology into the problematic of the res cogitans in Descartes. The medieval ontology itself was characterized implicitly in terms of the debate between analogy and univocity. This is significant. We shall see in what follows just how ‘traditional’ this debate is. From his exposition Heidegger moves to a critique. The two regions of being which Husserl posits are distinct. However, Heidegger asks, does Husserl inquire into the being of consciousness? What does absolute being mean? Does phenomenology inquire into the meaning of being? Heidegger summarizes Husserl’s position as follows: Consciousness is 1) immanent being ; 2) the immanent is the absolutely given being. This absolute givenness is also called absolute being pure and simple. 3) This being, understood as absolute givenness, is also absolute in the sense that . . . ‘it needs no res in order to be.’ . . . 4) Absolute being in these two significations – absolutely given and needing no reality – is pure being, in the sense of being the essence, the ideal being of lived experiences.9 It will prove crucial that Husserl employs the traditional determination of substance in relation to consciousness here. Consciousness, immanent and absolute, constitutes each and every possible being. All transcendent being ‘is’ only by virtue of its relation to consciousness. Consciousness, understood this way, is the first being. And as Heidegger reminds us, this first being is possessed of an advantage: it does not need reality. Quite the opposite, it is reality that stands in need of the first being. Consciousness is absolute when compared to any other being or region of being. In fact, in constituting itself, consciousness constitutes any possible reality other than it. This is the heart of the matter. Both Cartesian and Thomist threads in Heidegger’s interpretation of Husserl’s position are clear. On its own the Cartesian thread is damaging enough for a presuppositionless science since it is Heidegger’s view that when Descartes asks after the being of a being he is asking about, in the manner of the tradition, substance. Substance in the tradition stood for the most ‘primary kind of being’. Of entities distinct from God in a creationist context it designated that the entity needed nothing besides God for the continuation of its existence. Heidegger holds that Descartes follows the scholastics in expression, concept and subject matter. Because of this, he follows the ‘basically Greek’ configuration of

Heidegger notes that the analogy of being was first formulated by Aristotle and that this formulation constituted his advance over the Platonic conception of being and he concludes that Descartes is left behind by the insights of the scholastic middle ages.Univocity and Phenomenological Philosophy 87 the question of beings. It is Heidegger’s view that in dealing with these issues ontologically Descartes is always at a distance behind the Schoolmen. When Descartes states that the concept of being is not used univocally Heidegger contends that this is an evasion of the issue and amounts to his failure to put in question the meaning of being which the notion of substance embraces. Creator and created are considered alike qua beings. The concept of being is not. has such a wide sense that its meaning ranges over an ‘infinite difference’. . which Descartes does not mention. creatures can also be called substances even though there is an infinite difference between their being as created and God’s being as Creator. univocal. As such. It is in this context in both History of the Concept of Time and in Being and Time that the notions of analogy and univocity are discussed. If ‘is’ were univocal then creature could be viewed as of the same manner of being as Creator and the uncreated would be reduced to the manner of being of something created. The context of these remarks is Heidegger’s discussion of how the phenomenon of the worldhood of the world has been passed over by the tradition of philosophy. The ontological concept of God as the most perfect being (ens perfectissimum) indicates that God most exemplifies what it is to be a substance. However. As Heidegger defines univocity. a concept is univocal if what it intends (its meaning content) is intended in the same sense across all its intentions. In the former text the concept of substance is determined as ‘extantness’ or ‘being on hand’ in that it is in need of no other being. This is why Heidegger was concerned to devote a division in the second part of Being and Time to a discussion of the medieval ontology and its carrying over by Descartes. The term ‘being’ can still be applied to both in the terminology employed by the scholastics. Owing to the infinite difference in being which Descartes ascribes to God and creatures the concept of being is not used univocally but analogously. albeit in a distinct context and thus in a limited way. The non-univocity of the concept of being in this context is due to the infinite difference in being between creature and Creator. it is the same concept of being that is used in reference to both God and creatures: being as substance. The concept of being. Descartes does not face the problem of the kind of universality which this signification has. as it is used here. however.

In the modern epoch. it constitutes a continuation of a concept of being as substance together with the concept of analogy. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being Substance means being ‘on hand’ or permanent presence-to-hand. This is the nub of the issue and constitutes the ultimate failure of the tradition. In Heidegger’s view. In Aquinas’s philosophy. God has ontological priority over his creation. subjectivity has priority over objectivity. Husserl’s position fares little better: his determination of being is. the subject displaces God. The concept of being remains Aristotelian-Thomistic. survive the utter annihilation of all being other than themselves. Husserl is moved not by the question of the being of consciousness but by the question of exactly how consciousness can become the . Dasein. Taking all beings in this way prevents Descartes from bringing the manner of Dasein’s ‘way of behaving’ into view. The being of any thing is not its mere presence-to-hand. absolute being. For the Thomist. Descartes construes the being of God. an echo can be heard of a broadly Thomist metaphysic. God (in Aquinas) and consciousness (in Husserl) could. But not only does the limitation of being to presence-at-hand disallow the thematization of Dasein qua existence: it also bars the way to an adequate determination of the being of any being and to the meaning of being. In their own distinct way and for their distinct objects.88 Heidegger. Being itself means the meaningful relatedness which things can have for Dasein. the kind of being which simply is. for Husserl and for Descartes. The tradition has completely passed over the worldhood of the world as it is composed of the totality of these relations of significance or readiness-to-hand. not original. Descartes’s position is traditional. Heidegger argues that what is in question here is the being of the detached structure of intentionality and not of the being that has this structure. as with Aquinas. the situated being-there. is nowhere to be seen in Husserl’s analysis.10 With Husserl. absolute being constitutes reality and reality is wholly dependent on it. Indeed. In other words. the res extensa and the res cogitans as being ‘on hand’. The terms ‘world’ and ‘being’ are correlative for Heidegger: being is the meaningful relatedness which things can have for Dasein and world is the totality of these meaningful relations and both being and world are relative to Dasein. it is its use or readiness-to-hand for Dasein as that is determined by the holistic field of significance relations or world wherein Dasein dwells. Ontologically. after all. the four determinations of consciousness drawn by Husserl do not arise out of ‘the entity itself’ and amount to obstacles to getting to grips with the being of Dasein. in principle. In Husserl. Consciousness is pure in so far as it is regarded in contradistinction from its concrete individuation. God provides for the being of creatures as consciousness provides for the being of that which is other than it. is God.

Dasein with its pre-theoretical understanding of being is completely passed over. Husserl has passed over Dasein. Husserl did not pose the question of being in an original way and was ultimately pulled under by the tide of the tradition. to be the object of a science: being means being true. out of the matters themselves. overlooked by the tradition and it is the turn of the tide out of the tradition of Western philosophy that Heidegger will ultimately seek to ride. is in fact dogged by presuppositions. the true locus of intentionality and meaning constitution. Heidegger’s critique focuses upon the fact that none of the determinations of consciousness that Husserl offers are original and what is more. they are not derived from consciousness itself. as a thing that has comportments added onto it and not as that being who’s comportments are constitutive of its very being. Husserl manages to construct Dasein’s being as ‘on hand’. for a scientific manner of knowing. Dasein.Univocity and Phenomenological Philosophy 89 object of absolute science. The question of the meaning of being and the issue of the being of the questioner remain. ‘To be’ means. This however. Univocity and the Question of Analogy Recall. It is derived from a traditional concept of the philosophical project itself. it is possible to . Husserl does not work out of the matters themselves and as such he falls back into tradition. by not putting Dasein in question and by treating the concrete as something to be bracketed. Husserl’s failure is the failure of the tradition. being for Husserl is articulated into two radically different orders or spheres: immanence and transcendence. Whereas Husserl identified intentionality with pure consciousness Heidegger found it rooted in the temporal structure of practically engaged Dasein. for Husserl. Despite this. It turns out that Husserl’s phenomenology. Further. is not an original problematic. the presuppositionless science. Dasein is not put in question. So the problem with Husserl for Heidegger is that the laying out of pure consciousness as the field of phenomenology is not derived phenomenologically. so far as Heidegger is concerned. Both the lack of originality of the determinations of being Husserl puts forward and the lack of determination of Dasein result in a philosophy where the question of being is left undiscussed. It is the problem that has occupied philosophy since Descartes. and that is. Behind all of Husserl’s inquiries there lies the presupposition of the definition of the human as animal rationale . Husserl remains in the grasp of the theoretical. the practical agent.

the tradition that stretches from Aristotle to Aquinas to Descartes to Husserl. analogy leads to ontotheology. Now the being of the questioner is fundamentally important in a way that it was not quite yet in his early engagement. as such. As such. Further.90 Heidegger. To return to the problematic of univocity and analogy: I am now in a position to draw some provisional conclusions. Such a formal investigation would have no need to put the being of the questioner in question and as such would be absolutely unacceptable to Heidegger whose question of being is none other than the radicalization of the pre-theoretical understanding of being possessed by Dasein. The concepts ‘being’ and ‘to be’ are formal notions and on Husserl’s view the question of the meaning of being would be a matter of formal logical ontology. Now. It is that being who has projects and plans and is immersed in a culture and a world with a shared history and set of hand-me-down self-understandings or self-interpretations. that being in possession of an understanding of being – it is not an entity in the traditional sense. section thirteen. This can be understood in terms of his notion of a formal ontology and can be extrapolated from his Ideas I. . as Heidegger says. fail to take note of the ontological difference: being is not a being nor a class of beings. Dasein is the practically engaged agent: it is that being for whom its being is an issue. be it God or the subject qua consciousness. Thus. Phenomenology begins with a theory of objectivity and formal ontology is eidetic science of ‘any object whatsoever’. Heidegger has moved decisively away from the early onto-logic of the categories of being that he presented in the Scotus Book . although Dasein is without question privileged for Heidegger – it is. is this: the tradition associated with analogy. ultimately fails to raise the question of being in a way that would satisfy Heidegger. there is a tendency in the tradition to consider one entity as privileged over other entities. The first. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being draw out a unified sense of being in Husserl’s philosophy. a stringent aporia in which past thinkers have become caught up. Such thinkers variously confuse being with a being. with that which remains constantly present through change and. Dasein is every one of us. and perhaps most important. Dasein’s being is ‘in each case mine’. Dasein is privileged but Dasein is not God nor a ‘subject’ in the Cartesian sense. Its privilege may however be regarded as part of the vestiges of the tradition that Heidegger had not yet overcome in Being and Time . Formal ontology contains all material or regional ontologies within its determining theoretical framework: formal ontology determines the structure of regional ontologies. formal ontology is wholly a priori. after all. Analogy is. Dasein is always a ‘who’ and never a what.

Dasein is privileged. Univocity has always been conceptualized alongside analogy: it is its logical presupposition. There may be an analogy of being between these regions. This univocal sense of being is time and the point about univocity is a logical one. but in order to be so related there must be a concept distinct from and univocal to these regions. . in the manner of the tradition. To argue for the univocity of being as a logical presupposition of Heidegger’s philosophy is to point out that Dasein’s temporality is the transcendental horizon of being.Univocity and Phenomenological Philosophy 91 Given that there is a privileged entity for Heidegger how can we sensibly talk about his philosophy in terms of univocity? Quite simply. being is ultimately bound up with Dasein’s temporal nature. As his thought matured analogy came to be viewed with such scorn by him. while there is a definite sense in which Sheehan and Taminiaux are correct and that Heidegger was concerned with a unified meaning of being and that this unified meaning was a matter of unity of analogy there remains a sense in which being for Heidegger is univocal. There is good evidence that Heidegger engaged in a reappropriation of analogy in the period of Being and Time . It is also well known that the shift of orientation that occurred in Heidegger’s thought in the 1930s involved a further move away from metaphysics and involved a decentring of Dasein. as Dasein is at the centre of Heidegger’s ontological universe and ‘to be’ is to be understood by Dasein. as noted. Heidegger’s concern with reappropriating analogy will eventually come to be seen by him to be bound up with a fateful error. Clearly. This error is part of the reason why Heidegger eventually changed his orientation away from his position in Being and Time . The issue over the analogical interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy is whether or not I am entitled to note in this comment on analogy a hint of self-criticism. as a stringent aporia. The so-called later Heidegger’s reorientation to being over Dasein is credited with being the final surpassing of the remnants of the metaphysical tradition. that by the time he delivered his lectures on Aristotle in 1931 he could refer to it. Scotus outlined such a univocal concept of being that was neither finite nor infinite but which could function as the term that links the finite and infinite because of their both being opposed to nothingness. there is his discussion of animals and objects in his Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics. mostly because of its ontotheological orientation. Ultimately. As witness. in the period of Being and Time . not a metaphysical one. time has the ontological function of differentiating diverse regions of being. As Heidegger says in Being and Time .

Dasein makes such a projection into the future on the basis of its existing self-understanding and understanding of its world. As he says in the preface to the seventh German edition it is necessary in order to stir ‘our’ Dasein into being concerned with the being question. Projection involves Dasein in a projection into an anticipated future that is the aim of its activities.92 Heidegger. analogy presupposes univocity. along with Dasein’s own self-interpretation. I would qualify this and say that although Heidegger did engage in this reappropriation he did so on the logical basis of a univocal conception of being in terms of time. Dasein’s projection is bound to the present since it is ‘in’ the world of its general concern. he came to see not only the language of metaphysics and the transcendental . It is my view that the issue of analogy and univocity opens a further dimension to the narrative of Heidegger’s philosophical development and it also indicates why analogy became the object of such scorn for Heidegger. then his later thought can be seen as putting this earlier project in its proper place. Time is the horizon for all understanding of being. Things. Dasein’s ‘self’ and its projects are ‘always already’ understood in terms of the past. From a logical point of view. He does understand animals and material objects in terms of a discrete analogy to Dasein. As Heidegger moved further away from the metaphysical tradition. That is. This is Dasein’s temporal nature and all that is encountered by Dasein is understood in terms of temporality. Nonetheless. the structure of Dasein’s being-in-the-world must be interpreted in terms of temporality. It is for this reason that being is univocal. an essential aspect of this engagement and involvement in the world is that things encountered there are encountered as part of Dasein’s project(ion) of itself: ultimately. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being If Heidegger’s thought in Being and Time can be read as transcendental anthropocentrism. Temporality is. is understood in terms of possibilities within this projection. The early Heidegger was concerned with a reappropriation of aspects of the tradition. have meaning and therefore have their being only by virtue of their involvement in this projection. projection is conditioned by the past that Dasein still is. It is the notion of ‘care’ (Sorge) that provides for all of Dasein’s involvements in the world. Dasein projects itself into the world and everything encountered in the world. The path taken in Being and Time remained a necessary one. including the diverse regions of being encountered in ontology and metaphysics. Further. the transcendental condition of Dasein ‘being in’ a meaningful universe of beings. including elements of the thesis of analogy. as Frede suggests. as Frede has put the point.

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orientation of Being and Time as problems to be gone beyond but also, in my view, the reappropriation of the thesis of analogy itself. Essentially, the thesis of analogy is bound up with a metaphysical mode of thought. Analogy tends towards a thinking that metaphysically privileges a particular being over other particular beings. It tends towards a thinking that considers one particular being to be the ground of all others. It intimates a thinking that tends to reduce being to a being and understand being in terms of a particular region of beings. Analogy is on the side of beingness and ontotheology. Given this, it is no surprise that Heidegger came to see analogy as a problem to be gone beyond, a problem not only pertinent to other thinkers, but also to his own thinking.

Chapter 4

Univocity and Fundamental Ontology

Husserl and Heidegger
One epistemological consequence of Heidegger’s ontological project was the possibility of providing a foundation for the ontologies that would in turn ground the ontical sciences. The metaphysical supposition that such a project is founded upon is the view of the regionality of being. Particular sciences are grounded upon particular regional ontologies which are in turn founded upon transcendental ‘first philosophy’. Heidegger held a version of this metaphysical view that he inherited from Husserl although he is damningly critical of Husserl’s conception of it. Husserl’s phenomenological problematic is partly the Cartesian epistemological foundationalist program of putting knowledge on secure foundations and partly the Kantian transcendental project of answering the question of how knowledge is possible in the first place. In order to engage in phenomenological research it is necessary, from Husserl’s point of view, to ‘bracket’ or suspend all claims about empirical reality outside consciousness. This epoché of beings to the appearance of beings in consciousness provides for phenomenological description. Phenomenology was, for Husserl, the study of what appears in consciousness. He held that only by studying consciousness could there be derived a secure foundation for the various sciences. Husserl is also concerned with traditional operations of the mind and with its intentional objects, the objects to which the mind is directed, such as desks and computers and non-real objects like the Devil and superman. He is also concerned with the question of how something like a constant world can emerge from the flux of human experience. Ultimately, the world is there for consciousness by virtue of the operations of synthesis and its constituent modes of retention and protention. The experience of objects in, for example, perception is by no means a simple business; I am on my way into my study and expect to see my desk

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there. When I perceive the desk my expectation that I would perceive it is fulfilled; but I have not perceived the entire desk, only an aspect of it from a certain perspective. As I attempt to use the desk in work further expectations become fulfilled and I see further aspects of it that are related to the other aspects. These aspects become synthesized into the notion of a single object, the desk. Such synthesis consists in retaining certain aspects of the object that have been seen and protaining certain aspects that have not as yet been seen. It is the ego which performs such acts of synthesis. In so doing, the ego is constantly aware of itself as persisting through its different acts and experiences. Husserl shows how empirical objects turn out to be transcendentally constituted by consciousness. The objective world that is available to us is ultimately an accomplishment of consciousness. The condition of possibility for consciousness itself is the pure or transcendental ego. Thus, Husserl’s thought ultimately led him to forge the position he called, in the wake of Kant, transcendental idealism. In Ideas I Husserl argues that consciousness has its own manner of being that is not ‘touched’ by phenomenological reduction. To that extent, he calls it the phenomenological residuum: a region of being that is unique and is the subject of the novel science of phenomenology. In the last chapter we saw how Husserl understands consciousness to be of a radically different order of being from, for example, the class of all natural objects. We also explored Heidegger’s criticisms of Husserl’s view in his lecture course History of the Concept of Time. Classes of being are different regions of being that are ontologically distinct and there should be as many sets of categories as there are regions of being.1 As Philipse has noted, Husserl assumes that the entirety of being is divided up into distinct ontological regions. The being of the entities that fall within the various ontological regions ultimately consists in their being constituted by consciousness. Husserl conceived of this process as a kind of interpretive activity of the transcendental ego operating on its sensations. The outcome of this process is that the empirical world as constituted is ontologically dependent upon the transcendental ego. Ultimately, being is articulated into two radically different orders: the being of the transcendental ego which is ontologically independent, and the being of beings which are ontologically dependant upon the transcendental ego. We also saw in the last chapter how this view is bound up with an echo of traditional metaphysics and how this became a source of criticism for Heidegger. Heidegger’s method of destruction and retrieval, if carried out with enough care and attention, should rule out taking over presuppositions unthinkingly from the tradition of philosophy.

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Husserl’s position does imply a conception of a unitary meaning of being. This can be drawn out from section thirteen of Ideas I, Generalization and Formalization, and consists in his notion of a formal ontology. Husserl maintains a distinction between regional and formal ontology that is founded upon his distinction between generalizing and formalizing. For Husserl, generalizing is the process by which ever more general concepts or categories are found under which individual particular things may be subsumed. An example would be, starting with the concept of ‘guitar’ I, by a process of generalizing, end up with the concept ‘musical instrument’. This most general concept (musical instrument) is known as the highest material genus. Once arrived at, the highest material genus establishes a region of being and particular regional ontologies are deployed in setting out the specific ontological structure of such a region. The region’s structure is determined by the various material categories contained therein. In contradistinction to this, formalizing is operative in the domains of mathematics and mathematical or formal logic. This is an important distinction. The process of formalizing is operative when variables take the place of material expressions. The bounds of these variables are set by formal categories and such categories of formal ontology are called by Husserl, eidetic singularities. These have their highest genus in the essence ‘any category whatever of formal ontology’.2 Such formal categories include traditional concepts such as property, relation, entity and predicate and so on. In this context, Husserl distinguishes apophantic logic from formal ontology. Apophantic logic makes statements only about significations and is part of comprehensive formal logic. Formal disciplines that deal with significations or propositions and the constituents of propositions are designated by the term apophantic logic. The formal disciplines that deal with beings or entities and the constituents of entities, their relations and kinds are designated by the term formal ontology. Husserl argues that we must not mistake the operations of formalization for a kind of generalization by taking the notion of a generic entity, any individual particular thing, as an instance of a ‘highest material category’. For Husserl the concepts of being and ‘to be’ would be included in the category of formal notions, and would be excluded from the domain of the material and in so far as the question of being aims at a unitary meaning of being and not a purely regional meaning, the question of being belongs in the domain of formal ontology and to the domain of formal logic. The unitary meaning of being will be essentially formal. This is unacceptable to Heidegger. Given the Cartesian and Kantian threads that run through Husserl’s position it is possible to read his philosophy as, amongst other things, a solution

philosophers who attempt an answer to this question – how do human beings know that the world they perceive ‘out there’ exists? – take the human subject to be something radically distinct from the world. would be accepted by even global sceptics. the existence of which cannot itself be doubted intelligibly. transcendental arguments show that the sceptic’s position is inconsistent because they deny the necessary condition for what they accept. Such philosophers take the human subject to be a ‘self’ that gazes on the world from a distance. Typically. is the primary concern of philosophy. which ultimately grounds both its existence and the existence of consciousness. It is not difficult to interpret Husserl in such an epistemological way. Traditionally conceived transcendental arguments are a species of modus ponens (P → Q. Typically. and so cannot be sure that it exists. If Husserl’s position is secure then it would make no sense to doubt the existence of the external world since the world is ultimately dependant upon the transcendental ego. on this reading. the first premise is intended to show that there is a necessary condition ‘Q’ which must prevail in order for the second premise to obtain. He holds that the transcendental ego is something radically distinct from the world. it is held. P ๵ Q) in which the second premise makes an assertion. the transcendental ego would be the necessary condition for the existence of experience and in turn for the existence of the external world. ‘P’ ‘I have experience’. I may be being deceived about the existence of the world as I perceive it by an evil demon (Descartes) or by an overzealous scientist who stimulates and tricks my brain into believing that I am embodied and existing in an objectively real world (contemporary epistemology).Univocity and Fundamental Ontology 97 to the problem of the existence of the external world. Reading Husserl in such a way. Given that the sceptic will accept the second trivial premise they are forced to accept the first premise that states the existence of the necessary condition: the conclusion that follows from the two premises is then immune to scepticism. for such thinkers. In relation to this. Epistemology. This fundamental misconception is precisely the source of the impetus for attempts to prove the existence . which. such as. This is so because it is based on a fundamental misconception of the nature of the self and of the self’s relation to the world. This interpretation of Husserl as an epistemologist gives an insight into why Heidegger rejected Husserl’s transcendental idealism. The reason that the transcendental ego cannot be doubted intelligibly by even a global sceptic is because transcendental philosophy implies a special kind of argument that if successful renders their conclusions immune to scepticism.

A further reason Heidegger has for rejecting Husserl’s position is his answer to the question of the meaning of being: that it is purely formal and belongs in the domain of logic. Dasein is something that has to be accomplished. Phenomenology. This is what Heidegger calls Dasein’s ontical distinction. so far as Heidegger is concerned. Rather. Dasein is not just another entity that occurs amongst other entities in the world. as far as Heidegger is concerned. Dasein is. in the second place. Heidegger uses the term Dasein to express the peculiar way of being of the practically engaged agent. Dasein is that being who’s being is an issue for it. in its very being. Eventually Heidegger came to see Husserl’s philosophy as the apotheosis of the metaphysics of presence and the rejection of his position constitutes a source for Heidegger’s insistence on reawakening the question of being. Dasein’s essence cannot be cited by a ‘what’. in the first place. properly casts the relationship of agency and world. explicitly aware of its peculiar way of being and this fact distinguishes Dasein from all other entities. for Heidegger. into a past and into a present situation. The true ‘scandal of philosophy’ is. Dasein always comports itself towards existence and Dasein transcends itself by standing out into a future. Rather than speak of selves Heidegger uses the term Dasein. Dasein’s essence lies in the fact that it has its being to be as its own. However. It implies that Dasein. This term can be applied to any human subject in fundamental ontology. is the method of philosophy construed as ontology.98 Heidegger. For Heidegger ‘the self’ that emerges in the philosophical tradition is a construction and a mistake. Through its existence its way of being is disclosed to it. is not something that could be bracketed in the Husserlian sense. Dasein is distinct from all other entities. This ontical distinction is a constitutive state of Dasein’s being. Dasein is not a ‘what’ but a ‘who’. construing that this self is somehow only externally related to the world. Rather than being a ‘self’ in this ontologically distinct sense ‘selfhood’ for Heidegger is something that is founded in care or ‘coping’ (Sorge). Being. Indeed. Rather than speak of selves Heidegger will speak of Dasein and Dasein’s being is being-in-the-world. for Heidegger. that there is a ‘thing like self’ and. . Conceiving of a self as something over and above the world completely bypasses the care structure which. in some sense. has a relationship to its own being. that such proofs are attempted over and over again in the history of philosophy. Heidegger also rejects Husserl’s position because of his views on the nature and purpose of phenomenology itself. Husserl misconceives the self by taking. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being of the external world in the first place.

is care (Sorge). The question of existence is never rendered explicit except through existing. By doing this Heidegger arrives at the constitution of existence. Dasein is in such a way that it possesses an understanding of being. This priority amounts to Dasein being the ontico-ontological condition of any ontologies whatsoever. the conception of a ‘thinglike’ self that emerges in the tradition and that is of a radically distinct order of being from the world is unacceptable to Heidegger. The understanding Dasein has of being is a constitutive characteristic of Dasein’s way of being. Fundamental ontology serves as the foundation for all other possible ontologies and must be located in an ‘existential analytic’ of Dasein. . Dasein means ‘being-there’. This understanding does not require that the ontological structure of existence is transparent theoretically. There is never a subject without a world and there is no world (as a totality of involvements and relations) without Dasein. Dasein cannot be usefully abstracted from its world. Dasein’s basic state is being-in-the-world and the hyphenation of this is intended to stress that ‘being’. This question is an ontical matter for Dasein. the set of structures he calls ‘existentiality’. Existence is the determining character of Dasein and in order for the analytic of this entity to be carried out requires that existentiality has been considered. Its ontical priority lies in the fact that its being is existence and its ontological priority lies in the fact that Dasein ‘is’ ontological. The explicit question of existence aims at rendering the structure of existence theoretically transparent. both ontically and ontologically. the essential structures of which are focussed in disclosedness. Dasein has priority over all other entities. ‘in’ and ‘world’ cannot be ontologically separated. Dasein is privileged because of its possession of an understanding of the being of all other entities that are distinct from it. Heidegger’s notion of being-in-theworld is the fully worked out consequence of Husserl’s notion of intentional consciousness. it is essentially in it. Dasein’s being is essentially being-in-the-world and the understanding of being that belongs essentially to Dasein also holds true of Dasein’s understanding of the world and to the entities that become accessible in it. Dasein is the entity which in its being comports itself towards the subject matter of the question of the meaning of being. It means that Dasein is distinguished ontically in that it is ontological.Univocity and Fundamental Ontology 99 Every Dasein has an existentiell understanding of itself that it has by virtue of its own project of existing. While Dasein is distinct from all other entities. The primary ontology is fundamental ontology. The totality of being-in-the-world. This understanding is constitutive of its understanding of existence.

In fact. This has been the mistake of the tradition beginning with Aristotle and ultimately ending with Husserl. It is also after such a breakdown in our pragmatic coping with the world that the scientific description of the world becomes appropriate. properly understood. in the face of a more ‘originary questioning’. which are. Heidegger’s account of Dasein is an essential part of his response to what he considered the failure of the tradition. The notion that the answer to the question of the meaning of being lay in the domain of formal ontology and logic was Husserl’s key mistake here. The nothing is disclosed in the fundamental mood of anxiety when the totality of the world slips into insignificance. should be replaced by what he calls the existentialia . Such categories. we . into meaninglessness. When the self is conceived as some kind of entity the temptation arises to apply inappropriate ontological categories to it. in anxiety. Husserl also failed in Heidegger’s view to provide for a unified meaning of being. logic proves inadequate.100 Heidegger. It is only by neglecting this prior state that Dasein is always already in and focussing on the theoretical state that emerges only when there is a breakdown in our everyday functioning in the world that the notion of a distinct thing-like self emerges. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being Dasein exists: as such Dasein is not a thing at all. It is precisely this meaninglessness that is the nothing: being/meaning is essentially finite since it is bounded by the nothing/ meaninglessness. Such revelation occurs in the transcendence of Dasein when it is held out into the nothing. transcend the totality of beings and are thrust out into meaninglessness. Dasein is what Heidegger calls an understanding potentiality-for-being. For Heidegger. it is not sufficient for even asking the question correctly. For these reasons. Rather. We must rather begin with a reawakening of the power of this question and open ourselves to an encounter with being in its historical revelation to Dasein. Strict adherence to logic and formal investigation will never be sufficient for answering the question of being. our moods disclose the world in a more profound way than any logical proposition could ever hope to. Heidegger will argue. We can never rely on logic for an answer to the question of being since logic can only ever deal with theoretical matters and never with the primordial unconcealment that is essential to our existence as Dasein. Dasein is always ahead of itself projecting itself upon possibilities of its being and coping with the world. the ontological characteristics of Dasein. We attain a profound sense of the totality of beings and of being when we. As Heidegger points out in his lecture ‘What is Metaphysics?’. Part of Heidegger’s project is to show that the reign of logic in the history of philosophy should be challenged.

His phenomenology is the method of philosophy construed as ontology. Being for Heidegger is something that mostly does not show itself. not proving. Heidegger’s ultimate aim is elucidating and answering the question of being. it would have been impossible to take over Husserl’s conception of phenomenology without serious modification.Univocity and Fundamental Ontology 101 must reject Husserl’s answer to the question of the meaning of being and ask it again. This phenomenological reduction brackets the natural standpoint that individuals occupy in their everyday existence and constitutes the adoption of a new perspective that provides for phenomenological description. Ontology is the primary domain of philosophy. Husserl’s phenomenology begins with the epoché. It is this bracketing of questions of existence that is a travesty for Heidegger. Heidegger rejects the epoché and Husserl’s specifically phenomenological perspective. Being and Time does not attempt to subscribe to a specific standpoint or direction because phenomenology cannot be reduced to either of these notions. Phenomenology for Heidegger is nothing less than a process of revealing things and he will engage in a process of showing or describing. its proper task of tackling the question of being. not epistemology or philosophy of science. is the question of philosophy.3 Precisely because of this essential relationship. Given this. As Heidegger puts it in his Introduction to Metaphysics. since the question of being. yet it is something that belongs to that which does show itself essentially. Whereas Husserl saw phenomenology as concerned with elucidating the nature of consciousness Heidegger saw phenomenology as the method of access to being. It is this hidden phenomenon that phenomenology has to tackle thematically. the very idea of the phenomenological reduction and the adoption of Husserl’s specifically phenomenological perspective is fundamentally mistaken. show themselves phenomenologically. One further point of disagreement between Husserl and Heidegger can be seen in terms of method. Being lies hidden. in Heidegger’s view. the text of a lecture course delivered in 1935 and to which he directs readers’ attention in the preface to the seventh German edition of Being and Time who seek an elucidation of the question of being: ‘Dasein is itself by virtue of its essential relation to Being in general’. This modification is the reorientation of phenomenology towards. This phenomenon that is hidden is the very being of entities and this phenomenon can be covered over and forgotten to such an extent that no question about it arises at all. the world and ultimately being. how Dasein. From this phenomenological perspective questions of existence have been bracketed. .

the totality of which is care (Sorge). the self is a way of being of Dasein and Dasein is a self only through existing. and fallenness. The meaning of being is founded in Dasein’s temporality. It is Heidegger’s view that the unitary meaning of being is founded in Dasein’s temporality. Dasein is always ahead of itself projecting itself upon possibilities of its being. Heidegger’s phenomenology interprets Dasein and being and the very process of interpretation itself. beingalready-in a world as being-alongside entities encountered within-the-world . It is not present-at-hand. The unity of these in care allows for Heidegger to give a definition of Dasein’s structural whole as ahead-of-itself. there is no point at which we can be sure that we have reached absolute foundations. the question of the meaning of being has been forgotten by the Aristotelian metaphysical tradition and at the culmination of this tradition with the philosophy of Husserl. The world is an elaborate web of involvements and possibilities which Dasein is essentially in. Dasein is not a self as such. Heidegger’s phenomenology is phenomenological ontology because its subject matter is being. facticity. Despite this. For Heidegger. By this stage in philosophy’s history the urgency of this question has itself been forgotten. facticity and falling and constitutes the structure of care. It is the being whose being is an issue for it. Dasein is at the centre of Heidegger’s ontological universe. Care is the meaning of Dasein’s existence and is made up of existentiality.102 Heidegger. It is also distinctive because of its hermeneutic dimension. Dasein is that being who in its being has an understanding of being. Temporality makes possible the unity of existence. Care is also being-towards-death. Being and Time is Heidegger’s first systematic attempt to answer this question. Within . Dasein’s understanding of anything whatsoever is bound up with its temporality and since being ultimately depends upon Dasein. there is no meaning of being except that meaning of being relative to Dasein. Interpretation is ongoing. Temporality is ultimately the condition of the possibility of Dasein’s way of being and the transcendental horizon of being itself. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being Dasein’s being is being-in-the-world. So. It is not some essential subject. time or temporality is the ultimate meaning of Dasein’s being. Fundamentally. He never completed this project and he gradually moved away from the remnants of systematic philosophy in Being and Time and came to doubt that a definitive systematic answer to this question was desirable. there is still no satisfactory answer to this question. division two of Being and Time does come close to an answer to the being question with the account of Dasein’s temporality. It is the care structure that includes the phenomenon of being a self.

Dasein. The experience of anxiety is. relatively rare and Dasein goes about its business for the most part unreflectively. The world slips away into meaninglessness and Dasein’s everyday interpretations of itself have been challenged. on the basis of its past. Dasein has to choose. Authenticity entails choosing to choose. Dasein is always susceptible to the silent call of care as ‘the call of conscience’.Univocity and Fundamental Ontology 103 this world things disclose themselves to Dasein and Dasein is the clearing or space where being is revealed. anxiety is about death. and temporality is revealed as the ultimate meaning of Dasein’s being. The fundamental mood of anxiety can come upon Dasein at any moment. Care is Heidegger’s term for the human condition as such. They are always bounded by death. projects certain possibilities of its being that are not other possibilities. Since Dasein’s being is care and Dasein is always ‘guilty’. Nonetheless. Dasein is ‘attuned’ to its situation and attunement is essentially bound up with care and temporality. in the sense that it has chosen a certain set of possibilities and not others. Richard Polt describes Being and Time as having an almost spiral structure. Dasein chooses an approach to its . Dasein’s being is care and temporality is the ontological meaning of care. dwells unreflectively in the world. Dasein’s possibilities are always finite. In a sense anxiety alienates Dasein from its world and Dasein is anxious about its very beingin-the-world. Being guilty signifies that Dasein is the basis of a nullity. Dasein is not possibility without end and anxiety reveals this to us with great force. for the most part. Anxiety forces Dasein to face up to its self as the chooser of its self. As such all that happens in division one is taken up and reinterpreted in division two. however. Anxiety reveals Dasein as ‘not-at-home’ in the world and this reveals Dasein’s futurity. In anxiety by contrast. freely choosing who you are going to be. In division two of Being and Time Heidegger reinterprets the basic features of everydayness in terms of time. Dasein is brought face to face with the nothing. Dasein ‘is’ how the world shows itself to it. Indebtedness follows from Dasein’s having a past which it cannot control and which serves as the foundation of its existence. Death entails no more possibilities for Dasein. Essentially. Anxiety is an essential aspect of Dasein’s being-in-the-world. The analysis of care provides an insight into the constitution of existence. Ultimately. Responsibility follows from the fact that Dasein. Anxiety individualizes Dasein to its self and withdraws it from ‘the they’. this homeliness of the world is constantly under threat. It is bound up with Dasein’s having a past (indebtedness) and a future (responsibility). it is Dasein’s ‘basic certainty’.

When Dasein recognizes itself as guilty it becomes resolute.104 Heidegger. This horizon is Dasein’s temporality. brings out aspects of Dasein’s temporality and the call of conscience alerts Dasein to these aspects of its existence. The care structure is the condition of possibility for this existentiell potentiality and temporality is the ontological meaning of care. which is an illuminating form of disclosedness. resoluteness is intimately linked with Dasein’s temporality. The horizon upon which Dasein. It is anticipatory resoluteness that includes within itself what Heidegger refers to as an authentic potentiality-for-being-a-whole. to elucidate the meaning of care entails examining the projection and horizon which constitute and underlie care. Being itself is the horizon for beings and being is projected upon its own horizon. Once again. Beings are projected upon their being in order to be understood. Projection always carries Dasein with it (Dasein ‘stands out’ in its transcendence). involving facing up to mortality. So. Once again. Elucidating the upon-which of a projection will disclose the conditions of possibility of that which has been projected. Only by so doing is it understood as being. This is so even if the problem of being has not been explicitly formulated. The understanding of being underlies the . In section 65 of Being and Time Heidegger states that meaning designates the ‘upon. Dasein’s temporality is the transcendental horizon of being in general. and that is to the central character of itself as care. Guilt then. this dimension of Dasein is bound up with temporality.which’ or horizon of a projection and that projection discloses possibilities. What is projected is the being of Dasein. necessarily excludes following other alternative approaches. as disclosed. When Dasein understands itself as being-in-the-world it at the same time and with equality understands the being of other entities which are disclosed to it withinthe-world. So when the meaning of care is enquired about the question becomes what makes the totality of the care structure itself possible? The concept of meaning that is in play here is the ‘upon-which’ of the primary projection of Dasein’s understanding of being. In the call of conscience Dasein qua care is calling Dasein silently in its inauthenticty to its debt and responsibility. has been projected is the condition of possibility for the constitution of Dasein as care. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being existence that since it is finite. Resoluteness recognizes guilt which in its futural aspect involves what Heidegger calls being-towards-death. For this reason resoluteness proper is anticipatory resoluteness. If entities have meaning they have become accessible in their being. This being of entities is projected upon its own ‘upon which’ or horizon and it is this projection which ‘has meaning’ in the first place.

This is where the sequence of projections ends.4 The past means being already in a world. In anticipatory resoluteness the current situation of the ‘there’ of Da-sein (being-there) is disclosed. As Heidegger will argue. . the dimension of the future can appear privileged. Rather. Being is given to us and all that is given is given only in so far as it is projected upon a horizon. where Dasein. While the ecstases of temporality are equiprimordial. It is disclosed in such a manner that Dasein. And it is the primary projection of Dasein’s understanding of being that bestows meaning in the first place. the nature of ‘having been’ arises from the future. . either authentic or inauthentic being-towardsdeath is only possible as futural. . Coming back to itself futurally. The future is not a ‘now’ that will come to be and then pass away. as existence. The present means making beings present. This means that in coming towards itself Dasein comes back. ‘comes towards’ itself. . resoluteness makes the present. The past is bestowed with meaning from the projection of a future. This only ever happens within a world and it does . . Only as the Present . in the sense of making present. as existing. Dasein is already someone. . Indeed. The condition of possibility of this authentic ‘having been’ is Dasein’s character as futural. Anticipatory resoluteness is bound up with guilt and the past. present: Resolute Being-alongside what is ready-to-hand in the Situation – that is to say. it is the very coming of Dasein. The future is finite since it is bounded by death. The primordial nature of the future is a ‘coming towards’. being thrown. [and it is the case that] . Dasein is in either one of two ways: it is either authentically or inauthentically disclosed to itself. Dasein is authentically futural in anticipation and anticipation itself is only possible in so far as Dasein is ‘coming towards itself’ or is futural in its very being.Univocity and Fundamental Ontology 105 being of entities. It is the means by which the contents of the surrounding environment present themselves to and are revealed by Dasein. letting itself be encountered undisguisedly by that which it seizes upon in taking action . is concerned with its immediate ready-to-hand environment. . being authentically futural entails being authentically its past (its ‘having been’). taking action in such a way as to let one encounter what has presence environmentally – is possible only by making such an entity present . in a sense. . can resoluteness be what it is: namely. resoluteness brings itself into the Situation by making present. The ecstasis of the future is the dimension of temporality in which Dasein has to choose who it is. By this.

which can be both authentic and inauthentic. Dasein (by temporalizing (producing in time) enpresenting (making present)) projects and produces the presence that belongs to the present. This process of temporalizing makes possible Dasein’s various modes of being. that is in the process of ‘having been’ gives from itself the present. The totality of Dasein’s being is care. in its environment. Dasein’s temporality. Each ecstasis carries Dasein off to its horizonal schema. for example carries Dasein off towards the horizonal schema praesens or ‘in-order-to’ and enables Dasein to understand the being of the ready-to-hand in the broadest sense. The unity of the horizonal schemata is the unitary horizon of the projection of temporality and being can be given to Dasein only as projected . Dasein’s temporality is finite. The unity of this is Dasein’s temporality. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being so because of the past and future dimensions of Dasein’s temporality. The past arises from the future in such a way that the future. The horizonal schema is a temporal framework that lets Dasein understand being and meet entities in its world. Ecstatical temporality implies ‘standing out’. the essence of which is to temporalize or produce itself in time. the past (‘already-being-in’) and the present (‘being-alongside’). Dasein is in all three ecstases at once. Care exhibits three dimensions: the ‘ahead-of-itself’. As temporality. Despite being an equiprimordial unity temporality primordially temporalizes itself out of the future.106 Heidegger. Dasein understands being across all its possible manifestations and modalities in terms of the horizonal schemata. Dasein transcends itself and ‘stands out’ into the ecstases of temporality. The three ecstases of temporality form a unity. These three dimensions correspond to the three dimensions of temporality: the future (‘ahead-of-itself’). Since it is bounded by death. The ecstases of the present. The three ecstases of temporality open up the corresponding horizonal schema and these together open up the world for Dasein and facilitate the understanding of the being of beings. the ‘already-being-in’ and the ‘being-alongside’. is the horizon upon which being is projected. The ready-to-hand are projected upon the horizonal schema of praesens. which also form a unity. The ordinary concept of time arises from inauthentic temporality which itself has its roots in primordial and authentic temporality. in the unity of the temporal ecstases. Time as it is ordinarily understood is a genuine phenomenon but it is one which is derivative of Dasein’s primordial temporality. This temporality is the condition of possibility of the authentic potentiality-for-being-a-whole of anticipatory resoluteness and it is the meaning of the care structure that is constitutive of Dasein’s being.

what is worse. As such it is the origin of the ontological difference and the ontological difference has the mode of being of Dasein. Recall. There is being only in so far as there is Dasein and there is Dasein only in so far as there is being. the temporal science of being. the science of being. He reminds us that the question is not just any question: it is the question of philosophy. Fundamental ontology aims to render explicit the a priori structures that determine temporality. There exists no answer to the question of being in the present age. Phenomenology. must start with Dasein and being is revealed as univocal since it is only ever understood with reference to Dasein’s temporality. historical humanity is no longer moved by its inability to comprehend the significance of this question. and. Whether Dasein’s temporality is authentic or inauthentic. my interpretation of the problem of the univocity of being in Heidegger’s philosophy in the period of fundamental ontology can be summarized as follows: fundamental ontology reveals Dasein’s being as beingin-the-world. ‘to be’ is to be understood by Dasein. Fundamental ontology prepares the way for ontology. the question that perplexed Plato and Aristotle who stand at the very start of the Western tradition of philosophy. the method of philosophy construed as ontology. Being and Time opens with the motif of forgetfulness. Being and Univocity Essentially. The meaning of being is temporal. Time is the condition of possibility of all understanding of the being of beings. On the foundation of fundamental ontology all ontological projection can be displayed in its temporal nature. Temporality is the transcendental horizon for the projection of being. For the remainder of this chapter I shall build on my account of temporality and consider fundamental ontology in relation to the doctrine of the univocity of being. Being-in-the-world is unified in the care structure which is then revealed as temporality as we saw above. there remains a fundamental continuity. being is univocal. Phenomenology. Despite the shift in emphasis in Heidegger’s work after the change in orientation of his thinking. Being is intelligible only in terms of time and ontology.Univocity and Fundamental Ontology 107 upon this transcendental horizon. A central aim of Heidegger’s thought is to reawaken a sense of urgency with regard to the question of being. The modern . is only possible as temporal science. namely the bond between Dasein and being. Being approaches Dasein and Dasein responds: and as only ever understood in terms of time.

being has been presupposed in ontology. Being and phenomenology are intrinsically linked. This is the project of fundamental ontology. In an important respect the project of phenomenology is interminable and although it is possible to refer to phenomenology as a method of enquiry and talk about phenomenological philosophers. Despite Aristotle’s insight that there is a science that studies being qua being. phenomenology must be grasped as . it is with a quotation from Plato rather than Aristotle that Heidegger heralds the project of Being and Time . grown mute. The project of fundamental ontology. The hermeneutic of Dasein. Until Heidegger’s project. construed as ontology. As he says two years before the publication of Being and Time in the History of the Concept of Time : Phenomenology radicalised in its ownmost possibility is nothing but the questioning of Plato and Aristotle brought back to life: the repetition. no matter how sophisticated.5 Phenomenology is the method of philosophy. as inquirer. prepares the way for the explication of being in terms of time which is the ultimate aim of Being and Time . the important thing is not to simply reduce phenomenology to something actual. is as it is by virtue of being. the retaking of the beginning of our scientific philosophy. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being age considers itself ‘progressive’ by feeling that it can affirm ‘metaphysics’ again. the analysis of Dasein. To reiterate. As it is Dasein who possesses the possibility of posing this question it is appropriate that it should be Dasein who serves as this paradigm. The aim of Being and Time is to articulate and overcome this presupposition and explicate the question of being. the analytic of existence.108 Heidegger. will remain blind and removed from its most proper concern if it does not clarify the meaning of being and conceive this task as its most fundamental aim. Echoing Kant’s claim in the first critique that hitherto metaphysics has remained a ‘mere groping’ Heidegger cautions the reader that all ontology. from the standpoint of Being and Time : philosophy is phenomenological ontology and it takes its point of departure from the hermeneutic of Dasein. Appropriately then. Yet we believe ourselves to be spared a ‘Battle of Giants’ over being. the question of being that was ‘vigorously posed’ and ‘full of life’ in Plato’s Sophist has. is conceived as the point of departure of all philosophical inquiry. Dasein. To get at this question however will involve taking an entity as a paradigm and lay it bare in its being. The Seinsfrage is concerned with being and only in so far as it is concerned with being is it concerned with beings. since Aristotle. Beyond this.

Dasein should be uncovered in its undifferentiated state in which it is for the most part. It is always possible that Dasein never win itself or only seems to win itself. Dasein can choose itself and win itself because it is its own possibility. This undifferentiated state is precisely Dasein’s ‘average everydayness’. Dasein can be authentic (eigentlich) or inauthentic (uneigentlich) and both of these qualifications are grounded in mineness. This is Dasein’s existential constitution. It is crucial to the analytic of Dasein that Dasein be approached in the correct manner. the analysis of Dasein has to proceed from the existentiality of existence. the priority of the question of being announces itself in the project of the existential analytic. The inquiry into the being of Dasein will necessarily lead to the question of being in general. Precisely because of this ‘mineness’ ( Jemeinigkeit). When Heidegger discloses the fundamental structures of existentiality. for example. Dasein always already operates within an understanding of being and is guided in its inquiry into being by what is sought. authenticity connotes the condition of someone’s being their own being and inauthenticity is the condition of not properly being one’s own being. The being of Dasein is in ‘each case mine’. The analysis of Dasein allows the inquirer access to the question of being precisely because Dasein has both ontic and ontological aspects. As such. As existence Dasein’s existentiality is constitutive of its being and because the notion of being is bound up with this notion of existentiality qua constitutive state of Dasein.show up as it is in the first place. Primarily because. in Dasein. Dasein can also lose itself. there is a priority of existence over essence.Univocity and Fundamental Ontology 109 a possibility. Any particular Dasein is not to be taken as an example of some genus or other and being as such is prior to the distinction between essence and existence made by the tradition. In its self-determination Dasein always operates in terms of a possibility which is not distinct from itself and which it understands. they will have either an authentic or inauthentic . the notions of authenticity and inauthenticity do not carry any specifically moral sense for Heidegger. called existentialia . the meaning of being is available to Dasein even before it is made explicit as a question. Rather. In the analysis of Dasein it is crucial not to proceed in terms of a particular construction of existence as. Phenomenology is a possibility that thought can attain and through which can achieve its true matter. Crucially. when addressing Dasein one always has to use a personal pronoun. but instead to let the phenomenon – in this case Dasein . rational animal. Instead of proceeding from some differentiated and definite way of being.

Being. Such a world is not primarily characterized by the order of being of the present-at-hand but rather by the manner of being of the ready-to-hand. I noted earlier that Dasein’s world is a context of significance within which Dasein goes about its business. As such. or on the ‘who’. Understanding world in the correct way leads us to conclude that it is only Dasein who is in the world in Heidegger’s special sense. Dasein is ‘in’ the world precisely in the sense of ‘having a world’. Often. is relative to Dasein qua existence. Existential analysis is a kind of ontology that investigates Dasein’s way of being and existentiell pertains to a particular Dasein’s own existence. Entities are disclosed by Dasein through its productive activity and as such become part of its world as the totality of present beings. Being-in-the-world should be considered a unitary phenomenon. All existentialia have a transcendental status. these existentialia are not categories in the Aristotelian sense. Recall. The beings that are there for Dasein in its world are there ‘as’ this or that and being is their meaningful relatedness to Dasein. there would not be a world were it not for the uncovering activity of Dasein. they are a priori conditions of possibility for Dasein’s existence. such understanding is deficient and the particular Dasein is not fully aware of it. by virtue of mineness. Co-ordinately. Being-in-the-world is the primal phenomenon through which access to the existentialia is gained. The world in question in the notion ‘being-in-the-world’ is an existentiale. the term ontology means the investigation of being in philosophy and the term ontological pertains to being. both the world and the being of beings are already disclosed. the presence of what is present. Generally. world in Heidegger’s sense belongs to Dasein essentially. this understanding is rarely converted into existential understanding of the general structures of Dasein or human existence in general. as being-in-the-world.110 Heidegger. Dasein has a pre-ontological or existentiell understanding of themselves gained simply by existing. Crucially. the practical agent. As such. ‘being-in’. Existence (Existenz) is Dasein’s way of being and existential pertains to existence. For Dasein. Existentialia are elements of the fundamentally constitutive state of Dasein’s being as being-in-the-world. To be Dasein is to be a member of a shared public world. who is in the world. By contrast. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being character. the term ontical pertains to particularities of particular beings without reference to being. Dasein. Yet emphasis can be put on ‘world’. as the being of Dasein. World and being are co-ordinate notions for Heidegger and Dasein qua existence is the ground of the world and the beings therein when correctly understood in their manner of being as presence. is .

They are rather beings taken as ‘something in order to’. . . It is also tempting to say that. such relations are primary and it is precisely this worldhood. is. the central problematic of all ontology is rooted in the phenomenon of time . In these terms it is tempting to read Heidegger’s account of the being of entities teleologically: what beings are. It is also within this broad context that Heidegger raises the issues of univocity and analogy. . after all. The theoretical is not primary. despite Heidegger’s insistence on Dasein’s essence residing in its existence. It is the practical that is primary and the theoretical is parasitic or founded upon the practical. along with the practical nature of Dasein that has been completely passed over by the tradition. not substances. especially not Dasein. such as water to drink ‘in order to’ quench thirst. Dasein first deals with cups and saucers. computers and books. This is the thesis that Heidegger outlines in section 65 of Being and Time . fundamentally related to Dasein’s pragmatic concerns. All ontology must ultimately begin with Dasein since Dasein is the ground of presence. For Heidegger. with other Dasein. their telos. What we are describing is called by Heidegger the ‘worldhood of the world’. In the exposition of the problematic of Temporality the question of the meaning of Being will first be concretely answered. he maintains a fundamental Aristotelian motif wherein the telos of historical human beings is the disclosure of and ‘care taking of’ the truth of being. Within such a context of significance nothing is isolated.6 . All beings are connected by significance relations and all presuppose a contextual background with which Dasein is familiar in order to come to presence or appear as ‘in order to’ at all. The important thing to grasp is that these beings be considered as instruments suited or adjusted to a particular pragmatic concern of Dasein’s.Univocity and Fundamental Ontology 111 constantly dealing with pragmatic contexts in which it encounters beings. Time is the key to the problem of being. This is why Heidegger refers to the Cartesian world as impoverished. Dasein is that situated being-t/ here in a world in the midst of beings. . The ontological meaning of being-in-the-world is care and the ontological meaning of care is temporality. in these terms. These beings however are not the objects of scientific enquiry such as H2O. The fateful error of the history of philosophy was to pass over Dasein qua existence and with that the worldhood of the world. Heidegger writes: Time must be brought to light – and genuinely conceived – as the horizon for all understanding of Being and for any way of interpreting it .

It is Dasein’s temporality which is the very condition for the possibility of any understanding whatsoever. Dasein’s transcendental constitution is understood by Heidegger in terms of the unity of the three existentials of projection (Entwurf ). the being who understands being. and ‘being with beings’ (sein bei ). my point is that even if being is further determined by Heidegger analogically it can only be on the basis of being’s fundamental relationship with Dasein’s temporality and therefore its sense as temporal. Heidegger conceives of death qua limit along the lines of his reading of the Greek word for limit. As Heidegger says: . Such a limit is one that ‘sets something free’ in its very limiting. Time is a univocal concept and being is only ever understood in terms of it. Rather. Dasein can attain a freedom towards death. The three dimensions of care correspond to the three ecstases of temporality. Rather. Dasein. Dasein is always already ‘ahead of itself’. Death qua limit is not simply negative. In anticipatory resoluteness – the anticipation of death qua limit – Dasein’s existence is authentic. Before moving on to the explicit treatment of care and temporality in Being and Time . My point is not that the analogical interpretation of Heidegger’s text is wholly wrong. By not fleeing from death. peras. which is the ‘possibility of not being’ or death. The provisional aim of Being and Time as a whole was the interpretation of time as the ‘possible horizon’ for any understanding of being.112 Heidegger. These existentials structure Dasein’s existence and constitute its being as care. is that being whose ultimate ontological determination is temporality. in the fundamental attunement (Grundstimmung) of anxiety death is disclosed as Dasein’s ‘ownmost possibility’. in line with the Scotist qualifi cation of analogy. by anticipating it. For the most part this limit is not explicit for Dasein who generally goes about its business ‘as one does’. It is always projecting itself onto possibilities of being and is always already thrown into a world of shared public possibilities of being that are handed over to it. Dasein is also ‘always already’ alongside other beings within the world. Such an exploration brings out the inherent finitude of Dasein’s transcending projection. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being A stronger statement of the univocity of being in terms of the concept of time would be hard to formulate. Heidegger raises the issue of Dasein’s ‘possible being-awhole’: that is. As such. Dasein’s possibilities of being and not being are disclosed genuinely. thrownness (Geworfenheit). It is Dasein’s temporality (Zeitlichkeit) that will prove to be the transcendental horizon for the question of being. However. of Dasein’s being-towards-death.

for Heidegger.7 In anticipatory being-towards-death only the ‘ontological possibility of being-a-whole’ has been discovered. Care is that fundamental structure that unifies Dasein and the unity of care is understood in terms of its three modalities. It liberates Dasein from its everyday concerns.Univocity and Fundamental Ontology 113 Care is Being-towards-death . . Death permeates existence. In the face of death Dasein can focus on a particular possibility of being and become authentic. That death will come is certain for Dasein. but accepting or coming to terms with the essential finitude of one’s possibilities and choosing in light of this. not becoming morbidly fixated on its ‘when’. . for Heidegger. Dasein exits in a way which is authentically whole as that entity which it can be when ‘thrown into death’. Ultimately. The authentic response to death is called by Heidegger Vorlaufen and is translated as ‘anticipation’. Death is the ‘basic certainty’ of Dasein. making Dasein’s project essentially finite and conditioning it as being towards death . Death individualizes the individual. Death takes hold of a particular Dasein and individuates it down to itself. These limits are none other than birth and death. between which is stretched the unfolding life story of a human existence. On Heidegger’s account death belongs essentially to any Dasein as an individual. anxiety is about death. . Just as with birth.8 Authenticity involves facing up to death. Care can be considered in its totality as a whole and its limits have to be made explicit. is the existential principle of individuation . In anxiety Dasein feels the force of its fragile and finite existence and faces the challenge of authentic existence. Death is absolutely non-relational. The significance of death for Dasein cannot be overstated. Existence includes within itself its own end. death cannot be viewed simply as some isolated external moment. In such Being-towards-its-end. The phenomenon of the call of conscience is bound up with authenticity. The process of individualization is particularly disclosive of Dasein’s ‘there’. Anxiety is rare and disturbing. Conscience is always justified in calling Dasein and can do so at any time because of Dasein’s guilt in the non-moral sense of being responsible for its life in terms of possibilities that it has chosen. Death. Facing up to death qua death is a profoundly liberating experience for Dasein. Dasein can have recourse to no ground other than its self-projection for the genre of its unfolding life story. The ontic attestation of Dasein’s ontological possibility of being-a-whole is located in the phenomenon of the call of conscience.

stones as worldless. Dasein is its disclosedness. In Heidegger. a univocal conception of being is presupposed.114 Heidegger. The being of the beings that Dasein encounters in its dealings with the world are disclosed to it out of a temporal horizon. The shortcoming of the analogical interpretation of Heidegger is that it does not take full account of his temporal univocity of being. These determinations of being operate in terms of a discrete analogy with Dasein. The meaning of being can be unified in terms of an analogy to the focal reference or meaning of ousia . this fundamental reality or mode of being is ousia . as transcendental condition. Analogy is not wrong. For Heidegger. Dasein’s being is disclosed to it only through existing. despite Dasein’s manifest privilege in fundamental ontology. the meaning of being is constituted in Dasein’s understanding and this means that it is ultimately grounded in the temporal structure underpinning that understanding. In Aristotle. The only possible access to being. is it possible to get from the account primordial time to the meaning of being? Heidegger’s lectures The Basic Problems of Phenomenology were initially . The unitary meaning of being is constituted by Dasein’s understanding and is grounded in Dasein’s temporality. The analogy of being operates in terms of its focal reference or meaning to a particular fundamental reality. is through Dasein’s understanding of being and that understanding of being is conditioned by temporality. including the being of animals and rocks. Later. Being and Time ends with a series of questions. Dasein ‘is’ time. Heidegger was indeed concerned with the unity of being and there is evidence that he found this unity in terms of analogy: animals are understood as poor in the world. By contrast. it is just not the full story. is the condition of possibility for the meaningfulness of beings in toto. it is clear that the unitary meaning of being is in some sense temporal. there is a co-dependence between Dasein and being: there would not be being if there were no Dasein and there would not be Dasein if there were no being. Now. one of which is. As I have argued. Heidegger will say that being is the gift of an ‘It’ which gives. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being Univocity and Analogy The mistake of the tradition beginning with the Greeks was to mistake the full temporal character of being by identifying it with but one modality of time: the present. Dasein’s temporality. for analogy tends to ontotheology: the status of the focal reference tends towards ontological privilege. Since being can only ever be projected upon its transcendental horizon and understood by virtue of this projection. the univocity of being is rooted in temporality. in any determination of analogy.

This project is consistent with the project of Being and Time . which is located in Dasein’s temporal nature. With Aristotle the universe was slightly more simple. is the fact that Dasein has an understanding of the being of all beings. In these lectures Heidegger analyses being in terms of its modifications and structure. Being is the transcendens. but both are not as radical in this as equivocity. Dasein’s understanding of being is centrally important since it is through the understanding of being that Dasein constitutes or uncovers the world and discloses beings as what they are. Dasein provides the condition of possibility for any ontologies whatsoever and all modes of being depend for their being upon Dasein. With Dasein at the centre of Heidegger’s ontological universe all other regions of being. the various multiplicities with their own sets of categories. in the end. In Being and Time Dasein is understood to be able to transcendentally constitute objects and Dasein’s third priority. must all somehow relate to it. The idea that the term ‘being’ is applied simply equivocally to all that it is applied to makes no sense in a Heideggerian ontology since all the propositions of ontology are ultimately temporal. Given that being . Analogy and paronymy are both cases in which being is said in many ways of that of which it is said. Dasein’s understanding is fundamentally temporal and Dasein’s temporality constitutes the foundation for Heidegger’s analysis of the transcendental horizon of being itself. they are all ultimately grounded in the transcendental horizon of being. All the categories relate paronymously to the primary being substance and. since equivocity means that terms are applied in different senses to that of which they are applied. The Deity is at the centre of the Aristotelian ontological universe and Aristotle held that there was an analogy of being between the categories. to the Deity. of developing fundamental ontology and providing the basis for regional ontologies. On the basis of this foundation all ontological projection can be made conspicuous in its temporal nature. they must be understood in terms of their being by Dasein against the transcendental horizon of being in general. Being is the transcendens because of the ontological difference. but for different reasons.Univocity and Fundamental Ontology 115 charged with finding this way. As regions of being. Fundamental ontology is the necessary preparatory study that must be undertaken in order to first lay bare the meaning of being and prepare the way for the temporal science of ontology. as the medieval thinkers had it. Dasein is the only being that exists in Heidegger’s special sense of existence and Dasein is the site that being requires in order to happen at all. as Heidegger calls it. temporality.

. is understood univocally. this common sense is the sense of time or temporality. All regions of being and ways of being are. is an aspect of a unity. since it is understood in terms of time. a ‘concept is univocal if its meaning content. as projection. Time is a univocal concept for Heidegger and being. Being is grasped in all its possible differences in terms of time. is founded in temporality.116 Heidegger. In this case. Both the relations of paronymy and analogy presuppose the concept of univocity since in order for the various senses of a term to relate to one central sense there must be something in common that is grasped in each instance of such a related term. a space of univocity opens up when a secondary substance (species or genera) is predicated of a primary substance. Regions of being as projections upon horizons must be intended ultimately in relation to the transcendental horizon of temporality. Being can only be given to Dasein in terms of the transcendental horizon of being and Dasein understands being across all its possible modalities and in all its possible diversity in terms of this transcendental horizon. what is addressed by it. Ontology is temporal science and all its propositions. The transcendental horizon of being is ultimately that to which all senses of being must be related. temporal propositions. and in terms of a present-athand being. ultimately. each ecstases of temporality is univocally temporal. in its difference from the others. In terms of the unity of temporality.9 This same sense is the sense of time or temporality. Readyto-hand and present-at-hand beings are projected upon a horizon and all understanding. Each ecstasis. As Heidegger says. projections of Dasein. what it intends. being may be said in terms of Dasein. In Heidegger’s philosophy the univocity of being is at work in terms of time and the unity of being is rooted in Dasein’s temporality. In Aristotle’s Categories. with Heidegger. that is. since there is a common content of meaning (definition) intended between the two regions of being. or a ready-to-hand being) it has to be said in terms of time in each case. Dasein’s temporality is the transcendental horizon of being and Dasein is in all three ecstases of temporality equiprimordially. The sense of time is common to all utterances of the word being. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being may be said in different ways across all its multifarious modalities (for example. a space of univocity opens up because all the various regions of being will be intended temporally when they are intended at all. is intended in the same sense’. The equiprimordiality of the ecstases of temporality is a condition of possibility of the temporalizing of temporality. Similarly. the being of each ecstasis is equal and ‘is’ in the same sense in spite of the difference between each of them.

While this is not a fair appraisal of his later writings it is possible to read some of them and pick up a hint of mythopoetic flair. and I can follow tradition in considering Descartes to be the earliest thinker of the . Caputo has argued forcefully in his The Mystical Element in Heidegger’s Thought. notably Eckhart. how it unfolds and is appropriated. There is no doubt that Heidegger learned something from the mystics (and scholastics). was a key source of inspiration and. the Heidegger after the change in orientation from thinking being and time to thinking time and being in the early 1930s. might as well be taken as the start date of medieval philosophy.Chapter 5 Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought Section One Mysticism It has been argued that after Being and Time Heidegger’s thought can be understood as a series of mystical ruminations on the meaning of being. the year of Charlemagne’s coronation as emperor. the matter for thinking becomes the history of being as it unfolds across the epochs of Western history. Medieval philosophy which. Copleston has noted that 800 CE. and from medieval thought generally in his philosophical development. across these epochs. As John D. it is really quite misleading to speak of Heidegger as a mystic. of criticism. at points. This amounts to thinking being as it addresses Dasein. he was no mystic. for Heidegger. In the later Heidegger. Heidegger is concerned with the happening of truth in history and thinking must be open to the event (Ereignis) of being. despite appearances sometimes. constitutes perhaps one of the most distinctive. The most that can be said of the so called ‘later’ Heidegger is that there is a certain ‘mystical element’ in his thought and Caputo argues that this element is best understood in terms of his relationship with Meister Eckhart.1 If this is as good a bet as any. if not chronologically one of the longest periods in the history of philosophy. Heidegger was always concerned with mystical thinkers but.

For the medieval philosopher the Christian faith was the ground of philosophy and as St Anselm of Canterbury put it. Wittgenstein once said ‘I am not a religious man but I cannot help seeing every problem from a religious point of view’.2 Not only did the medieval philosopher tend to see philosophical problems from a religious point of view. and to engage in self-interpretation within the terms and boundaries it provides. to compare him to Heidegger it is necessary to relate his notion of the human souls openness to God to Heidegger’s notion of the openness of thinking to being. with pre-Socratic attempts to ‘think’ being. fell into oblivion because the ontological difference between being and beings was not recognized in metaphysics. according to Heidegger. they were deeply religious men. Heidegger does recognize that there can be ‘Daseins’ of differing contextual configurations. After what Heidegger came to call ‘the first beginning’ of thought. The historical world of the medieval philosopher was just one of them. Importantly however. Such faith in the medieval context is essentially linked to the being of the individual.118 Heidegger. In Being and Time. ‘faith seeking understanding’ best characterizes medieval thought. With this being . It is ‘to be there’ in a particular way. Fides quaerens intellectum . interpreted their world from the perspective of faith. it forms the very ground of the intelligibility of the world. For the most part Dasein understands itself in terms of its world and in terms of the ‘objects’ of its circumspective concern. Being faithful. Dasein inhabits its world and cannot be usefully abstracted from it. After Plato. Dasein is ‘in each case mine’ and from the perspective of Being and Time the term Dasein can be applied to any particular human being. Being. takes on the character of necessity. This process started with the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle. Plato reduced it to eternal presence in terms of his theory of forms. Dasein’s world is a context of significance within which it goes about its business. then medieval philosophy endured for around 800 years. The medieval scholastic philosopher. And it follows from Heidegger’s remark about Cassirer that there is a multiplicity of such worlds. in the performative sense. for which philosophy ‘proper’ was not an option.3 To be a Dasein ‘of’ a particular context or configuration of meaning is to be subject to the norms and conditions of it. Aristotle reduced being to substance and then to the Deity. Regarding Eckhart specifically. It is to be in a world and understand oneself in terms of that world. for example. he remarks that Ernst Cassirer ‘has recently made the Dasein of myth a theme for philosophical Interpretation’. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being modern era. Heidegger’s later ruminations on the event of being differ profoundly from medieval mystical texts. no less than the layperson.

Language became. at the same time. unthought. It is Ereignis that provides the possibility of the history of Western metaphysics. As Caputo argues. This dif-ference is the proper matter for thought from Heidegger’s perspective. Aquinas. and the question of language in terms of the doctrine of signification. the Ereignis which sends being to thought. within which Aquinas and all other metaphysicians thought. Ereignis is that which allows for the approach of being/meaning to historical humans in the first place. Heidegger came to realize in the years following Being and Time that the term being belonged to the very tradition that he was attempting to criticize – the tradition of Western metaphysics – and that he could no longer use it for the matter that he wanted to think. . increasingly important when considering Dasein’s relation to being. The difference between being and beings was concealed and being fell into oblivion. for example. The history of metaphysics. It is no longer the ontological difference – the difference between being and beings – that specifically concerns Heidegger but the ‘that’ which opens up this difference in each and every particular epoch that has produced a metaphysics. Quite the contrary. but that has been the tradition’s failure. is not ‘being’ but the ‘that which grants being’ as the possible subject matter of metaphysics in the first place. as Heidegger’s thought developed. Another name for this dif-ference is Ereignis. as Heidegger came to understand it. It is this dif-ference (Unter-Schied = inter-scission) which afforded Aquinas the ability to think being as he did. Ereignis is not a new term for being. the that which produces or ‘opens-up’ the ontological difference between being and beings. as Heidegger came to see it. it takes pride of place. and it is this event which grants or sends being to thought. Rather. What is in oblivion however is what Heidegger calls the dif-ference . Crucially. is a history of the multiple ways in which being or beingness has been named by the metaphysicians who have. Indeed. being is not in ‘oblivion’ here.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 119 came to be associated with the being of a particular being. notes an ontological difference between pure subsistent being (God) and finite beings: finite beings participate in and depend for their being upon pure subsistent being (God). Metaphysics or onto-theo-logy from Plato to Nietzsche has been concerned with being or beingness. the event of appropriation. It was the question of being that was the guiding concern of Heidegger’s thought throughout his long career. left the ‘it’. for the matter to be thought. his habilitation thesis Duns Scotus Theory of the Categories and of Meaning amounted to the asking of the question of being in terms of the question of the categories. This is the birth of ontotheology.

Every self-sending of being to thought is at one and the same time accompanied by being’s self-withdrawal. As Caputo argues. In many ways. if Heidegger’s thought ever gives the impression of such privileging he is not staying true to the overcoming of metaphysics and is still bound up with a metaphysical view of history. The matter to be thought has become the ‘opening’. A-lethia is another term for the granting of the various historical epochs. All disclosure of being is accompanied by such a concealment and there can be and could never have been. A-lethia is the granting of being and truth in the first place and it points to the event. every age or epoch in which there is a sending of being to thought is equally epochal and subject to the self-concealing of being. Heidegger sometimes speaks of Ereignis as a ‘play’. despite what Heidegger says about the early Greeks. ‘Language is the house of being’ and the history of language discloses not only the status and approach to the Seinsfrage . in and through which being. the term ‘being’ has taken on the meaning of ‘history’. The world is not neutral and Dasein’s relationship with that world is not simple. Heidegger speaks of A-lethia . Indeed. as Caputo stresses in his reading of Ereignis . By being attentive to the oblivion of being we do not suddenly become released from it. As Caputo cautions us. The significance of historical languages for Heidegger at this point is hard to overstate. No one epoch in this history of the sending of being to thought can be privileged – not the ‘first beginning’ of thought with the ancient thinkers or the ‘new beginning’ which Heidegger seeks to usher in. As Caputo intimates. The danger in this game is that the essence of Dasein and the essence of truth will be thrown off course indefinitely. plays groundlessly. the game that is Ereignis. history and metaphysics are granted to historical humans. the dif-ference. . Every epoch is subject to différance : human beings have no absolute point of view on things. the Ereignis whereby historical epochs and languages become possible. a game. time. a purposeful movement back and forth in which the ‘essence’ of Dasein itself is at stake and in which the results are anything but certain. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being However. the unconcealing of truth. there is a dark side to it and a general notion of danger in Heidegger’s thought post Being and Time .120 Heidegger. Yet such attentiveness or wakefulness is constitutive of overcoming. this concealment that accompanies disclosure is inscribed in the essential nature of being itself. but also an aspect of the way in which being itself becomes manifested in the various epochs. It is this dark side that is not to be detected in the thought of the medieval mystics. one privileged sending of being where it came into full view and rendered itself transparent to Dasein.

In thinking itself this being thinks everything else in the universe. Everything that has existence by virtue of the One has it only contingently: everything except the One may never have existed at all. the One/God. When we focus our attention upon that which is shown up by the light of the sun we forget the very power by which things are illuminated . Everything in the universe other than God ultimately has its existence bestowed upon it by the One. has of itself. The One’s essence is to exist: it is a necessary being. and the light of the sun itself (being). That which is communicated in this cosmic emanation is a participation in what the One possesses necessarily.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 121 It is essential. The One is an intelligence that thinks itself.’s system (980–1037 CE). is grounded. not to get caught up by and become consumed by the dominant metaphysics of an age. The movement from the One to the many. he held that there was a hierarchy of being with the One (God) at its head. Aristotle. is the movement of emanation. namely God. The One freely creates and conserves every thing else that exists. Dasein has to think the giving of being and not get lost in the gift. whose existence is necessary. that all that is derives from a single creator God. It is precisely this dif-fering which opens up the ontological difference. from Heidegger’s point of view. Known in middle Take for example Ibn Sı ages to Latin philosophers as Avicenna. The One is a being. All past metaphysical systems have made use of the notion of an ontological difference between being and beings but have failed to thematize the dif-fering in this difference. The entire world order comes about from the thought that the necessary being. This One is the source of all activity and every created being ultimately depends upon ‘it’ for their existence. namely existence. St Thomas Aquinas and as many other of the great metaphysical thinkers of the past that can be brought to mind bathe in the light of being but fail to think the giving of that light. The notion of this cosmic emanation is at the centre of a system that is a paradigmatic example of the metaphysical ontotheological view of reality. which is a result of the productive nature of thought. It has been argued in the secondary literature that Heidegger took from Plotinus the distinction between that which is illuminated (beings) by virtue of the illuminating power of the sun. Any being at all has both an essence (a ‘what’ that they are) and an existence (the fact of their existence). With this metaphysical philosophy the basic premises of the revealed Qur’an . The fundamental division in being is the division between essence and existence. Plato. -na . The essence of the One is to exist. The ‘thought’ which the One has of itself simultaneously produces being. To paraphrase Caputo.

reading them as preparatory for Socrates and Plato and for everything that follows does them (and us) a great disservice. Properly speaking. Dasein’s temporality is a transcendentalhorizonal structure that provides for the appearance of beings. Aletheia is that happening whereby the world as an elaborate historical context of significance and meaning becomes ‘opened-up’. having thought before the oblivion of being. Only by shifting our attention from that which is shown up is Dasein able to see that by virtue of which these beings are shown up.122 Heidegger. Heidegger’s philosophy is simulacra of mysticism. the pre-Socratics were not ‘philosophers’ in the sense of metaphysicians. Being is the difference it makes that there is something rather than nothing and being is only ever understood as projected upon its transcendental horizon. but all of these metaphysicians have failed to recognize this history as what it is. In the years after Being and Time Heidegger increasingly spoke of ‘the end of philosophy’ and tended to characterize his own thought as arising out of this end. it can once again arise from its end. This history is to be placed in question in terms of the oblivion of the difference. As such. Crucially however. The oblivion of the matter to be thought. The history of being is the unfolding of the difference. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being in the first place. The end of philosophy is its completion. By this analogy with Plotinus on the one hand and the analogy with Eckhart on the other it has been argued that Heidegger creates the false impression of being a mystic. Rather. without any of the divinely inspired content that the mystics held true to. The history of metaphysics consists of a history of competing theories all of which posit ‘a meaning of being’. this end is not an end point. this first beginning took place before philosophy. Heidegger’s idea is that since ‘thought’ preceded philosophy. has had the effect of instantiating the forgetting of the more originary and primordial Greek experience of aletheia . The concept of being in Being and Time has the character of meaning rather than reality. which was inaugurated in the thought of Plato and Aristotle. Through this the various different senses of being or ‘truths of being’ are enumerated: no one is privileged or canonical. Philosophy has realized all the possibilities that were part of its essence at its inception. Aletheia is the emergence into the open. The beginning . In short. thinking in the end of philosophy is in transition to ‘another beginning’. Now that philosophy is ending there is the possibility that thought itself could be restored to its former glory with a great retrieve of the ‘first beginning’ with the pre-Socratic thinkers. it is that process whereby beings are brought into the clearing and become unconcealed. ‘Thinking’ in this context is not philosophy.

the event of appropriation. in his Habilitation he warned that it would be a mistake to conceive of medieval scholasticism and mysticism as opposites. This task is none other than the thought of being. somewhat playful fallacy of equivocation and it was this move that was no small part the source of Carnap’s positivistic . which gives being to thought. Heidegger’s thought is no longer philosophy but that which arises out of the end of philosophy. Heidegger had always been concerned with mysticism. Socrates is the paradigmatic philosopher for Heidegger. In terms of Heidegger’s mystical dimension. In the case of each thinker. The overcoming of philosophy is the accomplishing of the task which philosophy has set for itself but is in fact incapable of carrying out. Heidegger’s thinking has nothing to do with philosophy in this sense. Rather. Heidegger maintains. Dasein must become detached and let that which ‘is’ be. Caputo argues that an essential element of the affinity between Eckhart and Heidegger can be seen with regards to the problem of the nothing. his thinking is only possible if the thinker makes the ‘leap’ beyond the principle of sufficient reason.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 123 of philosophy was the beginning of the rule of reason and in the last century philosophy unfolded in the form of the particular sciences. it is no longer metaphysics but that which arises out of the overcoming of metaphysics and it is not to do with ‘being’ but with the Ereignis. Philosophy in the form of metaphysics begets philosophy in the form of the particular sciences. they belong together essentially. Heidegger’s treatment of the nothing in ‘What is Metaphysics?’ (1929) began with a deliberate. Indeed. Just as Eckhart’s mysticism can be read as an overcoming of the scholastic metaphysics of his day Heidegger’s thought can be seen analogously in regards to the transcendental phenomenology and metaphysics of the early 20th Century. There is a parallel between Heidegger and the mystic. Twenty years after Being and Time in his Letter on Humanism Heidegger warns his readers that what is required of historical human beings is less philosophy and more thought. that has yet not been realized and this possibility is one which philosophy could never take up as part of itself. it would be a mistake to think of his late affinity with the mystic was completely new. There is one possibility. Heidegger wants the thinker to leave such techno-rationality behind and engage in nonrepresentational thought. If we consider Eckhart and Heidegger side by side we see that each thinker petitions Dasein to open itself up to that which is beyond itself. This is the very possibility to overcome philosophy. Indeed. since philosophy – now equivalent to Western rationality or metaphysics – is a matter of reason and argumentation.

After the change in orientation in his thinking however. The question of the nothing is a metaphysical question. The mood of anxiety responds to the call of being and this call is the call to Dasein to wonder at the fact that there is something rather than nothing. ‘what about this nothing?’ This is deliberate provocation. If Dasein heeded this call then it would be called forth to the unique possibility for being relative to it. as in logic. Heidegger left such a philosophy of the will behind. The former is that kind of thinking which calculates beings. The only possible way to grasp being or God is to let them be. In this experience Dasein is awakened to the fact that there is something rather than nothing.124 Heidegger. Essential thinking is a non-representational meditation on being which ‘steps back’ out of metaphysical reason. The nothing for Heidegger is not the negation of all things. the nothing is the being of beings. At this stage there is a definite affinity between Heidegger and Eckhart since both thinkers realize that the only way to deal with being and God respectively is to let them deal with us. At this point Heidegger distinguishes between ‘representational thinking’ and ‘essential thinking’. Heidegger suggests that Hegel was correct to think of pure being and pure nothing as the same. For Heidegger. This choosing to have a conscience is bound up with Dasein’s admission of its guilt. With this. Essential thinking on the other hand is concerned with the truth of being. Heidegger wonders. to let them approach Dasein. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being outrage. even if he did so for the wrong reasons. the question of the nothing is actually an approach to the question of being. This has an analogue in Eckhart for whom God is pure being and pure nothing. Dasein ‘chooses to choose’ and in choosing Dasein chooses to have a conscience. In a sense. In Being and Time anxiety was bound up with the silent call of conscience to Dasein. but it is deliberate provocation with a serious point for Heidegger wants to show that the first sense of the nothing is in fact dependent upon the second more profound sense. the nothing is that which is ‘other’ than all beings and what else is ‘other’ than all beings except being itself. In this experience particular beings show up against the backdrop of the nothing. As such. In this text Heidegger is unfolding a metaphysical question from within metaphysics in order to let metaphysics do the talking. . it is purposeful thinking. Dasein encounters the nothing in the fundamental mood of anxiety. Heidegger remarks that the sciences are concerned with beings and nothing more. The occurrence of the mood of anxiety is ontological. Being and God do not submit themselves to us in the sense of being subordinated to Dasein. Being is bounded by the nothing. anxiety in Being and Time is linked to purposeful choice. Rather.

Being does not surrender to Dasein’s control and if Dasein has managed to think being at all. one reason for Heidegger’s abandonment of fundamental ontology was that there is a paradox at the core of the project. however. This sacrificing of Dasein’s being is a ‘thanking’ of being for the gift of itself to Dasein as a matter for thinking. albeit in a different context. With all this Heidegger has parted company from his earlier attempt to establish a fresh conceptual determination of being. This reason involves analogy. and so being. Rather than attempt to follow a strict chronological approach to this question I shall suggest an interpretive reason for moving beyond fundamental ontology. As the only responsible response to a gift is thanking. Crucial to this process is that Dasein surrenders itself to being. Ontology. The question as to why Heidegger gave up or moved beyond fundamental ontology is a complex one. Ontology can’t be established purely ontologically. Dasein must receive being and preserve its truth. Since the publication of Heidegger’s very early work scholars have read into it intimations of what came to pass in Heidegger’s career not only in the years leading up to Being and Time but afterwards. is fundamentally related to Dasein and the understanding of being. from a systematic point of view. Heidegger did focus on a constant cluster of themes throughout his career. as Heidegger says. time. so Taminiaux argues in his summary of Heidegger’s philosophy in Volume VIII of the Routledge History of Philosophy. it is only because being has given itself to it. Now. Taminiaux has noted that. how can it be possible not to reduce being to characteristics of a particular being (Dasein)? It is partly for this reason that I have criticized the analogical interpretation of Heidegger’s text. understanding and so on. If this is so. There are. early in Heidegger’s path of thought. Dasein must thank being by thinking. significant reasons for being wary in accepting a straight-forward thesis of divorce between ‘early’ and ‘late’ Heidegger. In particular I suggested that the privilege of Dasein in . themes such as being. ‘ontology has an ontic foundation’.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 125 to wonder at the fact that any particular being is set over against the nothing. The Present Age Much has been made of the difference between the earlier and later phases of Heidegger’s thought. Themes such as ‘destruction’ and ‘other beginning’ were intimated. One reason is that he came so see Being and Time as a work of transition that was still too metaphysical. If fundamental ontology is identified with the metaphysics of Dasein then.

as a result. With Aristotle. and issues such as time-space. in relation to the concept of time. If fundamental ontology is prior to the ontology of being then Dasein’s temporality must be distinguished from the temporality of being itself. Undoubtedly. I will take the second approach since it is broad enough to cover a considerable number of texts while at the same time allowing me to dwell on particular texts. This process began with Plato and Aristotle. The second approach would consider a cluster of texts representative of Heidegger’s views as they are developed in his career after Being and Time . and from being and time to ‘time and being’. If this is so. Heidegger. I shall also return to themes. and offer a sustained analysis of key themes as they are developed there. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being fundamental ontology and the analogical interpretation of his text brings his own thought into proximity with ontotheology. holds that being has fallen into oblivion because the ontological difference between being and beings has been passed over by Western metaphysics. paradoxically. being is in oblivion in favour of a being. such as substance ontology. concerned with the happening of truth in history. Taminiaux argues. and I will place these in a critical relation to the problem of univocity. There are two broad approaches that might be followed in order to illuminate Heidegger’s later approach to the question of being. being became associated with the being of a particular being and the difference between being and beings was concealed. including longer ones like the Contributions. perhaps the Contributions to Philosophy or the Letter on Humanism . in the project of Being and Time. The first approach would take a single text. in terms of Heidegger’s critique of these issues in his later thought. The history of being serves as the clue to all human history.126 Heidegger. The Later Heidegger After the change in orientation in his thought in the 1930s Heidegger became concerned with charting the history of being as it unfolds in the epochs of Western history. Thus. The Heidegger I will be dealing with here is the Heidegger after Being and Time . It was in 1923 that Heidegger realized that the Greek term ousia means constant presence. from the 1930s on. I will engage with texts. such as the essay On Time and Being. suggests Taminiaux. being fell into oblivion. Heidegger’s later thought is characterized by an attempt to get beyond Dasein to being. . Dasein. the provisional nature of fundamental ontology contradicts its fundamental dimension. when the need arises.

Beings do not pre-exist this process: beings appear or come to presence in and through the disclosure of being. although from nowhere. its revelation in and through Dasein.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 127 What is in oblivion in the metaphysical tradition is what Heidegger calls the dif-ference: the process of clearing (Lichtung) and dispensing (Geschick) which makes possible the metaphysical difference between being and beings. Further. Being is there in this process of disclosure. The hyphenation in the term dif-ference marks the fact that this is a process. As one way in which things can be meaningfully there for human understanding and interest becomes manifest another recedes and is shrouded in darkness. Ereignis names the self-sending of being to thought. Heidegger is right to say that the human world is not neutral and the human being can never transcend it and that what things are is determined in terms of this perspective. sees all. being gives itself to and ‘comes to pass’ in beings: being discloses or reveals itself in beings. The human subject can never attain the perspective of a God: a perspective which. Dif-ference marks the differing in which being and beings are carried outside of one another while at the same time they are carried towards one another. the appearing of beings is the concealing of being: the disclosure of beings is simultaneously the concealment of being. As Heidegger read the tradition of Western philosophy. Every epoch is equally epochal: human beings do not have and can never have a privileged point of view on things. withdraws. Dif-ference. It is precisely in these terms that I part company with Heidegger. Dif-ference is the differing in the difference between being and beings. as the disclosure of being. The position that emerges from this parting company is a form of perspectivism. No one epoch in the history of the way in which things are available for human understanding and interest could be privileged. in opening up the ontological difference. This concealment accompanying disclosure is inscribed in the essential nature of Ereignis itself. One way of reading this implies that the Greek revelation of being qua origin of Western thought was somehow privileged and that the other beginning will inherit this privilege. My criticism of Heidegger’s view does not operate at the level of his interpretation of the history of Western philosophy and its dominant view of . The disclosure of being is at the same time the appearance of beings. there was a first beginning of thought in Greece within which an intimation of an ‘other beginning’ can be discerned. and every self-sending of being to thought is at once accompanied by being’s self-withdrawal. This is the process of dif-fering or Ereignis. As the ‘being’ of beings. All disclosure is accompanied by concealment on the part of being.

and as Heidegger says. Heidegger has elaborated the structures of practical agency qua Dasein. there can be a ‘Dasein’ of different historical frameworks. following Heidegger’s. In Ereignis historical humans and being are mutually appropriated. I shall place this view in relation to Heidegger’s philosophy in more detail in the next chapter in terms of the notion of archaeological hermeneutics.128 Heidegger. In each case different ontic meanings of being human are founded upon certain ontological (transcendental) structures. I am not contesting his view that the history of Western philosophy is dominated by the metaphysics of presence and by a concept of being construed in terms of presence. Nor would I accept this view. is that it is possible to interpret diverse configurations of meaning and agency by attending to founding events. In the mutual appropriation of historical human beings and meaningful presence the way in which things can be meaningfully there for them. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being being. What it means ‘to be’ in one epoch may be different from another: human being may be meaningful in terms of ‘fallen humanity’ from a medieval Christian point of view while it may be meaningful as ‘bearer of rights and duties’ from a modern one. is established. What can be retained from Heidegger’s thought after such a parting company is a determination of the manner of being of practically engaged agents who are constitutive of particular communities. such as the building of monuments. Ereignis and Epochal Immanence It is hard to overstate the importance of Greek thought for Heidegger. That is. My criticism of Heidegger’s philosophy of history operates at the level where it might be put to work in writing history. and even prehistory. in its relation to being qua temporally configured meaningful presence. One has just to consider the following testimony from the late autobiographical piece ‘My Way to Phenomenology’: What occurs for the phenomenology of the acts of consciousness as the self-manifestation of phenomena is thought more originally by Aristotle and in all Greek thinking and existence as aletheia. A-Letheia. This is a formal and ontological framework that underscores the ontic and particular configurations of meaning constitutive of particular historical civilizations and prehistoric communities. My view. I am not attributing to Heidegger a view that holds that there is a ‘univocity of meaning’ across diverse epochs of being where such a view implies that what it means ‘to be’ an ‘X’ would be the same to the ancient Greek as to the medieval peasant. As I have argued.4 .

Within the course of the unfolding of the history of being there is no recourse to any transcendent ground: there is nothing beyond the immanent play of the revealing and concealing of being.).is the river of oblivion or forgetfulness which denness or closure). languages. this was further developed in terms of Dasein being ‘in the truth’. Lethe separates the underworld from the world of the living. As Heidegger would read this. (un. has had the effect of instigating the forgetting of the more originary and primordial Greek experience of a-letheia . For Heidegger. It was through this engagement with Aristotle that Heidegger came to reserve the word Dasein for the factical life of the human being. which was inaugurated in the thought of Plato and Aristotle.(hid. and the root lethe. It is the very granting of historical configurations of the meaning of being. Truth is not a mental state but is rather the event of disclosure for a disclosing being. Secondly. the unconcealing of truth. Attaching the negative prefix ‘a-’ here serves to connote a sense of un forgetting and hence of unconcealment. Within its immanent play as the unfolding of the history of being there can be no recourse . it is that process whereby beings are brought into the clearing and become un-concealed. and that is. even though Husserl’s phenomenology had gone towards overcoming the traditional definition of truth as adaequatio intellectus ad rem with the notion of evidence (the self-manifestation of phenomena to intentionality). first because he had understood truth to be the unconcealment of beings for an unconcealing being. truth or aletheia is bound up with existence. because instead of confining this unconcealing behaviour to consciousness.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 129 It was Heidegger’s view that Aristotle had been more original than Husserl when it came to his account of truth. the locus of truth was not merely the judgement but intentionality or consciousness itself. Heidegger speaks of A-letheia . the human being. A-letheia presence (a-) from its prior unavailability or hiddenness (lethe is the original event that produces meaningful presence or being. Rereading Aristotle through phenomenology led Heidegger to the view that he had been more original than Husserl. Aletheia is the very emergence into the open. A-letheia is the granting of being and truth and signals the Ereignis whereby historical epochs. In Heidegger’s hands. of epochs. it is said just to be a feature of human comportment or of human being.or dis-). A-letheia is that happening whereby the world as an elaborate historical context of significance becomes opened-up or uncovered for Dasein. This term is composed of the privative prefi x a-. The disclosure of a being is its momentary release into . determinations of being and truth are produced as effects. the oblivion of the matter to be thought. On this reading.

there are many different ways in which what it means to be is determined historically. my point is that time is fundamentally important in Heidegger’s philosophy of being and that whatever other notions are important. That this may be so is not ruled out by my reading of the importance of time for Heidegger. My point is not that space is unimportant or even that it is not the most important notion in play in Heidegger’s thought. in this text I will attempt to deal in detail with just one of these characterizations of Ereignis. Wood has pointed out that in texts such as On Time and Being. denial. Namely. after all. the transcendental horizon for being. It is rather the granting of meaningful presence. remains univocal and immanent. Ereignis is not a grounding transcendence. qua temporal granting of meaningful presence. Ereignis as temporal extension. being. This is a significant point of continuity with Heidegger’s earlier understanding of time. Ereignis is thought by Heidegger in terms of withdrawal.130 Heidegger. Significantly. . commentators such as Elliott and Wood have begun to problematize the roles of space and time in Heidegger’s thought. Elliott has further argued in his Phenomenology and Imagination in Husserl and Heidegger that the notion of space is. time remains one of the foundational points in Heidegger’s engagement with the question of being and with the history of philosophy. the function of art and in terms of time-space. but one that will remain largely beyond my discussion in this text. even from Heidegger’s earlier engagement. I shall further investigate the notion of a temporal extending of meaningful presence when I discuss the notion of time-space. I agree that space is of considerable importance to Heidegger’s thought and I can accept that this significance is reflected in his early engagement. Dasein cannot be abstracted from its world and can never gain a view from nowhere. Although there are many meanings of being in the history of the epochs of being. This is a profitable discussion. Recently. Space is an important concept in Heidegger’s thought and I shall intimate a reading of this notion in terms of the notion of a ‘site’. Rather. Here the notion of temporal extending is linked with the notion of space and the ‘site of the moment’. Meaningful presence is temporally configured and while the manner in which things can be meaningfully present to Dasein can change. Temporality is. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being to a founding transcendence. In his Thinking After Heidegger. for Heidegger. expropriation and temporal extension. perhaps the dominant notion at work in his philosophy. My view does not preclude an exploration of any of the other determinations of Ereignis and it does not preclude a further examination of space. withholding. nonetheless.

Philosophy’s end.5 Technology (Gestell ) is the way being is revealed in the present age and this event compels historical human beings to see the totality of the world as . as completion.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 131 nevertheless. Rather. and metaphysics is identical to Platonism. or metaphysics. This fate befalls philosophy legitimately. Far from resulting in the mere dissolution of philosophy. It is the decisive feature of philosophy. the process of the development and increasing self-assertion of the sciences belongs essentially to and constitutes the very end of philosophy as completion. has become actual: philosophy. philosophy is at its end. The end of philosophy means the beginning of the world civilization that is based upon Western European thinking. in the present age. as meaningful presence. that what became the independent sciences would develop in and through the space that philosophy cleared. in the 1960s. being is univocal. remains decisive throughout the entire history of the West. evident even in the age of the Greeks. and the end of philosophy is the completion of metaphysics. the end of philosophy is that ‘place’ where the entirety of philosophy’s history is ‘gathered’. The structure of the dynamic event of the revelation of being remains temporal and as thought of in terms of time. from Heidegger’s point of view. at this point. When we discuss being in Heidegger’s text we are discussing the univocity of being. What was once merely possible. The character of Plato’s thought. have developed into and constitute independent sciences. is this gathering. The being of beings is the presence of what is present. He says: The end of philosophy proves to be the triumph of the manipulable arrangement of a scientific-technological world and of the social order proper to this world. Such is Heidegger’s argument. Heidegger insists that philosophy’s end must not be construed as mere cessation. As such. so Heidegger contends – technologically. is a manner of representational thinking that seeks out grounds. or rather the questions of philosophy. the interpretation of phenomena (in the widest sense of the term) moves along the lines drawn by the forms of thinking constitutive of the sciences – and that is. philosophy is metaphysics. But what is philosophy? And what is it about philosophy that renders it susceptible to such an end? For Heidegger. so Heidegger argues. being is univocal. The present age of the end of philosophy has become dominated by the forms of thought constitutive of the sciences. Heidegger was keen to emphasize that. Philosophy. By the time he wrote ‘The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking’.

becomes a danger that threatens thinking. This is not the task which Heidegger holds out for his non-representational thinking: the thinker’s task lies in asking the basic question (die Grundfrage) which has been forgotten by the tradition: ‘what is the truth. It is precisely this question that has been forgotten in the history of philosophy. the univocity of being in terms of time. Such a thinking is characterized by the ‘step back’ out of metaphysics. philosophy’s dissolution into the technological thinking of the sciences. wholly transparent to human understanding. philosophy understood metaphysically as Platonism. The guiding question of metaphysics (die Leitfrage) asks ‘what are beings (as such)?’ In determining this. Heidegger will reveal being as the meaningful presence which emerges as the temporal event. In the nihilistic epoch of technology beings are taken as a ‘stockpile’ of manipulable resources that is. It is only by means of this step back that thinking can confront its true matter. Appropriation is mutual. It is this event which brings historical human beings to their essence as the place of the revelation of meaningful presence. the temporal revelation of meaningful presence in conjunction with the opening up of openness. something that can in fact be heard in the dawn of philosophy. The task of such thinking is preparatory and far less grand than philosophy. This step back is simultaneously a step into the very origin of metaphysics. metaphysics thinks the beingness of beings: it characterizes being in terms of a region of beings. Heidegger raises the question of a first possibility: a possibility which was contained in and yet concealed from philosophy. Through musing on this question. he is attempting to ‘bring to language the happening of Ereignis’. In the context of Heidegger’s late work. Ereignis. The thinker does not say ‘being is’ but ‘there is being. Such a thinking attempts to articulate something to the present age. The matter for thinking cannot be grasped by the concepts of philosophy. In non-Heideggerian language. . Forgetfulness of being is forgetfulness of Ereignis. Increasingly. this first possibility remains inaccessible to philosophy as metaphysics and to its progeny. in principle. being is in so far as it has a place in open human nature. sense or essence of being?’ This question will problematize the relationship of being and time. As such. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being manipulable resources there for them to master.132 Heidegger. In Heideggerian language. his chosen manner of expression was poetry. The truth of being is thought as the event of appropriation. and human nature is properly what it is as the site for the revelation of being. he is attempting to express the fact that there is meaningful presence in the first place. it gives being’. the particular sciences. Heidegger’s late writings are characterized by an effort to find a manner of expression for this position. Opposed to this last possibility for thought.

The term Ereignis first appears in Heidegger’s corpus in 1919 in the context of a discussion of lived experience. only by means of its step back can thinking attain that ‘place’ from which Ereignis can be thought. Ereignis is that which differs in the difference: it is the between of being ‘and’ beings. That is. It is that which bears them apart and binds them together. We try to bring the It and its giving into view. or the historical human being Martin Heidegger. Ereignis is not a posit of human subjectivity. Heidegger had once moved in the direction of thinking being and time. The temporality characteristic of Dasein is now extended to it by virtue of the appropriating event. It is the opening up of the clearing which allows beings to come to presence or appear as what they are. the difference within which all metaphysical thinking dwells. Heidegger has named the event that binds being as meaningful presence to the temporality of Dasein. . he contends. Ereignis is deeper and more primordial than both being and time. and capitalize the “It”’. Ereignis opens the space of metaphysics but is not itself thought by metaphysics: metaphysics operates within the difference between being and beings but cannot question the origin of this distinction. On Heidegger’s terms.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 133 The thinker. With the recognition of Ereignis as the proper matter of thought Heidegger has seen that what is at issue is the very conjunction of the two: being ‘and’ time. A History of Being It is from the perspective of attempting to think the temporal event or Ereignis that Heidegger conceives of his history of being. Metaphysics is the history of being and the history of being is being itself. And. . it is rather that which allows humans to posit subjectivity. Ereignis is the fundamental thought in terms of which the path of Heidegger’s thinking must ultimately be interpreted: Ereignis is the primal mystery that is still unthought today. Ereignis issues in meaningful presence. Ereignis is this conjunction. attends to the ‘It’ which gives: ‘we try to look ahead to the It which-gives Being and time . Ereignis is that which opens up the ontological difference between being and beings. . It is the primordial sending or dispensation of the two: it is the ‘It’ which gives. As a result.6 The ‘It’ is the dif-ference (Austrag) or Ereignis and the aim of thought is to attend to this ‘It’ which joins any historical human and being. The term does not feature prominently in Being and Time but comes back into usage in the late 1920s becoming the central term from the 1930s and the text of the Beiträge (Contributions to Philosophy) onwards. Ereignis is that event which brings about being to and for thought.

Heidegger wants us to become sensitive to the essential connection of meaningful presence to the ‘preservers’ of that presence. It is Heidegger’s view that the limits of the philosophical milieu of an epoch can be discerned in terms of the ‘name’ that a great metaphysician has given to the being or beingness of beings. It is the very happening by which such historical configurations of meaning or frameworks can come to be in the first place. act in Aquinas.134 Heidegger. thinking and being are held apart and held together simultaneously in the Same. not in the sense of an engulfing sphere of reference. His list includes. In this sense. is intended to intimate Ereignis. Idea in Plato. so Heidegger holds. presented here in a somewhat mythologized fashion. energeia in Aristotle. individuals and communities. Epoch of being is understood in terms of the notion of epoché (suspending) of being and is characterized by the oblivion of Ereignis. Heidegger maintains that being and thinking belong together essentially in an identity occasioned by Ereignis. This ‘belonging’. Ereignis is the very condition of possibility of culture. carry us over to the question of the belonging together of thought and being. variously. and will to power in Nietzsche. is without ground. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being the history of being as metaphysics consists of various epochs where what is grasped is the beingness of beings: the determinations of the beingness of beings are determinations of being in terms of the various features of beings. context or framework wherein phenomena are assigned meaning. as that which first clears a space and allows something like a world to come to presence at all. with the words ‘the Same are thinking as well as being’. The ground of beings is something that can only be determined within a context. Ereignis allows . Ereignis is that which remains unthought in the tradition of metaphysics and is that matter which Heidegger seeks to think. It is not clear to what extent Heidegger thinks this list exhaustive. objectivity in Kant. This thinking is no longer metaphysics but the overcoming of metaphysics. but in the sense that it is beyond all frameworks. In the present age of technology or ‘framework’ (Gestell ) a first glimmer of the appropriation which mutually appropriates historical human beings and being can be seen. It is a thinking that is no longer limited to the distinction between being and beings but seeks to think the origin of this distinction. Absolute Spirit in Hegel. Ereignis is now the central term of Heidegger’s thought. When ‘belonging’ is emphasized in this way. as that which allows being to be determined as ground in the first place and as that which allows spheres of reference to come into being. This Same is the active essence of Ereignis. Heidegger lets Parmenides. These ‘preservers’ are. Ereignis. Ereignis is an abyss. representedness in Descartes.

by appropriating it to being. Being and time are given by the Ereignis. its essence. present and future and ‘true time’ is four-dimensional.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 135 human beings and being to reach each other and to lose the metaphysical baggage that the tradition has burdened them with. Dasein is no longer at the centre of Heidegger’s ontological universe in the sense that it had been in the philosophy of Being and Time . The paradigm of his later thought is the notion of ‘letting be’. Ereignis is not being. Human existence belongs to appropriation. is afforded its proper place and thought . they have ceased overcoming metaphysics and are content to leave it to its own devices. thinking must also think the historicity of the ‘It’ which grants the history of philosophy. The fourth dimension of time is ‘nearing nearness’ or ‘nearhood’. Time-space is the clearing for being as presence. Giving is understood as the sending of being as time. It is Heidegger’s conviction that in order for thinking to gain insight into its proper task it must review the entire history of philosophy. If this project were not taxing enough. Amidst these somewhat abstract determinations. Presence is the ‘constant abiding’ which approaches. Time-space names that openness which is opened in the interplay of past. The event brings the human into its own. Heidegger has not forgotten human existence. For Heidegger. Ereignis is not a particular sending of being but rather the source of every sending. reaches and is extended to historical humanity. Being itself means presencing and the being of beings means the presence of what is present. Time is also given by the ‘It’ which gives and this giving is understood to be that which preserves the ‘realm’ wherein presence is itself extended to historical humanity. so he would wish to emphasize. understood as an opening-extending. That which grants a possible history to philosophy is the event of appropriation. When the thinker achieves ‘letting be’. Part of his reason for doing so is that the approach of temporality to Dasein clears the ‘space’ in which meaningful presence comes to presence in the mutually appropriating Ereignis. What determines time and being in their belonging together is the event of appropriation. With the thinking of Ereignis the concealment of being. cannot be explained in the language of metaphysics or in terms of the conceptual framework of the natural sciences. and this is understood as the ‘giving that determines all’. essential to the history of being. thinking Ereignis allows for a more original mutual appropriation of being and historical humanity than that offered by traditional metaphysical philosophy. pride of place is afforded to the nonhuman event. Heidegger employs a spatial metaphor to elucidate the fourth dimension of time. nor is it time. Now. It is the primal mystery to which we can only remain open. Ereignis.

it does not think the differentiation by virtue of which there is a difference between being and beings: metaphysics does not think the difference. All beings display this characteristic: beings come to presence. Nor is there any transcendent ground beyond the play of revealing and concealing.136 Heidegger. is relative to Dasein and as meaningful presence. However. Ereignis is beyond all contexts but does not transcend the meaningful world of sense in the way required for a metaphysical principle of ground. but in having thought before metaphysics. being is univocal. abide. before Plato. medieval scholastic metaphysics is characterized by Heidegger as a falling away from the fundamental Greek experience of being as presencing. and pass out of presence and behind the presence of what is present there is essentially nothing else. Being. My concern with univocity comes by way of a reading of Deleuze. In Heidegger’s thought there is a univocal conception of being as presencing. the Ereignis. What has emerged in my investigation of Heidegger’s philosophy so far is that there is a fundamental univocal sense being in his thought. is not a metaphysical ground in the way God or the subject is. Ereignis is not a being and cannot be approached in the way beings are approached. as meaningful presence. the ‘It gives’. That fundamental sense is meaningful presence or presencing. By characterizing Heidegger’s position on being in terms of univocity I mean to say only that there is in his thought a fundamental sense of being qua presencing. Appearing as meaningfully present amounts to a being showing up as what it is. Ultimately. the thinking of the source from which the various determinations of being arise. . Ereignis. and that is. Metaphysics thinks within the ontological difference of being and beings which is opened up by the event of appropriation. beings have to show up as meaningfully present in the first place. not in their having transcended metaphysical thinking. The dynamic I want to stress in Heidegger’s thought is as follows. There is no substance which ‘stands-under’ the presence of what is present. for Heidegger. Ereignis ‘is’ only in the belonging together of finite human being and meaningful presence. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being attains its true matter. In terms of the history of being. While what it actually means for something ‘to be’ (or to show up as a being) in distinct historical epochs may be different – a being may be conceived as an imitation of an Idea in ancient Greece or as a manifestation of the will to power in technological modernity – nonetheless. the being of beings is the presence of that which is present. the very event of the revelation of meaningful presence itself. In so doing I do not commit him to any of the metaphysical claims usually associated with a position that takes being to be univocal. The greatness of the early Greek thinkers was for Heidegger.

And it is this non-metaphysical thought that Heidegger wants us to anticipate in the coming other beginning. If thought will enable us to hear an echo . This previous dawn is nothing less than the first beginning of thought in Greece. The beginning Heidegger anticipates is the other beginning of non-metaphysical thought. appears with the fateful turn from presencing to ‘being’ conceived in terms of the Idea with Plato and substance with Aristotle. presencing is the very upsurge of beings into being. the very event of ‘standing forth’ from the concealed. It is a basic assumption of Heidegger’s thought that the origin of a tradition is an event that determines from the beginning the character of what will come to be in it. Metaphysics. With this in mind we can gain access to the question Heidegger poses in ‘The Anaximander Fragment’: ‘what if that which is early outdistanced everything late. so Heidegger contends. Rather. as Heidegger sees it. they respond to the ‘appeal of its presencing’. Their thinking constitutes the first beginning of Western thought. Heidegger thinks the eschatology of being immanently in the history of being. Heidegger raises the question of destiny. These thinkers think being poetically. As Heidegger understands it. The stepping forth from concealment of this emerging sway is the event of unconcealment or aletheia. if the very earliest far surpassed the very latest?’8 In this context. Parmenides and Heraclitus thought at the very beginning of the metaphysical tradition. With the ancient Greeks. In ancient Greece. The present age is situated between two beginnings: the first beginning and the anticipated other beginning which can only begin with the thinking of the Ereignis. Being was disclosed to these thinkers primordially as presencing. Physis is the ‘emerging sway’ which includes both ‘being’ and ‘becoming’. Just as the first beginning thought being non-metaphysically so shall the other beginning. being was thought as this very upsurge or emergent process of shining forth into unconcealment. Parmenides and Heraclitus were not philosophers in the sense of metaphysicians. they were thinkers. gathering and being as eschatological. as Heidegger suggests we should.7 The present age. Such eschatological thinking is only possible in our present age.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 137 Section Two The Tradition Anaximander. If we in the present age. is the liminal extreme of the history of being. Anaximander. think immanently the eschatology of being then the previous ‘dawn’ of thinking will be anticipated in the ‘dawn to come’. being was disclosed in terms of physis and aletheia .

of which it is necessary for the thinker to become aware. as Heidegger frames this phenomenon. Such is the importance of the early Greeks. for ‘continuance’ and ‘subsistence’. it has congealed to such an extent that beings reveal themselves as stable manipulable resources there at humanity’s disposal. The clearing is more primordial than particular beings . In this sense Dasein is said to be the clearing or lighting through which beings show up as what they are. The process of calcification does not stop there: it continues with the medieval scholastic conception of substantia . This congealment into permanent presence continues throughout the history of being. The thinker lets be and remains open to the enduring mystery that there is being. this transitional moment is the moment between approach and withdrawal. In the present age of technology. Between this ‘two-fold absence’ that which presences endures for a moment. Dasein is that being which uncovers and constitutes truth.138 Heidegger. What comes to presence takes on the posture of persistence and becomes indifferent to any other presence. which is the manner in which modern humanity relates to being. What is present ‘lingers awhile’. In his discussion of Anaximander’s experience of presence Heidegger gives us further insight into the presencing process. The shift towards permanent presence is not just the responsibility of humanity. which is the open region for all modes of presencing (including the presencing of the absent). Heidegger refers to this between and to presence in terms of joining or ‘ jointure’. The jointure is that space where what is present presences. A little further on in ‘The Anaximander Fragment’ Heidegger lets us see just how he thinks this happens: what is present insists on remaining present in the sense of perduring and becoming permanent. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being in the first beginning of what might take place in the other beginning. this original primordial presencing process (Anwesen) becomes degraded by a process of calcification and becomes the permanent presence of the Idea (Plato) or substance (Aristotle). In such an age philosophy or metaphysics operates in complete ignorance of the clearing for being as meaningful presence. our thinking may become other than the techno-representation of metaphysics. In Heidegger’s view. The clearing is that free space upon which presence always remains dependent and to which thought must redirect its attention. By paying them heed modern humanity can glimpse what has been lost for so long. It is this clearing. Its aim is. In Being and Time Heidegger had taken Dasein to be the source of truth. being as presencing. We should note that this insistence is couched in terms that place it on the side of self-presenting phenomena.

displaying as it does a certain ‘thankful’ openness. His later thought is even less anthropocentric. and man belongs to be-ing so that he can accomplish his utmost destiny as Da-sein. self and world are essential aspects of the unified structure of being-in-the-world. although still retaining something of the transcendental tradition. Self and world are never wholly distinct existing beings. And that is. Through the clearing the various practices which form the interpretive lines constitutive of a historical civilization are drawn. The human and the thing are constituted by the event of the co-belonging of thought and being. Dasein is always caught in the hermeneutic circle and there is no such thing as presuppositionless knowledge. Guignon suggests that Heidegger’s fundamental ontology can be read along the lines of a ‘Ptolemaic reaction’ to the Kantian Copernican revolution.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 139 of any kind. Historical communities and their world come into being in their interdependence through the clearing. The clearing is that free space wherein particular forms of life as being-in-the-world emerge into presence. Heidegger’s position is what I would call a deep contextualism: both self and world belong essentially together in the structure of Dasein. goes a long way in displacing the ‘subject’. Dasein can only encounter something as significant in some particular way precisely because it has a pre-ontological understanding of how things in general can matter for it – and this. The subject.9 Caputo has shown that the later Heidegger’s thought displays a mystical dimension whereby thought’s relation to being is structurally similar to the relation of the soul to God in mysticism. To be sure. Dasein’s general sense of things depends upon what it encounters in its world. They are not subject and object nor are they ‘I’ and ‘thou’. through the temporal event of unconcealment (Ereignis) inseparable from the understanding of being that is constitutive of Dasein’s historical form of life or community. for Heidegger. It is rather the meaningful presence which things can have for Dasein . Nonetheless. transcendental or otherwise. does not replace God. The being of beings is Dasein-relative. As Heidegger says: Be-ing needs man in order to hold sway. Heidegger’s early thought. because it has been initiated into the shared practices and language of its historical culture. The world is not constructed by transcendental subjectivity as it is for Kant and Husserl. The complex event of being still ‘needs’ and ‘uses’ human beings but is even less to be thought of as something created by them. Rather. being is not the Christian God.

a history unfolding in and through being’s self-donation and withdrawal from thought. by posing the guiding question (die Leitfrage) of Western thought. The essence of truth is historical. In a very real sense. Understanding the history of being affords the key to understanding all human history. Truth is now the truth of being and truth is the clearing and sheltering of being. His esti gar einai . However. as already indicated. The History of Metaphysics In the first beginning the early Greeks. so holds Heidegger. The early Greek answer to this question was physis. this remark serves to sum up Heidegger’s entire project. Moira . a history of the ‘looks’ that being has assumed throughout its historical unfolding. (‘what are beings?’ or ‘what is the being of beings?’) brought to language an intimation of the event. The truth of being is what mostly remains concealed but nonetheless constitutes the ‘meaning’ and ‘ground’ of that which initially shows itself (beings). this meaningful relatedness of things for Dasein comes to pass differently in the various epochs of being constitutive of its history from Greece to the present age of modern technology. ‘for there is being’. In this sense. Historical civilizations are constituted by a particular revelation of the truth of being.140 Heidegger. Parmenides speaks of the presencing of what is present and the other key term of his. The truth of being is that which the sense (Sinn) or meaning of being in Heidegger’s earlier thought had tried to name. names the giving of presencing as . Oblivion is not a mere human error but belongs to the history of being itself. Each stage along the way has been accompanied by a configuration of truth and in this sense the history of being is also a history of truth. brought the primal mystery of all thought to language. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being and. despite their access to being as presencing and their proximity to the dif-ference. the unfolding of being. can be read as primordial history. understood as the unfolding of the manifold ways things can be meaningfully there – and thus appropriated – by Dasein. a history which begins with the oblivion of the dif-ference. human beings are seen as ‘preservers’ of the truth of being. Heidegger continually returned to Parmenides. As the beings who are ‘called’ to respond to the gift of being’s presencing. It is Heidegger’s view that esti gar einai remains unthought even today. the early Greeks did not manage to think the dif-ference explicitly. The oblivion of being is the oblivion of the difference between being and beings.

What marks out metaphysics as different from previous thought is the distinction into essence and existence. so Heidegger argues in The Principle of Identity. is the question of the ‘active nature’ of identity. the dif-fering in the dif-ference.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 141 the presence of what is present. the history of metaphysics is characterized by the ever escalating withdrawal and concealment of the difference and a continual falling away from the primordial early Greek experience of wonder in the face of physis. It is in the context of a discussion of the unthought ontological difference that the distinction between essence and existence appears in The End of Philosophy. literally ‘the being’. Analogy is understood as an aporia in which the entire history of philosophy since Aristotle is caught. The move away from the early Greeks is bound up with the turn towards ontotheology and the analogical conception of being. of the belonging together of being and thought. Metaphysics. Beginning with Plato and Aristotle. Thought and being are not identical in the classical sense but rather belong together in the Same by virtue of the primordial event of belonging together called Ereignis. The Moira is that which sends or gives while it itself remains withdrawn in the giving. Rather. Moira intimates Ereignis. Since metaphysics moves within the distinction of whatness and thatness. Interestingly. The ‘fateful destiny’ of the oblivion of being begins with Plato and Aristotle and culminates in Nietzsche. as understood by Heidegger. to be univocal and as Deleuze will say. it is an event in the history of being. This distinction is no mere accident of human thought. Parmenides takes to on . The event of appropriation. Here the distinction is presented as belonging on the side of being. This event presents itself as the matter to be thought. Metaphysics. The Same binds together that which differs. when Heidegger says that essence and . Questioning into the meaning of this Same. whatness and thatness. begins with the fateful event of the distinction into whatness and thatness. is the letting belong together of thought and being. Any attempt to enquire into this origin moves within the province of the overcoming of metaphysics. Parmenides problematizes being and thinking in terms of their belonging together. is characterized by the continual moving away from the original Greek experience of being as presencing. The question of identity for Heidegger is no longer formulated in terms of the relation of equality but in terms of the notion of the Same. it is from Parmenides to Heidegger that this univocal ‘voice of being’ is taken up. Belonging together is always a belonging together in the Same. Thought and being essentially belong together. The difference that Heidegger is concerned with in his thought is difference as dif-ference. the question of the origin of this distinction is one that metaphysics cannot raise. as history of being.

Dasein also has no existentia in the classical sense. The early Greeks experienced being in terms of physis (emergence). metaphysics has begun. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being existence belong on the side of being in the unthought difference he is referring us back to his critique of scholasticism from the perspective of fundamental ontology in The Basic Problems of Phenomenology. Plato is the thinker that prepares the way . metaphysics begins. The early Greeks marvelled at and stood within the primordial essence of being as physis and aletheia . The metaphysical distinction merely articulates being more fully and does not penetrate to the heart of the matter. so Heidegger argues. Da-sein becomes something that historical human beings can be brought to by the appropriation: Da-sein is the turning point in the turning of enowning. Rather.10 As a consequence. What is thought in metaphysics is beingness and beingness is divided into essence and existence. From here it takes on the character of presence and permanence in terms of enduring substance (ousia). In being-historical-thinking. . Dasein is always a ‘who’ and never a ‘what’. Aletheia (unconcealedness) is the primordial essence of truth that accompanies the emergence process. the self-opening midpoint of the mirroring of call and belongingness . At first being ‘opened itself out’ in terms of emerging (physis) and unconcealment (aletheia). Rather. Once this happens. any ontology that deals solely with essence and existence can never account for Dasein. The problem with the metaphysical distinction between essence and existence is that it does not coincide with Heidegger’s ontological difference. With Plato. As Heidegger argues in ‘Metaphysics as History of Being’.142 Heidegger. . The metaphysical distinction is lacking. Heidegger conveniently summarizes his view of how the shift from the early Greek experience of being to the later Greek experience took place in ‘Metaphysics as History of Being’ in The End of Philosophy. Here the matter for investigation became the beings which had emerged and the emerging process itself became forgotten. The first covering over of the primordial experience of being occurs with Plato. it belongs with one of the terms Heidegger distinguishes. The terms essence and existence can be employed in discussion of the being of what is present-at-hand but are wholly inappropriate when applied to Dasein. of emergence into the unconcealed. Heidegger was always keen to stress that Dasein has no essence in the way an inanimate object does. In this way Da-sein is the between [das Zwischen] between man (as history-grounding) and gods (in their history). Dasein is Existenz: it has its being to be.

holds sway. Heidegger reads these notions in terms of presence and insists that primary and secondary substance are in fact modes of presence: Presence in the primary sense is Being which is expressed in the hoti estin: that something is. now Idea becomes enmeshed in representational thought. the beingness of beings is their whatness. As such what is attained. Being for Aristotle means ousia and ousia means what is permanently present. being is established as transcendent ground of beings. Secondary substance is that which comes to presence secondarily: the look . Presence in the secondary sense is Being. as first cause of beings (causa prima) and as the highest of those beings (summum ens) it is taken as a being. Heidegger reads Aristotle in terms of presencing and aletheia and he hears in him an echo of the primordial first beginning. existentia . The Ideas are the features that individual beings have in common and serve as the plan which the Demiurge (the former of matter) instantiates. With Plato. In Aristotle’s thought it is still possible to hear an echo of the primordial experience of being. In order to think being for Plato. Whereas the notion of Idea had once belonged to the unconcealment process as the outlook of a thing as it emerged into presence.11 Primary substance is that which comes to presence first: the being. the beingness (general properties or causes of beings) of beings is disclosed in the notion of the Idea. This is apparent in his interpretation of the notions of primary and secondary substance. Plato is the father of metaphysics as ontotheology and all metaphysics speaks ‘the language of Plato’. essentia. one has to think beyond the beings of appearance. in Heidegger’s view. Being can only be known through abstraction: the thinker has to abstract the general properties or features of beings in order to arrive at their being. the task of seeking out a being which most truly exemplifies what it is to be and which is then taken as grounding beings and is deployed in classifying beings. their essence. With Plato. Primary substance is usually taken to signify a particular existing thing and secondary substance is usually taken to mean the universal under which that particular is subsumed. to which we trace back in the ti estin: what something is. but their beingness. When being itself begins to be thought of as causal. is not their being. truth is no longer conceived as aletheia but is transformed into the judging subject’s conformity with the Ideas.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 143 for the distinction into essence and existence. The difference between being and beings is forgotten and ontotheology. With Plato. As such.

Univocity for Scotus was determined in an ontotheological context and provides for humanity’s natural knowledge of God. for Heidegger. Heidegger did learn something from the scholastic metaphysicians.144 Heidegger. Scotus’s concept of haecceitas afforded Heidegger an early insight into the individuality of the individual. Heidegger’s motivation in his reading of Scotus was to retrieve a philosophy of radical singularity. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being the being displays. respectively. It is within the scholastic context that much of the debate concerning analogy. expressed in the concept of ‘thisness’ that would later become facticity. In the scholastic phase of the history of being metaphysics is in full swing. The middle age is the ontotheological age. The eternal return as an endless repetitive machination is the essence of modern technology or Gestell . this period is yet another in the oblivion of being: it is even further removed than was the later Greek period from the primordial essence of being as presencing. manipulate and otherwise use up. turns upon the concepts of haecceitas and univocity. Now. Duns Scotus. Scotus discusses univocity in order to answer a question regarding the adequacy of human language as a means of signifying God and His attributes. not of humanity’s decision. It is in terms of the Gestell that modern human beings relate to beings. It is also that period in the history of thought where the great debates over the nature of being were conducted. The division into primary and secondary orders of being paves the way for the analogical interpretation of being and the notions of essence and existence set the stage for all subsequent metaphysics. equivocity and univocity took place. whereas for Heidegger. Nietzsche carried the metaphysics of modern subjectivity to its end. The apotheosis of metaphysics is reached with Nietzsche. The middle age is the poor cousin of the age of Plato and Aristotle. the essence and existence of beings. Heidegger interprets Nietzsche’s central doctrines of will-to-power and eternal return as. Being in the Gestell has lost all meaning. univocity speaks of the temporal nature of being’s occurrence as meaningful presence. univocity has a different connotation for Scotus than it does in my interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy of being and time. Univocity. Being is a temporal event and is never wholly present according to Heidegger. which are seen as simply there for humanity to consume. but of the play of the Ereignis. Regarding the concept of univocity. to be sure. For the later Heidegger. I have shown how Heidegger’s relationship with a particular scholastic. is bound up with the attempt to think being non-metaphysically without . That an age is dominated by a single principle of interpretation of being is the result. This is the beginning of the problematic of the categories of being. The notion of a fundamental transcendent metaphysical ground qua God is a central dimension of his thought.

the modern condition can be characterized in terms of objectivism and subjectivism. still bound up with metaphysics. He still employed words such as transcendental for example. In his later thought this took on an even greater urgency. This is evident in the shift away from talk of being to talk of Ereignis. written in 1938–39. What is the case however is that there is a fundamental sense of being. he attempts to prepare for an alternative to Western thought itself. Heidegger came to regard Being and Time as a work of transition. Part of this problem was couched in terms of a ‘failure of language’. this term had no philosophical significance whatsoever. In Being and Time and associated texts such as Basic Problems of Phenomenology. opposition to nothingness in Scotus and meaningful presence in Heidegger and it is this that qualifies their respective philosophies in terms of univocity. Mindfullness. Here. As his thought progressed he came to see this as problematic on a fundamental level. Both employ a fundamental sense of being and it is just this employment of a fundamental sense of being that qualifies a thinker as a thinker of univocity. This is the Beiträge zur Philosophie (Vom Ereignis) [Contributions to Philosophy (From Enowning)] and is known by Heidegger scholars simply as ‘the Beiträge ’. The Medieval and the Modern The condition of modernity horrified Heidegger and the text of the Beiträge can be read as his response to it. Heidegger still speaks the language of the tradition. Now it is the central term in Heidegger scholarship and the philosophy of the event is a determining feature of recent philosophy in Europe. Machination is not simply . univocity is expressed very differently by these two thinkers. In this text much of his later thought takes shape. one that would enable the inquirer to get to the matters themselves without bringing the baggage of the tradition with them.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 145 recourse to a transcendent metaphysical ground. perhaps more than anywhere else. Heidegger’s second major ‘being-historical’ treatise. In Being and Time he was aware of the problem that thought needed a new vocabulary. For Heidegger. One of the most recent texts of Heidegger’s to appear. To this extent. represents after the Beiträge. Machination names the phenomenon Heidegger will later refer to as technology (Technik) or enframing (Ge-Stell ). The text where Heidegger attempts to respond to being in terms of the Ereignis has assumed a distinguished place as his most significant text after Being and Time . Previously. known in the Contributions as machination and lived experience.

It is a world where quality is either reduced to or displaced in favour of quantity. By using the word Ereignis Heidegger wants to suggest a sense of the word eigen (own). This is not an existentially enriching kind of experience (Erfahrung) enjoyed by the few and the rare. Eigen is not etymologically related to Ereignis but. It is in this context that Heidegger speaks of the death of God and the flight of the Gods. can function to bring a sense of Ereignis to presence. the Internet and human resources management. Thus: das Seyn west als das Ereignis . Machination and lived experience is the cultural logic of late Capitalism. It is a revelation of beings as a whole as objects there to be exploited and manipulated. In this context. The modern world has been abandoned by the sacred. its world and to being. It is rather experience understood as ‘superficial stimulus’ that leaves the subject wholly indifferent and unchanged. Historical civilizations are constituted by particular revelations of being (the truth of being) and involve a particular view of truth. dif-ference itself has withdrawn and the world where being made a difference has vanished. The Beiträge and related texts constitute Heidegger’s reaction to this fact.12 The central notion at work in the Contributions is Ereignis. of globalization. of pre-packaged goods.146 Heidegger. The world of machination is one of calculation. being has abandoned beings and humanity is no longer captivated by the fact that there is something rather than nothing. Heidegger’s concern is with epochal shifts in the way historical humanity relates to itself. by virtue of its sound. ‘being essentially unfolds as appropriation’. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being human behaviour but rather ‘a mode of the essential sway of being’ itself. In such a barren world human subjective life is dominated by lived experience (Erlebnis). the world of mass production. But even more than that: Machination and lived-experience are formally [formelhaft] the more originary version of the formula for the guiding-question of Western thinking: beingness (being) and thinking (as re-presenting comprehending). The modern condition of machination and lived experience is the modern productive world of human consumption. It . In such a world. Such moments reveal our cultural logic to be what it is and allow us a fresh encounter with the mysterious fact that there is being. The meaningful relatedness of beings to our understanding and interest is determined by the historical event (Ereignis) which appropriates us and which we can appropriate and make our own during those rare moments constitutive of our historical dwelling. It is the modern mathematized world.

The trouble with analogy is that it is bound up with ontotheology. Analogy. The entire medieval approach to the question of God. Machination is part of the unfolding history of being and analogy is a problem precisely because it is the surface manifestation of the deeper tendency to submit being to human control. is only ever understood in terms of the beingness of beings and beingness is nothing less than a determination of being in terms of the general features of a class of beings. This is why Ereignis is rendered the event of appropriation . geeignet (appropriate) and eigentlich (authentic). Technology. his concept of the univocity of being in abstract-general terms. that the more powerfully it unfolds – for example in the Middle Ages and in modernity – the more stubbornly and more machinatingly it hides itself as such. Metaphysics remains enthralled by beings and never reaches the event of appropriation. as basic forms of actuality and thus of beingness. is as a challenge to historical humanity to master the earth. on its own terms. The challenge of the Contributions is to think being historically. Metaphysics proceeds by thinking beings and has posed the guiding question of the beingness of beings. analogia entis determines being by analogy to a particular being or class of beings. however.13 God qua being. Ereignis involves appropriating the historical event of being’s occurrence. The dispensation of being which dominates in the present age is technology/machination (Gestell ). Such a method can never get beyond beingness. is paradigmatic ontotheology. constitutes another stage in the continued falling away from the primordial Greek experience of being. Analogy is part of the calcified tradition of metaphysics. abstracting from imperfect creatures to the perfect being. whose ground is not yet established. as he does. from a Heideggerian point of view. Historical humanity qua technological takes up this challenge in its technological-calculative response to beings as it subordinates . further prepares the way for the modern revelation of being and. the root of Eigenschaft (property).14 The trouble with analogy is that it is bound up with what becomes the technological way of revealing being. Further to this. as a metaphysical doctrine. the way being happens in the present age. Scotus is a prime example of a metaphysician. hiding behind ordo and the analogia entis in the Middle Ages and behind objectness and objectivity in modernity. This is precisely the problem with the philosophy of analogy: It seems to be a law of machination. determining.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 147 is.

As he argues in ‘The Age of the World Picture’. it was the medieval experience and expression of being that was transformed in and through the advent of modernity. the idea that humanity was the sole master of its own destiny was quite alien. in the image of God he created them. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being them to its planning. The world was. Beings are the stockpile of human machination. but only in the way a croft is there for a crofter: God created humankind in his image. Although belonging to different civilizations. and fill earth and subdue it. Each transformation of being is an event from which a new world arises. male and female he created them. It is bound up with the accumulating pervasion of thought by metaphysical representation.148 Heidegger. Here it becomes seen as part of a tendency to submit the world to the domination and control of historical humanity. and God said to them. God blessed them. ‘Be fruitful and multiply. They represent stages on the way of the growing dominion of machination and the challenge to subdue the standing reserve of beings is deeply ingrained in Western self-understanding and experience. and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the air and over every living thing that moves upon the earth’. there for it. The very idea of subjective ‘pictures’ of the world belongs to the modern machinating way of relating to what is. There. expressions such . The medieval experience of the world and the philosophy of analogy testify to depths of the Western Christian experience of life. Nowhere more than in the middle ages is this so clear. Continuously. and the control spoken of does not stop at the human. Heidegger would not have us refer to a ‘medieval world picture’ or ‘ancient world picture’. The understanding of analogy that Heidegger is laying out represents the dark side of his engagement with and deep understanding of medieval thought. Gestell implies that the world is there for humanity in the way that the contents of a warehouse are there for the owner of a construction business. What happened in the middle ages was that the realm of beings were opened up in the sense of being God’s creation. Analogy is the crystallization of the understanding of being in medieval life. To be sure. beings became mere objects which could be controlled and calculated by human beings. Analogy is the way being comes to pass in the middle ages.15 The world and all therein is the gift of God. The kind of subjective relativism involved in such a notion is alien to his thought. the medieval and modern way of revealing being is continuous. To the medieval mind. in a sense. What comes to pass in the middle ages with the philosophy of analogy is part of the unfolding drama of being’s historical occurrence in the West.

With this the technological relativistic subjectivity of the modern age (der Neuzeit) is complete. is the ens creatum . analogy is appealed to as an explanation of the multiplicity of beings. As the mature Heidegger understands the situation of the middle ages. as Heidegger reads it. Such subjective ‘consumer conscience’ characteristic of the present age has absolutely no place in medieval thought. to correspond to the cause of creation (analogia entis). the problem with this is that it is vacuous. The apparatus of scholastic thought (metaphysica generalis coupled with metaphysica specialis and culminating in theologia rationalis) is now understood to be ‘the doctrinaire reflection of the uncomprehended truth . Rather. In this text the origin of analogy is held to lie in the project of subordinating beings to their beingness. to be in being means to belong within a specific rank of the order of what has been created – a rank appointed from the beginning – and as thus caused. From Heidegger’s point of view it makes no sense to speak of the ‘world picture’ changing from the medieval to the modern. that which is created by the personal Creator-God as the highest cause. However.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 149 as ‘the modern world view’ presuppose something impossible: namely. analogical thinking is still seen as central to metaphysics but it has no place in the new thinking (or ‘other beginning’) Heidegger intends to intimate. the text of a lecture course Heidegger gave in 1936 while he was working on the text of the Contributions. This is a significant point of continuity with his earlier engagement with analogy. From this later point of view. things were very different: For the Middle Ages . an ancient and a medieval world picture. Beingness emerges as the most universal and highest cause of beings. This can be clearly seen in the appendices to Schelling’s Treatise on the Essence of Human Freedom . With this in view. . under which they are all subsumed. The modern is distinguished by the fact that the meaningfulness of the world has been sufficiently reduced to the extent that it can be held up as something pictured by modern humanity. The proliferation of subjective pictures of the world is indicative of the fact that being counts for nothing in the modern age. .16 Here analogy is clearly linked by Heidegger to the fundamental experience of the world in the middle ages and to the intrinsically hierarchical thinking of ontotheology. Heidegger always linked analogy to the medieval experience of life. modernity is itself distinguished by the fact that here and now the world is revealed as something that could be ‘pictured’. that which is. Here.

That beings themselves ‘co-respond’ to the highest being. similarities. which Heidegger believes his thought has made. in the double sense: 1. That one thinks and explains with regard to correspondences. The early Greek expression of physis and aletheia exceeds metaphysical speculation and renders the first beginning unthinkable by metaphysics. only manages to miss the magnificence and significance of their predecessors. both in the middle ages and now. Given his mature position Heidegger is scornful of the fact that Platonic and Aristotelian thought has been. aletheia is displaced in favour of representational thought.18 The link here between analogy and metaphysics is just as unmistakable as the redundancy of analogy to the thought of what is called by the name ‘being’. universals. Heidegger argues that the first beginning can only ever be misunderstood by the metaphysician and that the last of these misunderstandings was initiated by Nietzsche.17 This is consistent with the view Heidegger has expressed elsewhere about the nature of scholastic thought generally and particularly of its medieval expression. In his view it is sadly telling of the condition of the interpretation of Greek philosophy that all pre-Socratic thought has been and continues to be interpreted as . ‘analogy’ no longer has any basis. Questioning into the nature of the first beginning together with abiding in Ereignis overcomes all the questions of metaphysics which arise from analogy. Recourse to them however. Being is in oblivion and analogical-hierarchical thinking reigns. The history of being thus runs from Greece to the middle ages to modernity and planetary technology. The middle ages represent a further stage in this metaphysical oblivion of being. Partly responsible for the character of medieval thought was the predominance of the thought of Plato and Aristotle. Metaphysics as ontotheology arises with Platonic Idealism and in all its forms cannot think the event of appropriation. questions the difference as difference and intimates the other beginning. Such a move. And that is. In this connection he announces: Analogy belongs to metaphysics. In metaphysics. one thinks in terms of Being itself. The essence of truth as unconcealment has been displaced in favour of intellectual correspondence with the Ideas. thought of Ereignis. Ereignis.150 Heidegger. 2. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being of beings which was absolutely founded by Plato as Idealism (understood metaphysically)’. Where. seen as synonymous with Greek thought in toto. Ontotheology is bound up with an ontical hierarchical thinking that in no way leads back to the source. on the other hand.

Beings are at are those of domination. so Heidegger holds. When Galileo intimates what Newton will call the principle of inertia he employs the words. a historical epoch is a particular episode in the withdrawal of being. involves the renunciation of such stories and the retrieval of receptive openness to the mystery. just as the first beginning did not. For Descartes. Whereas in Greek the word for basis is hupokeimenon . the emphasis in the adequation of mind and thing is placed on the mind. Conceived in these terms. beingness is objectivity. on Heidegger’s view. Heidegger is preparing for the other beginning of Western history. The first beginning begins with the creative overcoming of myth. This is the origin of modern calculative reckoning and evaluation. In the epoch of Cartesian philosophy. the cogito itself is the basis upon which the beingness of beings is revealed. mente concipio. in Latin it is subjectum . This is the beginning of what Descartes calls -sis : mathe -sis is that project whereby the cogito realizes itself and mathe acquires its position of mastery. the cogito does ultimately depend upon God but. mythical or otherwise. Preparing for it makes our understanding of the Greek first beginning possible: the other beginning is brought about by the ones to come. The epochs of the history of being do not correspond to the standard categories of narrative history. With this. The modern epoch is born into the world and its screams -sis universalis. who leap forth into the Ereignis or truth of being. This occurs with Galileo and Newton.Univocity and Heidegger’s Later Thought 151 mere preparation for Plato. A History of the Modern: Subjectivity In the Contributions and elsewhere. The other beginning does not begin from nothing. The Greek first beginning is studied in order to prepare the way for this other beginning which will occur at some indeterminate future. Essentially. this is the acknowledgement of the mystery of being together with the refusal to reduce the fact that there is being (that there is something rather than nothing) to some particular narrative. The Greek word epoché meant withdrawal and as such. The modern world begins with the advent of subjectivity. It is the birth of mathe . True thinking. thinkers and poets. The relation of subject–object entails the submission of the thing/being/entity to the rule of the human cogito. ‘conceive in my mind’. With the cogito the established rule is subjectivity. early Greek thought remains denied to us in its true light as the thought of being.

Western thinker means metaphysician. Nature is no longer physis and truth no longer aletheia . The eternal return is nothing more than endless repetitive machination. was simply the philosopher who brought metaphysics and modern subjectivity to its ontotheological apotheosis. all beings are reduced to the value that they have for the self-aggrandizing value-bestowing will. The will-to-power is read ontologically as the beingness of beings. From this perspective. In modernity. The world is demythologized in favour of a world there to be used up and manipulated in the service of modern humanity’s calculating rationality. This is the essence of modern technology. the ‘what’ and the ‘that’ of beings. With the thought of the will-to-power and eternal return the wonder experienced by the early Greeks at the intrinsically ambiguous and mysterious event of being’s revelation has been decisively lost. -sis reach their The subjectivation and objectivation bound up with mathe limit with Nietzsche: the will treats every being as an object (Gegenstand ) and simultaneously compels it to be available for manipulation. . despite his intentions at the time. according to Heidegger. Further. Will-to-power and eternal return repeat essentia and existentia . In machinating technological modernity being counts for nothing and nihilism prevails: modern technology is the summation of the oblivion of being. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being once subjectivized and objectivized: they are referred to the cogito as master and objectivized as governable and calculable. Nietzsche. Nietzsche is the last great thinker of the West. it runs the risk of reinforcing nihilistic subjectivity. like all metaphysicians. The essence of every being is will-to-power and their existence is to eternally recur. which is the culmination of that Platonic way of thinking – metaphysics. Heidegger’s evaluation of the fundamental ontology of Being and Time is that. Nietzsche. the subject displaces God.152 Heidegger. The birth of modernity is the birth of mechanized naturae. From Descartes to Nietzsche there is essentially a continuity. the eternal return is read theologically as the ground of beings and beingness. speaks the language of Plato.

Being. In this chapter. Being Dasein entails being the grounder and preserver of the truth of being. Being is historical and understanding the history of being provides for the understanding of all history: being’s history is the history of the way in which how things matter for Dasein is transformed through the unfolding of Western history. When beings are approached with a sensitivity to their meaningful presence. Reading this claim historiographically. History (Geschichte) is itself an event in which the fate and destiny of humanity is in question. The truth of being – what it means for anything to be in a particular epoch. then this provides the key to the creation of a series of interrelated narratives that present human history . they indicate or intimate the meaning of being of their age. in addition to discussing the fate of the univocity of being in Heidegger’s thought.Chapter 6 Univocity and the Problem of History History and Civilization In his Contributions to Philosophy Heidegger wants to provoke humanity into being ‘Dasein’. by so doing they shelter the truth of being. Being Dasein is now conceived as the historical possibility of being ‘the there’. The notion of Ereignis signals that being is a historical event that involves owning or appropriation. for the revelation of meaningful presence or being. ‘Being’ takes on the meaning of ‘history’ in Heidegger’s mature texts and understanding the history of being provides for the understanding of all human history. the meaning of being – needs to be sheltered in beings. the meaningful relatedness things can have for individuals and communities is essentially bound by time. The fate and destiny of the West is bound up with the way in which being is sent (geschickt) to historical human beings. if it is possible to understand the historical unfolding of the way in which things can be meaningfully present to historical humanity. Such is Heidegger’s position. the historically situated site. I will put forward a reading of the key themes in his mature position and show how these could be used in the service of a novel historiography.

Such a project would maintain the structures of practical agency in its relation to meaningful presence at the formal ontological level while recognizing the possibility of diverse manifestations of practical agency and novel cultural configurations of meaning and circuits of interpretation on the other. If . At this level he can be read as imploring historical humans to prepare for the possibility of ‘thinking differently’. could be written from the point of view of an understanding of how the changes in the meaningful presence of things provides for narrative self-interpretation on the part of individuals and groups. historical humanity’s task is to ‘catch’ what is thrown to it. Humanity is ‘thrown’ into history and the prevailing meaning of being of an age is ‘thrown’ to historical humanity. However. It is precisely these novel configurations of meaning that can be interpreted with reference to the general ontological structure underlying them. then Heidegger’s view tends towards philosophical and cultural traditionalism and conservatism. human history and possibly pre-history. Recall my characterization of European thought in my Introduction. As I argued in my Introduction. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being from the side of meaningful presence. In the spirit of thinking differently. after catching what is thrown to it. From Heidegger’s point of view. this tension is reflected in the history of European thought itself. it is possible to read Heidegger’s thought conservatively and to see him on the side of conservative preservation of past meanings of being. the historical human’s job is to innovate and challenge rather than conservatively conserve. Much European philosophy challenges the historical human agent to think differently and many European philosophers attempt to forge a novel reaction to a perceived crisis in philosophy. Such a project would draw on aspects from both early and later Heidegger but would give up Heidegger’s later eschatology. This dimension of Heidegger’s thought links up with broader concerns in 20th century thought and culture more generally.154 Heidegger. there is also in his thought the tendency to read the history of being eschatologically and prepare for a radical and transforming revelation of being. That is. A thinker on the side of innovation and revolution would perhaps regard historical humanity’s task as one of ‘thinking differently’. When historical humans are charged with the ‘care of’ and ‘preservation of’ the prevailing way in which what is meaningfully present for them is meaningfully present. care for and preserve it and ultimately cast it towards its future unfolding. This is opposed to a philosophical and cultural view that emphasizes innovation and revolution. These themes are related to themes such as authority versus individualism and universalism versus relativism that also play themselves out in the 20th century. For the reasons just mentioned.

The event of being is bound to a particular site or place where a historical people dwell.Univocity and the Problem of History 155 this is so then a question will immediately follow: when should we begin to think differently? It is not clear that Heidegger answers this question. he is trying to provoke a reaction on the part of human beings in the service of being. It is this that makes them Dasein. The terminology employed by Heidegger here is deliberately ‘destinal’. Dasein appropriates being. a civilization is established when a meaning of being particular to it is achieved. the meaning of being particular for that community . is to remain steadfast (inständig) in the site cleared in the revelation of being and to cast or throw it forward towards the unfolding of the meaning of being in the future. humanity always inherits a meaning for being. Civilizations stagnate when they no longer attend to their meaning of being. Historical humanity cannot become complacent and closed off to new possibilities of being or dwelling. Humans are appropriated by being and turned into Dasein. philosophical or political activity. If his eschatology of being is abandoned then this releases historical humans from the task of ‘awaiting’ the transforming event. The thrower itself.1 Heidegger is keen to emphasize that the prevailing meaning of being which is thrown to historical humanity belongs to it as the destiny of its community. From his point of view. by meaningful presence. Historical humans are always free to creatively appropriate the way in which things can be meaningfully there for them and innovation can always follow from this. In such times. Dasein is the thrown thrower : What is meant is always merely the projecting-open of the truth of being. is thrown. poetic. Such a meaning of being enshrines the ultimate values inherent in that community’s self-relation and relation to beings. Humanity belongs to being and being belongs to humanity. as Dasein. Being appropriated by being. As historical. He is trying to remind humanity that it is their destiny to be ‘the there’ for the revelation of being. The advent of a new way of dwelling by virtue of a new dispensation of being can be traumatic for a historical people. There is not a transforming event ‘to come’ at some undisclosed futural point. Da-sein. Appropriation is mutual. That is. a transforming event can overtake humanity at any time. A civilization may be founded through religious. They must be attentive to the limits of their civilization. Participation in the event of being (Ereignis) is what makes historical human beings ‘the there’ of being. en-owned by be-ing. is what differentiates humans from animals and things. Their task.

as just ‘the case’. sub specie aeterni (from the viewpoint of eternity) – when they make a mummy of it. what is at issue here is that pernicious tendency of historical civilizations to forget that they are historical. then.156 Heidegger. . Egyptianism is the pernicious tendency of philosophers to de-historicize what they deal with. This means. that community has lost touch with its specific nature as historical and has fallen prey to the delusive de-historicizing of philosophical Egyptianism. becomes taken as self-evident and eternally true. when they worship. as Polt reminds us. . Ontotheology is Egyptianism. since such humans now take for granted the manifold way in which things can be meaningfully present for them. the specific historicity of their meaning of being and situation lose their vitality as historical. these conceptual idolaters – they become a mortal danger to everything when they worship. They think they are doing a thing honour when they dehistoricise it. In addition. As such. their hands alive.2 Entire civilizations can fall prey to this pernicious tendency but in philosophy proper. Heidegger believes that the totality of historical humans constitutive of a community should engage in activities that preserve the culturally enshrined practices and values constitutive of that group. nothing actual has escaped . their hatred of even the idea of becoming. enshrined in its meaning of being. metaphysics and metaphysicians have erred precisely because they de-historicized being. They kill. they have forgotten that this way of being is a historically contingent circuit of meaning. As Nietzsche complains of philosophers idiosyncrasies: There is their lack of historical sense. From a non-Heideggerian point of view. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being becomes self-evident and no longer worthy of question. Reading his thought in terms of its inherent possibilities as . When a community’s cultural know-how. they stuff. it should be noted that there is a conservative tinge to some of this. However. All that philosophers have handled for millennia has been conceptual mummies. he seriously entertains the idea that the particular way in which things can be meaningfully present for a group can be subsumed under the larger destiny of being as it eschatologically unfolds as Western history. In effect. Heidegger holds that the historical humans constitutive of such a civilization have forgotten that their task is to remember being and cast it forward to its future unfolding. their Egyptianism. Heidegger is waiting for the advent of an other beginning of non-metaphysical thought that can only come to be at the end of philosophy.

Formally. Heidegger sets out to show that art itself is a particular form of disclosure (aletheia). By way of such disclosure. not only the particular disclosed being is made present but also the event of the disclosure of the being of that particular being. can be determined. Although the meaningful presence of particular beings may be different in different epochs. Not at all for Heidegger. much expanded. Art itself is the essence and origin of all particular works of art. as an event of the revelation of the meaningful presence of what is meaningfully present. the means of writing a novel account of their historical form of life is achieved. Art and History In the addendum to his ‘The Origin of the Work of Art’ Heidegger tells us that art belongs to appropriation. there are the formal temporal dynamic structures that Heidegger outlines and. nonetheless. being remains meaningful presence. in its being.Univocity and the Problem of History 157 an approach to history (and anthropology. and belongs squarely within this later perspective. This amounts to rejecting destinal thinking. Heidegger is not a philosophical anthropologist: his motivation was the question of the meaning of being) is based on a rejection of Heidegger’s conservatism. art itself belongs to the disclosure of appropriation. what Heidegger called the meaning of being in Being and Time . This happens in all events of disclosure. This essay was originally written in 1936. and art itself. At this formal level Heidegger’s philosophy of being can be understood in terms of univocity. Heidegger holds that there is a further kind of disclosure that is the event of the ‘disclosure of disclosure’. The result of disclosure is that what is disclosed emerges as ‘what it is’. was finally published in 1950. of the disclosure of disclosure. by paying attention to the events which enshrine the way in which things can be meaningfully present for members of a group. Art is not simply taken subjectively as ‘cultural achievement’ or in quasi-Hegelian terms as appearance of ‘spirit’. Nevertheless. to be sure. his central topic. what can be learned from Heidegger is that. during the time that Heidegger was writing the Contributions. on the other hand. such as ‘this painting’ or ‘this poem’. although. univocity is at work. The fundamental division that operates in Heidegger’s essay is between particular works of art. The text itself. Now. In this event. the actual meaning of things in any given . On the one hand. together with a view of the structure of practical agency that is constitutive of the members of that group.

Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being epoch.4 Cultural paradigms inaugurate the history of a community.3 The extent to which this list is intended to be comprehensive is unclear.158 Heidegger. That such wonder is possible is due to the fundamental structures underlying the diverse manifestations of the meaningfulness of beings and of the particular understanding of the nature of human being in any epoch. art belongs to that extraordinary group of acts/events that disclose not only the being of a being. Works of art are disclosive of disclosure. Art allows for the origination of truth. To view it in that way presupposes the existence of civilizations and completely passes over art’s function in the founding of civilizations. the nearness of God. it is the origin of ‘creators’ and ‘preservers’ and this amounts to it being a people’s historical existence. Such a work has a focal function in that it can focus and direct the lives of individuals in the community. but also the very disclosure of the being of the being. Significantly. Art itself ‘installs’ disclosure in particular art works. Art also has a political role to play. in that it ‘grounds history’. They define and determine how beings can show up as meaningful for a historical community. art for Heidegger was historical humanity’s best hope of counteracting the holding sway of technology. Nonetheless. including great works of architecture such as the Greek temple or the Gothic Cathedral. serve as examples of what Dreyfus has called cultural paradigms. In such events. the disclosure of the meaningful presence of a being ‘is established’ (sich einricht) in that being and can be seen there. Extraordinary disclosive events allow the very fact of disclosure of the being of beings to be attended to and agents in different epochs can attend to the very meaningfulness of beings. they allow the granting of meaningful presence itself to come to presence. Great works of art. He indicates this in connection with his intimation of the ‘saving power’ in his ‘The Question concerning Technology’. Thomas Sheehan lists Heidegger’s five examples of extraordinary disclosure as follows: there is the founding of a nation state. Great works of art enshrine the meaning of being which is constitutive of a community. A great art work is an event that transforms the world of a historical people. In a sense art is history for Heidegger. Art is essentially an origin: art lets truth come into being and become historical. the thinker’s questioning activity which reveals that being can be questioned and the ‘installation’ (Sich-ins-Werk-Setzen) of disclosure which happens in the work of art. sacrificing your life for another’s. Viewing art as simply cultural achievement is too subjectivistic for Heidegger. they can be sensitive to the disclosure of the being of a being and they can wonder about the meaningfulness of things. It is worth quoting Heidegger at length here to let .

. With regard to the temple. opens up a world and at the same time sets this world back again on earth. the work of art realizes the meaning of being constitutive of a given civilization. In this passage from his ‘The Origin of the Work of Art’ much of his later position is revealed. The . eagle and bull. We call this ground the earth . . The temple-work. This resting of the work draws up out of the rock the mystery of that rock’s clumsy yet spontaneous support. the building rests on the rocky ground. This is analogical philosophy writ large. earth is present as the sheltering agent. . The existential orientation of individuals in such communities can be determined by a discrete analogy to the focal function of the work of art. . The temple. What this word says is not to be associated with the idea of a mass of matter . he says: Standing there. then it is possible to read historically the meaning of being. that on which and in which man bases his dwelling. Tree and grass. If it is possible to give a reading of these works in terms of the way in which they. as events. Heidegger has already said that it is possible to read what comes down as the being of beings in the texts of the history of philosophy.Univocity and the Problem of History 159 him speak for himself. the building holds its ground against the storm raging above it and so first makes the storm itself manifest in its violence . snake and cricket first enter into their distinctive shapes and thus come to appear as what they are. Dasein and the entire network of the ready-to-hand acquire their meaning and so being in terms of this contextual circuit focused on the orienting work of art or cultural paradigm. In realizing the meaning of being for a civilization the work of art gathers together the interpretive network in terms of which all beings are what they are. In just this way. first gives to things their look and to men their outlook on themselves. Earth is that whence the arising brings back and shelters everything that arises without violation.5 Such a work of architecture opens the clearing in which beings become accessible and intelligible in their being. . which itself only thus emerges as native ground . standing there. The focal function of the work of art is analogous to the focal function of a particular being in the philosophy of analogy. also. In the things that arise. in its standing there. these cultural paradigms form the basis for interpretation. The Greeks early called this emerging and rising in itself and in all things phusis. It clears and illuminates. . Standing there. From the point of view of an approach to writing history and anthropology. establish a historical network of meaning or the meaning of being constitutive of an age.

As Lawlor has pointed out. Abandoning any claim to an overarching metanarrative of the destiny of being. Foucault’s archaeology is similar to logic and grammar due to its discovery of the rules that individuals might not be aware of but that govern their discursive behaviour. can attempt to ‘read’ what comes down to them as the meaning of being constitutive of an (past) age. the archaeologist. Foucault’s archaeology attempts to transcend the conscious life of individual subjects: that is. the ‘archaeology of knowledge’ discovers/uncovers the rules limiting the range of permissible statements for a particular general epistemic structure or epistemé. his view is very different from Kantian transcendental philosophy. Such a method is of particular interest and significance for those attempting to hermeneutically reconstruct the world of non-literate peoples. as Milchman and Rosenberg do.7 In this regard. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being approach to the cultural paradigm that I am proposing entails a similar move on the part of world history and for that matter. the term archaeology ‘belongs’ to Michel Foucault. described his own thought as an archaeology. While we cannot stage an Auseinandersetzung or ‘critical encounter’ between Heidegger and Foucault here it is worth noting. who. in a special sense of that term. whereas Kant . Employing the term archaeology to characterize this approach places my view in an essential relation to recent European thought. This epistemic unconscious is beneath the conscious life of the subject and it makes possible any individual’s knowledge. Genealogy. texts such as Foucault’s ‘Nietzsche. that such an encounter is required. The Order of Things and The Archaeology of Knowledge would be required reading. in that it uncovered the ‘conditions of possibility’ for thought in any period. pre-history. While grammar discovers/uncovers the rules governing meaningfulness and logic discovers/uncovers the rules governing consistency. who in a late piece intimated what he called a ‘phenomenological archaeology’ and Merleau-Ponty. late in his career. the level of concepts. where the only ‘texts’ that can be consulted as to the meaning of being particular to their age is their material culture. ‘What Is Enlightenment?’. Only partly for this reason. my approach can be called archaeological hermeneutics.160 Heidegger. It may be that the term archaeology could represent something of a bridge between French and German phenomenology and Foucault’s post-structuralism. On this reading.6 The term archaeology had currency among thinkers such as Husserl. Gutting reminds us that while Foucault may sometimes employ Kantian language to describe his archaeology. That is. History’. methods and theories in favour of the depth dimension of the ‘epistemic unconscious’. Each epistemé is a general archaeological framework. As Gary Gutting understands it. Now.

then: If we think within the eschatology of Being. It is Heidegger’s view that historical civilizations are constituted by particular revelations of being. for example. Rather. It is also worth noting. This other beginning is conceived by him to be the advent of a neo-Greek form of non-metaphysical thought which attends to Ereignis. Fractured History Heidegger sought to overcome metaphysics and prepare for the other beginning of Western history. is still an issue. Foucault’s method. as Gutting does. then we must someday anticipate the former dawn in the dawn to come.8 . Archaeology reveals only relative ‘historical a prioris’. The method that I am suggesting here remains hermeneutic in the qualified sense that the issue of meaning. today we must learn to ponder this former dawn through what is imminent. Kant’s Critique or Spinoza’s Ethics. In contradistinction from the technological oblivion of being or nihilism of the present age and in order to prepare for the other beginning we preservers of the truth of being should pay heed to the thought of the early Greek thinkers. This is so because in the fragments that remain of their texts these thinkers managed to intimate the event of appropriation. The truth of being is what for the most part remains concealed but nonetheless constitutes the meaning and ground of that which initially shows itself. does not attempt to find ‘truths’ transcending those discoverable in empirical historiography. that Foucault’s history is not hermeneutic in the sense that it does not attempt to discover the ‘deeper meaning’ of ‘finds’ or ‘artefacts’. such finds are treated as indicative of the structure within which they were produced. such as any particular philosophical text. namely beings. so Gutting argues. It is within this context that he understands human beings as ‘called’ to respond to the gift of being’s presencing. with reference to the Heideggerian problematic. But before giving a concrete example of this method I should return to Heidegger’s text. Human beings are seen as preservers of the truth of being. And since being is inherently eschatological.Univocity and the Problem of History 161 claimed to have discovered universal and necessary conditions of possibility for all possible experience Foucault only claims to have uncovered contingent conditions that depend upon their particular historical situation and so can vary over time and domain of knowledge.

can be discontinuous with each other. who held a discontinuity thesis. . I would substitute a fractured history of disparate and dispersed noncontemporaneous communities interacting and colliding throughout their epochal co-determination. Recently. Such a thought will attempt to bring the granting of being to language in a meditative poetic thinking that has left metaphysics to itself. The grand meta-narrative that Heidegger constructs of the oblivion of being that begins with Plato and Aristotle and ends in modern technology shall be put in parenthesis. In service of a novel approach to world history. while they may ‘follow’ each other in sequence. Even if there were such a destiny. My view might also be called a ‘discontinuity thesis’ since I have abandoned the subordination of historical communities to an overall destiny.162 Heidegger. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being In such eschatological thinking we preservers of the truth of being can discern a hint of what is to come in the other beginning in what came to pass in the first beginning. I am not abandoning every aspect of Heidegger’s analysis of particular epochs but I am abandoning the subordination of each epoch to an overarching destiny of being. a substantial portion of the Heideggerian problematic must be qualified and parts of it rejected. and to thinkers such as Bachelard and Canguilhem. For this. Thinkers in the other beginning meditate the mystery of being without why. particularly over science’s essentially historical nature and over the central and determining role of epistemological breaks. it would not be clear that subordination to it would be desirable or even possible. Bachelard developed a notion of ‘epistemological break’ (coupure epistémologique) and emphasized the notion of discontinuity in scientific development. what I have called archaeological hermeneutics. Such a discontinuity view can be elaborated in relation to thinkers such as Foucault. Epochs. Discontinuity is in line with the view that humans can ‘think differently’ and break with the past. his eschatology of being. particularly. On Gutting’s reading. I reject Heidegger’s notion of a destiny of the West to which historical humanity as a whole could be subordinated. Foucault took many of Bachelard’s and Canguilhem’s claims about science for granted. O’Farrell has argued that the ‘principle of discontinuity’ is one of the central notions at work in Foucault’s approach to history and further that this principle is never abandoned in his work. Such a discontinuity thesis emphasizes the innovative side in the debate over innovation versus traditionalism that I have already mentioned. Gutting has argued that Foucault’s historical work can be read as an extension to the social sciences of the kind of enquiry carried out by Bachelard regarding the physical ones and by Canguilhem regarding the biological sciences.

In this regard. which was once conceived as physis. Particularly. I want to suggest that such a fractured history can replace destinal history. While this debate cannot be investigated in detail here it is worth noting this philosophical connection.10 I shall begin in this regard with Heidegger’s essay on art. reading world as culture (a context of significance which enables the self-understanding and contextual/environmental understanding of a community) earth can be read as nature (the autonomous pre-cultural . Also. My historiography refuses the three Heideggerian myths that have been identified by Caputo. with Heidegger’s thought. Dreyfus has noted the connection between Heidegger and Kuhn. And third. the geophilosophical myth Heidegger constructs of being’s history. a totalizing myth of being’s own destiny. there remains a significant portion of his thought which can be taken up and put to use on my terms. Kuhn implied that what counts as evidence in any domain may depend upon the background paradigm that provides for the scientists’ general orientation in the first place. My method of fractured history rejects these myths together with many of Heidegger’s late preoccupations. But. the term incommensurability was adopted by Kuhn (and Feyerabend) in connection with the view that successive scientific theories tend to be incommensurable with each other since there is no neutral way to compare their virtues. Earth. fragmented or fractured historiography is to salvage what can be salvaged from his thought and to put it to work in an archaeological hermeneutics that ‘unearths’ past meanings of being particular to a given community. conceptual scheme. Following Richard Polt. The purpose of reading Heidegger in service of a discontinuous. This history begins in Greece and ends in Germany. commensurability and incommensurability. The concept of ‘earth’ introduced in The Origin of the Work of Art complements the notion of world (context of significance). Second. the eschatological myth of an other beginning of Western thought and history. He goes so far as to say that ‘Kuhn is quite Heideggerian in holding that it is the paradigm that guides the scientists’ practices and that the paradigm cannot be explained as a set of beliefs or values and so cannot be stated as a criterion or rule’. is the mysterious source from which beings arise. this archaeology remains hermeneutic. First. Since meaning is in question.9 An investigation of the issues surrounding the discontinuity thesis in relation to the debate over incommensurability and paradigms is necessary.Univocity and the Problem of History 163 The general parameters of this European debate connect with a debate in contemporary Anglo-American philosophy that surrounds the philosophy of Thomas Kuhn and issues such as paradigm shift.

tends always to draw the world into itself and keep it there. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being ground for culture which tends to resist the cultural impulse). Cultural paradigms such as the Temple of Apollo at Bassae and the Gothic cathedral at Chartres define the way in which things can be meaningfully present for members of their attendant communities. as sheltering and concealing. Between the two. Earth is the autonomous power of nature/physis which is beyond humanity’s control. these monuments set out the tasks implicit in being a member of that community. . collective or otherwise. In anticipating the future achievement of their history. by remaining concealed. In their focal function. Earth. The past is monumental in just this evaluative manner. . The work of art provides a narrative schema that enables individuals to incorporate their own life stories into the larger narrative of their community as it unfolds historically. From an evaluative standpoint. The further case of nihilistic cultural paradigms. as Dasein by choosing its hero. to name but two candidates for the title ‘great work of art’. Clearly. . The opposition of world and earth is a striving. such as the power station or gas works. are those which overstate humanity’s ability to master the earth. embody the strife between world and earth. this manner of relating to ‘what is’ is characteristic of modern technology. . discloses the limits of historical humanity’s dominating understanding. world and earth (culture and nature) there is strife: World and earth are essentially different from one another and yet are never separated . The world. By maintaining such a monumentalized . identifies what possibilities of being it will retrieve as an example to live by from the multitude of possible self-interpretations it has at its disposal. such nihilistic paradigms are characteristic of communities which are caught up in the tide of Egyptianism: such communities are now so confident in their way of understanding being that even the most capricious forces – here coming under the title of the ‘earth’ – at work in nature are allowed to manifest as something that is in principle controllable and subject to our will.164 Heidegger. however. there is an evaluative mechanism at work in Heidegger’s text here.11 Great works of art such as the Greek temple or Gothic cathedral. communities gain insight into what should be preserved from their past. From a Heideggerian point of view. They do so by ‘setting up’ a world and ‘setting forth’ the earth. The earth. in resting upon the earth. The artwork establishes a historical world and at the same time allows the earth to come to presence as something that resists the will of human beings. strives to surmount it .

The faithful. Truth. . Without exception. The Gothic style of cathedral. . Great works define the meaning of being for an epoch. is.Univocity and the Problem of History 165 conception of the past. a standpoint for the critique of the present is achieved. a city’s cathedral was its largest building. The point of doing so is to ‘unearth’ the meaning of being of the Gothic age as it is materially enshrined in the work of architecture. enabling it to be seen clearly on the horizon from all around the surrounding area and so as one approached the city. Such an evaluative standpoint for a critique of the present is achieved by way of a monumentalized conception of the past. as the clearing and concealing of what is. such as the one at Chartres (begun in the 1140s). Heidegger says in the Scotus Book that while the concept of analogy may first appear to be a ‘faded’ and meaningless schoolbook concept. happens in being composed. . In this context. it is Heidegger’s view that the conceptually rich and abstract philosophies of the middle age express the ‘form of life’ of the medieval agent. An account of the past that is both monumental and ‘antiquarian’ is at once a critique of the present. it contains the conceptual expression of the qualitatively filled and value-laden experiential world of medieval man that is related to transcendence. so that the cruciform floor plan dominant in Christian architecture is achieved. as a poet composes a poem. are facing Jerusalem. was the dominant style of cathedral in Europe from the middle of the 12th century until the early 14th. when in the nave and facing the main altar. A nave is intersected by a transept. as the letting happen of the advent of the truth of what is. essentially poetry. . as such. All art . It is the conceptual expression of the particular form . The great work of art shelters the truth of being constitutive of an age and all art is essentially poetry: Art . The Greek temple or the Gothic cathedral has a poetic status in Heidegger’s sense since it composes the meaning of being for a particular historical people. The terminology that Heidegger is employing here in Being and Time is borrowed from Nietzsche and the use he puts it to does not depart significantly from his predecessor.12 The poetic status of art must be construed in the broadest of terms. nevertheless: as the dominant principle in the categorial sphere of sensible and supersensible reality. Let me take the Gothic cathedral as a concrete example to apply my archaeological hermeneutic method to. is the becoming and happening of truth . As I have argued.

The medieval experience of the world and the philosophy of analogy testify to depths of the Western Christian experience of life. transcendent relation of the soul to God and lived precisely in the Middle Ages with an unusual reserve. Analogy is the crystallization of the understanding of being in medieval life and it gave to the medieval agent a sense of their metaphysical place in the order of things. In the Scotus Book and elsewhere. but only by virtue of the Divine will. Heidegger clearly links analogy to the fundamental experience of the world and to the intrinsically hierarchical thinking of ontotheology. And nowhere else than in the middle ages was this experience of life lived more fully. is the conceptual crystallization of the relation of the soul to God characteristic of medieval Christian life. What I would rather reject is Heidegger’s claim that the meaning of being can be subsumed under an all-embracing European destiny. Ultimately. crystallizing as they do. like the many other Gothic cathedrals spread throughout Europe. Scotus’s point that univocity is on the side of logic and not metaphysics is placed in context: univocity might obtain in logic. the idea that humanity was sole master of its destiny was alien. The middle age itself is subordinated to the destiny of the West that I would rather reject. The world and all therein is the gift of God and is ordered according to His will. To this extent. To the medieval mind. the transcendent . rejecting this subordination to a destinal metanarrative does not entail abandoning the substantive interpretation of the medieval meaning of being given by Heidegger and developed here. In this sense. Heidegger holds that what comes to pass in the middle ages with the philosophy of analogy is subordinated to the unfolding drama of being’s historical occurrence in the West.166 Heidegger. However. enshrine the medieval experience of being in stone. Rejecting this metanarrative does not entail rejecting the view that Chartres cathedral. In my chosen example of the medieval cathedral. The world was there for it. the distinct vertical lines that abound in Gothic architecture are possessed of the spiritual function of drawing the spectator’s spirit heavenward towards God and relate squarely with the vertical thinking of St Thomas Aquinas and others. but metaphysical reality is analogical. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being of inner Dasein that is anchored in a primordial.13 The analogy of being. the Gothic cathedral materially enacts the transcendent relation of the soul to God as it is crystallized in the philosophy of analogy and in so doing the meaning of being constitutive of the middle ages is set in stone. most associated in the middle ages with St Thomas Aquinas.

Texts like Homer’s or Hesiod’s embody and realize the mythic structures representative of a historical community’s form of life. All art has this poetic function whereby it composes the meaning of being characteristic of an age.14 The background saying (Sagen) of a people includes their proverbs. In this connection. Language and Poetry The significance that language assumed in Heidegger’s mature thought is hard to overstate. To paraphrase his ‘Letter on Humanism’: language is the house of being wherein historical humanity dwells. it is Heidegger’s view that language itself speaks. rituals and festivals.15 This view was Heidegger’s in his Basic Problems of Phenomenology and so belongs firmly within the perspective of fundamental ontology. the work of art defines the task of the future preservers of the truth of being representative of their world and this truth of being is realized in the work. language is the mode of appropriation. language is not just an instrument of human use. of existence as being-in-the-world’. For this reason. This is so because poetry draws on and has a special relationship with the folkloric and ritualistic practices of a historical community. What he means by this can be drawn out of a series of remarks he makes in his essay ‘Language’. There he says that the speaking of language: . language is the ‘house of being’. In ‘The Way to Language’ Heidegger says that when taken as ‘saying’. oral traditions.Univocity and the Problem of History 167 relation of the soul to God as it is expressed in medieval philosophical theology. Precisely because great works of art put up for decision the ultimate values of a community (what is holy and what unholy) they have a role in the very founding of historical communities.16 Further to this. customs. Also. This view is essentially related to Heidegger’s later accounts of language that characterize it as being the very mode of appropriation or Ereignis. As Heidegger would put it. but also has a central role in the revelation of a world to a historical people. has priority for Heidegger among the arts generally. the becoming-uncovered. On Heidegger’s account. anecdotes. poetry less broadly conceived as linguistic art. Poetry has a deep connection with the form of life of a historical culture. poetic language is fundamentally important since poetry is the ‘elementary emergence into words. Great art is political. Poetry originates in the ‘speech’ of a group and transforms the ‘saying’ of the people ‘so that every word puts up for decision what is holy and what unholy’.

Poetry. Essentially. Projective saying also produces the conditions of meaninglessness for a historical community. Poetry is projective saying. projective saying produces precisely that which cannot show up as meaningful or sayable for a historical community: . That is. on Heidegger’s view. man dwells on this earth. as the primal language of a people. As bidding the difference – Ereignis – language allows being to appropriate historical humanity. the world says something to us in and through its meaningfulness for us. is not simply a human invention. The speaking of this original language is silent since it lacks an agent or speaker who could give it voice. as Heidegger argues. The meaningful relatedness that things can have for a historical human being is assimilated to language and language is understood in terms of the expression of the meaningful relatedness that things can have for a historical human. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being bids the dif-ference to come which expropriates world and things into the simple onefold of their intimacy. It is this naming which allows them to show up as meaningful in the first place within a particular historical context. is poetic and linguistic poetry is taken as the ‘primal language’ of a historical community. language generally is prior to any particular speaker in somewhat the same way that being is prior to any particular entity. Now. is privileged precisely because it draws on the very essence of what it means to be a human being. poetry is regarded as the ‘sustaining ground’ of history. In this sense. allowing them and their world to fully be what they are. Language is that medium through which historical humans’ access to being as appropriation is established. Such saying produces the rules and structures that enable the showing up of things in their being. The saying of language is bound up with being as presence. an event of unconcealment. Existenz .17 Historical humanity as such participates in an event of meaningfulness yet they are not the primary speakers of language.18 Poetry. It bids us to take notice of it as it is there in relation to us. If Heidegger can be allowed to speak of the ‘saying of the world’ then he can be allowed to characterize the relationship of historical humanity to this saying (as he does) as a kind of ‘hearing’. Language.168 Heidegger. is the original naming of things. of all the arts. Language speaks. For this reason. the essence of poetry must be understood out of the essence of language. Particular historical human languages are a response to this original language. Man speaks in that he responds to language. He and Hölderlin are in agreement: poetically. Dasein’s way of being. It is rather a ‘saying’. Historical humanity hears the speaking of the world and their response is particular natural languages.

.Univocity and the Problem of History 169 Projective saying is poetry: the saying of world and earth. Retrieval of the past will prepare the way for nothing less than historical humanity’s existential transformation and the heralding of a new non-metaphysical thought: To ask: how does it stand with Being? – this means nothing less than to repeat and retrieve (wieder-holen) the inception of our historical-spiritual Dasein. Such a thing is possible. In such a saying. i. Just as one meaning of being. before it. the phenomena so revealed are ‘magical’ or ‘threatening’ or ‘sacred’. Ereignis. ‘threatening’ or ‘sacred’ for a particular group is because that group inhabits a world where such an interpretation of phenomena and of events has currency.. of its belonging to world history.20 The task in the other beginning is to think the very giving of being as meaningful presence. because it has its onset in a happening that grounds history.19 The fact that certain phenomena show up as ‘magical’. are formed for that folk. . Ereignis is not a place or realm but a relation. the concepts of an historical people’s nature. The Fate of Univocity By paying heed to how being was revealed in the beginning of the Western tradition. in order to transform it into the other inception. It is in fact the definitive form of history. This term carries the sense of the ‘It’ which gives and of the appropriating event. the saying of the arena of their conflict and thus of the place of all nearness and remoteness of the gods . one way in which things can be meaningfully present for a historical community. Each revelation of being is also a withdrawal of being. becomes revealed and appropriated another withdraws and becomes shrouded in darkness. This process begins by inquiring about the meaning of being in the present. .e. Historical humanity is epochal. Ereignis produces the horizons of meaningfulness for a particular historical community and the decline and fall of historical civilizations can be read in terms of the rise and fall of different responses to the appropriating event of being’s presencing. Heidegger wants to prepare the way for the other beginning of Western history. There can never be an absolute point of view on things. This is the meaning of epoch of being and this logic is Heidegger’s ‘logic of sense’ or ‘logic of meaning’.

but not the ‘It gives’ as such. The latter withdraws in favor of the gift which It gives. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being it is the relation between historical human agent and being. that is. As he says: In the beginning of Western thinking. Both the sending and the ‘It’ which gives withdraw in the revelation of being. Metaphysics begins when being and time are separated. Destructuring or destruction acquires for thought a first glance at what is revealed as the destiny of being. we should recall. This involves thinking Ereignis. The history of being is the destiny of being in this sense. Thinking non-metaphysically entails thinking these two terms. non-metaphysically. This giving Heidegger calls a sending. does think being in the sense of the beingness of beings: being is determined metaphysically in terms of a particular region of beings. Epoch does not mean here a span of time in occurrence.22 In the giving the ‘It’ which gives withdraws. being and time. the ‘It’ which gives time and being. Appropriation is an active process where the relation between the two terms (as appropriated) is more basic than the two terms. of Being with regard to the grounding of beings. Thought itself cannot divorce itself from the epochal happening of being but must attempt to think the very . Hence we speak of the epochs of the destiny of Being. The history of being is essentially epochal in the sense of epoché : To hold back is. but rather the fundamental characteristic of sending.23 Epoch of being is characterized by the withdrawal of the Ereignis qua giving. The epochs overlap each other in their sequence so that the original sending of Being as presence is more and more obscured in different ways. Heidegger recognizes this and his criticism is that it is the Ereignis which remains unthought by the tradition of Western philosophy. That gift is thought and conceptualised from then on exclusively as Being with regard to beings. Plato separates the realm of being (Idea) from the realm of time qua becoming. Ereignis determines both time and being in their essential belonging together. This essential belonging together is Ereignis. Being is thought. in Greek.170 Heidegger. . . epoche. Being is sent to historical humanity and each of its historical configurations (or transformations) is destined in the sending. the actual holding-back of itself in favor of the discernibility of the gift.21 Western thought. The sequence of epochs in the destiny of Being is not accidental .

Presence itself means. past and present .Univocity and the Problem of History 171 It which gives being. If historical humanity did not receive being then it would remain concealed and human beings would not be what they are. Time itself is given by the ‘It’ which gives. Rather. ‘to last’. including the fourth. The unity of the three ecstases Heidegger calls the fourth dimension of time. the central notion of ecstatical temporality is reconfigured by Heidegger. With the extending of presence there opens up the ‘time-space’: Time-space . The past is no longer simply that which Dasein retrieves in terms of its finite projection. It comes to us as an absence which concerns us in its very granting. of unconcealing. Presence determines being in the unifying sense of presencing and ‘allowing-to-presence’. the past happens to us. In its four dimensional unity true time is understood as something granted or extended to historical humanity as such. True time is four dimensional. The three ecstases of temporality and their unity are extended to historical human being as Dasein. The fourth dimension is a clearing extension or opening and Heidegger’s emphasis is on the presencing process. . it is extended to us and it solicits us. however. The fourth dimension of time is ‘nearing nearness’ or ‘nearhood’ (Nahheit). Giving gives each dimension of time its manner of presencing. . past and present) is now renamed as a ‘dimension’ of time and ‘true time’ is revealed to be ‘four dimensional’. Absence is itself a mode of presence. it reaches them in the sense of being extended to them. Historical human communities stand within approaching presence: they receive the gift of presencing given by the ‘It gives’. is the name for the openness which opens up in the mutual self-extending of futural approach. The . as Taminiaux emphasizes. Now. The fourth dimension is the giving that determines time. In each dimension of time. Giving holds each dimension of time apart from each other as opened and bares towards each other in the nearness that holds them together. It is the giving that gives to each dimension of time its character as a dimension of the unified phenomenon of temporality. In the unity of true time the future is no longer privileged. In this context the determination ‘present’ carries both the temporal sense and. Presence is the abiding that is extended to human being and it is extended to historical human being along the dimensions of Heideggerian temporality. there is an interplay of withholding and granting. Each ecstasis of time (future. the sense of a gift. Being is still only ever grasped in terms of time. . . Presence is the ‘constant abiding’ that approaches the historical agent.

Heidegger will not employ such a metaphysically loaded term as production in this context. thinking must be content within its proper horizon and that is to think the event qua Ereignis. Time-space is the site for the appropriating event. as substance and so on) is being as meaningful presence. The being of beings is the meaningful presence of what is present and presence has a temporal configuration. I don’t want to subordinate Heidegger’s thought to the metaphysical tradition. the single formal sense of being which remains constant in Heidegger’s thought. The event opens the time-space or playspace. This is also where it stops. it is not God. it is required that one stand within this temporal extending. that is. Four-dimensional temporality is true time and true time is nearing or coming-towards. past and present is itself prespatial. It is rather. This is the locus of the univocity of being in Heidegger’s thought. I understand univocity in terms that have been established by Gilles Deleuze. (Spielraum) of time within which entities come to presence as what they are. The moment (Augenblicksstätte) is nothing less than the moment of decision which establishes a new historical civilization. Rather. It is Ereignis which gives both time and being. It is rather the site of the moment . Being is meaningful presence. What . I began this study of Heidegger with a view to understanding his philosophy of being and time in terms of the notion of univocity. Far from it. being is always understood in terms of time. In order to truly be a historical human being. the event of the co-belonging of historical humanity and being. understood formally as meaningful presence. understood formally as the temporal event of the revelation of meaningful presence.172 Heidegger. Time is not something produced by human being and human being is not produced by time. of future. So. Being as meaningful presence unifies the various epochs in the history of being. Univocity implies immanence. in the strict sense that. Minimally. provide space. being. The Ereignis is not a being. Ereignis is the event of the co-belonging of historical humanity as such and being.24 Time-space is not an area of routine activity or daily business. Nearing unifies the three dimensional opening-extending of time. only thus can it make room. is univocal. the opening up. Heidegger does not appeal to a founding transcendence nor does he refer to an ontotheological ground in his philosophy of being. in what sense can I speak of univocity being at work in Heidegger’s thought? Univocity obtains since. and which underlies his determination of the substantial ‘look’ which being takes on (being as Idea. He will insist that what is at stake is giving in the sense of an extending that opens up timespace. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being self-extending. By doing this.

We might even say that the meaning of being unfolds as appropriation. Univocally. Take. It is here that all metaphysical categories fracture. changing along the way as it is enshrined by events. However. such as the work of art. Being and time are only there by virtue of the event of appropriation. To be human in the middle ages meant to be a creature of God. Now. historical communities always inherit a meaning of being and interpret themselves and their world in terms of that meaning of being. an aesthetically-pleasing tourist attraction. being is meaningful presence but what it means for any being to be is dependent upon the context wherein it shows up. equivocity and analogy. including the metaphysical sense of univocity. Despite this.Univocity and the Problem of History 173 it means for any being ‘to be’ in each epoch of the history of being is different. Agreeing with Heidegger. it is a relic of a bygone age. they are subsumed under the destiny of being. there remains a sense in which there is an analogical unity of being in Heidegger’s thought and it is the merit of Sheehan’s interpretation of Heidegger to bring out this dimension. a citizen. Being is appropriated into the form of life of a historical community. To be a human being in the modern age means to be a bearer of rights and duties. This method. In the middle ages a cathedral was the house of God and came to presence as such. but placing his destinal thinking in parenthesis. More than that. the danger in this context is that the interpreter runs the risk of bringing over all the baggage of the metaphysical tradition with them when discussing Heidegger’s . that is. the meaningful relatedness which things can have for human understanding and interest unfolds gradually as it is appropriated by particular groups. the successive meanings of being in the history of the West are related. by way of a reading of works of art and cultural artefacts. And I would suggest that the method of unearthing a past meaning of being would be a species of archaeological hermeneutics. the event of the mutual belonging of historical humanity and being. What something ‘is’ is determined in terms of its place within a larger context of significance and the history of being is the history of how these contexts of significance change in terms of the destiny of the West. From Heidegger’s point of view. for example. Or take my example of the Gothic cathedral. Such a method can be followed without reference to anything like a destiny of being. that represent the form of life of that group. a consumer. and this by virtue of the look being takes on in that epoch. a particular human being. provides for the possibility of reconstructing the interpretive networks constitutive of particular communities. created in His image but fallen and infected with sin. for none of these name the mystery of the event of being: that there is being.

being for Heidegger is univocal. who was not worried about the Heideggerian ‘end of philosophy’. Heidegger sought to think non-metaphysically and it is essential that this is kept in mind. By this stage of his intellectual journey Heidegger has certainly left metaphysics behind.174 Heidegger. paying heed to the mutual belonging of thought and being involves thinking what Heidegger calls the fourfold (das Geviert). being is temporally configured meaningful presence. the fourfold of earth and sky. The essence of the phenomenological correlation. from a Heideggerian point of view. however nontraditional their meaning is taken to be. The Re-enchanted Forest Heidegger opposes his late thought of Ereignis to the global Enframing of modern technology. Whether in Dasein’s productive activity. Human beings are now understood as mortals and it is mortals who dwell poetically on the earth. interpreting Heidegger by recourse to traditional concepts such as analogy and univocity. The Scotist move is that any philosophy of analogy presupposes univocity. Human beings are understood as mortals because they are capable of death construed existentially. it is the case that the analogy of being in Heidegger’s thought is founded on a more fundamental univocity of being understood temporally as meaningful presence. not in Heideggerian terms in a way that must be qualified by Heidegger’s overall project of overcoming metaphysics and eventually of leaving metaphysics to its own devices. In this sense. Any analogical relatedness of all the ‘looks’ that being has taken on and of all the modes of being. Eventually. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being thought in such terms. are grounded in the temporal nature of Dasein’s understanding of being. This is explicitly what Heidegger intended to do and the fourfold is conceived as the antidote to modern technological rationality. In thinking the event. The univocity of being is grounded in temporality. such as univocity and analogy. With this in mind. is the univocity of being. at least. is something of an imposition onto the thought of this thinker who sought to abandon conventional philosophy and metaphysics. understood from the perspective of fundamental ontology or in terms of the clearing-appropriating event of being-historical-thinking. In this . can be used joyously by a figure such as Deleuze. Analogy does not form the underlying basis upon which all modes of being are built. gods and mortals emerge in their mutual belonging together. Terms that have their origin firmly within the metaphysical tradition. such as readiness-to-hand and presence-to-hand. At this stage.

Mortals dwell poetically on the earth and by so doing enter the fourfold. divinities and mortals dwell together all at once. in a sense. at one because of what they themselves are. the earth and the sky. Mortals dwell by initiating their own nature as the beings capable of death as death. By dwelling. by receiving the sky as sky and by awaiting the Gods as Gods. mortals preserve the four. divinities and mortals . Now. Heidegger says it is only ‘man’ that dies. . And in the poured gift the jug presences as jug.25 Understanding human beings as mortal serves to bring the other three terms of the fourfold to presence. What was once referred to as Dasein’s everydayness is transformed. Things. . in thinking the fourfold Heidegger has entered the domain of mythopoetry. . is the world of the world-four. It is saved from technological domination and abuse and is let be to be what it is. as long as he remains on earth. In the fourfold the earth is regarded as earth.27 Such heroes embody what it means to be a member of the specific community that they are heroic for. On one level. [the] appropriating mirror-play of . under the sky. the divinities. but he does so ‘continually. In the fourfold the forest is re-enchanted. . By initiating their nature as being capable of death as death mortals can be extended a euthanasia or good death. The four are one in this sense. it ends with its remythologization. . The gift of the outpouring stays the onefold of the fourfold of the four. Rather. Earth and sky. Recently Julian Young has argued that in Being and Time the ‘divine destinings’ (gods) or ethos of a community went by the name ‘heritage’ and that heritage was embodied by mythologized ‘heroes’ who are preserved in the collective memory of a culture. Historical human being is no longer conceived as master-subject. Mortals dwell by saving the earth. belong together . belong together by way of the simpleness of the united fourfold . The world inhabited by historical human agents. These four. before the divinities’. Heidegger describes how the history of being begins by overcoming the mythical interpretation of the universe. Death is still a fundamental term in Heidegger’s thought.26 While the fourfold is something of a remythologization of the world it is not totally without precedent in Heidegger’s thought. such as the jug from which the libation is poured. stand at the intersection of the four: In the gift of the outpouring earth and sky.Univocity and the Problem of History 175 connection. it is caught up in the free play (Spielraum) of the world four. who have managed to out-think the Gestell . .

30 Heidegger eventually gave up using the words ‘being’ and ‘time’ in favour of ‘clearing’ and ‘presencing’ (Lichtung und Anwesenheit). Ultimately. In barren modernity the gods have flown and the other beginning prepares the way for a return of the Holy in human affairs. In his late writings. . divinities and mortals we call the world. an other beginning of the world of the fourfold. . so Heidegger contends. What he is trying to say to us in these texts is definitively related to the way in which it is said to us. Before the ontotheological God. Through his confrontation with the Gestell . The dif-ference expropriates the thing into the repose of the fourfold. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being the simple onefold of earth and sky. In the context of Heidegger’s late writings I think Caputo (Demythologizing Heidegger) is right to contend that one of the most salutary aspects of Heidegger’s neomythology of the fourfold is its ecological bent. . Mythopoetic meditation on the fourfold is Heidegger’s antidote to technological modernity. In front of the causa sui . human beings can ‘neither pray nor sacrifice’. He has issued a novel task to the thought of being: where being is concerned. human beings ‘cannot fall to their knees in awe nor play music and dance’. Heidegger inspires historical human beings ‘to let beings be’ and to engage in a non-anthropocentric thinking ‘without why’. The gods which come to presence in the mutual interplay or mirroring of the four are the antithesis of the God of metaphysical ontotheology.176 Heidegger.29 This is Heidegger’s response to technological modernity. These words have more than metaphorical significance for him. by thinking it through.28 Heidegger’s thought of the world four and of its worlding is mythopoetry and the writings where he deals with it are mythopoetic. thought must respond to the appeal of its presencing. Heidegger’s thought has radically reshaped the philosophical landscape. it is the mutual interplay of the world four that becomes the Saying of the world which addresses mortals and to which they respond: The bidding of language commits the bidden thus to the bidding of the dif-ference . Heidegger has conceived of the possibility of a coming dawn. as that which recedes from and exceeds the control of human beings is certainly inspiring for those who would seek to save it from the domination of technological rationality. What is to be received by thought is the gift of presencing and historical humanity has the task of safeguarding the truth of being. The concept of the earth. For better or worse. The world presences by worlding.

It was in the service of fundamental ontology that Heidegger read Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics. Mythopoetry is one thing. . the task fell to the German people (Volk) to take up the challenge begun by the Greeks. in so far as the history of being is bound up with a geophilosophical myth. I shall conclude this chapter with a section on the meaning of death in Heidegger’s text. There can never be a privileged revelation of being to historical humanity and there is no privileged perspective from which being can be apprehended. there can only be suspicion of such totalizing myths. Being. a thought which operates on the basis of a totalizing exclusion is quite another. Accordingly. The motif in Heidegger’s thought that excludes particular historical communities in favour of an overarching history of being – which is a history of the West – should be rejected. From Heidegger’s point of view. is a thematization of historical human existence in its finitude. The history of being began in Greece and ends in Germany. Ultimately. The destiny of being as the destiny of the West and the grand meta-narrative of being’s eschatological history must be put in parenthesis. The project of fundamental ontology was intended to pave the way for elucidating the question of the meaning of being in terms of time. There is no past community that apprehended being in a more fundamental way than others. the Nicomachean Ethics prepares the way for fundamental ontology. which is also the destiny of the West. Heidegger’s error was to subordinate the happening of historical civilizations to the overarching destiny of being. the meaningful presence that things can have for a particular historical human is revealed in the anticipation of death. Caputo goes so far as to say that Heidegger excludes the ethico-religious God in favour of the poetic woodland God who arises from the experience of the earth as something to which reverence is owed. The ultimate meaning of the myth of the Greek beginning of Western thought is the exclusion of any other myths from the retrieval of the first beginning and the onslaught of the other beginning. There is a multitude of traditions within which being is appropriated and in terms of which the world is understood. from the early fundamental ontology to the late being-historical-thinking. None of these is privileged: each remains all too human .Univocity and the Problem of History 177 Despite all of this. In the present age. Dasein’s temporality is the transcendental horizon for the question of being. Being Mortal What emerges from Heidegger’s philosophy. Caputo notes a fundamental danger in Heidegger’s thought.

Dasein’s being is characterized by what Heidegger refers to as ‘mineness’. only serves to pass over Dasein’s essential nature. and the tradition inspired by him. Whereas normal Dasein is at home in the world. Moods are disclosive for Heidegger. They have no specific moral connotation. In anxiety the meaning and significance of things such as they are in our generic theyness pale into insignificance. Anxiety discloses beings as a whole as not mattering. . Dasein has its being to be in a way that no thing does. being in a particular mood attunes Dasein to its situation. As determined by mineness Dasein’s being is an issue for it and mineness is the ground of authenticity and inauthenticity. Death is the existential principle of individuation: it is non-relational and is that in the face of which Dasein may win itself and become authentic. Dasein exhibits an ontological as well as an ontic layer. Dasein does not attend to itself in its capacity for authentic existence but just goes about its business ‘as one does’ relating to itself ‘as one does’ and saying ‘what they say’. Authenticity allows one the opportunity to become the true author of one’s biography. Taking Dasein as a thing or substance in Aristotelian fashion. We are all Dasein but crucially.178 Heidegger. Dasein is wrested out of the They and can attend to itself and become authentic. In addition to death’s individuating power it also has the power of freeing. Dasein is always a ‘who’ and never a ‘what’: Dasein’s essence is its Existenz . Heidegger’s critique of the whole tradition of philosophy. the tradition that he holds to have passed over Dasein can be read in terms of his philosophy of death. however. Anxiety reveals to Dasein its structure as care. Authenticity is precisely that state wherein a Dasein attains its own being to be in such a manner that it has it as its own. factical Dasein cannot be approached as if it were an instance of a genus or species. It is by virtue of Dasein’s ontological structure as care (Sorge) that we can talk about it in terms that approach the general. Human dwelling is bounded by death. For the most part Dasein is lost in ‘the They’. In the fundamental mood of anxiety.31 Anxiety is about Dasein and its being-in-the-world. Authenticity and inauthenticity refer to conditions in which the Dasein in question is properly its own being or is not properly its own being. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being Heidegger remained Aristotelian in so far as he determined Dasein’s ultimate accomplishment as the ‘contemplation’ (theoria) of being. Anxiety (Angst) is a generalized and particularly illuminating mood concerned with Dasein’s being-in-the-world and it may take over Dasein at any moment. Death is Dasein’s basic certainty: as he says in History of the Concept of Time ‘I am in that I will die’. It is precisely here that Heidegger will part company with Aristotle. Dasein in anxiety feels unsettled or homeless and it is this ‘not-at-home’ that is the more ‘primordial phenomenon’.

anxiety is about death. tare Dasein out of the familiar and in so doing disclose Dasein as a being with its own being to be. anxiety is generalized. however. Anxiety allows the individual to let be and become truly mortal. Anxiety is not mere fear. the human being can dwell with the Gods. In anxiety. Dasein faces up to mortality precisely because it feels the ultimate fragility of its existence together with the necessity of deciding what existence will mean for it. while being absolutely particular. Precisely in this sense poetry is more philosophical than history: it treats of universals and. Unbidden anxiety can. Death is that in the face of which Dasein can become authentic. Catharsis is about our being-in-the-world. nothing is more universal for humanity than death. moderation and courage and justice are a purging away of all such things.33 Such serenity in the face of death is eminently uplifting. whereas he who arrives there purified and initiated will dwell with the gods. In the Phaedo Plato spoke of catharsis as a liberation of the soul from emotions such as pity and fear. Aristotle claims for poetry that uplifting power which Plato had claimed for philosophy. Fear may be characterized by confusion and panic. Anxiety doesn’t let such confusion arise. anxiety.Univocity and the Problem of History 179 Dasein realizes that it is that being who is thrown into the world and has its own being to be. Ultimately. It is likely that those who established the mystic rites for us were not inferior persons but were speaking in riddles long ago when they said that whoever arrives in the underworld uninitiated and unsanctified will wallow in the mire. By wresting us from our relative comfort in ‘the They’ and by liberating us from fear Plato’s serene catharsis anticipates Heidegger’s notion of anxiety. by contrast is not pervaded by such confusion. By so doing. anxiety is pervaded by a ‘peculiar calm’. he describes the virtues of the philosopher in terms of a catharsis from ‘bodily’ aspects such as appetite and passion. The soul is liberated from these bodily constraints and the philosopher can achieve a kind of serenity. Catharsis is ultimately general. and wisdom itself is a kind of cleansing or purification. This serenity includes the kind of serenity in the face of death displayed by Socrates. Fear is directed towards particular things. There. Plato says: in truth.32 Anxiety can cause Dasein to flee itself and fall into the relative comfort provided by the public world of ‘the They’. Catharsis is about death. By means of anxiety human beings can be at peace with themselves and their situation. By not surrendering to our emotions we are delivered over from them by means of them. In his Poetics. . In fact. Anxiety reveals Dasein as a task to be accomplished in the face of death.

Dasein is at the centre of Heidegger’s ontological universe and all ontology is fundamentally temporal. On this level. which is the meaning of Dasein’s being. Univocal being entails that there is one fundamental sense of being ontologically prior to any further elaboration and it is my view that an implicit commitment to univocity plays a fundamental role in Heidegger’s thought. Being is always understood in terms of time. Dasein. Heidegger’s conception of the unitary meaning of being is more radical than both Husserl’s and Aristotle’s. It is my view that achieving the end of understanding Heidegger with reference to univocity is impossible without reference to the philosophy of John Duns Scotus. The unitary meaning of being is founded upon the transcendental horizon of being. Interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy revolves around the central issues of Ereignis and the site for being’s disclosure. temporality.Conclusion I began this study of Heidegger’s philosophy with the overall aim of showing that it could be interpreted in terms of the philosophical thesis of the univocity of being. My aim in doing this was to problematize the domain of Heidegger interpretation precisely in terms of univocity and analogy. Being may be said in many ways but these many ways are only possible because they share a common sense of time. then it will . who raised philosophical univocity to its highest point in the history of Western philosophy. While univocity remains at a somewhat formal level in Heidegger’s philosophy what is ultimately at stake with regards to univocity is the question of philosophical immanence. In fundamental ontology. my interpretation of Heidegger in terms of univocity serves as a qualification to those interpretations that stop at Heidegger’s reappropriation and reinterpretation of analogy. The univocity of being is implicit in Heidegger’s philosophy of being and time. the chief alternative to univocity. When the full extent of univocity is understood in terms of Heidegger’s philosophy of Ereignis. To this end I paid particular attention to the work of Thomas Sheehan who reads Heidegger’s text in these terms. I have explored the interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy of being in terms of the thesis of analogy.

then perhaps Heidegger’s early criticism of Husserl. From the point of view of analogy. There is only the immanent play of the revealing and concealing of being and there is no absolute transcendent point of view on things. a place and time where and when something happens. The prefi x ‘da’ connotes both ‘there’ and ‘then’. of the analogical reading of his thought. I went back to Heidegger’s texts and found a mandate for problematizing their relationship in terms of the philosophy of analogy and the problematic of univocity. rather than a rejection. My interpretation of Heidegger’s philosophy represents an augmentation. in terms of a particular analogy to Dasein. as Heidegger attempts to do. might be levied against Heidegger himself. Heidegger’s critique of Husserl focuses on the fact that the founder of phenomenology failed to work out of ‘the things themselves’. If it were. In doing this the role of time has proved decisive. Rather. Approaching Heidegger’s philosophical relationship with Husserl in this way entailed entering wellcharted waters. Whatever the case. Nevertheless. Partly because of such complications I returned to Heidegger’s central concerns with phenomenological method and engaged in a destructive reading of his relationship with Husserl. there is a new version of the traditional scala naturae operative in his thought. By this view. it raises the problem of the univocity of being.Conclusion 181 be realized that all historical human beings are entitled to is their finite historical interpretations. The word Dasein as it occurs in Heidegger’s text is both a verb and a noun. it is my view that any analogy of being in Heidegger’s text is underscored by a fundamental univocity of being understood in terms of the temporal configuration of meaningful presence. such as animals and objects. that he did not work strictly out of ‘the things themselves’ and so carried over an aspect of the tradition. If this is so. does not simply produce a phenomenological version of the philosophy of analogy. Heidegger’s philosophy of being and the event operates without recourse to traditional ontotheological or metaphysical grounds. working out of ‘the things themselves’. The ‘da’ points to a site. Heidegger accounts for all other beings. In line with Scotus’s point that any philosophy of analogy presupposes a commitment . I have shown that Heidegger’s critique of Husserl also turns on Husserl’s relationship to the philosophy of analogy. In its verbal sense it means ‘to be present’ or ‘to exist’ and as a noun it means ‘presence’ or ‘existence’. One of my aims has been to open up a debate over analogy and univocity in Heidegger’s thought by augmenting the interpretation of his texts in terms of univocity. then the accuser would have to come to terms with Heidegger’s entire project in terms of the centrality of the method of destruction and retrieval of past philosophies.

I have not attempted to stage a confrontation between these two thinkers.182 Heidegger. Dasein is the site where being is revealed in its temporal nature. My concern with the philosophical thesis of univocity as it is presented in the philosophy of Duns Scotus was always subordinate to my aim of giving an interpretation of Heidegger’s thought. In the philosophy of Duns Scotus this primordial sense of being is determined as being’s fundamental opposition to nothingness. If death does what Heidegger holds it to do. as a meaningful context of significance. was one wherein being faithful was of paramount importance. it was quite distinct from this modern secular world. In Heidegger’s philosophy being is understood as meaningful presence and the being of beings is the presence of that which is present. The project of fundamental ontology is intended by Heidegger to pave the way for elucidating the question of the meaning of being in terms of time and Dasein’s temporality is understood as the transcendental horizon for this question. Being is univocally meaningful presence and meaningful presence has a specific temporal configuration. Scotus thought within the metaphysical tradition. Presence itself has a temporal configuration. As such. which Scotus and the other medieval philosophers inhabited. as Heidegger will later say. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being to univocity. It is Dasein’s temporality that serves as the transcendental horizon for the revelation of being. the tradition that Heidegger sought to overcome and the defining aspect of Scotus’s philosophy of univocity is that he maintains the fundamental transcendence of God. I have attempted to show that any interpretation of Heidegger that emphasizes analogy presupposes the univocity of being. including God. Not only is it the existential principle of individuation it also functions to disclose being qua meaningful presence. the ‘world’. In order for ontological univocity to obtain in any philosophy there must be at work a single and primordial sense of being that underlies any further analogical determination. what was at stake in the discussion of univocity and analogy was transcendence. Philosophical univocity in Heidegger’s thought entails a commitment to a thinking which has given up recourse to traditional metaphysical and ontotheological grounds. then it discloses the univocity of being. Being is ultimately understood in terms of time. In the medieval context. Time is. the ‘truth of being’. Dasein is determined in terms of its essentially finite temporality and being is revealed in the anticipation of death. For Scotus and other medieval Christian philosophers being is ultimately understood in terms of production: God created and conserves the universe while eternally sustaining Himself in existence. From a hermeneutic point of view. Death is always a central term in Heidegger’s thought. Philosophy is committed .

Further. God’s death heralds the loss of any ultimate principle of order and source of value in the universe that had been established by the metaphysical tradition. The indifference to the divine that is characteristic of technological modernity is something to be regretted rather than celebrated for Heidegger and his late thought of the fourfold is his mythopoetic response to barren modernity wherein the ‘gods have . God’s death entails the loss of any recourse to transcendent ground that would underscore and provide the foundation for the temporal world of becoming.Conclusion 183 to immanence and has no recourse to grounds outwith experience. Understood in these terms Heidegger’s response was initially phenomenology. To this extent. Heidegger’s philosophy contains within it a response to the condition of modernity. As I understand it. Any appeal to principles of order or ground which. traditionally conceived. In his later thought Heidegger undertook to prepare the way for a return of the Holy in the affairs of this world. His later non-representational thinking sought to further abandon any commitment to traditional philosophy in order to think the event of the revelation of being even more primordially. Heidegger’s response to this crisis of modern European philosophy is bound up with his response to traditional metaphysics. make a claim to atemporal universality. thought has no recourse to any foundation beyond the epochal play of the revealing and concealing of being. modern European philosophers have countered with a novel response conceived in terms of an ‘other’ form of thought which is not bound by the fate of metaphysics. To the early Heidegger phenomenology represented a novel method by which he could radically reconfigure and answer the traditional metaphysical problem of being. must be atheistic. in one way or another. In light of this. are to be rejected. In distinctly Heideggerian terms. the modernity that is at stake for Heidegger and much European philosophy can be characterized by three coordinate concerns all of which take their point of departure from the conviction that metaphysics. In Being and Time and related texts Heidegger was a methodological Nietzschean: philosophy. which is a point of crisis. God’s death heralds for modern European philosophy the abolition of the distinction between the two worlds of being and becoming. Heidegger’s thought is on the side of revolution. from the death of God and/or the human. Modern European philosophy can be read in terms of its point of departure. which is phenomenology. has been and must be surpassed. As such. This crisis amounts to the destabilization of the traditional metaphysical points of departure as they have unfolded in the history of Western philosophy.

For Heidegger. remains univocal. univocal being is determined as the temporal configuration of meaningful presence. Being may essentially unfold as appropriation. will put the world of modern technology in its place. I have not abandoned the parameters of Heidegger interpretation established by Sheehan et al. being is revealed. In Scotus’s ontology the univocity of being is understood in terms of being’s opposition to nothingness. Heidegger came to employ the word Ereignis. This matter is the revelation of being qua meaningful presence in its essential correlation with the opening up of Dasein qua finitude. I make a Scotist move with Deleuzeian inspiration. As such. Heidegger’s mature response to our essence and to the meaningful world of things is to issue a challenge that. Heidegger’s challenge to us is that we must recognize and appropriate our mortality and give up our futile effort to master the earth. This temporal event is the ontological meaning of the anticipation of death. Despite the fact that over the past few years Heidegger’s early relationship to Scotus’s philosophy has begun to be interpreted. no commentator has placed the entirety of Heidegger’s thought in a critical relation to the most famous of Scotistic theses. but being as meaningful presence. The eschatological other beginning prepares the way for a return of the Holy. the univocity of being. Integral to Heidegger’s response to modernity was his attempt to abandon the ‘will to power’ and engage in a manner of thinking that lets beings be. . I have qualified these parameters in terms of the univocity of being. The actual meaning of things may be different in different historical periods and in different civilizations. if answered. When I claim that analogy presupposes univocity. The philosophy of analogy is the conceptual expression of a distinctly medieval way of viewing the world. Ultimately. It is in the anticipation of death that the fact that things are meaningfully present for ‘you’ becomes revealed. More modestly. but as meaningful presence. Heidegger rejects metaphysics and attempts to think non-representationally ‘without why’. for the fundamental matter he intended to think. Analogy is ontotheological. Human life will always remain fragile and contingent.184 Heidegger. and Heideggerian mythopoetic meditation on the fourfold is the antidote to technological modernity. a word that had no prior philosophical significance. Heidegger’s challenge to mortal humanity is to implore us to ‘let be’ and become the grounder and preserver of the way in which things can be meaningfully there for us and for our community. it is still univocal. This is exactly what I have attempted to do in this study. The analogy of being is impossible without a prior univocity. Metaphysics and the Univocity of Being flown’. Death is the tragic essence of existence and being is revealed in its anticipation. Heidegger’s view is that in Dasein’s anticipation of death.

the world. Since Heidegger there has been a great renewal of interest in the problems of ontology.Appendix The Univocity of Being: Deleuze Since the publication of Alain Badiou’s Deleuze: La clameur de l’Etre in 1997 the doctrine of the univocity of being has become a central point of interpretation in Deleuze scholarship. since Heidegger’s analysis. placing the question of univocity at the centre of the debate over Deleuze’s ontology is one of Badiou’s lasting contributions. In his own words: Philosophy merges with ontology. adapted to the forms of God. Deleuze’s endorsement of univocity is significant in terms of the current situation of philosophy. Since Badiou’s text. It is significant that Deleuze advocates the univocity of being in direct opposition to the philosophy of analogy. Badiou interprets Deleuze as a classical thinker of the One where the ‘nominal pair virtual/actual exhausts the deployment of univocal being’. and the self). it is impossible to ignore the centrality of univocity to Deleuze’s project. ontology and philosophy are one and the same thing.1 Leaving the issue of how close Badiou’s reading is to Deleuze’s texts and intentions. For his part. but ontology merges with the univocity of being (analogy has always been a theological vision. analogy has become synonymous with ontotheology. The philosophy of analogy is centrally linked to theology in Aristotelian-scholastic metaphysics and. Ontology has displaced epistemology as the central concern of European philosophy and there is now a significant body of work that addresses the question of being.2 The central concern of the new onto-philosophy is the univocity of being. not only to Deleuze studies. For Deleuze. but to philosophy as a whole. Deleuze and Heidegger agree that analogy is ultimately a . not a philosophical one. as I have argued.

even though Scotus raised univocity to its highest point of subtlety. a language that has become the object of so much criticism in Heidegger’s wake. Deleuze stands in a different relation to modern European philosophy than do more conventional post-Heideggerian phenomenological thinkers. they nonetheless maintain a significant distance from him. As Nietzsche says: What dawns on philosophers last of all: they must no longer accept concepts as a gift. present them and make them convincing. nor merely purify and polish them. Unlike these thinkers. is a form of Nietzschean constructivism. which gave being a single voice’. So long as there is a time and a place for creating concepts. . The first figure in this history is Duns Scotus. as almost all European thinkers in the later 20th century did.6 There have been three principal thinkers of univocity in the tradition of philosophy. .3 Although Deleuze (and Guattari) think in proximity to Heidegger. to create concepts: philosophy is the discipline that involves creating concepts .4 Philosophy. This is. he did so at the price of abstraction. Deleuze notes that ‘there has only ever been one ontology.186 Appendix theological vision and for both thinkers it is necessary to move beyond analogy and affirm univocity. or will be indistinguishable from philosophy even if it is called something else. Rather than attempt to ‘overcome metaphysics’ in Heideggerian terms Deleuze and Guattari engage in what they take to be the genuinely philosophical task. many of whom have been in broad agreement with Heidegger that ‘metaphysics’ has to be overcome.7 However. but first make and create them. In line with the Heideggerian view. as the creation of concepts. the operation that undertakes this will always be called philosophy. that of Duns Scotus. Deleuze has no problem with the ‘language of metaphysics’. Univocity for Scotus is a feature of the logical order rather than of the expressive metaphysical order. philosophers can no longer simply accept what has been handed down to them as the well-formed conceptual base of their ‘discipline’.5 Neither Deleuze nor Guattari are deaf to the Heideggerian criticism of metaphysics and their relationship with Heidegger is far more complicated than it might first appear. .

In Difference and Repetition . Deleuze’s ontology of immanence’ Smith suggests that a more Deleuzeian way of expressing the ontological difference would be in terms of the question of how being is distributed among beings? Despite reinvigorating ontology and giving ‘renewed splendor’ to the univocity of being. it is Daniel W. Spinoza and Nietzsche. This project is taken up in Difference and Repetition and it is Smith’s view that this text can be read as a response to Heidegger’s Being and Time. outside or superior to being) from Spinoza and deployed it in terms of the problem of difference.Appendix 187 The second figure in Deleuze’s secret history of univocity is Spinoza. In his ‘The doctrine of univocity. Deleuze’s landmark work. the only satisfactory ontology will be one that affirms univocity. Deleuze described himself as a ‘pure metaphysician’: while he appropriates aspects of past metaphysical . from Deleuze’s point of view. Deleuze’s problem with Heidegger centres on the notion of the ontological difference . As Smith reads it. can be read as an experiment in metaphysics.8 Deleuze considers himself heir to the tradition of Scotus. His texts. in the words of Agamben. difference corresponds to being and repetition corresponds to time. On the contrary. The third is Nietzsche. In fact. Smith’s view that a concern with Heidegger’s philosophy of being can be read into Deleuze’s work from its very beginnings. That is. Heidegger did not go far enough. The Logic of Sense and Expressionism in Philosophy: Spinoza . Difference and Repetition . And while Deleuze is indebted to Heidegger he never subscribed to the notion of overcoming metaphysics. Ultimately. Difference and Repetition. are all works that centrally involve the doctrine of univocity and display his commitment to absolute immanence. These texts also represent the culmination of his early reaction to Heidegger. a commitment to ‘absolute immanence’ without recourse to any form of transcendence whatsoever.9 For Deleuze. ontological univocity will mean for Deleuze. Deleuze’s project is partly the project of pushing the problematic of ontological difference towards its necessary conclusion. Deleuze took over the notion of a ‘pure’ ontology (one that postulates nothing beyond. the aim of which is to provide a transcendental description of the world from the point of view of a principle of difference rather than identity. the difference between being and beings. Such an ontology will be able to conceive of difference-in-itself and will be able to provide difference with its own concept.10 Deleuze wants to think difference-in-itself without subordinating it to identity. Heidegger did not establish univocity as belonging only to difference.

188 Appendix systems he does so on the basis of a rejection of their points of terminus. . Deleuze set out to find the metaphysics that is required by modern science. and it was his view that only an ontology of univocity could provide philosophy with a truly philosophical concept of being. the world and the self. God.

. Athlone. Aristotle.B. Categories. Deleuze. Stewart and J. Categories and De Interpretatione. followed by the page number in the translation. T. H. Book Gamma 1. Patton. 1998. J.. Barnes. 2002.. See also. Aristotle. The page number of the German original appears first.. in The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle. Trans. pp365–373. Guignon. ¶6. A Critical Interpretation. Basil Blackwell. M. ‘Reading a Life: Heidegger and Hard times’. ed. G. 1963. Trans.. Deleuze. See Philipse. pp13E–14E. quoted in Sheehan. Volume 20. van Buren in Supplements. p74. p79. Trans. Clarendon Press. ‘Heidegger on the Principle of Sufficient Reason’. Heidegger. Chapter 1 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Aristotle. Robinson. Semiotext(e) Foreign Agents Series. C.. W. Book Gamma 2. D. J. The Concept of Time. Book Gamma 1. . 1994. I will use the abbreviation BT for this translation in future. Ibid. Being and Time. Aristotle. Metaphysics. McNeill. State University of New York Press. 1993. pp5–6. 1962. pp80–81. M. G.. Lawson-Tancred. 1953–1974. R. Heidegger’s Philosophy of Being. Allers. pp66–108. ‘Metaphysics’. M. 2004. Trans. p124. Metaphysics. ‘Letter to Krebs. Metaphysics. Heidegger. Penguin. 1992. Lapoujade.. ‘How Jarry’s Pataphysics Opened the Way for Phenomenology’. Book Delta VI. J. M. ed. Blackwell. in The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger. p66. emphasis in the original. Trans. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research. p79. Ackrill. van Buren... p72. Categories. 1998. Heidegger. M. H. R. in Desert Islands and Other Texts. Aristotle. Princeton University Press. J. p68. Philipse defends an interpretation of this relation as one of paronymy. Cambridge University Press. Difference and Repetition. Heidegger. p9. Issue 3 (March 1960). ed. Trans. Metaphysics. p23/44.. Barnes. 1919’. 1995. p90. p370. Macquarrie and E. 2a11. 1998. Oxford. ‘The Theory of Categories and Meaning in Duns Scotus’. Trans. P. J. Taormina. Square brackets: my addition. ed. From the Earliest Essays to Being and Time and Beyond. Allers. Cambridge University Press.Notes Introduction 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Aristotle. M. 3a33. pp74–76.L.

pp142–162. . p297. 1970. M. ‘Henry of Ghent and Duns Scotus’. in Routledge History of Philosophy. See also my ‘Duns Scotus’s Concept of the Univocity of Being: another look’. E. 1978. Heidegger. p49. J. p13. M. Marenbon. Ibid.. T. On Scotus. 1998. Robbins. N. DS. p27. 1998. p15. and Trans. This is Heidegger’s Habilitation thesis. Routledge. 2003. in Thomas Aquinas Selected Writings. See Aquinas.. See. J. 1999. ed. The pure perfections and perfect-being theology was developed by Anselm and was later endorsed by Scotus.. M. Heidegger. M.. Ashgate. R. George. Heidegger. Volume III. N. Duns Scotus. M. 2007. J. Logical Investigations. 1975.. Illinois. R. ed. in Heidegger. px. in Supplements. Trans. Duns Scotus on God. H. This page number does also not appear in the translation.190 10 Notes 11 12 13 Brentano. De Paul University Chicago. ‘Letter to Richardson’. J. ‘The Theory of Categories and Meaning in Duns Scotus’. 2002. Heidegger. Cross. Stump. Van Buren. Heidegger. px.. J.. Oxford University Press.. R. 1993. BT.. ‘How are Things Good? Exposition of On the Hebdomads of Boethius (1257)’. ed. This is the text of the famous ‘Letter to Richardson’ published as preface to his comprehensive study of Heidegger (originally published 1963). ‘Author’s Book Notice’ (1917). On the Several Senses of Being in Aristotle. in Pli. p120. in Supplements. Findlay. For a discussion of Scotus and Henry see. Dumont. pp49–50. ed. On medieval metaphysics see: Wippel.. Chapter 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 Heidegger. sometimes known simply as the Scotus Book. D. Volume 2. p6. in A Companion to Heidegger. M. M. Van Buren. Trans. J. ‘The Problem of Reality in Modern Philosophy’ (1912). Richardson. Heidegger. F. p48. Square bracket: my addition. p68. in Supplements. DS.. see: Cross. pp129–146.. pp85–127. Penguin. Duns Scotus’ Theory Of The Categories And Of Meaning. ed. ‘Preface’. Dreyfus and M. 18. M. R. Fordham University Press. M. in The Cambridge Companion to Aquinas.. Husserl. 2005. Cambridge University Press. Trans.. S. ‘Metaphysics’. p17. University of California Press. 2005. F. Moran. A. Blackwell. Heidegger. I will refer to this text as DS in future. Through Phenomenology to Thought. State University of New York Press. ed... Wrathall. Square bracket: my addition. Routledge. p61. Mcinerny.. ed. and ed. W. ‘The Earliest Heidegger: A New Field of Research’.. Kretzmann and E. Medieval Philosophy. p67. in Richardson 2003. Heidegger. H. From the Earliest Essays to Being and Time and Beyond. I will refer to it in future simply as the ‘Letter to Richardson’. L. See.

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147. 143–4. 37. 10 God 22–4. 69. 62. 134. Western tradition of philosophy Ansell Pearson. 45. 120. e. 20. 39 predication 24 science 14–15. 20 Scotist 24–5. 166 paronymy and 16. 113. 167 . 147–8. 22 truth 42–3. 118 anti-modernist neo-Scholastic phase (Heideggerian philosophy : 1909–13) 28–9. 194n. Rudolf 3. 32–5. 122. 87 being 1–2. 83–4. St. 141 analogy 20. 142. 115. 90. 67. 165–6. 167 atheism 7. 184 Aristotelian 20. 138. 165. 107.g. 84. 192n. St. 192n. 80. 21. 109. 54. 134. 22 metaphysics 14–15 ontology 14. 113. 174 Henry of Ghent’s 24–5 in medieval philosophy 20. 46. 142. univocity Anaximander 137. 63. 166 being 68–9. 149–50. 163. 148. 69. 88. 111. 138 ‘The Anaximander Fragment’ (Heidegger) 137. Thomas 59. 160. 108. 178 Avicenna see Ibn Sına ˉ ˉ Bachelard. 10 archaeology 160–1. 129 Aristotle’s Metaphysics Theta 1–3 (Heidegger) 555 art 157–61. 183 Augustine. 145. 38. 72. 85. 118 Heideggerian critique 14. 17–18. Alain 185 The Basic Problems of Phenomenology (Heidegger) 31. 21 human existence 18 influence on medieval philosophy 21–2 medieval philosophy vs . 88. 18. 194n. 10 accidental being 15. 149–50 Heideggerian 60–4. 22 theology 15.Index absolute being 29. 91. Keith 51 Anslem of Canterbury. 129 ‘The Age of the World Picture’ (Heidegger) 148–9 aletheia 55–6. 184 Thomist 22–4. 114–16 see also analogia entis . Gaston 162 Badiou. 21 definition 70 Deity 17. 121. 164 poetic status 165. 27–9. 149 analogy 3. 20. 177–8 Dasein 18. 20. 10 The Archaeology of Knowledge (Foucault) 160 architecture 158–9. 79. 119 echo in Husserl 83–4 archaeological hermeneutics 128. 4 analogia entis 16. 10 accidental predicate 24 actualitas 41 actuality 15 adaequatio intellectus ad rem 42. 52. 75. 152 phenomenological correlation 42–4 Allers.. 121. 114–15. 122. 92–3. 88. 33 univocity vs . Greek philosophy. 33. 86. 165. 128–33. 34. Aristotle. 86. 138 ancient philosophy univocity 10–18 see also specific philosophers. 124–5. 20. 79 anxiety Dasein and 103. 166 Aristotle 1. 20. 178–9 apophantic logic 96 Aquinas. 87 beingness and 93. 192n. 162. 10–18. 114–16. 30 authenticity 103. 36.

68. 19. 176–7 reading of Heideggerian criticism of scholasticism 49–51 care (Sorge) 8. 57 organization 68 phenomenology 71–2 prelude 68. 94–5. 70. Rudolf 36. 89–90 indefinability 10. 103. 123–4. 86. 59. 139. 88 beings vs. 11. 48. 178 Cassirer. 139 death 28 see also God clearing 58. 14–15. 42. 163 reading of Heidegger 79–80. 103. 87. 192n. 192n. 45. 21 beingness and 55–6 Cartesian neglect 88 being 65 Aristotelian 1–2. 24. 153 Copleston. 134. 8. 91. 20. 142–3. 60. 54–5. 70 metaphysical view 54–5. 133. 30. 68. 85–7. 33. 58–60. 75 . 49. 173–4. 149–50 of beings 54–6. 79 Bultmann. 20. 57. question of see Seinsfrage beings 38–9. 74. 180 Husserlian 81. 102. 98. 88. 45. 12–14. 45–6. 192n. 122. Frederick C. 125.210 Index Canguilhem. 119–20. 88–9. 143–4 beingness and 57 as classes of predicates 16–17 Deity and 20 Heideggerian 29. 54. 51. 117 corporeal substance 21–2 critique of pure reason 76. 106. 170 ontical inquiry 73 self-presentative 43 Brentano. 159. 16. 36. 21. 15–16. 21. 108 self-evidence 11. 69. 104. 73. 50. Georges 162 Caputo. 157 construction 38–9. 47. 143–4. 85 conservatism Heidegger’s rejection 6. 72 Contributions to Philosophy (Heidegger) 27. 81 categories 13–14. 46. 107–13 qua being 1–2. 14. 10–18. 69. 151–2. 17. 25–6. 22–3. 133. 145 incompleteness 35–6. see ontological difference beingness 54–6. 127. 43 phenomenology 72–4. 35. 112–13. 70 catharsis 179 celestial hierarchy 23 Christian God 7. 176 cogito 36. 73–4 being vs. 8 intentionality 40–1. 79–80 Heideggerian objection to universalization of 17–18 Categories (Aristotle) 11. 138–9. 70–1 temporality and 44–8 Thomist 68–9. 4. 10 transcendental attributes 26 Being 53 Being and Time (Heidegger) 1. 72. John D. 126. 135. 21. 88. 65. 74 beingness analogy and 93. 145. 20. 124 aim 108 see also Seinsfrage critical relation to metaphysics 68 Deleuze’s response 187 Ereignis formulation 43 Heidegger’s views 67. 134. 69. 119 non-univocity 87 Parmenidean 23. Ernst 118 categorial intuition 41–2. 170 Dasein and 55–6 historical humanity and 56–7 time and 57–8 being. 72 spiral structure 103 being-historical thinking 67. 77 Critique of Pure Reason (Kant) 161 critique of the present 164–5 cultural paradigms 158–60 culture 163–4 Greek 56 twentieth century 154 Dasein Aristotelian 18. 147. 40. 27. 117. 177–8 Aristotelian-scholastic context 27–9. 8 concepts 38 Nietzschean constructivism 186 origin 40–1 consciousness 6 Husserlian 81–4. 171. Franz 22 influence on Heidegger 27–8. see ontological difference Cartesian 8 Hegelian 69 Heidegger’s analogically unified meaning 52–7. 62.

90–2. 30. 5. Thomas of 30–1 eschatology 137. Brian 130. 85. 180–1 ontical distinction 98–9 phenomenology of being and 72–4 pre-theoretical understanding of being 40–1 productive agent 41 self-interpretation 37–9. 34–5. 159. 174. 158 Duns Scotus Theory of the Categories and of Meaning (Heidegger Habilitation thesis) 4. 136. 66. 59–64. 141. 119. 38. 155. 142 Enlightenment motto 76 epistemology 49. 119–20. 172. 52. 10 empiricism 77 end of philosophy 30. 163–4. 131. 117. 19. 164 eidetic reduction 82. 84 existentialia 18. 109 temporal nature 20. 122. 167–8. Hubert L. 170 history of ontology 14. 132–3. 73 as Dasein’s existentiality 109 death and 113 external world 96–7 Heideggerian 8. 98–107. 101 epoch 127. 8. 100. 58. 79. 170–1 epoché 82. 102. 94. 47. 123–4 ecstatical temporality 62–4. 131–2. 187 Dilthey. 92. 170 equivocity 12. 20. 148–9. 106. 183 Heideggerian 7. 120. 172. 194n. 129. 177–9. 166 Expressionism in Philosophy. 101 metaphysical distinction between essence and 141–3 scholastic understanding 41. 58–60. Wilhelm 32 disclosure 157–8 discontinuity 162–3 211 disjunctive attributes of being 26 Disputationes metaphysicae (Suarez) 38 Dreyfus. 111 truth and 42–3 death Dasein’s 24 existence and 113 God 5–6. 30. 23–4 Ereignis (event of appropriation) 9. 24. 135. Spinoza (Deleuze) 187 . 180 tradition’s neglect 79. 187 early Greeks’ 140–1 see also Ereignis Difference and Repetition (Deleuze) 3. 57. 151. 146. 146–7. 51. 66. 62–3. 18. 52 difference 119. 101. 141. 180–1 formulation 43 Erfurt. 55. 83. 72. 21. 162. 171 Egyptianism 156. 24. 33. 47–8. 97. 115–16. 178 earth 159. 146. 175–7 ecclesiastical hierarchy 23 Eckhart. 127. 73. 130. 174 The End of Philosophy (Heidegger) 55. 138–9. 95. 4. 177. 176 Denis the pseudo-Areopagite see Pseudo-Dionysus the Areopagite Descartes. 161–2 essentia 40. 74. René 44. 118. 99. 40. 28. 175–9. 36–7. 127. 143. 175. 152 essential thinking 124 Ethics (Spinoza) 161 event of appropriation see Ereignis evidence 42. 142. 133. Gilles 3. 91. 118. 66. 192n. 54–5. 8 created being 44–5 Husserl’s kinship with 85–7 knowledge 77 medieval ontology 85–9 neglect of Dasein 88 destruction 14. 134. 185–8 Deleuze.Index death and 7 faith 19 Heideggerian 2. 85 eidetic singularities 96 Elliott. 176. 100. 122. 134–6. 109–10 experience of life (lebenserfahrung) 32–5. 184 human 5–6 deep contextualism 139 definition Aristotelian 70 Deleuze. 21. Meister 117. La clamour de l’Etre (Badiou) 185 Demythologizing Heidegger (Caputo) 20. 55. 134. 39. 44 tradition and 37–9. 133. 34. 129 existence 23. 31–2. 154. 155. 169. 53. 123 destruction in 31–2 dwelling 146. 151. 92. 46–7. 174 reading of Husserl 83 univocity 51. 41–2. 104–7. 29.

69. 34–5 . 181 critique of Aristotle 14. 68 Galileo Galilei 151 gelassenheit see letting be generalization 96 The Genesis of Heidegger’s Being and Time (Kisiel) 36 genetic phenomenology 40. 24. 29–30. 115. 118 death 5–6. unified meaning of 52–7. 107–8. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich 38. 192n. 49. 38 Greek philosophy 37. 10 haecceitas 24. 180 Brentano’s influence 27–8. 142. 20. 46–7. 117. 21 critique of Cartesian conception of being 8 critique of Husserl 84. 69. 108–13 Heideggerian abandonment 125–6 Kantian dimension 75 metaphysics and 39–41. 74. 91. Martin analogy 60–4. 52–3. 62. 8 Aristotelian 17. 27–32. 24. 123–4. 107. 138–9. 9. 180–1 facticity see haecceitas faith medieval philosophy 19. 144 Hegel. 162 fourfold 174–7. 79–80 categories. 56. 91. 67. 42–3. 116 Germinal Life. Charles 48. 118 Foucault. 139. 97–102. 162. Michel 160–1. 119–20. 41. 194n.212 Index Thomist 22–4. 30–5. 134 Heidegger and Aquinas (Caputo) 51 Heidegger. 90–2. 165. 18. 176–7 categories 29. 88–9. 79 The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics (Heidegger) 61. 79 Caputo’s reading 79–80. 129. 21. 66. 79. 68–9. 127. 166–7 grammar 160 thought and 30–1 Grammatica speculativa (Erfurt) 30–1 Greek ontology 14. 99. 151 importance 128–9. 177–8. An Introduction (Polt) 49 Heidegger. 15. 20. 165 forms 48. 119 compared to Eckhart 118. 20. 16–17. 59–64. 147–8. 165–6. 76. 30. 54. 164. 98–107. 173–4. 118. 8 Dasein and 60 human existence 177–9 focal meaning 20 formalization 96 formal ontology 96 form of life 32–3. 182 being and time 65 Dasein 7. 95. the Difference and Repetition of Deleuze (Ansell Pearson) 51 God 175–6. 118 fides quarens intellectum see faith seeking understanding finite beings 119 finitude 7. 146. 183–4 fractured history 161–7 Frede. 174 Aristotelian-scholastic philosophy promotion 28–9 being. 52. 12–13. 118 faith seeking understanding ( fides quarens intellectum) 19. 17–18. 119 see also Christian God good Plato’s 59 Gothic architecture 158. 91 fundamental ontology 28. 33. 137–8 notion of difference 140–1 presencing 137 question of being 86–7 see also Aristotle. Plato Guattari. 39. 111. objection to universalization of 17–18 central concern 2–5. 135. 181 critique of medieval philosophy 34–5 critique of scholasticism 41. 88 perfect self-coincidence 59 Scotist metaphysics and 25–6. 35. 123–4 criticism 127–8. 124. 177–9. 103–4 Gutting. 19. Gary 160–1. Dorothea 92 free Protestant mystical phase (Heideggerian philosophy: 1917–20) 28. 114–16. 49–51 Dasein 2. 58–60. 90. 50 genus 10. 183 divine nature 25 existence 77 Ibn Sına’s ˉ ˉ 121 medieval approach 147 ontological concept 87. 49. 139 guilt 59. Felix 186 Guignon. 92–3.

Friedrich 28. 171–2 truth 67. 117. kinship with 163 later philosophy 6. 175 213 history of metaphysics 51. 8 epistemologist 97–8 Heideggerian critique 84. kinship with 68 Kuhn. 140. 88 theology 20. 114–16. 84. 89 univocity and 5. 71. 95. 142–3. 122. 141–3. 96 immanence 78. 28. 139. 79–85.Index Greek philosophy’s importance 128–9 Husserlian consciousness 85–7 Husserl’s influence 57. 108. 162 intentional activity (noesis) 42. 137. 132–3. 122 Greek 140–4 scholastic phase 144–5 history of philosophy destructive-reappropriation of 76 neglect of Dasein 79. 148. 126–8 meaning 67. identification with 28 ontology 20. 94–5. 192n. 134–5 time 65–6. 85–7. 21. 180. 168 Homer 167 homonymy 11–12. 87. 82 intentionality consciousness 40–1. 34. 172–4. 160 consciousness 81–4. 178 History of the Concept of Time. 139–40 mysticism. 62. 113 inertia principle 151 innovation 6. 115. 154–5. 30. 66. 30. 180 substance 48. 97–102. 85. 153–4. 70 human existence 135 Aristotelian 18 finitude 177–9 humanism 7 humanity 6. 155. 110. 51. 137 heritage 175 hermeneutics of facticity 40 Hesiod 167 hierarchy metaphysical view 23 historical humanity 56–7. 15. 82–3 intentional object (noema) 42. 82. 88–9. 67. 144 Sheehan’s reading 52–7. 100. 150. Heidegger. 91. 117 Scotist engagement 3–4. 86. 36. 81 intentionality 82–3 regional and formal ontology 96 sensuous and categorical intuition 41–2 truth 42. 129 Ibn Sına ˉ ˉ 121 Idea 134. 137 mysticism 117–25. 125 philosophical phases 28–35. 117 metaphysics 39–41. 119. 147–8. Prolegomena (Heidegger) 75 Hölderlin. 81 individuation 24. 104–5 medieval thought’s influence 19. 153. 95. 128. early engagement 32–5 Nietzsche and Hölderlin. 117. 107. 29–30. Edmund 31. 138. 157. 91–2. 129–30. 136. 133–6. 172. 95. 144–5. 181 influence on Heidegger 57. 90. 58–60. 108. 131–3. 170–2 art and 158 language and 168–9 subordination 162 task 154–5 history 153–7 art and 157–61 fractured 161–7 history of being 37. 85 Husserlian. 79 philosophical shift 58. 66. 126. 87. 170 Ideas I (Husserl) 81. 87. 187 inauthenticity 109. 71. 144. 79. 75 thinking 122–5. 7. 123. 94 ‘Introduction. 111–12. the Project and Fulfilment’ (Sheehan) 52 . 129 understanding 66–7 univocity 65. 138. 178 incommensurability 163 individuation death and 177–9 Heideggerian 24. 88–9. 111 phenomenology and 41 shortcomings 114 History of the Concept of Time (Heidegger) 8. 61. 66. 173–4. 181–3 “Heidegger on the Principle of Sufficient Reason” (Allers) 3 Heidegger’s Philosophy of Being (Philipse) 17 Henry of Ghent Scotist critique 24–5 Heraclitus 43. 113 Kant. 166 see also historical humanity Husserl. 91.

214
Introduction to Metaphysics (Heidegger) 101 intuition essence 82 Husserlian 41–2, 57, 81 jointure 138 kairological time 33 Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics (Heidegger) 31, 36, 37, 40 Kant, Immanuel 139, 161 being 81 Enlightenment 76 metaphysics 68, 76–8 temporality 44 ‘Kehre and Ereignis , A Prolegomenon to Introduction to Metaphysics’ (Sheehan) 52 Kierkegaard, Søren 30, 79 kinesis see temporal motion Kisiel, Theodore 4, 36 knowledge aim 76–7 Cartesian 94 Krebs, Engelbert, Father 19, 28 Kuhn, Thomas 163

Index
medieval ontology 10 Cartesian connections 85–9 medieval philosophy analogy 20, 32–5, 148, 149–50, 166 Aristotelian influence 22 era 117–18 God 147 Heideggerian critique 34–5 influence on Heidegger 19, 117 religious character 19, 118 see also specific philosophers, e.g., Aquinas, Thomas, St.; scholasticism Merleau-Ponty, Maurice 160 The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic (Heidegger) 63, 66 metaphysics 5–7, 74, 131, 152, 184 Aristotelian 14–15 being 54–5, 119 essence vs. existence 141–3 guiding concern 132 Heidegger and 39–41, 137 history 51, 119, 122, 140–5 history of being 133–5 Kantian 68, 76–8 Scotist 25–6 Thomist 22–4 Metaphysics (Aristotle) 11, 14 Metaphysics. Delta VI (Aristotle) 16 Metaphysics. Delta VII (Aristotle) 15 Metaphysics. Eta (Aristotle) 15 Metaphysics. Gamma (Aristotle) 14–15 Metaphysics. Gamma 2 (Aristotle) 17 Metaphysics. Theta (Aristotle) 15 Metaphysics. Zeta (Aristotle) 15 methodological atheism 75, 183 Milchman, Alan 160 Mindfullness (Heidegger) 145 modern European thought crisis 6–7 destabilization of subject 6 point of departure 5–6 see also Western tradition of philosophy modernity 183 Heideggerian response 7, 145–9 Moira 140–1 monotheistic theology 22 Moran, Dermot 72 The Mystical Element in Heidegger’s Thought (Caputo) 117 mystical neo-neo-Scholastic phase (Heideggerian philosophy: 1914–16) 28, 29, 79, 81

language 80 poetry and 167–9 significance 120 thought and 30–1 ‘Language’ (Heidegger) 167 Lawlor, Leonard 160 lebenserfahrung see experience of life Letter on Humanism (Heidegger) 67–8, 123, 126, 167 letting be (gelassenheit) 32, 67, 135 lived experience 84–5, 86, 133, 145, 146 logic apophantic 96 Heideggerian 100 Logical Investigations (Husserl) 31, 42 The Logic of Sense (Deleuze) 187 logos 43, 56, 70, 71–2 Lotz, Johannes 51 Löwith, Karl 79 Luther, Martin 30, 32, 79 machination 145–6, 147 matheis ˉ 151–2 meaning 82, 67, 104–5

Index
mysticism Heideggerian 32–5, 117–25, 139–40 scholasticism and 19, 32, 123 mythopoetry 175–7 ‘My Way to Phenomenology’ (Heidegger) 41, 128 natural theology 54 nature 13, 45, 53, 152, 164 neomythology 20 new beginning 30, 120 Newton, Isaac 151 Nicomachean Ethics (Aristotle) 79, 177–8 Nietzsche, Friedrich 51, 60, 150, 186, 187 criticism of philosophers’ idiosyncrasies 156 Heideggerian identification with 28, 75, 165, 183 metaphysics 55, 119, 134, 141, 144, 152 ‘Nietzsche, Genealogy, History’ (Foucault) 160 noema see intentional object noesis see intentional activity nominal definition 70 non-representational thinking 6, 7, 67, 132, 183, 184 nothing 3, 123–4 nothingness 3, 25–6, 69, 91, 182, 184 noumena 48, 76, 78 O’Farrell, Clare 162 On the Several Senses of Being in Aristotle (Brentano) 22, 27–8 ontical inquiry 73 On Time and Being (Heidegger) 126, 130 ontological difference 2, 11, 18, 29, 64, 71, 75, 78–9, 81, 107, 118–19, 121, 126–7, 133, 141–2, 187 ontology 185 Aristotelian 14, 18, 21 destruction of tradition of 14, 36–7, 44 Greek 14, 38 Heideggerian 20, 21, 108, 110, 115, 125 see also medieval ontology ontotheology 5, 34–5, 54, 55, 93, 141, 147, 156 birth 118–19 operative intentionality 40–1 The Order of Things (Foucault) 160 ‘The Origin of the Work of Art’ (Heidegger) 157, 159, 163 ousia see substance

215

Parmenides 134, 137, 140–1 being 23, 43 paronymy 11, 12, 13 analogy and 16, 20 reduction 17 participation 23, 84 Pascal, Blaise 30, 79 perception 94–5 phenomenological reduction see epoché phenomenology 6, 71–2, 90, 194n. 10 aletheia and 42–4 being 72–4, 107–13 genetic 40, 50 history of philosophy and 41 Husserlian vs. Heideggerian 94–102 introduction 81–2 origin of concepts and 40 scientific domain 84–5 Thomist echoes 83–4 univocity and 35–7, 107–13 Phenomenology and Imagination in Husserl and Heidegger (Elliott) 130, 194n. 10 phenomenon 71, 72–3, 78, 131 Philipse, Herman 17, 95 “The Philosophical Foundations of Medieval Mysticism” (Heidegger) 32, 67 philosophical theology creationist 22–4, 148 philosophy Cartesian transformation 6 Heideggerian terms 5 history see history of philosophy physical stuff 48 Physics (Aristotle) 14 physis 43, 56, 137, 140, 141, 142–3, 150, 152, 163–4 Pico della Mirandola, Giovanni 22 Plato 1, 37, 39, 48, 55, 69, 81, 84, 107, 108, 118, 119, 121, 122, 134, 136, 138, 141, 142–3, 151, 152, 170, 179 good 59 Platonism 51, 131, 132 Plotinus 121, 122 Poetics (Aristotle) 179 poetic thinking 67, 162 poetry 132, 157, 165, 167 language and 167–9 Polt, Richard 49, 63, 103, 156, 163 potentiality 15, 52

216

Index
Sacred Doctrine 54 said-of-relation 12, 13 scepticism 77 transcendental arguments and 97 Schelling’s Treatise on the Essence of Human Freedom (Heidegger) 149 schematism 44 Schleiermacher, Friedrich Daniel Ernst 30 scholasticism analogy 20 Aristotelian philosophy vs. 22 being 27–9, 36 createdness 44–5 existence 41, 84 Heideggerian critique 41, 49–50 Heidegger’s promotion 28–9 metaphysical framework 21–6 mysticism and 19, 32, 123 transcendals 75 see also medieval philosophy science Aristotelian 14–15, 22 scientific philosophy 36 Scotus Book (Heidegger) 29, 30, 80, 90, 165 Scotus, John Duns 51, 58, 79 analogy 24–5, 69, 184 critique of Henry of Ghent 24–5 Heidegger’s engagement with 3–4, 28, 29–30, 144 metaphysics 25–6 transcendentals 24, 75 univocity 2–3, 24–6, 34–5, 80, 91, 144, 147, 166, 180, 182, 184, 186–7 secondary substance 12–13, 21, 143–4 Seinsfrage (question of being) 52–3 Aristotelian 45 epistemological interpretation 48–9 Heidegger’s preoccupation 1–2, 10, 27–32, 52–3, 68–9, 71, 101–2, 107–8, 119 Husserlian 90, 96 tradition’s neglect and failure 90, 102, 118–19, 141 self 97–8, 139 sensuous intuition 41–2, 57 Sheehan, Thomas 3, 158 reading of Heidegger 52–7, 58–60, 62, 91, 173–4, 180 sky 175–6 Smith, Daniel W. 187 Socrates 123, 179

predication Aristotelian 24 Husserlian 81 Scotist 24–6 Thomist 23–4 transitivity 13 presence 74, 128, 130–1, 132, 134, 135, 138–40, 143–4, 153–4, 157–8, 171–3, 182 presencing 136, 137–8, 140–1, 161, 171, 176 present ecstasis 62–3 primal Christianity 30 primary substance 12, 13, 16, 21, 45, 48, 70, 143–4 primordial time 66, 114 The Principle of Identity (Heidegger) 141 “The Problem of Reality in Modern Philosophy” (Heidegger) 29 pros hen relation see paronymy Protagorean doctrine 7 Pseudo-Dionysus the Areopagite 23 pure perfection 190n. 12 transcendental status 26 pure subsistent being 119 qua summum ens 30 The Question Concerning Technology and Other Essays (Heidegger) 158 question of being see Seinsfrage Qur’an 121 ‘Reading a Life: Heidegger and Hard Times’ (Sheehan) 52 real definition 70 reality metaphysical view 12, 21–2, 61 reduction 38–9, 72 Husserlian 82 paronymy 17 regional ontology 90, 94, 115 formal ontology vs. 96 representational thinking 5, 124, 131 res cogitans 36, 44–5, 85–6, 88 retrieval 14, 40, 62, 95 revolution 6, 154 Richardson, William J. 28 Rickert, Heinrich 30 Rosenberg, Alan 160 Russell, Bertrand 48

Index
Sophist (Plato) 108 soul 22, 33, 77, 118, 140, 166–7, 179 space 78, 130, 131 see also time-space species 12, 13, 135 Spinoza, Baruch 51, 161, 187 Stambaugh, Joan 37 ‘step back’ 132 ‘stringent aporia’ 33–4, 55, 90, 91, 141 Suarez, Francisco 38 subject birth 6 knowledge 76–8 subjective relativism 148–9 subjectivity 88, 133, 151–2 substance (ousia) 45 Aristotelian 12, 13–14, 17–18, 20, 45–6, 55, 70, 84, 126, 138, 143–4 Cartesian 44 Heidegger and 48, 87, 88 highest genus 17 permanence 44 in the tradition 86 substantial predicate 24 Supplements, From the Earliest Essays to Being and Time and Beyond (Heidegger) 28 synonymy 11–12, 15, 21 univocity and 13 Taminiaux, Jacques 20, 41, 52, 62, 81, 91, 125–6 technology (Gestell ) 131–2, 134, 144, 145, 147–8, 175, 176 temporality 37, 64 being and 4–8, 66 Dasein’s 20, 21, 47–8, 53, 62–3, 66, 91, 92, 102, 104–7, 115–16, 122, 133, 174, 177, 180 ecstatical 62–4, 66, 106, 171 Kantian 44 temporal motion (kinesis) 33 theology Aristotelian 15, 22 Heidegger and 20, 30, 34, 75 medieval 22–6 natural 54 thinking being-historical 67, 74 essential 124 forms 5–6, 30–1

217

Heideggerian 122–5, 132–3, 134–5 non-representational 6, 7, 67, 132, 183, 184 openness to being 118 Parmenidean 141 representational 5, 124, 131 Thinking After Heidegger (Wood) 130 time beingness and 57–8 four dimensional 135, 171–2 Heideggerian 65–6 Husserlian 66 ontological function 65–6, 91 univocity 8, 21, 33, 111–12 time-space 130, 135, 171–2 ‘to be’ Aristotelian 45 Heideggerian 46, 53, 59, 66, 91, 136 Husserlian 89, 96 transcendence 33, 63, 89 God 23–4, 25 transcendental 24 Scotist 26, 75 transcendental anthropocentrism 92 transcendental argument 97 transcendental consciousness 83–4 transcendental ego 95, 97 transcendental horizon 27, 46, 53, 64, 66, 107, 115–16, 122, 177, 180, 182 transcendental idealism 77–8, 83, 94–5 transcendental philosophy 50, 74–9, 97, 160–1 transcendental realism 76–7, 78 Heidegger’s rejection 97–8 transcendental reduction see epoché transitivity of predication 13 truth 42 Aristotelian 42–3, 129 being 15, 73–4, 132–3, 161 Heideggerian 67, 129 Husserlian 42, 129 see also aletheia ‘turn’ 58 understanding Heideggerian 66–7 unity of analogy 10, 21, 69, 84, 91 universality 10, 68–9, 70 univocity 2–5, 12, 58, 172 analogy vs . 86, 114–16 Deleuze’s 51, 185–8

144. 127–8 Heideggerian critique 127–8 neglect of and failure to raise the question of being 90. 167. 172–4. 107–13 Scotist 2–3. David 130 work of art 158–9. 33. 184. 111–12. 33. 24–6. 79 ‘The Way to Language’ (Heidegger) 167 Western tradition of philosophy 1. 181–3 phenomenology and 35–7. 120 external 96–7 self and 139 transcendent 86 worldhood 87. 163–4 consciousness and 83. 157. Ludwig 118 Wood. 186–7 synonymy and 13 time 8. 111 Young. 182. 66. 21. 71. 102. 87. 173 world 45. 180. Julian 175 univocity (cont’d ) Heideggerian 3. modern European thought ‘What is Enlightenment?’ (Foucault) 160 ‘What is Metaphysics?’ (Heidegger) 100. 123 What is Philosophy? (Heidegger) 37 Wittgenstein. 180. 144–5. 94 Dasein and 73. 111 . 118–19. 67. John 4. 65. 141 neglect of Dasein 79. 28. 164–5. 88. 80.218 Index presupposition 48–9 see also ancient philosophy. 34–5. 91. 111–12 Van Buren. 166. 100. 79–85. 147. 114–16.

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