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DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-0378.2010.00408.

Heideggers Descartes and Heideggers Cartesianism


R. Matthew Shockey
Abstract: Heideggers Sein und Zeit (SZ) is commonly viewed as one of the 20th centurys great anti-Cartesian works, usually because of its attack on the epistemology-driven dualism and mentalism of modern philosophy of mind or its apparent effort to de-center the subject in order to privilege being or sociality over the individual. Most who stress one or other of these anti-Cartesian aspects of SZ, however, pay little attention to Heideggers own direct engagement with Descartes, apart from the compressed discussion in SZ 19 21. I here show through a careful reading of Heideggers lectures on Descartes from the years immediately preceding SZ that, while he has sharp criticisms of Descartes and certain Cartesian aspects of modern philosophy along the lines commonly recognized, he also aims to disclose what he calls the positive possibilities in Descartes and the philosophy he inspired. I detail a number of these and then show that they force us to see Heideggers own early project as largely unconcerned with dualism and mentalism per se, and much more with questions of the philosophical methodology that gives rise to them. Moreover, I show that a careful reading of Heideggers treatment of the cogito makes clear that he is no serious way attempting to de-center the subject and that the fundamental question of the analytic of Dasein is one that takes Descartes as an immediate jumping off point: how can I articulate what I understand myself to be as the general kind of entity I am, and on what besides me does my being depend?

1. Introduction Heideggers Sein und Zeit (SZ)1 is one of the great works of anti-Cartesian philosophy of the 20th century. Or so claim a wide range of readers, from those who find in Heidegger an ally against dualist, mentalist, and rationalist theories in the philosophy of mind and cognitive sciences,2 to the many post-modern philosophers and critical theorists who view him as, if not actually having brought about the death of the subject, at least having led it to the guillotine.3 While it would be foolish to deny that Heidegger is in many respects critical of Descartes4 and much thought directly or indirectly influenced by him, the claim
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that he is anti-Cartesian has nevertheless become a bit of what he would call Gerede:5 it is an assertion passed around as truth without adequate grounding by those who make it. And when we do examine the grounds for this claim, I argue here, we see that treating Heidegger as an anti-Cartesian distorts as much of his thought as it reveals. For one thing, while one may object to Heideggers approach to the history of philosophy on a number of grounds, it must be said in his favor that when he engaged with his predecessors (and most contemporaries for that matter), he did so without rancor and with the deepest respect for their efforts, even when he was ultimately critical of them. The very idea of defining himself as anti-X was antithetical to his way of doing philosophy. More importantly, it turns out that Heidegger meant it when he said in the remarks early in SZ on its planned Part II that he intended there to demonstrate the positive possibilities of the philosophical tradition (SZ: 22/44), not only those to be found in Kant and Aristotle, to whom he has long been recognized as owing much, but also Descartes.6 Though that portion of the book remained unwritten, its spirit already infuses those portions that did see publication, as well as other writings prior to SZ. Thus even without SZ Part II, we may discover the positive possibilities Heidegger saw in Descartes. To do so we must highlight certain passages that refer to Descartes but that have received comparatively little attention (most of which has been given to 1921, where Heidegger subjects Descartes conception of space to a penetrating analysis and rejects it as an adequate account of the space of human existence); we must carefully look at how Heidegger presents his criticisms of Descartes to see what else he is also doing; and we must bring to the fore the extended discussions of Descartes in the only relatively recently published Marburg course of 1923-24, in which approval and appropriation is a clear part of the interpretation.7 Heidegger actually saw more positive possibilities in Descartes than can be addressed in a single paper, so my aim here is relatively narrow: to show that Heideggers criticisms of Descartes focus not at all on the first-personal character of his philosophy and very little on his rationalism, dualism, or mentalism, and that instead they revolve around the methodological question of how to offer an ontology of the entity who asks ontological questions, i.e. us.8 By looking at his critical engagement with Descartes on this issue, we can then see that Heidegger himself adopts and further develops the role Descartes gives to the first-person in philosophical activity. More than that, he also adopts and develops Descartes picture of the individual as finite, concerned with herself and her relation to other entities, and teleologically oriented towards truth; and he sees a role for philosophy in the development or perfection of the individual that is in interesting ways analogous to what we find in Descartes. This also implies that there are certain structural parallels between the paths of inquiry and discovery of the Meditations and of SZ: each must be seen as a text that represents an individual coming to articulate what she understands of herself a priori, and on what besides herself this understanding rests, on the basis of which she then becomes more able to be what she is. So, properly read, Heidegger must be seen as offering his own
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form of Cartesianism, though one that is separable from most of what normally goes under that name. While my arguments for this will be of interest to readers of Heidegger, there is more at stake than exegetical accuracy. What I call Heideggers Cartesianism rests on an insight about philosophical methodology that needs to be recognized by anyone working on questions that implicitly or explicitly center on the first-person. The ability to raise and address questions about intentionality or rational agency, for instance, depends on our ability to take up a relation to ourselves in which we become able to describe ourselves ontologically, as a general kind of entity, one defined in part by its self-relatedness, rather than just as the particular individuals we each are. How we can engage in such description and what sort of self-understanding we thereby come to must be addressed if the questions that rest on such understanding are to be properly taken up.

2. Descartes in Sein und Zeit: The Question of the Sum I begin with a brief look at two of the early references to Descartes in SZ, in which we can already see that the critique of Descartes aims as much at revision and appropriation as rejection. The guiding question of the book which provides the context for these early references is, of course, the question of the meaning of being [Sinn von Sein], or Seinsfrage: what do we understand when we understand an entity (Seiendes), any entity, as being (Sein)? Or, in other words, in virtue of what are all our various takings-to-be takings-to-be?9 What unity is there to them? In the sketch of the works plan in SZ 5, Heidegger tells us that Part II would offer a destruction [Destruktion] of the history of ontology guided by this question (SZ: 22/44), by which he meant an examination of certain key philosophical projects in Western thought framed by the question of what sort of understanding of being they assumed or offered. He both planned to show what the tradition had concealed about beinghow it had tended to equate all being with being a substance, thus missing the multiplicity inherent in beingas well as to bring out the aforementioned positive possibilities of that tradition. The immediate reason Heidegger gives for his intention to include Descartes in this destruction is his obvious historical importance, most especially the role he played in shaping the background of Kants thought.10 Heideggers interest in Kant itself came from the fact that he saw an anticipation of his own conception of the temporality of Dasein in Kants account of time as the form of inner intuition. In Heideggers view, however, even though Kant had brought the phenomenon of time back into the subject (SZ 24/45), he was limited by the fact that in his interpretation of what it was to be a subject he took over Descartes ontological position, i.e. he interpreted the subject as a kind of substance, or permanent presence-at-hand [Vorhandenheit].11 In other words Kant, like Descartes, failed to provide an ontology of Dasein, i.e. of that entity we each are (SZ: 24/46).12 The most serious consequence of this failure, from Heideggers perspective, is that it left the decisive connection between time and the I think [. . .] shrouded in utter darkness (SZ: 24/4546).
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Whatever we are to make of this view of Kant, whats relevant here is Heideggers view that Descartes provided Kant with his ontology of the subject, and that it is primarily for this reason that he focuses on Descartes. If he is to uncover and rework what is valuable in Kant, Heidegger is implying, he must purge it of its problematic Cartesian elements. As his readers have rightly seen, Heidegger is setting up Descartes account of the subject (of the I think that Kant failed to connect with time) for some form of serious criticism. And the criticism turns out to be this: With the cogito sum, Descartes had claimed that he was putting philosophy on a new and firm footing. But what he left undetermined with this radical beginning, was the way of being [Seinsart] of the res cogitans, ormore preciselythe meaning of the being [Seinssinn] of the sum (SZ: 24/46). In other words, Heidegger claims that Descartes shifts our attention to subjectivity, to the entity we each are, but without then properly asking what it is to be such an entity, and, a fortiori, without asking what connection our being has with being in general. Heideggers own goal is then first to offer an Interpretation [Interpretation]13 [that] will not only prove that Descartes had to neglect the question of being altogether; it will also show why he came to suppose that the absolute beingcertain [Gewisssein] of the cogito exempted him from raising the question of the meaning of the being which this entity possesses (ibid.). Having done so, Heidegger then aims himself to offer a working out of the unexpressed ontological foundations of the cogito sum (ibid.). We will see exactly what this means in what follows, but note here what it is not saying: that Descartes was wrong to focus on the ego, to turn us towards our individual subjectivity and make it central in our philosophical investigation. Rather, the problem is that he effected this turn and then to failed to ask the necessary questions that follow from it: what is the subject, this entity that I am? How does my being show up to me as I ask about it? What do I mean when I say I am? And how does my saying this differ from my assertions that other entities are which are not me? Descartes assumed that any such questions are either questions about what kind of properties define me as a substance or about the causes of my existence and essence as a substance, and so he never considered that I do not show up to myself in my being as a substance at all. Heideggers goal is to show both that and why Descartes didnt ask these questions, but also to ask and answer them himself, conscious of the danger of sliding into a substantialist interpretation of our being. This is nowhere more clearly indicated than in a second early passage in SZ on Descartes, this one in 10, in which Heidegger uses him as a reference point for distinguishing his own ontological project from the merely ontical human and life sciences (biology, psychology, anthropology) that take up the question of what a human being is from an empirical perspective. Here Heidegger repeats essentially the same claim he makes in 5: Descartes leaves the sum completely undiscussed, even though it is regarded as no less primordial than the cogito (SZ: 46/71). But Heidegger then once again asserts: [o]ur analytic raises the ontological question of the being of the sum [Sein des sum] (SZ: 46/72). And it is clear that this is
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not simply one question among others that the analytic of Dasein raises. It is the question. For, since Dasein is in each case mine [je meines] (SZ: 41/67), and it always expresses itself in personal pronouns, I am, you [du] are (SZ: 42/68), to say what Dasein is is precisely to address what I am (and you too, in regards to the basic form of your first-person singular existence). There is, to be sure, a shift of emphasis in Heideggers taking up of the Cartesian ego sum; it is a matter of the verb and not the personal pronoun ego as Jean-Francois Courtine puts it (2009: 109). But the verb remains distinctively first-person singular (as is clear in the Latin, which technically doesnt even require the pronoun), and so the analysis remains squarely within the first-person singular perspective, i.e. within the perspective we each have on our own being. Heideggers goal is thus to carry through something Descartes began, the turn to the subject, not to abandon it altogether. As he puts it in the Grundprobleme der Phanomenologie course of 1927:14 returning to the subject, in the broadest sense, is the only path that is possible and correct (GP: 103/73).15 He is careful to indicate, of course, that in this return to the subject we must guard against taking our point of departure as an initially given I or subject, for if we do so we shall completely miss the phenomenal content [Bestand] of Dasein (SZ: 46/72). One might be tempted to take this statement as supporting the view that he is displacing the first-person from the center of his ontology. But as he indicates in the text that follows, it is only a particular ontological interpretation16 of the first-person, as a thing or substance given to itself as a kind of object, that he is guarding against. It is not the I per se that is the problem (or the I-ness of the verb sum). His own method of formally indicating [formale Anzeigen] Dasein as in each case mine is precisely his way of picking out its essential first-person character so that what it is to be such an entity may be asked by that entity without prejudicing the inquiry through the tacit importing of a pre-given ontology, particularly one that interprets the entity asked about as a kind of thing or object present to itself in a way analogous to that in which worldly objects are present to a disengaged observer.17 Even from these brief opening passages in SZ it is clear that the still not infrequently heard view that Heidegger aims to de-center the subject, and that he is for that reason an anti-Cartesian philosopher, is misguided, or, at the very least, in need of severe qualification. Even those who accept that Heidegger has a fundamental concern with the I, however, do not always see the methodological consequences he draws from this concern. If I am to say what it is to be an I, then I must either look to entities other than myself who express themselves as Is (by saying sum), or I must directly take up myself as the entity in question. Heideggers objections to the treatment of the subject as a present-at-hand substance are, in part, an objection to the former approach. He recognizes that any attempt to say what it is to be the sort of entity I am qua I that fails to deal with the fact that such an attempt must always be carried out in the first person will inevitably distort what it treats. For it will entail that the one offering the account unconsciously disengages from his own being and treats it as just something there present before him, a thing to be analyzed as one might any other thing. (His own choice to write of Dasein and use the impersonal pronoun
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to refer to it subtly encourages this mistake among his readers, I think.) And so he recognizes that a philosophical investigation that addresses the being of the sum must not only be undertaken by an entity who can say sum, but precisely by that entity taking up her own being, i.e. taking up the question of what it is in general to be Dasein as that is manifest in her own particular being of it. The philosophical analysis of Dasein, in other words, is a way for me to speak about myself, in a distinctively ontological way, a way that captures not, as Heidegger says in the course on the Metaphysiche Anfangsgrunde der Logik,18 the individual essence of my self, but rather the essence of mineness and selfhood as such [das individuelle Wesen meiner selbst, sondern das Wesen von Meinheit und Selbstheit uberhaupt] (MFL: 242/188).19 And so, whatever Heidegger rejects in Descartes, he wholeheartedly accepts that philosophy requires a reflexive, first-person singular, self-engagement.20 Heideggers goal is thus to correct and carry through Descartes turn to the subject, to make Dasein ontologically transparent [durchsichtig] to itself, as he repeatedly says (e.g. SZ: 7/2627), appropriating the visual metaphor which dominates modern philosophy. And this means providing the means for me, the philosophical inquirer, to discover my own path to self-transparency, for the question of the being of Dasein only has meaning from this first-person singular perspective. Stated in the technical terminology of SZ: only when the philosophical-investigative question itself is seized upon in an existentiell manner as a possibility of the being of each existing Dasein, does there occur the possibility of a disclosure of the existentiality of existence and with that of the initiation of an adequately founded ontological problematic in general (SZ: 1314/34). 3. Descartes in the Einfuhrung course of 192324 To expand upon and offer further support for the above, I turn now to the lengthy but largely still unexamined analysis of Descartes in Heideggers 192324 course, Einfuhrung in der phanomenologische Forschung, the substance of which matches nearly exactly what Heidegger said would be covered in the discussion of Descartes in the ultimately never-published Part II of SZ. Heidegger foreshadows in EPF the abovementioned comments in SZ when he says the destruction or way of dismantling [Wege des Abbauens] (EPF: 117/85) he aims to undertake in his return to historically important philosophical figures looks, not for the weaknesses, but instead for the positive, the productive in what it takes up (EPF: 118/85; cf. 197/150). That is not to say that there is no criticism of Descartes, but that the basic goal of criticism is the search for those moments of genuine philosophical insight that may lie hidden. 3.1 Teleology and Finitude Heideggers dismantling of Descartes begins with a simple question, framed with one of the technical terms Heidegger aims to explicate in the course: what
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does Descartes care21 about? A preliminary answer that Heidegger discusses at some length is that he cares about knowledge, scientia, i.e. systematic, articulated, theoretical knowledge of the sort offered by the various sciences, including mathematics and the various branches of natural philosophy. Heidegger calls this already known knowledge [erkannte Erkenntnis] (EPF 56ff./42ff.) because, from the perspective of the philosopher who cares about it, its status as knowledge is already established. Care for such knowledge takes the form of worrying about its vulnerability, principally the threat to it posed by skepticism. Descartes response to this threat takes the form of providing foundations for knowledge that are themselves immune to skeptical attack and whose immunity may be passed on to the structure built upon them. (Heidegger does not note this, but Descartes thinks the threat of skepticism is real only so long as knowledge is thought to rest on empirical foundations, as his Aristotelian opponents did; his own foundation is thus instead reason.) If one stops asking after Descartes philosophical motivations here, one has the standard, if now somewhat faded picture of him as a foundationalist epistemologist, concerned above all with refuting skepticism. But Heidegger, to his credit, recognizes that this still leaves the motivational question largely unaddressed, for it doesnt say why it is that radical skepticism should be seen as a real threat to already known knowledge in the first place. One might reasonably think that, even if such skepticism is in some way possible, it is not something that needs to be wholly avoided or overcome. Perhaps it is enough to show that some beliefs are more founded than others, even if none may be absolutely certain, as, for instance, Locke and other so-called mitigated skeptics thought. Heidegger is among the ranks of those who recognize that the refutation of skepticism isnt, in fact, Descartes primary philosophical goal. He notes that the Dedicatory Letter to the Meditations offers the goal of rationally refuting atheism and thereby providing a rational foundation for the Catholic system of belief (EPF: 265/204; cf. AT VII: 1ff./CSM II: 3ff.). But while Heidegger doesnt doubt Descartes sincerity in this pro-theistic goal, he doesnt treat it as his true or most fundamental philosophical motivation, for its aim is religious, doctrinal. Instead, Heidegger focuses on the fact that the Meditations aim to transform the individual who works through them from being in a state of error to one of being in truth, or at least in a state in which one is in full possession of ones faculties and so capable of properly seeking truth and avoiding error. The Meditations thus reflect a fundamental concern on the part of Descartes with how it is that, at the most basic level, we human beings should be, and a recognition of the fact that, due to certain features of our fallen, worldly existence, what we should be is not necessarilyindeed, necessarily notwhat we are. For this reason, Heidegger views our individual existence, and the struggle we must engage with respect to it, as what is truly at issue for Descartes. And there is good reason to think Heidegger is right. That the Meditations are designed to help the reader transform himself is obvious enough, and, as Heidegger could have noted but didnt, Descartes himself responded to the charge made by Hobbes and Bourdin that his skeptical arguments were unoriginal by noting that originality wasnt the point,
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that their primary goal was to lead the reader away from the senses and to the intellect, a redirection necessary for the orientation of the individuals activity towards God and truth. Refuting skepticism was, according to Descartes, one of his goals, but only a secondary one (AT VII: 17172, 464/CSM II: 121, 312).22 The possibility of the kind of self-perfection that Descartes seeks assumes that the entity with that possibility is oriented towards an end, namely, the good that constitutes its perfection.23 This possibility also implies another, equally fundamental aspect of our existence: its finitude. Heidegger recognizes and addresses the former, but it is the latter that he views as the central ontological element in Descartes account of what we are.24 We can begin to see why Heidegger thinks this and why he focuses on the interconnection of finitude and perfectionism in Descartes if we consider the following, which Heidegger himself did not stress. First, Descartes is famous for having purged final causes from nature, but this purge applies only to finite, non-human entities, i.e. extended things. These things, which include all material objects and (infamously) living things as well, have no natural ends or goods, at least so far as we can know; they are subject only to the blind, mechanistic forces of efficient causation. Human beings, on the other hand, do have natural ends, and, in agreement with many before him, Descartes sees these ends as includingor perhaps being exhausted bytruth, where this is understood as supreme being or perfection. Second, achievement of this end for a person is not guaranteed, for to be human is, in Descartes words, to be between supreme being and non-being (AT VII: 54/CSM II: 38). From the First Meditations reflection on the ubiquity of error, to the Seconds on the merely relative knowledge of self and body, to the Third and Fifths on the understanding of oneself as created by an infinite being, to the Fourths on the imperfection of human intellect (though not will), and to the Sixths on the fragility of the body, nearly everything in Descartes is driven by the individuals experience of himself as not perfect, as less than fully being, as defined by the possibility of in some way not being, either wholly or partially. Heideggers focus on finitude in Descartes is thus wholly justified.

3.2 Subjectivity and Substance As Heidegger sees things, however, problems begin for Descartes when, instead of pursuing a phenomenology of finitude, i.e. instead of asking how exactly I show up to myself as finite, as one who stands in relations to others and things in a world, and as in some way constituted by the possibility of not being, he instead interprets finitude generally in terms of a theory of substance he has taken over and adapted from his Scholastic predecessors. There are, of course, many differences among the Scholastics Heidegger refers to, and serious departures from all of them on the part of Descartes. But certainly most share an ontology that distinguishes finite beings from infinite, that defines substance on the basis of a distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic properties, and that understands the relations between substances as causal. Descartes clearly adopts this general
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ontological framework and puts it to his own use.25 The narrative of discovery of the Meditations is one of the individual coming to discover himself as a particular kind of thing with certain intrinsic properties (most generally, thinking), causally dependent on the infinite, and, on the basis of this, in a (quasi-)causal relation to other finite things.26 To this Heidegger does not wish immediately to offer the opposite view, that I as finite being am not caused by infinite (or some other) being, or that I dont causally interact with other finite things. Rather, he wishes to emphasize that the ontology of substance and its theory of causation or production is invoked not on the basis of an examination of how it is that I (the meditator) actually experience my own finitude or how I experience and understand the infinite from my finite perspective. It is, instead, simply invoked without argument as the basis for interpreting myself and my relation to that which I am not. Descartes, for all his acuity, simply takes over uncritically an understanding of what it is to be that is readily available to him, i.e. the ontology of substance and the theory of causation built around it. It is within this ontology of substance that Descartes develops his account of the teleological structure of the human being and an understanding of its possibility of perfection. He argues that we are caused or produced by infinite being (God), with the causation here appearing to be both efficient and final, insofar as we are created in such a way as to have a telos. This telos is, in neoPlatonic fashion, the cause itself, to which we must try to return. Because essences of substances are grasped by the intellect, a passive or perceptive faculty, understanding of God is primarily a cognitive matter, akin to an understanding of a mathematical object. And, as with such objects, God is only truly understood when grasped clearly and distinctly in a concept (so far as that is possible for an idea of the infinite). Because infinite being is that to which one must orient oneself in order to grasp truth, the way to pursue ones good is to cultivate ones ability to understand things clearly and distinctly, i.e. through precise concepts grasped solely by the intellect, and to then subordinate ones faculty of judgment to these concepts, only affirming as true what one can clearly and distinctly understand in terms of them. Heideggers picture of Descartes is thus of one who takes the basic Augustinian picture of the finite but free human being striving towards its good and transforms it on the basis of both a theory of substance and a new and narrower, purely cognitive or intellectual conception of truth.

3.3 Truth and Rule-Following The idea of truth is obviously crucial here and bears further analysis. At the outset of his discussion of Descartes, Heidegger offers a five-fold differentiation of this concept into (1) truth as the true: the entity that is uncovered in a determinate sort of knowledge; (2) truth as the process of experiencing a known entity and originally having it present in such a way that it may be spoken of in propositions; (3) truth as how such a truth [i.e. a proposition] is itself here, freer

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floating to a certain extent, i.e. as something that is valid and thus may be repeated without direct experience of the entity it is about; (4) truth as the demonstrability or rightness of the proposition, which means its bear[ing] within itself the demand to be affirmed; and (5) truth as a value, a value that comes from its having the character of an ought [Gesolltes] (EPF: 12325/8990). Heidegger claims that the further one gets away from the first of these, the further one is from what actually constitutes the true: [. . .] the entity itself in the manner it is uncovered (EPF: 125/90). That is, the further down the list one goes, the more derivative a concept one has; in (5) in particular there is nothing left there of the original sense of truth (ibid.). Heideggers destruction of Descartes argues that he begins with something like the first sense of truth insofar as perception of a res, an entity is central for himwhere perception is understood not primarily as sensory perception but also and more fundamentally as intellectualbut that he moves away from it to an idea of propositional truth as the highest form. The crucial step in this move is the focus on judgment as the locus of truth, which results from Descartes interpretation of the freedom one experiences oneself to have as a freedom to affirm, deny, or doubt, forms of activity that have propositions rather than nonpropositional entities as their objects. Heidegger refers here to Part I, 41 of Descartes 1644 textbook the Principles of Philosophy, where he asserts that as a thinking thing, there is nothing we grasp more evidently and perfectly than our freedom, and describes this freedom in terms of the aforementioned, propositionally oriented cognitive activities (EPF: 201/15253; AT VIIIA: 20/CSM I 206).27 The focus on freedom as freedom to judge brings with it the idea that to use this freedom properly, to pursue truth and ones perfection so far as that is possible, means to judge rightly. For Descartes, this means to judge according to rules that determine the true and the false. Freedom thus (seemingly paradoxically) involves a submission to rules, a will to be determined by them. The Meditations are in part then a search for the right rules for the direction of the mind, as Descartes had put it in the title of his earlier, only posthumously published work. Heidegger doesnt object to the idea of freedom as a kind of submission, an idea that is a recognizable ancestor to his own idea of letting be [sein lassen; Gelassenheit]. Rather, his central thought is that it is a very different thing to submit yourself to the entities disclosed to you than it is to submit yourself to a propositionally expressed rule that tells you how you ought to regard those entities. The first sort of submission involves letting the entities themselves determine your mode of comportment to them, i.e. how you think about them or even whether thinking about them is the way of letting them be what they are;28 the second means determining the entities on the basis of something you bring to and impose upon them without the possibility of the entities resisting this imposition. To do the latter is to have already moved away from fundamental truth to one of its derivative, or what Heidegger will in SZ call founded [fundierten] forms. Thus, Descartes subordination of ones freedom to the rule judge as true only what you clearly and distinctly perceive means abandoning
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the perceptive, open relation to the entities disclosed to one and seeing them only as the rule allows you to. This submission to a rule of certainty manifests that care for already known knowledge mentioned above, and here Heidegger asserts that the problem with this mode of care is that it gives itself the regula [i.e. rule of clarity and distinctness] but does not restrict this rule to the specific domain in which it originatedmathematics, about which more below[i]nstead the rule presents itself as regula generalis [a general rule]. Along with the rule itself, the care develops a fundamental claim, of the sort that the rule normatively determining it says at the same time: the only sort of knowledge that is science at all is that which satisfies the rule. The original basis [Boden] is given up in the development itself (EPF: 222/169). This original basis is the very uncertainty involved in being an entity for whom care for certainty is possible. In other words, in order to be able to care about what is certain, and to make its pursuit my overriding goal, I have to be the sort of entity who lives in uncertainty, and this uncertainty has to, in a sense, be my fundamental state or way of being. Descartes tries to give up this basis by clinging to what is certain. And the direct result is that the bonum [good] is no longer the verum [true]understood as openness to what isbut instead the verum qua certum [true as certain]truth as what is indubitableso that the care, from its own standpoint, interprets a humans specific perfectio [perfection] in the sense that the voluntas qua judicium [will as judgment] is interpreted as propensio in certum [propensity for certainty] (EPF: 225/171). Now, as just indicated, the fundamental rule to judge as true only that which you clearly and distinctly perceive in your intellect does, Heidegger concedes, have a domain of entities for which it is appropriate: mathematical ones.29 This means that what Descartes has effectively done is to take an experience of a certain type or region of entities and apply the defining aspect of whats involved in the free submission to those entities to other regions of entities where it may or may not be appropriate. As mathematical knowing is taken by Descartes (and most others in the period) as the model for scientia, the result is that a formal idea of science derived from one particular science comes to dominate the methodology of all systematic inquiry, regardless of the object. Heidegger gives a Kantian gloss to this Cartesian move: Descartes development lies in grasping that which is objective [das Gegenstandliche] in accord with the rule (EPF: 219/167), which means that the idea of the science prefigures the basic constitution of its possible objects (EPF: 212/161). Heidegger doesnt use the phrase, but it is clear that he views Descartes as offering his own, pre-Kantian Copernican Revolution: let the experience of objects be guided by and judged only according to rules laid down by the mind, rather than attempt to subject the mind to its objects so that they do the determining. The fundamental problem with Descartes version of this Copernican move (perhaps Kants as well), is that once it is made, there is no longer a possibility of questioning the operative idea of science or its assumed universal validityor of grounding iton the basis of an experience of the objects studied, for what counts as an object is pre-determined
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by the idea of the science. Anything that would challenge this idea of a science has no chance of showing up as real or legitimate.30 Among the consequences of this is that the being of the one who sets out this rule comes to be seen only in terms of what the rule allows: the one philosophically pursuing truth and self-perfection conceives of himself as a particular kind of thing with properties that can be understood to necessarily belong to it, i.e. as res cogitans. The Meditations method of doubt, or, as Heidegger calls it, method of remotio [removal] of that which is uncertain (EPF: 231/175) is, he argues, just the method of implementing the general rule of judging as true only what is perceived clearly and distinctlyi.e. certainlyto the experience of the being of the one who is following it. Even though the rule doesnt get explicitly established until the Third Meditation, the very fact that the Meditations start off with the suspension of belief about everything that is not certain shows the rule is already in place. (What is not yet there in the First, Heidegger might have noted, is that certainty always requires clarity and distinctness of the sort one first learns to recognize in the experience of the cogito.) This method of doubt or removal leads at the conclusion of the First Meditation into what Heidegger calls an end-situation [Endsituation] (EPF: 234/178), namely, the suspension of all judgment, which suspension is then reinstituted at the beginning of the Second. In this situation, in Heideggers words, all the search can encounter [. . .] is the being of the one searching itself [. . .] what is found is the being of the one searching, that contains its being in itself (EPF: 240/184). And what I, the searcher, find is that the esse of the very res that I come upon is the sort of being that must be expressed by the sum (ibid.). Despite having managed to come across his being and to see how it must be expressed, Descartes, Heidegger thinks, fails to give an adequate phenomenological analysis of what is truly disclosed in the experience of confronting his being. Instead, Descartes general rule prescribes what may be disclosed: he sees his own existence [Dasein] in terms of the categorial determinations of a given thing with properties (EPF: 241/185). The properties here are those of being a perceiver and judger, or, more generally, a thinker, for these properties are, apart from his existence, all that can be clearly and distinctly known of himself by him as he is steered by the need for certainty. The conditions that enabled the process that led to this confrontation with his beingembeddedness in a world with othersare unrecognizable, because belief in the existence of anything outside of the thinker has been suspended. And they never reappear as true conditions of possibility. The meditator comes to understand his essential dependence on infinite being, God, but not on anything finite. Now, Descartes blindness to the being of the philosophical questioner and to the conditions of possibility of philosophical questioning is problematic in itself, but the problems reach their deepest level when we see the connection with the forms of truth mentioned above. Heidegger sees Descartes as shifting from taking the cogitare in the sense of a matter [Sache]i.e. a genuine phenomenonto finding a proposition that is certain, a formal-logical proposition that holds of a thing-of-thought [Denkding] (EPF: 248/191). In order to explain this, Heidegger
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first examines how exactly Descartes conceives of the regional [regionale] character of the cogitatio in general (EPF: 24849/193), and what he sees as definitive is that the being of the cogitare is a having-oneself-with [Sich-mit-haben] (EPF: 249/ 193). Heidegger essentially accepts thisit amounts to the idea that consciousness entails self-consciousnessthough he thinks the sort of inherent reflexivity of the self needs a deeper analysis than Descartes gives it. The real issue here is that Descartes moves from the grasp of thought as involving always a thought of itself, a having-itself-with, to the assertion of a formal-ontological proposition that tries to capture it, namely, is qui cogitat, non potest non existere dum cogitat [he who thinks is not able not to exist while he thinks] (ibid.).31 This proposition is formal in virtue of the fact that it makes no reference to any specific entity, but also in virtue of the fact that it strips away even what today would be called the token-reflexivity of the original cogito sum, And it is logical in virtue of being an eternal truth whose primary role is as the starting point for the process of deduction of other, equally formal, truths. By shifting to it, Heidegger claims, Descartes perverts the specific being [spezifische Sein] of what he had earlier seen: the phenomenon of having-oneself-with (EPF: 250/193). This phenomenon is, Heidegger is claiming, not one that can be captured in the sort of formal proposition that Descartes offers. The reason it cant is because such a proposition loses precisely that token-reflexivity that the thought is meant to express. So what is needed is a method that finds its way to the cogito sum but that allows the sum to be grasped and explicated without losing the reflexivity inherent in it. 4. Heideggers Cartesianism With this we are at a point where we may begin to see how Heidegger takes his critique of Descartes not as an end in itself, but as the basis for an appropriation and reworking of certain insights or positive possibilities that it has brought to light. I now explore these and show that we ought to see Heideggers general project of fundamental ontology as itself in certain key respects strikingly Cartesian (albeit in a sense of Cartesian that departs from the predominant ones in circulation). 4.1 Method and the First Person To begin with, note Heideggers remark that Descartes proceeds from the I in my environment [Umwelt] (EPF: 258/199)a rather surprising statement, one might think, given that in the sections on space in SZ Heidegger faults Descartes precisely for an inadequate concept of world. One can nevertheless see his point here, for presumably he is thinking of how both the Meditations and the overtly autobiographical Discourse on the Method begin with the writer finding himself amidst all the things and people of everyday life, with an understanding of these available to him thanks to his education, culture, and language. Descartes might not adequately capture his factical starting point in his official philosophical
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theory, but it plays a crucial role in his actual philosophical practice. This implies that there might be much we could learn from Descartes by looking at what he actually does, even if we find we have to depart from him in his official theory of what he is. Still, by itself this reference to the I in my environment is not especially significant. It gains in importance, however, when seen in light of other connections Heidegger draws or implies between Descartes project and his own. To see these, recall Heideggers description of the moment of self-encounter brought about by the method of doubt as an end-situation [Endsituation] (EPF: 234/178). Looking more closely at the passages where he discusses this, we see that Heidegger describes this end-situation as one in which the meditator places himself face to face with the void [das Nichts] and seeks to maintain himself in this situation. That means, however, in relation to the end-situation itself, that he is not only placed before the void, but also inserted into the void, devoid of any possibility of still encountering something (EPF: 23940/183). It is then in this situation, that, as quoted earlier, the being of the one searching itself shows up, which being is understood as the sort of being that must be expressed by the sum (EPF: 240/184). The resonance between this and the discussion of anxiety, particularly that of anxiety in the face of death in SZ Part I Division II, is striking. There a grasp of the totality of ones being as care is precisely founded on the individuals encounter with the void, in which she finds her being as inherently threatened by the possibility of the impossibility of being at all (SZ: 262/3067). This results in an individualizing (Vereinzelnung) of herself in which she sees herself defined by her own unique and unsurpassable possibility of death, in the course of the understanding of which her own finitudethe fact that she can never wholly be her own basis of being, that her being is given to her to beis fully disclosed to her. Descartes, as Heidegger reads him, fails to carry out an analysis of the confrontation with the void into which his method of doubt has led him. Nevertheless, insofar as he has shown that the being of the sum shows up only when the I confronts the void, Descartes has implicitly taken a fundamental step toward an adequate phenomenological account of the being of existence (Dasein), a step that is apparently historically unprecedented and that presumably is only made again by Heidegger himself. To highlight the significance of the fact that Heidegger finds this step in Descartes, note that he views Husserl (whether fairly or not) as, for all his professed Cartesianism, having failed to take it: Husserls reduction does not have the sense of leading to an end-situation as in Descartes case, in such a way that the search sees itself confronted with nothing and inserted into the void of possibilities of finding. Instead the reduction develops the possibility that every merely possible being [Sein] comes into view; hence, not nothing but instead the entirety of being [die Gesamtheit des Seins], with a specific modification, is supposed to become thematically present (EPF: 25960/200). Here we may see Heidegger as implying that, on this point at least, his own project is a kind of synthesis of Husserl and Descartes (as he understood them), for he too aims to
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thematize the entirety of being, but to do this precisely by bringing the one doing the thematizing into the void, i.e. by inducing a confrontation with her fundamental possibility of not being. One interesting consequence of this is that it implies that Heideggers own philosophy needs a method formally analogous to Descartes method of doubt, i.e. a method that will allow the philosopher to bring herself into the void and so before her being, for only then will she be able to access her normally only tacitly understood ontological structures. Apart from the fact that this method will not be epistemologically driven, i.e. not governed by Descartes care for already known knowledge, it is less than obvious exactly what Heidegger thinks it must look like. It is clear from the discussion in SZ 3941 that the mode of selffinding [Befindlichkeit] that he calls anxiety (Angst) has an important role to play, for it is a mood [Stimmung] defined by the fact that, unlike fear, it has no particular object in the world, it is anxiety in the face of nothing in particular. It is precisely that mood or state one is in when one confronts the void, becomes individualized to oneself, and has the possibility of conceptualizing the totality of the structural whole [Ganzheit des Strukturganzen] that is the being of Dasein (SZ: 191/236). We may reasonably assume then that the philosopher who seeks to provide a thematic account of her ontological structure, and of being in general, must cultivate and maintain herself in this (or some other such) mood. Heidegger isnt as clear as Descartes is about how to deliberately cultivate a mood of this kind. He doesnt offer anything as focused as the method of doubt, and much of his discussion is of our tendency to flee from anxiety and so from our own ontological disclosure. Nevertheless, the aim and structure of his whole project entails that some such mood and method is needed, for only then can the philosopher have access to and maintain her focus on general, constitutive, ontological structures rather than on determinate ontical matters.32 In light of this, now consider Heideggers discussion of Descartes attempt to secure a formal-ontological proposition that captures what he finds in the endsituation in which the cogito gets asserted. Heidegger wants to preserve two things that Descartes here comes across and then allows to slip from his grasp: (i) the moment in which the being of the one asking about being can show up to itself as it is in itself, and (ii) the expression of that being in a way that captures its self-relatedness, its having-itself-with itself. In that sense, Heidegger wants to adequately characterize the res that Descartes brought to light but didnt take on its own terms, i.e. the phenomenal matter itself, the being of the one who says sum. And so as an alternative to Descartes interpretation of the proposition that expresses the being of the meditator as a formal proposition that is stripped of its connection to the one asserting it, Heidegger suggests that, if, by contrast, one takes [Descartes] proposition in the sense of a formal indication [einer formalen Anzeige], in such a way that it is not taken directly (where it says nothing), but is related to the respective [jeweilige], concrete instance of what it precisely meansi.e. the one uttering itthen it has its legitimacy (EPF: 250/193). For, he goes on, the character of the respectiveness [Jeweiligkeit] is inherent in the cogitatios being. Each being [Sein] in the sense of existence [Dasein] is
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characterized by its respectiveness and further determined by its temporality, and even further by the specific type of being of this ego sum in what it has (ibid.). So Heideggers aim is to adequately address what it is to be the sort of entity characterized by respectiveness, or what he will come in SZ to call in-each-casemineness [Jemeinigkeit], and to make sure that the philosophical language chosen to express the being of the philosophical inquirer does so, and does not distort it by treating what the language is about as an impersonal object, standing over and against the inquirer. From this it is also clear that Heidegger wants to hold on to a sense of the formalthe formal of formale Anzeigewhile distancing himself from the sense of the formal in Descartes formal-ontological, i.e. generic, non-indexical proposition.33 That is, he wants a proposition that is assertable of any Dasein, but that is so only in virtue of the fact that each Dasein can assert it of herself. Even from just this short analysis, it is clear that Heidegger sees Descartes as having done much to bring the central phenomenal matter of philosophical analysis into view (i.e. me, the philosophical inquirer, encountering myself in my finitude, as concerned about and oriented towards myself as well as towards that which is beyond me and on which I depend), and that his own account of Daseins being as care must understood in light of this, and seen as a revised version of Descartes understanding of the finite, teleological nature of subjectivity. (And, as the analysis of care opens to that of temporality, this will presumably in turn lead us back to Kant and allow us to separate his insights about time from his Cartesian understanding of subjectivity.)

4.2 Ontology and Self-perfection One might reasonably worry that this Cartesian picture of Heidegger threatens to obscure the ontological aims of SZ, that is, its intended focus on being as such. I now briefly argue that it is, in fact, only if we appreciate the Cartesian cast of Heideggers thought that his way of pursuing his larger ontological aims makes sense. From this it will also become clear exactly how, as I suggested early on, there is a strong parallel between the paths of (self-)discovery of the Meditations and SZ. As I noted at the outset of 2, the question of the meaning of being is essentially the question of what unity there is to our various ways of taking entities to be (at least at this early stage of Heideggers thought, there is no being per se, only the being of entities34). This question has two main dimensions. On the one hand, there is a question of how it is that different kinds or regions of entities (in the terminology Heidegger appropriates from Husserl) are understood as both distinct and yet all regions of being; and, on the other, there is a question as to how any entity has different aspects of its being: what it is (essentially or constitutively), that it is (or is not), and how it is (as this or that particular entity). So, for instance, with numbers or mathematical objects more generally, we may ask how we understand a unity among what, that, and how
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they are; but we may also ask in what sense there is a unity between our understanding of these being-aspects of numbers and our understanding of the what-, that-, and how-being of other sorts of entities, e.g. physical objects, animals, persons, or God.35 On the face of it, these fundamental ontological questions have nothing essential to do with subjectivity, however broadly understood, except in the sense that subjects are one kind of entity among others and so are a region that will have to be subsumed within the overall account of being as regionalized. But, as surely as Descartes was, Heidegger is led to see a primacy of the first-person singular entity, and for two reasons: first, this entity is peculiar in being defined by the fact that it is the entity who understands entities as being, i.e. we are the ones who make the distinction between entities and being (SZ 4; GP: 2122/16). Second, the question of the meaning of being is always a question that is raised by an individual, through her engagement with her own being and her understanding of entities in general as being. Thus, for me the philosophical questioner, my being and being uberhaupt are originally and inseparably joined. When I come across entities as being, so to speak, I cant but come across myself as the one understanding them; and when I come across myself, I cant but come across my understanding of entities as being. To understand and then answer the question of the meaning of being in general thus entails that I must get clear on my own beingto render it transparent [durchsichtig]as well as on the fact that my being is always implicated in all my understanding of being. It is not the certainty of my existence that is important here, as Descartes, guided by a particular idea of scientific understanding and a desire to escape his finitude, thought. Rather it is what we might call its inevitability: any understanding of being involves me in it as the understander. This is what Heidegger refers to in SZ as the priority of Dasein in fundamental ontology, which priority has both ontical and ontological dimensions (SZ 34): ontological, in virtue of the fact that it is the entity who understands entities as being, but ontical in virtue of the fact that the questions asked are always asked from within the existence of the particular philosopheri.e. I ask the question of what it is to be, and to be Dasein, and this matters to me as the particular Dasein I happen to be, even as I ask these questions not just about me but about being and Dasein in general. Whatever the details of this, the basic impulse Heidegger is following is the Cartesian (and ultimately Augustinian) one: pin down what I am and see on what my being and my understanding of it depend. For Heidegger, just as for Descartes, I cannot find a ground in myself for the fact that I am, nor what I am (as the kind of entity I am), or how I am the individual I happen to be. My being is given to me. The question is, then, by what or whom? Heidegger, freed from the constricts of Greco-Christian metaphysics, seeks not an efficient cause of my being but a condition of its possibility that fits with my true character as a social, self-undertaking, worldly entity, and so he locates the givenness of my being not in infinite substance but instead in those other finite beings of the same kind as me with whom I find myself existing and whose practices, languages and institutions provide the space for me to be. We can thus see Heidegger as
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capturing explicitly something implicit in Descartes, namely, the I in my Umwelt that Heidegger had claimed Descartes began with, i.e. that factical context of social, worldly existence in which the meditator found himself before arriving at his Archimedean point of self-certainty. Because he takes over and reworks the understanding of us as having truth as our telos, Heidegger also retains something analogous to the perfectionist or redemptive dimension of Descartes (and Augustines) philosophical project. Like them, he believes that coming to a fundamental understanding of what I am and what my being relates to and depends on will allow me to, in some sense, more fully go about my ontical existence. For Descartes, asking what I am, after I have established the certainty of my existence, is done with the aim of allowing me to go about being what I am in the way that I ought to, where this means using my faculties properly in the pursuit of truth, understood as scientia. By learning what faculties I have and how I relate to other entities (God, the world) at the most basic metaphysical level, I first become able to do this. Truth is my telos and first philosophy the means for its attainment, so far as I can attain it given that I am necessarily imperfect. Heideggers project is a variant on this as follows: truth is freed from its interpretation in terms of propositionally expressed judgments which are universally assertable and normatively binding on any judger, and back to what he takes to be the more original idea of truth as openness to what is in the way that it is, which provides the ultimate ground and content of any judgments which purport to express the truth. Dasein is understood as that entity who is defined by its participation in truth through its understanding entities as entities. And with that remains the possibility of orienting oneself towards these entities genuinely, on the basis of an understanding of them according to the forms of being appropriate to them, or failing to do so by forcing on them an inappropriate framework of interpretation derived from elsewhere. The two fundamental existential possibilities Heidegger calls authenticity and inauthenticity (Eigentlichkeit and Uneigentlichkeit) pick out these possibilities of being in truth and failing to be. Failure here means substituting the understanding of entities provided by others for ones own, or, more accurately, not being open to the possibility that the provided understanding is in some way deficient. That is, an understanding of entities is not false simply because it comes from others; that would entail that authenticity always requires a rejection of the social-conceptual status quo, i.e. mere rebellion. What authenticity instead requires is essentially what Kant demanded of the enlightened man, that he think for himself rather than blindly follow those socially provided precepts and formulas of action that in the unenlightened man become mechanical instruments of rational use, or rather misuse, of [the individuals] natural endowments.36 Taking rules to cover all norms of comportment, understanding, use, etc., this means for Heidegger that the authentic individual must strive for an openness to entities in which she can see whether the reigning norms are appropriate and, when not, to seek to go beyond them in whatever ways the situation dictates.37
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Heideggerian philosophy as represented by SZ then becomes a means to securing just the right sort of open relation to what is: by struggling through the ontology that shows what I am, and how it is possible for being to be understood by me, I come to be in the position of having an articulated understanding of how my understanding works, thus of how I am always being pulled away from the entities themselves back to the received interpretation of them. I thereby come to an authentic understanding of my own being, and of being in general, which, without necessitating it, opens the possibility for me of being towards other entities in an equally authentic way. In short, the activity of pursuing fundamental ontology aims to effect a transformation in my own self-understanding, one that feeds back into how I actually go about my existence. As in Kant and Descartes both, succeeding in this aim means realizing my freedom. It doesnt mean I always succeed in being open to entities in the way that I can be any more than understanding how to judge properly means, for Descartes, that I always do, but it at least means I have no excuse when I fail to be.38

5. Conclusion: The Necessity of Heideggerian Cartesianism The foregoing establishes both the nature of Heideggers critique of Descartes (its focus on its methodology and presuppositions rather than any substantive theses it yields) as well as the Cartesian nature of Heideggers own project. The central insight behind the latter is that ontology must begin with that entity who is capable of doing ontology. This view, which is the chief positive possibility Heidegger finds in Descartes, we must see as positive as well: any adequate general ontological project must have a similar Cartesian cast to it, for I am necessarily implicated in all my understanding of what is, and the examination of the first-person is one that can only be given by me as I take up the question of what I am. This is not because there is something in me hidden to others to which I have privileged access, or because I can only find certainty in the self-validating character of some set of my inner experiences. It is rather because of what I earlier referred to as the inevitably of the self in ontological inquiry. The account that results of what it is to be an I, of what I am as the kind of entity I am, will, if properly done, be intelligible to and true of lots of other individual entities besides meall those who can say Ibut only provided they take my account as the means for their own ontological self-investigation. This ought to be the most uncontroversial of views, for all it says is that we must inquire into our own manner of being in a way that recognizes and never loses sight of the fact that, as Heidegger puts it, this being is always something at issue for us (e.g. SZ: 42/67). Failing to recognize and hold on to this means risking a fundamental distortion of what we are. Given the tendency of philosophers to start with an ontology drawn from other entities, usually those physical ones that have pride of place in certain forms of reductive, natural scientific explanation, and to assume that an ontology of the first-person is only secondary, it is clear that what ought to be uncontroversial is not, and that much
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contemporary philosophy is not only incomplete but misguided in the same ways Heidegger finds so much traditional ontology to be. We thus ought to read Heidegger, not simply for an alternative theory of what we are that may be set alongside and in opposition to reigning Cartesian ones (or any others for that matter), but for a fundamental challenge to dominant views about what it is to give a theory of us at all. The driving insight of Heideggers analysis of Dasein is that an adequate theory of our own being can only come about through the right sort of individual self-engagement, so such a theory is at once a performance and description of what it is to be the sort of being who can so perform. Failure to recognize this makes us prone to seduction by those philosophical and scientific theories that purport to tell us what we are, even as they quietly reject the fact of our self-engagement out of which all theorizing begins.39 R. Matthew Shockey Department of Philosophy Indiana UniversitySouth Bend USA shockey2@iusb.edu NOTES
Heidegger 1993 [1927], hereafter SZ. Page references are given both to the German and to Macquarrie and Robinsons English translation, though I have occasionally altered their rendering of the German. (For each of Heideggers works I cite a translation when available, but I alter them as necessary.) 2 Important works in this vein include Haugeland 1982; Guignon 1983; Olafson 1987; Okrent 1988; Dreyfus 1990; Richardson 1991; and Mansbach 2002. Robert Pippins essay, On Being Anti-Cartesian: Hegel, Heidegger, Subjectivity, and Sociality (ch. 15 in Pippin 1997), is perhaps the best short introduction to the variety of ways of reading Heidegger from an anti-Cartesian perspective. It takes issue with the pragmatist and Wittgensteinian readings of Heidegger by people like Dreyfus and Okrent but still remains wedded to an anti-Cartesian interpretive framework. Richard Rorty may be the most widely known American philosopher to take Heidegger as inspiration for an attack on the Cartesian mentalism of modern philosophy, but, like Heidegger himself in later decades, Rorty tends to see the early work circa SZ as still wedded to a certain problematic form of subjectivism (see esp. Rorty 1979). Rorty is right about the subjectivism; I argue here that, properly understood, it is positive rather than problematic. 3 See, for example, Derrida 1987 and Haar 1993. Derrida is, of course, the primary inspiration for those who work (or, perhaps at this point, worked) under the heading of deconstruction, for whom opposition to Cartesian subjectivism has been central. But anti-Cartesianism has been widespread among critical theorists and philosophers of many other stripes, many of whom also find at least some inspiration for this in Heideggers early work. The essays in Cadava, Conner and Nancy 1991 attest to the variety of views regarding the status of subjectivity among major French theorists. The title alone is a good indication of the perception that 20th century philosophy had somehow gotten beyond subjectivity, and the essays reflect in varying degrees the role Heidegger is seen as playing in this. Subject-centered reason tends to get singled out for
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particular criticism within these circles, due to its alleged role in various schemes of power and discourse that are seen as Euro-, phallo- or anthropocentric. A helpful (if somewhat biased) discussion of these themes in the last two hundred years of European philosophy that offers a view of Heideggers place in their evolution can be found in Habermas 1990. 4 References in what follows are to Descartes 1983, cited as AT followed by the volume and page numbers. Translations are from Descartes 1985, cited as CSM followed by the volume and page numbers. There is extensive scholarship on Descartes, but my understanding of Descartes metaphysics owes a special debt to Jorge Secada (see especially Secada 2000), and my understanding of the wider project within which that metaphysics is located to Daniel Garber (see especially Garber 1992). 5 See SZ 35. 6 I am not the first to see a positive dimension. Both Marion 1987 (a translation appears as ch. 3 of Marion 1998) and Raffoul 1998 do as well. Marion has done serious scholarship on both Descartes and phenomenology, as well as constructive work of his own that brings the two together, though the essay cited was written before the publication of the two Gesamtausgabe (GA) volumes (cited in the next note) with the most extensive discussions of Descartes (as is also true of Raffouls book). The most basic idea Marion and Raffoul share, which the present paper aims to further support and elaborate, is that Heideggers Dasein rethinks rather than rejects the Cartesian notion of the subject. However, both Marion and Raffoul share the tendency common among French phenomenologists of treating being (Sein) in Heideggers early period as something more than the being of entities (Sein des Seienden), and more in line with the quasi-mystical rendering it gets in his later work, which then distorts how they understand Daseins constitutive relation to being. (See Crowell 2000 for a review of Raffouls book that brings this out. On the distinction between entities and beingthe so-called ontological differencesee Heidegger 1975 [1927] [hereafter GP] and 3,4 below.) A similar problem is found in von Herrmann 1974, which, while an illuminating book on the topic of the firstperson in Heidegger, sees him moving beyond subjectivity in virtue of thinking being (Sein) as something more than the being of entities, which then colors how he understands Daseins constitutive relation to being. Other significant works that challenge the reigning anti-Cartesian approach to Heidegger, but without substantially engaging with what he actually says about Descartes, include Crowell 2001b and MacAvoy 2001. There are also a number of works that see Heidegger as focusing on selfhood or subjectivity, but which fail to draw the necessary connection between that as a topic and that as necessitating a particular kind of reflexive, self-engaged methodology. Mark Okrents work, especially Okrent 1988, and the lectures on Heidegger by Ernst Tugendhat in Tugendhat 1979, for instance, both have many illuminating things to say about the role of self-understanding in Heideggers ontology of Dasein, but they do not take up the question of what form of selfunderstanding this ontology itself represents. That turns out to be the crucial question for understanding Heideggers methodology, as will emerge in what follows. (For more on the nature of ontological self-understanding in Heidegger, see also Shockey (under review)). Finally, I must note that, after most of the work on this paper had been done, I came across a recent issue of the Les Etudes philosophiques with a number of essays directly or indirectly addressing the question of subjectivity in Heidegger. Jean-Francois Courtines essay in particular, Les Meditations Cartesiennes de Martin Heidegger (Courtine 2009), resonates in many ways with what I argue here. 7 Heidegger 1994 [1923/24], hereafter EPF. There is also much of interest in Heidegger 2006 [1926/27], hereafter GPAK, but I will focus mostly on the former.

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Not only do I not address all of the positive possibilities Heidegger finds in Descartes, I also leave aside (except briefly in 4) another large and important issue, namely, how Husserl figures in Heideggers understanding of Descartes and Cartesianism and how Heideggers phenomenological project should be seen in relation to Husserls. What follows, however, provides the basis for an argument that, because of its implicit Cartesianism (in the sense to be explained), Heideggers phenomenology is much more continuous with Husserls than is sometimes supposed, or than either he or Husserl wanted to believe. Compelling arguments for seeing this continuity that rest on other bases may be found in Crowell 2001a. 9 Note that taking need not connote judging or asserting. When I use a tool as the tool it is, for instance, I take it to be a tool, and a particular kind of tool, without saying or even necessarily thinking verbally about what it is that I am doing. 10 Although in EPF Heidegger in fact downplays the novelty of Descartes philosophy (cf. SZ: 25/46-7), and in GPAK he offers a reading of nearly the entire modern tradition as essentially a continuation of medieval Greco-Christian metaphysics rather than the revolution it often took itself to be. 11 That is to say, a thing with properties, where that may be understood as that which can take the subject place in standard predicate logic. A contemporary attack on the view that this logic is sufficient for articulating thought about all kinds of entities, one with some interesting, though I believe unintentional, resonance with Heidegger, may be found in Michael Thompsons work on thought about life and action (Thompson 2008). 12 Clinton Tolley suggests in a comment on a draft of this paper, and I agree, that Heidegger would more accurately use the term Dasein to designate the way of being of that entity we each are. That is, I am an entity, as are you, and we each have Dasein as our way of being. Dasein itself is not, therefore, an entity, but the being of entities such as you and me. This is not, however, and however unfortunately, how Heidegger uses the term, at least usually. Most of the time he says Dasein is an entity, the being of Dasein is care, and the meaning of the being of Dasein is temporality. I believe that nothing philosophically significant rests on this terminological confusion, so long as one keeps in view the entity/ being-of-the-entity/meaning-of-the-being-of-the-entity distinction that is the heart of Heideggers ontology. (John Haugeland is perhaps the only notable reader of Heidegger who would disagree. For a brief articulation of his somewhat infamous view that it is no accident that Heidegger calls Dasein an entity, and that it is an entity distinct from individual cases of Dasein like you and me, see Haugeland 2005.) 13 The word is the same in German. Macquarrie and Robinson capitalize it to distinguish it from Auslegung. Heidegger uses capital-I Interpretation to refer to explicit, philosophical thematization [Thematisierung], whereas Auslegung designates any form of taking-as, even that of non-verbal behavior such as the using of an object as a hammer to pound a nail. Of recent works to focus on Heideggers account of interpretation, Carman 2003 is the most developed, and yet it fails to even note the distinction between Auslegung and Interpretation, much less see its important role in SZ. Robert Brandoms Dasein, the Being that Thematizes (in Brandom 2002), also misses this crucial distinction and treats thematizing as a general sort of linguistic assertional practice (325), rather than a specifically philosophical form of linguistic expression. 14 Heidegger 1975 [1927], (GP). 15 Though one may reasonably wonder what he means, as Heidegger claims this return is central not only to Kant and Descartes but is also to be found in Plato and Aristotle.

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Again, capital-I Interpretation. See n. 13. Cf. SZ: 116/15152. I say more about formal indication in 4 and in Shockey (forthcoming). 18 Heidegger 1978 [1928], hereafter MFL. 19 The paragraph from which this is taken is worth quoting at greater length: If we say Dasein is in each case essentially mine, and if our task is to define this characteristic of Dasein ontologically, this does not mean we should investigate the essence of my self, as this factical individual, or of some other given individual. This object of inquiry is not the individual essence of my self, but rather the essence of mineness and selfhood as such. Likewise, if I is the object of the ontological interpretation, then this is not the individual I-ness of my self, but I-ness in metaphysical neutrality; we call this neutral I-ness egoicity. The chief question is what is required to get I-ness or egoicity in view in such a way an ontological analysis of it may be given. The argument in the present paper is that Heidegger sees this requiring a particular form of self-engagement by the philosopher, who finds it in her, yet as something over and above her individual I-ness, i.e. what makes her this or that particular I. 20 Cristina Lafont comes close to recognizing this reflexivity in her criticism of Dreyfuss view of formal indication (Lafont 2002: 233). She does not follow through on its consequences, however, which undercut her anti-Kantian reading of Heidegger (cf. Shockey 2008 and Shockey (forthcoming)). 21 Care (Sorge) is in SZ the primary term for the being (Sein) of Dasein (see SZ Div. I, ch. 5, Care as the Being of Dasein), that structure which defines us as the sort of entities we are and which is instantiated in any and all particular modes of existence of any of us. It is, fundamentally, the structure of active orientation towards that which matters in our engaged existence in a shared world, and so captures our teleological nature, about which more as we go. In the EPF course under discussion, Heidegger uses care as a technical term, but, as the occurrence here makes clear, it still retains a clear connection to ordinary usage. This connection fades somewhat in SZ, but the idea that care is care for something that matters nevertheless remains central in SZs technical understanding of care as the being of Dasein. 22 One ought also recognize the goal not merely of securing knowledge, but of first making it possible by generating, through the analytic method, those basic concepts (thought, extension) which will the figure in all other scientific claims. See n. 25 for how this points to another sort of positive possibility Heidegger sees in Descartes. 23 Which, he rightly sees, reflects the Augustinian influence on Descartes thought, though influence may not be the best word, as it implies a direct engagement with Augustine by Descartes, whereas the influence in question may have been much less direct. (See Menn 1998 for a thorough examination of the philosophical connections between Descartes and Augustine.) Heidegger himself discusses Augustine at length in his 1921 course on Augustinus und der Neuplatonismus (in Heidegger 1995 [191821]). This discussion reinforces the basic picture I offer of Heidegger here and suggests that what I am calling his Cartesianism might be better termed his Augustinianism, which would no doubt make it more palatable to many (including perhaps him). Nevertheless, there is a systematic, scientific (i.e. wissenschaftlich) element in SZ that ties it to Descartes at least as much to Augustine. For a number of recent, illuminating essays on Heideggers relation to Augustine, see de Paulo 2006.

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See esp. EPF: 19899/15051. Among the positive possibilities Heidegger sees in Descartes that I do not deal with in this paper are a number concerning the logic of substance. Descartes rejected the Scholastic-Aristotelian idea of essence and accidents as a genus-species relation. His true logic (AT VII: 1078/CSM II: 78) involved the idea of essential attributes (known through reason) which are principles of intelligibility for all that we encounter they determine what it is to be a certain kind of (finite) thing, and all determinations of such things must be referred back to these attributes in order to be understood (cf. Secada 2000). Heidegger sees in this an anticipation both of Kants claim that being is not a real predicate (SZ: 94/ 12627), and so, at least indirectly, of his own view that being is not directly accessible but is nevertheless that on the basis of which all entities are understood. His adaptation of the Husserlian idea of regions of being depends on this as well. It may be seen as showing that Descartes logic of substance, according to which any determinate empirical phenomenon depends for its intelligibility on understanding it in terms of basic a priori concepts that define what it is to be the sort of phenomenon in question, can be divorced from the assumption that such intelligibility requires the concept of substance. This yields the picture of understanding entities on the basis of an a priori projection of the various Grundbegriffe that define different regions of being. 26 Only quasi-causal because, for Descartes, God is the only true cause. Events in the physical world are the occasional causes of my perceptions of them, which is to say, upon the event of God causing state S in the world he also causes corresponding idea I in my mind; the physical state does not cause the idea. This idea of occasionalism was more fully worked out by, and is more often associated with, Descartes follower Nicolas Malebranche later in the 17th century. 27 Descartes was, of course, restricted in what he could discuss by the Church, and so was careful not to wade into moral matters where the experience of freedom might have been cashed out by him in terms of action rather than just cognition. Heidegger pays little attention to this fact, taking Descartes to be intending to offer with his cognitivism a quite general account of human existence and the freedom essential to it. He is hardly the only one to do so, however. Cartesianism is, if nothing else, the legacy of applying a picture of the human being as most fundamentally a theoretical knower as broadly as possible. 28 Heideggers analysis of equipment (Zeug) in SZ provides an analysis of an instance where letting the entities be what they are means using them to accomplish the tasks they are designed to accomplish. Thinking about a tool as a tool depends on this more basic mode of comportment and is arguably unnecessary for it. 29 Cf. SZ 21. 30 One immediate result Heidegger notes is that history and the Geisteswissenschaften generally become unintelligible (EPF: 21314/162). They are domains that cannot show up as they truly are ontologically in the framework of science defined by the rule of clarity and distinctness derived from mathematical knowing. 31 The statement is in Descartes Principles of Philosophy I.49 (AT VIII: 24/CSM I: 209), where it is listed as one of the innumerable but always recognizable eternal truths. 32 I develop this connection between mood and methodology in Shockey (in progress a). 33 For more on formal indication, see Shockey (forthcoming). 34 See SZ: 9/29 and GP: 22/17. 35 Temporality (Zeitlichkeit) is supposed to be the key to answering these questions, but I will not try to say why here. See Shockey (in progess-b) for an attempt to do so.

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Kant 1900-, vol. 8: 36; translation in Kant 1996: 17. Cf. Haugeland 2000 and Crowell 2007 for developed versions of this. I think both are too wedded to the challenging of norms as an exercise in rational reflection on the rules governing practices (e.g. chess games, physics, morality), but much of what they say can be separated from this rationalism. 38 One might worry that, because Heidegger has freed truth from judgment and action more generally from morality, the kind of freedom found in philosophy will entail a kind of alienation of oneself from the world and others in it. I touch on this in Shockey (under review) and will explore it further in future work. 39 Thanks to Thomas Land, Clinton Tolley, and a referee for European Journal of Philosophy for comments on previous drafts of this paper, and to a Faculty Research Grant from Indiana University-South Bend for support that made writing it possible.

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