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In Whose Name

In Whose Name

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In Whose Name
In Whose Name

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European Journal of Political Theory

http://ept.sagepub.com In Whose Name?: Heidegger and ‘Practical Philosophy’
Franco Volpi European Journal of Political Theory 2007; 6; 31 DOI: 10.1177/1474885107070828

The online version of this article can be found at: http://ept.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/6/1/31

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In Whose Name?
Heidegger and ‘Practical Philosophy’
Franco Volpi
University of Padua

European Journal of Political Theory
© SAGE Publications Ltd, London, Thousand Oaks and New Delhi issn 1474-8851, 6 ( 1 ) 31–51 [DOI: 10.1177/1474885107070828]

Translated by Niall Keane

a b s t r a c t : Although Heidegger’s relation to political philosophy is, at the very least, problematic, many figures who have contributed significantly to the field attended his courses in the 1920s (Hans-Georg Gadamer, Hannah Arendt, Hans Jonas, Joachim Ritter, Gunther Anders and others). Heidegger’s work at that time was marked by an extensive engagement with Aristotle, and above all with Aristotle’s practical philosophy. This article approaches the question of Heidegger as a political thinker by returning to his reading of Aristotle’s practical philosophy in order to clarify the structural features of his thinking that inspired so many of his students to develop a political philosophy clearly influenced by him. Heidegger reads the Nicomachean Ethics as an ontology of human existence, centred on an interpretation of human existence (Dasein) as práxis. This reading inspired a renaissance of practical philosophy in Germany and beyond. However, as Arendt has shown, Heidegger’s ontologization closes práxis within a solipsistic horizon that deforms its political sense. It is this closure, which proves especially damaging when Heidegger begins to understand Dasein in relation to history and community, that many of his students have sought to reverse in their own work, thereby restoring a political dimension to a philosophy profoundly influenced by Heidegger. k e y w o r d s : Arendt, Aristotle, ethics, Heidegger, history, ontology, politics, practical philosophy

‘When Will You Write an Ethics?’
What is Heidegger’s relation to ethics and politics, i.e. to practical philosophy? How does his thought respond to the need for an orientation that is equal to the perplexity of the contemporary world? And in what way does it take up the problem of action in the age of nihilism? These are awkward questions. Not only did Heidegger neither write an ethics nor a politics, he even declared that he did not want to, criticizing all those who, appealing to ‘values’, endeavoured in vain to kindle some possible virtue and morality in the age of technology.
Contact address: Franco Volpi, Università degli studi di Padova, Dipartimento di filosofia, Università degli studi di Padova, piazza Capitaniato, 3, 35139 Padova, Italy.


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It is to be found in the itinerary that Heidegger followed during the more than tenyear silence between his thesis (1915) and the publication of Being and Time (1927). to see that many of those present – such as Hans-Georg Gadamer. a young friend inquired: ‘When will you write an ethics?’ The disarming reply from Heidegger was: ‘The desire for an ethics presses ever more ardently for fulfilment as the obvious no less than the hidden perplexity of human beings soars to immeasurable heights. and coincides with his first years of teaching at Freiburg (1919–23) and at Marburg (1923–8). Max Horkheimer and others besides – were responsible for the widespread debate on the problem of práxis that took place in Germany in the 1960s and 1970s and which became known as the ‘rehabilitation of practical philosophy’. Leo Strauss. and this magnum opus reflects the motivation behind this engagement to the point that one could say.European Journal of Political Theory 6(1) In the ‘Letter on Humanism’ he recounts how.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. looking down the list of participants at the seminars Heidegger held in Freiburg and Marburg in the 1920s.sagepub. there is not.2 How can this be explained? In the considerations that I will put forward – rehearsing analyses developed more fully elsewhere3 – I will try to outline the deep-seated reasons for this surprising and apparently inexplicable connection. at a certain moment. and moreover it reflects the fact that Heidegger always privileged the problems of ontology over those of practical philosophy and focused on the sole question that he made his own: the question of Being. Now in the face of this. In short. In this period. It is surprising. that it is a modern ‘version’ of the Nicomachean Ethics – a ‘version’ in which unexpected structural analogies between Aristotle’s practical philosophy and Heidegger’s project of an existential analysis come to light. this thread becomes invisible and the paths of Heidegger’s students veer off in different directions to that of their teacher. which served as a guiding thread for the resolution of problems arising from the ‘theoreticism’ of modern philosophy. one must bear in mind the particular perspective from which Heidegger appropriates the fundamental categories of Aristotle’s practical philosophy. it is an almost continuous engagement with Aristotle that paves the way for Being and Time. Hannah Arendt. He transforms them into constitutive 32 Downloaded from http://ept. 2010 . This is an appropriation that took place not only where he refers explicitly to Aristotle. but also the reasons why. Hans Jonas. it seems odd that precisely from out of Heidegger’s own ‘school’ a number of thinkers were formed who made an essential contribution to ethical and political thought in the 20th century. albeit provocatively. soon after the publication of Being and Time. Now to understand not only the guiding thread that links Heidegger to the rehabilitation of practical philosophy. Heidegger devoted himself to a voracious appropriation of the practical philosophy of Aristotle. but also where he departs from Aristotle in order to follow the course of his own inquiry. Joachim Ritter.’1 Is there any need to underline that from the outset this affirmation arrests any proposal for an ethics or a politics? And that it eliminates every effort towards a practical philosophy as being unequal to the problems of the contemporary age? No.

When. Phenomenological Interpretations of Aristotle: Initiation into Phenomenological Research. Ontology: the Hermeneutics of Facticity. dedicated entirely to ontology and logic in Aristotle.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. on the one hand. Almost all of these have now been published in Heidegger’s Gesamtausgabe and many have also been translated into English. Gadamer. when he developed the ‘phenomenological interpretation’ of Aristotle that was to become decisive for him. put his young student forward for the chairs in philosophy that were soon to become free in Marburg and Göttingen. I shall then try to shed some light on analogies that make it possible to place these structures alongside corresponding intuitions in Aristotle’s practical philosophy.Volpi: In Whose Name? determinations for the Being of man. Husserl. and the summer semester of 1923. it remained in the dark and seemed to have been completely lost. In particular. but Heidegger’s interpretation of Aristotle impressed Natorp and his colleagues.sagepub. Arendt. who offered him the chair at Marburg in preference to Richard Kroner and Heinz Heimsoeth. in his or her own way. In reality. For an understanding of Heidegger’s discovery of Aristotle as an alternative to neo-Kantianism and Husserlian phenomenology. I shall just outline a few considerations that may help us to identify some of the constitutive structures of Heidegger’s philosophy. 2010 . which is to say that he ‘ontologizes’ them and nullifies their practical-moral force. constituted by the university courses that Heidegger held every semester from 1919. Joachim Ritter underlining the fundamental nature of ethos and Hans Jonas returning to the Aristotelian definition of agathon. Hannah Arendt drawing attention to the concepts of práxis and vita activa. The New Textual Sources Today new textual sources on this hypothesis can be developed. later. sent it to both Natorp and Misch. we need to look above all to the courses that Heidegger held in his first period of teaching in Freiburg (1919–23). 33 Downloaded from http://ept.4 In addition. the chair was given to Moritz Geiger. we also know that. Jonas and the other ‘neo-Aristotelians’ undertook the ‘rehabilitation of practical philosophy’. The text itself was then to have been published in the Jahrbuch für Philosophie und phänomenologische Forschung. we need to look at the courses of the winter semester of 1921–2. Given that I cannot examine all of these texts here. they brought to fruition the teaching of the young Heidegger who had shown them the importance and relevance of practical reason in Aristotle. they did not follow him in this ‘ontologization’ and each. In Göttingen. held firm to this or that practical category in Aristotle: Gadamer rehabilitating phrónesis. managed by Husserl. as Heidegger was bringing the 1921–2 course to a close and was preparing another for the following semester. via Husserl. Natorp also received whole parts of Heidegger’s course from the summer semester of 1922. on the other hand. In the autumn of 1922 Heidegger hurriedly prepared a synthesis of his own interpretation of Aristotle and. following an invitation from Paul Natorp and Georg Misch. Ritter. Husserl urged Heidegger to publish something quickly.

Of these three problems (truth. which had come to be in the hands of Gadamer. that is. It is characterized by three fundamental problems that stand at the centre of the work. 2) the problem of the ontological constitution of human life.European Journal of Political Theory 6(1) since the only remaining copy. Dasein and temporality). first of all. understood in an originary or non-naturalistic sense. containing the whole of the Aristotle interpretation. consider only the second problem for the comparison that I intend to develop: that of the ontological constitution of human life. to define the basic outlines of the thematic horizon of the engagement with Aristotle in the period leading up to Being and Time. 3) the problem of temporality.9 Die Grundbegriffe der antiken Philosophie (1926). as the constitution of Dasein in its potentiality-for-Being (Seinkönnen). has now also been found and published as volume 62 of the Gesamtausgabe (2005).10 in which Heidegger deals with the entire history of Ancient Greek philosophy.6 Then there is the course from the winter semester of 1924 on Plato’s Sophist. of the fundamental ways of being in which a being is (and here Heidegger follows the guiding thread of the problem of the manifold sense of Being and of the search for its unitary meaning. The Themes of the Engagement with Aristotle It is necessary. namely: 1) the problem of truth. I will. which contains a detailed interpretation of Book 6 of the Nicomachean Ethics. understood in an ontological sense as the opening and disclosure of meaning. beginning with Thales and ending with a full monograph on Aristotle.7 Also important are the courses Einführung in die Phänomenologische Forschung (1923–4). The unitary horizon within which these problems are addressed is defined by the question of Being. A few years ago. recently published as Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie. went missing in the bombing of Leipzig. and finally Die Grundprobleme der Phänomenologie (1975). in 1989. the version sent to Misch was rediscovered amongst some old papers and was published on the occasion of the centenary of Heidegger’s birth. the way of being proper to 34 Downloaded from http://ept. I shall draw on them to set out certain structural features of Heidegger’s discourse that reveal its proximity to elements in Aristotelian practical philosophy.11 Although I cannot deal with all these texts in full here. Of particular importance for the thesis developed in this article is the course that Heidegger held in the summer semester of 1924 on Book 2 of Aristotle’s Rhetoric. prompted by a reading of Franz Brentano’s dissertation On the Several Senses of Being in Aristotle).sagepub. not understood in terms of the validity of judgement. with a brief introduction by Gadamer. which is still treated here in the sense of the question of the Being of beings.8 Logik: Die Frage nach dem Wahrheit (1925–6).5 The manuscript of the 1922 course.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. on this occasion. 2010 . understood as Dasein.

in particular. and Husserl opened my eyes. 2010 . at the beginning of the summer of 1923 in a retrospective autobiography on the path followed thus far. the four fundamental senses in which a being can be. This interpretation takes its point of departure from an engagement with Husserl in the course of which Heidegger appropriates and transforms the phenomenological viewpoint in both its method and its problems. which is accomplished in Being and Time. as well as the traditional solution of the analogia entis. he takes up and reinterprets the Aristotelian determination of psyché as alethéuein. the young Heidegger writes: ‘Companions in my search were the young Luther and the paragon Aristotle. which Heidegger undertakes in the 1920s. The programme of an ‘original theoretical science’. but also against him.12 It is now a matter of showing how Heidegger – following the guiding thread of the problem of the manifold signification of being – comes to discover and renew Aristotle’s practical philosophy. carried out with Husserl.sagepub. with particular reference to its being disclosive. in turn. and. whom Luther hated. springs from the marriage of the phenomenological access to the problem and the Aristotelian elements deployed. in the attempt to overcome the Husserlian comprehension of human life in terms of ‘subjectivity’. ‘hermeneutic of facticity’ or ‘existential analytic’. Dasein. by way of an interpretation of Book 6 of the Nicomachean Ethics (which received a partial exposition in the course of the winter semester of 1924–5). Referring to this phenomenological appropriation of Aristotle. In the same way. to ascertain the one fundamental sense to which the others are related.Volpi: In Whose Name? Dasein.’13 But how did Heidegger come to assign práxis a fundamental role? 35 Downloaded from http://ept. The question to be addressed is: how does Heidegger come to treat this problem? My hypothesis is that the line of philosophical inquiry of the young Heidegger in the 1920s was determined by the search for a unitary sense that could support the plurivocity of beings.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. he examines. in the 1920s Heidegger works carefully through the sense of Being as true to see whether it could be the fundamental sense that supports and structures the others. in the context of the analysis of beings as true. he aims to provide a philosophically rigorous determination of the original features of human life. one after another. as we can see from the course of the summer semester of 1933 (Aristotle. Dissatisfied with the ‘ousiological’ solution proposed by Brentano. Metaphysics Q 1–3 On the Essence and Actuality of Force). the meaning of Being according to potentiality and actuality. he goes on to examine. Hence. To this end. He comes to it via an examination of the meaning of Being as true. Impulses were given by Kierkegaard. In fact.

i. but rather in them- 36 Downloaded from http://ept. verifying and observatory purpose. Zuhandenheit and Vorhandenheit. in their manifestness.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18.e.e. the concepts and even in the terminology of Being and Time and the Nicomachean Ethics.14 Through a study of Aristotle. in the sense of ‘beingavailable’ or ‘being-usable’. téchne is the species of knowing which guides it towards its outcome. distinguished by Heidegger during the 1920s and in Being and Time. 1) Theoría is an uncovering attitude which has a descriptive. ‘present-at-hand’. 3) Práxis is an uncovering attitude put forward strictly in the activities which have their aim not outside of themselves in a work. when human existence assumes this uncovering attitude.e. When one is in this disposition. The corresponding type of knowing is sophía. and the three corresponding dispositions: téchne. Heidegger came to the conviction that theoría represents but one of the possible modalities by means of which man approaches things and discovers them. defined primarily on the basis of cognitive acts of a theoretical nature. like póiesis. and see how Heidegger in fact restores.sagepub. Being is introduced in the modality which Heidegger terms Zuhandenheit. The Aristotelian one in fact deals with the three fundamental uncovering movements of life: póiesis. with the three Aristotelian determinations of práxis.European Journal of Political Theory 6(1) The Nicomachean Ethics as an Ontology of Human Existence There is evidence to suggest that what Heidegger was looking for in the Nicomachean Ethics and in the Aristotelian determination of práxis and practical philosophy was a way of responding to problems raised by phenomenology. phrónesis and sophía. beings appear in a manner which is defined as Vorhandenheit. i. 2) Póiesis is an uncovering attitude of the productive and manipulating kind. Beyond and prior to theoría there lies the uncovering attitude of práxis and póiesis. and in particular the Nicomachean Ethics. an attitude which is assumed with respect to being when one pursues the aim of the production of works. Heidegger discovered in Aristotle a phenomenology of human existence richer and more original than that developed by Husserl. Interpreting Book 6 of the Nicomachean Ethics within the thematic horizon of phenomenology. i. In this context one can highlight significant correspondences regarding the problems. theoría. but going beyond Husserl’s overly theoretical understanding of subjectivity. aiming at a pure and simple contemplation of beings. The first obvious correspondence is the one among the three fundamental ways of being. póiesis and theoría. Dasein. transforms and reactivates the substantial sense of certain Aristotelian ideas. ‘simply being present’. According to Heidegger. therefore grasping them in their truth. could not address and left unresolved. práxis. but which the Husserlian conception of transcendental subjectivity. 2010 . in which man relates to beings and brings their characters to light.

The hypothesis that one could put forward is that. With this shift. reformulating their meaning within his project of an analysis of Dasein and thus deeply modifying the structure. which is ‘originary praxis’. a disposition which can be observational and contemplative. and. Another significant transformation is the shift that takes place in the hierarchy of the three dispositions. Aufdringlichkeit and Aufsässigkeit analysed in Being and Time). práxis is a determining attitude that characterizes the fundamental structure of Dasein. Ultimately. The most obvious transformation is that he assigns them an ontological character while simultaneously depriving them of the value of human action. according to Heidegger. práxis.sagepub. It becomes the modality of Being constitutive of Dasein. he suggests that theoría is not the primary disposition of human life. instead.e. as human life in its entirety has for Aristotle the character of práxis (Politics 1. between the latter and Dasein. too.15 Ontologization. practical and productive comportment depends. phrónesis. póiesis and theoría. 1254–7). Heidegger achieves two results: 1) He demonstrates the connection between Zuhandenheit and Vorhandenheit. even the relation to the other determinations changes: Zuhandenheit (in which póiesis is restored and ontologized) and Vorhandenheit (which corresponds to theoría) subsist in relation to the Being of Dasein (which fundamentally has the character of práxis). against the traditional conception. they constitute the conditions of possibility of the particular theoretical. leading póiesis and theoría back to a more original disposition that grounds them both. Póiesis and theoría are two modalities of the unitary disposition of Dasein that Heidegger calls ‘concern’ (Besorgen). prudentia or practical wisdom. In this way. the character and articulation of such determinations. that with such determinations 37 Downloaded from http://ept. 2010 .com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. 2) Furthermore. It is obvious that Heidegger’s aim is not merely to restore the Aristotelian determination of práxis. But why these transformations? The main reason is. is a type of knowledge that guides práxis to its outcome.Volpi: In Whose Name? selves. moreover. but rather modalities of Being inherent in the structure of Dasein. between póiesis and theoría. the hierarchical movement and the unitary structuring are therefore the determining transformations to which Heidegger subjects the Aristotelian determination of práxis. for Heidegger. which is originary práxis. póiesis and theoría exactly as they were conceived by Aristotle. He exploits them freely. practical and productive comportments. póiesis and theoría are neither dispositions nor particular kinds of action. In fact. or productive and manipulative. 4. i. Besorgen. It is no longer theoría which is considered as the supreme determination but. for Heidegger. Zuhandenheit and Vorhandenheit indicate the ways of being in which a being respectively can be found according to the disposition of beingthere. the ontological root of Dasein from which the possibility of a particular theoretical. práxis. but is derived from a modification of the productive disposition (precisely following the phenomena of Auffälligkeit.

in order to establish its nature as rational animal. Aristotle. Heidegger charges such an omission to the fact that Aristotle remained tied to a naturalistic understanding of time. 2010 . With such a characterization. the insistence 38 Downloaded from http://ept.e. which to take on and realize as its own. However. he will systematically cancel every trace of this practical connotation and will no longer determine the open character of Dasein as a having-to-be. which indicates the modality in which existence refers to itself. but starting from the openness of Being within which it always already finds itself grounded. should we interpret Dasein as a modern ‘ontologized’ version of Aristotelian práxis? The reason for doing so is that Heidegger’s determination of the Being of existence. Dasein. a theoreticalreflective introspection. Existence does not relate to its own Being with the aim of neutrally observing its own essence and personal characteristics. with the aim of choosing. the ways in which the soul is in truth. However. past. but rather as ex-istence which stands-out into the openness of Being. not merely in an attitude of observing and ascertaining through a self-involved manner. the characterization of existence as ‘having-to-be’ (Zu-sein). when Dasein is no longer understood on the basis of itself. an inspectio sui. despite this criticism.European Journal of Political Theory 6(1) Aristotle characterizes the fundamental uncovering attitudes of human existence. present and future. we should first of all interpret. existence must support the weight of such a decision. as in Being and Time. Later. or not. As we know. is clearly attained within a ‘practical’ horizon obtained by exploiting the characteristics that Aristotle attributes to práxis and transforming them into ontological features. Dasein as the Ontologization of Práxis Why then. which prevented him from articulating his understanding of Being in relation to the complete unfolding of the ‘ecstases’ of time. in an eminently practical sense. Heidegger wants to highlight the fact that existence relates to its Being. the first phenomenological analysis of existence.sagepub. i. In such a sense. In the 1920s. therefore. which Heidegger introduces in §4 and §9 of Being and Time. Heidegger himself suggests an equation of Dasein with práxis and treats Aristotle’s epistéme praktiké as an ‘ontology of human life’. it could be said that existence must support the unbearable lightness of its Being.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. the problem of the ontological unity in which they have their root and which is ultimately revealed to be originary temporality. Dasein relates to itself through a practical-moral attitude in which its own Being matters and is decided upon. but rather with the aim of deciding what to do with its own Being. and supplies. such a practical characteristic of the ontological structure of Dasein as having-to-be is maintained by Heidegger only up to here. Certainly. was unable to grasp temporality as the unitary ontological root of human existence. Aristotle still failed to explicitly address the issue of their unitary connection. among a multiplicity of possibilities. tied to the metaphysics of presence. Moreover.16 Therefore. Willingly.

As is well known. it is unavoidably forced outside of itself and away from the stability of presence and exposed to the instability of the temporal ecstasis of the future in which it projects and unfolds its possibilities. 2010 . in its finitude. the appetite. as the modality of Being in which Dasein is opened and related to things. but he also ontologizes pántes ánthropoi as Im Sein des Menschen. in which the manipulating and productive attitude of póiesis is rooted. one can better understand why Heidegger characterizes Besorgen. Care as the Root of the Practical Structure of Existence Only by interpreting the self-reference of Dasein to its own Being in a practicalmoral sense is it possible to grasp the other connotations of Dasein in their structural unity. in which the celebrated affirmation ‘All men by nature desire to know’ (pántes ánthropoi toù eidénai orégontai phy ´ sei) which Heidegger translates as: ‘The care [Sorge] for seeing is essential to man’s Being [Im Sein des Menschen liegt wesenhaft die Sorge des Sehens]’. by means of a concept which is derived from the field of practical philosophy such as ‘care’ (Sorge). why Heidegger characterizes the open character of Dasein. not merely perceptive and observative but rather practical and appetitive. It is understandable. that. and which Aristotle traced back to órexis. It is better understood in this way since these determinations have their unitary root in the practical character of Sorge. but is. a potentiality-for-being (Seinkönnen) which projects ahead of itself. is the ontologized resignification of that human trait which is a ‘reaching towards’. It is unnecessary here to follow all the paths which Heidegger took with the aim of tracing the unitary foundation which bears the practical structure of Dasein understood as having-to-be. is not yet. to see how Heidegger translates them. for example.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. Dasein is a being.17 It must be emphasized here that not only does he translate orégontai with Sorge. or the corresponding verb orégomai. the term with which Heidegger reformulates in a practical sense. The most significant passage lies in the opening of the Metaphysics. Therefore. with amazing regularity. it would be enough to bring together the steps of the Aristotelian corpus in which the term órexis appears. and the modality of Being in which existence relates to others as Fürsorge. as long as it is. The proof? Well. he characterizes this foundation by the fact that Dasein is not realized in the stability of Being and pure act. what Husserl understood by the term intentionality.sagepub. rather than a theoretical one. ‘concern’. that is.Volpi: In Whose Name? with which Heidegger retracts the practical connotation of Dasein allows us to conjecture that we may see in this the true Heideggerian understanding of the modality of Being of human existence in the epoch of Being and Time. its Erschlossenheit and the unity of determinations that define it. as well as the observing and verifying attitude of theoría. using the term Sorge. As such. Within the same practical horizon. potentiality-for-being is a modality essentially character- 39 Downloaded from http://ept. Sorge.

according to which Dasein refers to its own Being. not that of others. in ontological terms. this Being which is time and again at stake is always a futural Being. of the characteristics of the practical knowledge of phrónesis. always concern the future. It is impossible not to see in this a connection with Aristotle’s teaching that the practical attitudes. that is.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. It is. basing it upon the conviction that only Dasein is a having-to-be. another important thesis of Heidegger’s. but is. is not only actualized at the level of higher intellective 40 Downloaded from http://ept. consequently Dasein perceives it as something which it cannot rid itself of and therefore feels it like a weight: the weight of the unbearable lightness of its Being. The practical determination of the Being of Dasein implies abandoning the traditional theory of self-consciousness conceived as a verifying and reflexive knowledge in relation to the self. and it is this that Heidegger wants to express with the term Jemeinigkeit (mineness). privileging the theoretical-descriptive attitude. On this distinction he bases the ontical and ontological primacy of Dasein and he criticizes the insufficient radicality of the metaphysical demarcation between man and nature. in the sense illustrated. choosing its Being.sagepub. subject and object. from an exposure to becoming which characterizes Dasein as originally open and free for finitude. possessing a practical character. since they are rooted not in an authentic grasp of the practical-existential structure of human life. ‘the things that are good and useful for everyone’.19 3) In consideration of all these elements Heidegger establishes a radical difference between the ontological constitution of Dasein and that which is other to Dasein. which Aristotle defines as a hautò eidénai. in fact.European Journal of Political Theory 6(1) ized by temporal and ontological ‘ecstasis’. 2010 . priority is given to the future.e. Because Dasein relates to its Being through a practical relation. assuming its weight and responsibility. consciousness and world. achieved by means of self-scrutiny. instead. This too has a parallel in Aristotle: Jemeinigkeit is a reformulation. a weight which is revealed in the fundamentally ontological feeling of anxiety. deliberation (boúleusis) and decision (proháiresis). The Four Theses that Heidegger Extracts From the ontologization of práxis Heidegger draws the following fundamental consequences for an understanding of Dasein: 1) Contrary to the predominant metaphysics of presence. i. a constituent part of its ontological structure. The identity of Dasein is rather constructed through a practical modality.18 2) The Being to which Dasein relates in practical self-reference is always my own Being. that I decide while projecting existence. concerning tà hautò agathà kái symphéronta. a being-always-mine. always regarding my own Being. but rather in objectifying categories that thematize it. ‘a knowledge regarding oneself’. that is. This self-reference of the practical-decisional type. And since this freedom is not something that Dasein chooses to have.

the conditions of the soul. In as much as it is práxis. to presence and consciousness.e. Now. To this one could also reply that Heidegger declared his debt to Aristotle on many other occasions. within the horizon of the consideration effected by epistéme praktiké. it is opened and unfolded. living pure and simple (zén). once the conservation of life is guaranteed. In fact. Ultimately. but. as a project of life.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. good choice and good decision. for example. it is too easy to object that. too. but is also – and indeed primarily – a feature of actions traditionally considered inferior. 2010 . the best way to dispel such doubts and perplexity is to show concretely which Aristotelian determinations of practical philosophy Heidegger restores. in which the specificity of human life was traced back to the objectifying and reifying categories of pure observation.g.Volpi: In Whose Name? acts. and thus being happy (eudaimonía). that is. orienting itself towards that which it thinks better and preferable. and this is correct to emphasize. in the presentation of his programme Heidegger also distances himself from Aristotle and explicitly criticizes the definition of man as a living being endowed with lógos. Heidegger translates as Ontologie des menschlichen Lebens. privileging the higher cognitive and rational acts. For Heidegger. As we know. the problem of the choice of the form of life preferable for mankind. It takes place within the emotional structure of human life in its deepest layers. e. the general problem of practical philosophy. and. This basic insight of Aristotle’s is appropriated by Heidegger by means of an ontologization that radicalizes and intensifies its fundamental meaning. hence.20 However. it is the wise and prudent man (phrónimos) who accomplishes good deliberation (euboulía). and by and large gave too much emphasis to the theoretical. This means that man as a political animal endowed with lógos should assume the task of deliberation (boúleusis). Heidegger takes a twofold distance from the metaphysical tradition. although in different terms. In this way. and even so in Being and Time where he scrupulously cancels out any trace of its productive assimilation. the passions. First of all he restores. and práxis is conceived as the specific ‘movedness’ of human life. human life in its entirety is considered as práxis. kínesis toù bíou. a term that. such movement is not simply directed towards the conservation of life. and pre- 41 Downloaded from http://ept. of choosing and deciding (proháiresis) the way and form of its life. Dasein is a type of being whose Being is an issue for it.sagepub. i. arriving therefore at acting well (eupraxía) and living well (éu zén). human life is opened to the problem of living well (éu zén) and of the means to attain such a goal. The Practical Philosophy of Aristotle as a Guiding Thread in the Analysis of Existence It is clear that Heidegger’s analytical reading of Dasein according to this Aristotelian pattern can give rise to doubts and perplexity. through the problem of how to live. not póiesis. the Stimmungen. also the Aristotelian prioritization of predicative speech (lógos apophantikós).

Existence is a being that must decide about its own Being or. so in Heidegger Dasein realizes itself authentically (phrónimos) only when listening to the call of conscience. as its ownmost being. During the 1920s Heidegger aimed to define the fundamental movedness (Grundbewegtheit) of human life in the practical decisional self-referentiality that characterizes it. Yet it is possible to indicate how he derives further determinations for his own analysis of Dasein by stating them in a strictly ontological sense. práxis is constituted from within itself.European Journal of Political Theory 6(1) cisely in the practical-existential sense that it must decide what to make of itself. and a reading of Aristotle given new life by a sensitivity for what is philosophically relevant. it recognizes this having-to-choose as its own specific task (érgon). self-teleological. So. Instead.21 There is thus a fruitful synergy here between the need for a speculative inquiry based on the index of concepts and problems provided by the Aristotelian corpus. about tà hautò agathà kài symphéronta. In the absence of a frame of reference. must establish in which form and modality to project itself and realize its true self. supporting its weight and not retreating towards the help which the impersonal and improper man offers at all times. if the fundamental insights of Aristotle’s practical philosophy represent an essential aid against the theoretical unilateralism of metaphysics. they should then be freed from the metaphysical-anthropological residuum which they carry within themselves. for Heidegger. the validity of every metaphysical and anthropological reference having vanished. In fact. especially modern metaphysics. the práxis that constitutes the Being of Dasein. Every substantial support that is valid for the metaphysical tradition is considered a derivative and defective element with respect to original acting. it is by pursuing phrónesis that one succeeds in those decisions and actions of life. The Transformation of the Problem It is not possible here to go to the heart of the Aristotelian understanding of práxis.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. the specific movedness of human life. 2010 . better. even in the limit situation in which such a decision takes the form of non-decision. The Aristotelian understanding of práxis. not sufficiently ontologized.sagepub. outside of every prefiguration and predetermination. there are no more possible points of reference to which the practical understanding of human life can be oriented. And as in Aristotle. nor is it possible to follow closely the interpretation that Heidegger proposes of Aristotle’s practical philosophy. It is constituted in such a way that it becomes an original ontological determination. independent and self-oriented: a hoù héneka. Worumwillen. The latter must only be understood in reference to itself. to put it as Aristotle did. in the Aristotelian thesis that práxis is kínesis toù bíou. Heidegger sees a substantial confirmation of the direction taken by his own search in aiming to grasp Dasein at the original level of its facticity. is situated within the framework of a presupposed conception of man as rational animal to which it remains bound. 42 Downloaded from http://ept. or.

For Aristotle. it possesses a positive value. In this conception. in her interpretation of vita activa. but is always already given with existence itself. Conceived as a possibility that may or may not be grasped. For Heidegger. it has not had a privileged understanding. indeed. This implies that their content. practical science represents a particular consideration of human life. but entirely occupy understanding and the constitution of existence. for example. it assumes the character of inevitability. of considering it.Volpi: In Whose Name? A fundamental difference comes to light here. on the other hand. 2010 . Decision. it is a possible way to project and to realize the Being of man. In any case. but become ontological predicates of its Being. it is understood as the ontological structure of Dasein. práxis is present not only in the execution of certain actions. It was Hannah Arendt. and reversed.sagepub. Heidegger’s ontologization closes práxis within a solipsistic horizon that deforms its practico-political configuration. but indicates a determination to which it is indissolubly bound and to which it cannot escape. But this is just one possible way. Examining how the Heideggerian configuration of the open structure of existence restores and reformulates certain decisive moments of the Aristotelian under- 43 Downloaded from http://ept. This involves a further shift in the characterization of práxis. It is this character of inevitability. or práxis itself. biology or psychology. public and political action. In the successive tradition. and I can do no more than note this in passing here. is not ultimately something which can be freely chosen. insofar as it constitutes its nature and precedes every particular action.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. practical philosophy has been thought of as a minor philosophy. the public dimension. due to its inferior scientific precision (akríbeia). to have or not to have. amongst others. these practical determinations do not exist alongside other possible determinations. the direction of the Heideggerian recovery. who decisively criticized this reductive aspect of Heidegger’s rehabilitation of práxis. Authentic práxis is. But the existing correspondences emerge and impose themselves in spite of all such changes. which gives the impression that its lightness is unbearable. specifically the rootedness in a koinonía. i. so to speak. for her. being constitutive of Dasein. the understanding of physics. Heidegger’s ontologization of práxis provokes a series of radical transformations which should be neither forgotten nor removed.22 To sum up. for example. the dissolution of its specific weight as acting and the loss of the ethico-political character that Aristotle gave to práxis. becoming something that is impossible to do without. however. deriving from the ontologization of práxis as the structure of existence that confers upon its Being the character of weight.e. it does not exhaust the understanding of the human life. The ontologization of práxis finally provokes another transformation: it produces. What in Heidegger is marked by inauthenticity. becomes for her the authentic dimension par excellence. which thematizes life in as much as it is an action that aims at the realization of a ‘to do’ (praktón). instead. are no longer conceived as possibilities that existence can put into action at will. If. characterizing it independently of its will and its free choice.

the character of self-teleology. to the point of establishing an analogy between the relation that Aristotle sets up between phronetic knowledge and practical science and the relation in Heidegger between authentic life and the possibility of an understanding of Being such as that realized in the philosophical analysis of Dasein. restore the fundamental sense of the determination of the ‘principle of man’ as ‘appetitive intellect’ (noùs orektikós) or ‘intellectual appetite’ (oréxis dianoetiké) which Aristotle puts forward in Book 6 of the Nicomachean Ethics.sagepub. just as Gadamer recalled. it must be a Worumwillen. We know that for Aristotle practical science presupposed phronetic knowledge and we also know that it is distinguished from the pure knowledge of theory by its consequences for práxis.e.24 3) Decision and resoluteness (Entschlossenheit) represent an ontologization of prohaìresis. the correspondence could be pushed even further. ‘understanding’ (Verstehen). Heidegger subjects them to a transformation that 44 Downloaded from http://ept.European Journal of Political Theory 6(1) standing of the practico-moral character of human life. insofar as it represents a higher form of existence. This is exactly the character that Heidegger attributes to it by means of this characterization. 2010 . i. one cannot neglect the fact that in taking up the intuitions of Aristotle’s practical philosophy.25 4) The term Jemeinigkeit. At the same time. And in Heidegger. is the ontologization of the determination by means of which Aristotle indicates the fact that phrónesis is a knowledge concerning oneself (tò hautò eidénai). like póiesis. something similar happens: philosophy. but reflect back upon it and promote its accomplishment. but towards itself. as has been pointed out. having its own end within itself (hoù ones héneka).27 Being or Acting? Is it still possible to harbour doubts over the traces that Heidegger’s fervent assimilation of Aristotle left in the path of his philosophical development? Surely not.23 2) In this context. while Entschlossenheit is a character of the Being of Dasein. it must possess. presupposes the choice of an authentic life. and since existence is eminently práxis ontologized. with the difference that the latter is a determined moment of action.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. Indeed. the theoretical rewards of this higher form of life are not separate from this life itself. a ‘for-the-sake-of-which’. ‘attunement’ (Befindlichkeit) and ‘discourse’ (Rede). too. Of course.26 5) The connotation of existence as Worumwillen is the ontologization of the selfteleology of práxis: since the distinctive feature of the latter lies in the fact that it is not oriented towards anything else (héneká tinos). one can establish an entire inventory of correspondences with Aristotle: 1) It can be shown how the three fundamental ‘existentials’ which define the ontological constitution of existence. ‘conscience’ (Gewissen) is the Heideggerian version of Aristotelian phrónesis. in a lofty manner.

Heidegger distances himself from Aristotle: he. 1960). referring in particular to the practico-moral understanding that Aristotle defines as phrónesis. his appeal to phrónesis has had in fact a much broader reception.28 It should be clear by now why Heidegger insisted on the ‘ontologization’ of the problem. Gadamer proposed a rehabilitation of ‘phrónesis’. Even the most explicit and direct appeal to the paradigmatic role of Aristotle’s practical philosophy that Gadamer made in later writings – such as Hermeneutics as Practical Philosophy (1972) or The Ideal of Practical Philosophy (1980) – look quite different in the light of the considerations presented here. namely. the ontological foundation of Dasein. is not enough to convince Heidegger to exclude Aristotle completely from the horizon of the naturalistic understanding of time. Even the fact that Aristotle explicitly raises the wellknown aporia of the relation between the soul and time (Physics 4. of which Heidegger himself provides a masterly interpretation. one can also understand why his students subsequently made much of what they had learnt regarding the relevance of Aristotle’s practical philosophy. This dependency is clearer still. it is almost tangible how Gadamer’s rediscovery depends on the interpretation of Aristotle given by Heidegger at Freiburg and Marburg. 14. if one looks at an earlier elaboration of the ideas set out in this same chapter of Truth and Method. not only in philosophy. Rereading that chapter of Truth and Method in the light of what has been said about the teaching of the young Heidegger. And it is clear that this is how he intends to grasp what eluded Aristotle. in his Gesammelte Werke (Vol 5). giving a crucial stimulus to the renewal of interest in Aristotle’s practical philosophy. he left the stages he passed along the way behind him and did not even bother to publish the texts that bear witness to the extraordinary period of his engagement with Aristotle. Motivated by an urge to understand the pernicious nature of the modern 45 Downloaded from http://ept. once the ontologization has been completed. In a brilliantly conceived chapter in Truth and Method (1960). In this way. as he continued along the path he had chosen. which were therefore apprehended episodically according to the chronological and not the kairological understanding of time. Hannah Arendt put forward a rehabilitation of ‘práxis’ in Vita Activa (1958. originary temporality (Zeitlichkeit). such an appeal has been a focal point for much of the revival of Aristotle’s ethics and politics. in spite of the fact that he could see how to restore and renew the most profound meaning of certain ideas in Aristotle’s practical philosophy. And one can understand why. which is contained in the essay ‘Practical Knowledge’ written in 1930. he defends the ‘hermeneutic actuality of Aristotle’s ethics’. the unity of the essential features of human life. Aristotle. but also in other fields. This is why. Indeed. 2010 . which have been called ‘neo-Aristotelianism’. Yet. but published only in 1986. could not grasp originary temporality as the unitary ontological foundation of all the determinations of human life.Volpi: In Whose Name? I have called ‘ontologization’.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. 223a21–9).29 Although he initially intended solely to use such understanding as a model for the solution of the hermeneutic problem of application.sagepub.

against the current of ethical intellectualism and contemporary political utopianism. It is an acting without ‘ends’ because it knows only a ‘disinterested finality’: glory (recognized since Homer). the political. is that western political thought closes off the character of possibility of political action and brings it back down to the horizon of mere production. for an analysis of the various forms of human plurality. It is Heidegger who showed Arendt how the privilege accorded by the tradition to theory and the corresponding primacy of presence had made práxis – that is. Arendt’s programme. it was Heidegger who first showed that the original character of human life is acting. 46 Downloaded from http://ept. himself a student of Heidegger’s for a certain time. Here. to a concrete ethos. Joachim Ritter. a thing among things. its freedom. 2010 . Such a tendency has been taken to an extreme in the modern world. where existence stands naked before its destiny. As she herself acknowledged. The authentic and original characteristics of the political are totally eclipsed. she sets out to re-evaluate the features of political action discredited by the tradition: its plurality and unpredictability. justice and equality. but he closed it off within the horizon of a rigid solipsism of decision.sagepub. proposed a rehabilitation of ‘ethos’ in a series of studies collected in Metaphysik und Politik and through the works of his own students (Günther Bien. over and above the observation of universal but abstract principles. Arendt aimed to deconstruct the ‘theoreticism’ of traditional political thought that imprisoned the open character of action within objectifying and reifying frameworks and categories that are quite foreign to it.30 Bringing together the Aristotelian idea of practical knowledge and the Hegelian conception of Sittlichkeit – concrete ethical life as opposed to the abstract universality of Moralität – he underlined the necessary interpenetration of practical reason with the concrete context of its actualization and. understood as expressions of the original dignity of all human beings. she drew the attention of contemporary thought to the Aristotelian determination of práxis and its fundamental significance for a genuine understanding of the ‘political’. Robert Spaemann and others). its originality in the twofold sense of being new and a new beginning. inspired by Heidegger.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. a mechanism for the conservation and administration of power.European Journal of Political Theory 6(1) world of work and technology. As amazing as it may seem. gave priority in the evaluation of acting to the accomplishment of a form of life. Willi Oelmüller. Arendt takes up this intuition. its unrepeatability and irreversibility. ‘práxis’ understood in the Aristotelian sense of ‘action’ distinct from ‘production’ or ‘theory’. every human activity is reduced to work. freedom (praised from Athens to the classical period). Putting Heidegger’s teaching to use. To oppose this tendency. is no more than politics. that is. but turns it around into a celebration of the intersubjective. in a word. Heidegger rediscovered práxis. as such. too. and for a critique of the political institutions corresponding to them. depends on the teaching of the young Heidegger. Her conviction. man – a present object to observe and describe. plural and public nature – that is the political nature – of acting. that is. especially in view of the political obtuseness he demonstrated in 1933.

One does not have to be Heideggerian to agree with his assertion that: ‘it is not that the world is becoming entirely technical which is really uncanny. The impossibility of writing an ethics.32 With respect to the extreme realities produced by modern technology. according to which the homelessness of modern man derives from the absence of an adequate dwelling. the condition of the thinking of Being becomes. 47 Downloaded from http://ept. for authentic práxis. in the inexhaustible multiplicity of its significations. A decisive question for me today is: how can a political system accommodate itself to the technlogical age. even more so. man is without ethico-political práxis and has not yet developed an anthropological comportment to match the challenges of technoscience. is forgotten. In the presence of the almost geological force of the epochal displacements attributable to technology. 2010 . Technology.34 According to Heidegger. and thus the whole of Being is seen according to a single modality of Being. but because they remain subordinate or derivative with respect to the thinking of Being. was in this period underlined in the clearest of terms. an ‘artefact’. too. The thinking of Being. every recourse to ethics and to politics remains second best. in fact. further radicalizing the ontologization of the problem of acting set out in the 1920s. it is also true that the way Heidegger’s students used his teaching leads in a different direction to that which he originally intended and. and which political system would this be. .’33 To which one can add another crucial assertion: . in his project of an ethics for the age of technology – at least in the way that the foundational part of his Imperative of Responsibility returns to the Aristotelian concept of the good (agathon) as distinct from the modern sense of value – demonstrates a knowledge of the Nicomachean Ethics that quite plainly depends on the teaching of the young Heidegger. virtue and morality take on the beauty of rare fossils. and Being itself. While it may be true that the title of the lecture ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’ is an implicit allusion to the three comportments póiesis. for ethics or for politics. the global movement of modern technology is a force whose scope in determining history can scarcely be overestimated. . Not because ethics or politics are not important. in relation to his later thought. no room for theory. After the turn. recognizes that the present epoch is determined by the domination of technology. in itself.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. Far more uncanny is our being unprepared for this transformation.sagepub. Heidegger’s response.31 If it is clear that all these initiatives can be reconsidered in the light of the young Heidegger’s ‘rehabilitation of Aristotle’s practical philosophy’. under which everything is treated as a ‘product’ of human work. as the destiny of the present epoch. Heidegger focused his attention increasingly on the question of Being as event.Volpi: In Whose Name? Hans Jonas. leaves no room for anything but a technical and manipulative form of comportment: thus. in the ‘advancing desert’ of nihilism. or a politics. is loud and clear: imprisoned in the iron cage of technology. práxis and theoría.

the old scholastic (and Spinozistic) principle according to which operari sequitur esse (acting follows being) remains true. to interpret this change in order that the world does not continue to change without us and in order that it does not.European Journal of Political Theory 6(1) an indication of comportment. instead. to the dimension in which the individual Dasein has been thrown: destiny. 2010 . with Strauss. and in a radical sense. Charity compels me to limit my comparison to the remark that there was no comparison. still under the spell of Max Weber.sagepub. as developed in Being and Time. but because that which it should regulate is already governed by a higher power: that of technology. alternative to ‘ethics’ and traditional ‘politics’. not because ethics and politics are unimportant. Rosenzweig: ‘In comparison to Heidegger. For Heidegger. he would not utter his name.’ What does this mean? Why is it a ‘great trouble’ that ‘the only great thinker in our time is Heidegger’? In his youth. The old question ‘Was tun?’ (What is to be done?) has now been replaced by a new question: ‘Was lassen?’ (What is to be let-be?). in the sense that it constitutes the only viable attitude for anyone who really wishes to get to the roots of the difficulties afflicting the modern world: the thinking of Being signifies care for the Lichtung that translates into dispositions such as letting-be (Gelassenheit). tradition. This is what we do and what to a great extent happens even without our intervention. in the end. that Heidegger has been one of the greatest contemporary philosophers.’ And again: ‘I had heard Heidegger’s interpretation of certain sections of Aristotle. for the one who truly thinks. reservedness (Verhaltenheit) and deep awe (Scheu). He said to his friend. Weber appeared to me like an “orphan child” in regard to precision and probing and competence. Strauss heard Heidegger lecture in Freiburg. From this point of view. he wrote: It is not enough to change the world. how can we explain the fact that he placed himself at the service of a terrible totalitarianism? And what consequences should we draw in evaluating his work and his influence? The problematic emerges when Heidegger moves his inquiry from an analysis of the structures of individual existence. Once again. In the second volume of Die Antiquiertheit des Menschens.’36 Yet in 1933 Heidegger became a follower of Nazism. No one has interpreted the meaning of this fatal outcome of the Heideggerian diagnosis of technology better than Günther Anders. In his lectures at the University of Chicago. We have. and some time later I heard Werner Jaeger in Berlin interpret the same texts. his judgement was by no means clouded: ‘The most stupid thing I could do would be to close my eyes or to reject his work. when speaking of Heidegger.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. However. to write an ethics or a politics is a wasted effort. and thus a mind better equipped than most to judge. change into a world without us.35 48 Yet what Leo Strauss says is also true: ‘Here is the great trouble: the only great thinker in our time is Heidegger. Downloaded from http://ept. Strauss was compelled to open his eyes and became one of his most severe critics. reversing the eleventh Thesis on Feuerbach. then.’ Here we see the problem: if we recognize.

11–97. a discrepancy between the regime of the solitary thinker and the common life of the people. the shared inheritance that places Dasein in a community. has said that theory and political judgement are heterogeneous capacities. was die Zeit ist. ‘race’ enter into Heidegger’s philosophical vocabulary. Today. against the apolitical character of the theoretician. Freiburg: Rombach. (1996) ‘La 49 Downloaded from http://ept. correctly identified by Strauss. 195–211. How is it possible that so vigilant a thinking as Heidegger’s did not see the political reality happening around him? However. Volpi (1984) Heidegger e Aristotele. F. a student of Heidegger and more aware of the problem than most. see F. It raises a serious problem: there is something in the way in which contemporary philosophy relates to politics that does not work. Yet it is not sufficient. ‘spirit’. 2. McNeill. Wismann (eds) Sagen. at least helps us to formulate a question: how is it possible today to reconcile philosophy and politics after ‘the only great thinker of our time’ has set them apart? Notes 1.) Critical Heidegger. Heidegger was not an isolated case. légein. in Christopher Macann (ed. For political judgement in its turn. (1996) ‘Dasein as Praxis: The Heideggerian Assimilation and the Radicalisation of the Practical Philosophy of Aristotle’. Padua: Daphne.Volpi: In Whose Name? history.sagepub. 21–42. if not the theoretician.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. (1992) ‘Semáinein. in Claudio Pacchiani (ed. in (1998) Pathmarks.37 And she defended the primacy of the latter over the former. there was a widespread political illiteracy among German professors of philosophy. The opposition of the capacity to judge political illiteracy. Heidegger. It is the perspective of the so-called ‘turn’.) Filosofia pratica e scienza politica. 3. (1994) ‘Being and Time: A Translation of the Nicomachean Ethics?’. Padua: Francisci. New York: New York University Press. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2010 . ed. p. 27–66. apopháinesthai als hermenéuein: Die Ontologisierung der Sprache beim frühen Heidegger in Rückgriff auf Aristoteles’. London and New York: Routledge. There is a kind of short-circuit between theory and practice. in E. ‘Letter on Humanism’. The main problem. This is when concepts such as ‘people’. pp. his name stands out among the examples of political stupidity allied with philosophical profundity. Yet this is not enough. in Theodore Kisiel and John Van Buren (eds) Reading Heidegger from the Start: Essays in his Earlier Thought. The first account of the debate was provided by the collection edited by Manfred Riedel (1974) Rehabilitierung der praktschen Philosophie. on a ground that it presupposes and that it cannot dominate. Rudolph and H. 268. rests on hidden assumptions. Hitler and Mussolini are mentioned at least twice by him. For a review of the whole debate. See in particular. W. Hannah Arendt. can recall his own presuppositions? Heidegger was as politically illiterate as he was a master in the anamnesis of what is not-said and not-asked. The case of Heidegger is paradigmatic of a more general and scandalous dissociation between philosophy and the capacity for political judgement. Analysen zur Zeitlichkeit der Sprache. pp. Stuttgart: Metzler. pp. Volpi (1980) ‘La rinascità della filosofia pratica in Germania’. And who. But at the time. pp. There are also references to the politics of the day. is important. ‘language’.

9. he worked. 14. 4). 2010 . 13. pp. tr. Gesamtausgabe. 5. The Hague: Nijhoff. 5) and also the provocative translation of Aristotle’s well-known definition of man as ‘zoon logon echon’. pp. Richard Taft. 4. 8. Metaphysics Q 1–3 On the Essence and Actuality of Force. lectuer d’Aristote’. R. Martin Heidegger (1995) Logik: Die Frage nach dem Wahrheit. Michael Baur. Martin Heidegger (1997) Plato’s Sophist.sagepub. Rojcewicz. to Martin Heidegger (1997) Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. (1982) The Basic Problems of Phenomenology. John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann. 33–65. Paris: Vrin. Roma and Bari: Laterza. 15.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. 16. It has since been republished in John van Buren (ed. Martin Heidegger (1975) Die Grundprobleme der Phänomenologie. Martin Heidegger (1994) Einführung in die Phänomenologische Forschung. 6. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.) Heidegger 1919–1929: De l’herméneutique de la facticité à la métaphysique du Dasein. 12. in 4. in J. 10.) (2002) Supplements: From the Earliest Essays to Being and Time and Beyond. As is well known. p. tr. The terms Auffälligkeit. 69b. Man and World 25: 355–92. It is in this course that one finds Heidegger’s striking summation of the life of Aristotle: ‘He lived. Walter Brogan and Peter Warnek. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. For an overall view of Heidegger’s confrontation with Aristotle in the wider context of Aristotelian scholarship in the 20th century.-F. Martin Heidegger (1995) Aristotle. Albert Hofstadter. Courtine (ed. Husserliana. from ‘Comments on Karl Jaspers’s Psychology of Worldviews’. Dilthey-Jahrbuch 6: 235–69. see Enrico Berti (1992) Aristotele nel Novecento. tr. 50 Downloaded from http://ept. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. The most important indication is in the lecture ‘Phenomenology and Theology’ (1927). tr. Heidegger’s critique of the Husserlian understanding of human life as subjectivity became clear when they collaborated on the preparation of an entry on phenomenology for the Encyclopedia Britannica. Evidence of this understanding can be seen in the texts from this period that were published during Heidegger’s lifetime. Martin Heidegger (2002) Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie. Martin Heidegger (1980) Being and Time.European Journal of Political Theory 6(1) question du logos dans l’articulation de la facticité chez le jeune Heidegger. Martin Heidegger (2004) Die Grundbegriffe der antiken Philosophie. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klosterman. Oxford: Blackwell. 9. Richard Rojcewicz and André Schuwer. 108). The various versions of this article and Heidegger’s critical comments were published by Walter Biemel in Edmund Husserl (1962) Phänomenologische Psychologie: Vorlesungen Sommersemester 1925. which Heidegger renders as: ‘man is a living being that reads the daily papers’ (p. New York: State University of New York Press. in n. tr. 1–38. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. John Van Buren. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klosterman. in Heidegger (n. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann. Heidegger (1999. 111–145. 7. ‘obviousness’ and ‘obstinacy’. §§16. Martin Heidegger (1989) ‘Phänomenologische Interpretationen zu Aristoteles (Anzeige der hermeneutischen Situation)’. The text first appeared in translation as (1992) ‘Phenomenological Interpretations with Respect to Aristotle: Indication of the Hermeneutical Situation’. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press. pp. 18. Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann. tr. Aufdringlichkeit and Aufsässigkeit are translated respectively as ‘conspicuousness’. Heidegger (1999) Ontology: the Hermeneutics of Facticity. 1). vol. Martin Heidegger (2001) Phenomenological Interpretations of Aristotle: Initiation into Phenomenological Research. 11. tr. tr. he died’ (p.

Hannah Arendt (1982) ‘The Life of the Mind’. §§54–60. p. 35–6. 17. 5. 1139b7–11. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 33. p. 2. ed. §§29–35. 30. 10). pp. Munich: Beck. Ibid. Ronald Beiner. esp. Heidegger (n. 1222 b 19. and not Aristotle’s practical philosophy. in Lectures on Kant’s Political Philosophy. pp. 41. 21. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 35. 2010 . pp. 32. Also important are the introductory part in the 1924–5 course. Thought. p. §§60. 36. 1141b34.com at WHEATON COLLEGE on January 18. 70.10. New York and London: Harper & Row. 48. Earlier.Volpi: In Whose Name? which Heidegger states: ‘existing is action. in Strauss. In Plato’s Sophist. II 2. 51 Downloaded from http://ept. 1. Language. 5. pp. Second Part. 34. for example. vol. Itinerari 25: nn. Hans-Georg Gadamer. 31. meaning ‘preoccupation’. esp. 87–96. 15). 1220 b 27–e 6. 28. 26. Ibid. London: Continuum. Leo Strauss (1989) ‘An Introduction to Heideggerian Existentialism’. Martin Heidegger. In an important note to Being and Time. 69c. Aristotle. §§18. Heidegger (n. 7). 62. praxis’ (n. 25. 20. 143–61. Heidegger writes that he arrived at his understanding of ‘cura’ in the course of an attempt to interpret Augustinian – that is. Aristotle. 93. the same line from Aristotle is translated as ‘All human beings have an inherent striving [Streben] to see’ (n. 6. ‘Memorial Address’. ibid. and 3. Manfred Stassen. p. p. Martin Heidegger. should not deceive us. 3. Nicomachean Ethics 6. vol. 7) and the final part of the 1926 course (n. 48. p. Martin Heidegger. 27. Eudemian Ethics 2. Heidegger (n. 11). Ibid. But see also the slightly different version of the same episode in Hans-Georg Gadamer (1986) ‘Erinnerung an Heideggers Anfänge’. §42. This reversal is the theme of the article by Jacques Taminiaux in this journal issue. in place of Sorge. 24. 1). 15). Greco-Christian – anthropology with regard to the foundational principles of Aristotelian ontology. Heidegger (n. the ontology of human life. Hans Jonas (1984) The Imperative of Responsibility: In Search of an Ethics for the Technological Age. Joachim Ritter (1969) Metaphysik und Politik: Studien zu Aristoteles und Hegel. 29. 2. The fact that Heidegger only mentions ontology here. London: Sheed & Ward. Heidegger had used the term Sichbekümmerung. §19a. 1–2. Heidegger (n. in Gadamer (1994) Heidegger’s Ways. ‘Only a God Can Save Us: Der Spiegel’s Interview’. ‘The Marburg Theology’. 2. in Heidegger (1971) Poetry.sagepub. 15). 1139b5–6. 37. Albert Hofstadter. 19. ed. Aristotle. 22. 23. pp. p. Albany: SUNY Press. p. 215. (n. 1140a26–27. Nicomachean Ethics 6. §9. tr. Frankfurt am Main: Suhrkamp. 26. 18. 5–16. Günther Anders (1980) Die Antiquiertheit des Menschen. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. The Rebirth of Classical Political Rationalism: Essays and Lectures. 29–43. in (2003) Philosophical and Political Writings. 32. 15). Hans-Georg Gadamer (1975) Truth and Method. pp. 27–8. Über die Zerstörung des Lebens im Zeitalter der dritten industriellen Revolution. since the latter is itself a kind of ontology. ‘Building Dwelling Thinking’.

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