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International Journal of Philosophical Studies
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On Tugendhat's Analysis of Heidegger's Concept of Truth
Online Publication Date: 01 June 2007 To cite this Article: Duits, Rufus , (2007) 'On Tugendhat's Analysis of Heidegger's Concept of Truth', International Journal of Philosophical Studies, 15:2, 207 - 223 To link to this article: DOI: 10.1080/09672550701383491 URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09672550701383491

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15(2). Of course.1080/09672550701383491 . To start with.1080/09672550701383491 RIPH_A_238238.1 I aim to demonstrate the way in which this critique fails to understand Heidegger’s claims and his intentions. It is held to consist firstly in the charge of ambiguity against Heidegger’s formulations of his concept of truth and secondly in the claim that Heidegger’s concept of truth is incompatible with an adequate concept of falsehood. in particular §44 of Being and Time. whilst it may be articulated in very different ways in later International Journal of Philosophical Studies ISSN 0967–2559 print 1466–4542 online © 2007 Taylor & Francis http://www. WHH). metaphysics My task in this paper is to defend Heidegger’s concept of truth from Tugendhat’s well-known critique in his Habilitationsschrift of 1965. phenomenology.duits@virgin. and perhaps even with essentially different intentions and grounds.co. Tugendhat’s primary critical argument is reconstructed. Keywords: Heidegger. Verfallen. the grounds of falsehood in the untruth of the existential of Verfallen are pursued and further objections are dismissed. Der Wahrheitsbegriff bei Husserl und Heidegger (henceforth. on the other. It is then shown how this concept of truth is indeed compatible with an adequate. Although there is no space here to support it with sufficient argumentation. concept of falsehood. presented in different sorts of philosophical language.uk/journals DOI: 10. and to show the sources of these misunderstandings. Heidegger produced many analyses of truth throughout his philosophical career.tandf. It is shown that the supposedly ambiguous meanings are.sgm 0967-2559 Original Taylor 2007 0 2 15 rufus. albeit post-metaphysical. In this way the import and meaning of Heidegger’s concept of truth and the extent of its break with the traditional concept should be revealed. Any interpretation of Heidegger faces the problem of specificity. 207–223 On Tugendhat’s Analysis of Heidegger’s Concept of Truth Rufus Duits International 10. on the one hand. Tugendhat. Finally. that they merely amount to different extensions of the same meaning of truth.net RufusDuits 000002007 and & Article Francis (print)/1466-4542 Francis Journal of Philosophical (online) Studies Abstract This paper responds to Tugendhat’s well-known and influential critique of Heidegger’s concept of truth with the resources of Heidegger’s texts. in fact clearly distinguished by Heidegger and. it is my opinion – and it will here remain a background assumption – that Heidegger’s concept of truth. abstracting my argumentation solely from Heidegger’s texts.International Journal of Philosophical Studies Vol. truth.

Tugendhat’s critique is articulated primarily in §15. which takes it as exemplary for Heidegger’s consideration of truth in general. SZ). first given in 1930. since that is also the focus of Tugendhat’s critique. it is rather the case that the entire existential analysis. as Heidegger insists here in Beiträge zur Philosophie: ‘Die Frage nach der Wahrheit … ist für uns die Vorfrage. It is accepted that. one incidental to the project of raising the question of being. and his demonstration of its derivation. whilst many of the important texts that we now have which deal with the question of truth were not available when Tugendhat was writing. Once this is borne in mind. The moment of Heidegger’s overcoming of metaphysics is accomplished precisely as his reformulation of the concept of truth.’2 That this is so is emphasized also in the lecture Vom Wesen der Wahrheit. and begins with the clear programmatic claim that Heidegger is justified in taking as the starting point of his analysis the most familiar 208 . this is no doubt due to the fact that Heidegger’s questioning concerning truth is not at all a peripheral concern of his thinking. of Dasein as Erschlossenheit. Tugendhat’s book has had a significant impact on the understanding and critique of Heidegger’s thinking as a whole. if one refuses to accept Heidegger’s critique of the traditional schema of truth. as a cursory reading might suggest. beyond its traditional representation and in re-appropriation of its original Greek root. Apart from the book’s obvious merits. is only to be understood properly as an analysis of the phenomenon of truth. on which we shall focus here. but also its very possibility – the possibility of retrieving the meaning of being from its concealment beneath the metaphysical conceptual edifice. I shall restrict myself for the most part to a consideration of its presentation in this early work. for the purposes of this paper. Indeed. one may not wish to subscribe to this focus. And thus the acceptance of Heidegger’s entire philosophical enterprise depends upon an agreement with his thematization of truth. as the interpretation of being-in-the-world as disclosure. It is rather the necessary preparation of this question. The question of truth is therefore inseparable from the question of being. especially in Germany. In any case. durch die wir zuerst hindurch müssen. the Vorfrage through which access is first gained to the fundamental ontological problematic. the explicit examination of the concept of truth is not one more analysis in addition to the many others. where the question of the essence of truth is shown to prepare the question of being insofar as it illuminates the path out of the categorical constellation of metaphysical thinking. does not receive any philosophical import other than that which it was given in Heidegger’s analyses in Sein und Zeit (henceforth.INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES texts. the philosophical significance of SZ’s discussion of truth begins to emerge: since the existential analysis has the intention of overcoming the metaphysico-epistemological perspective of philosophical questioning. then one has contested not merely the philosophical primacy of the question of being.

discovering. Heidegger’s claim in regard to this conception is not. its ontological determination. that pertaining to the proposition. as is often suggested.TUGENDHAT ON HEIDEGGER’S CONCEPT OF TRUTH understanding of truth. it also marks out the domain of Tugendhat’s critique. indeed that he only manages to incorporate the weakest. This premise. Now. since the affirmation of the existence of a more original truth can only be justified insofar as it makes the status of the common and most generally recognized conception of truth clear. concerns the possibility of this relation of correspondence. The problem of truth. is nevertheless not defended. on the face of it. Husserl’s phenomenological account is just as much subject to this critique as the medieval veritas est adaequatio intellectus ad rem. for Husserl as much as any other theorist leaves the ontological determination of the correspondence unthematic. ‘Daß ein Wahrheitsbegriff auf die Aussagewahrheit paßt. wenn er überhaupt ein Wahrheitsbegriff sein soll. in the first instance. which. according to Tugendhat. while it is perhaps not immediately controversial. Tugendhat will claim that Heidegger’s conception of truth is untenable just to the extent that it does not accord with the meaning usually assigned to the word truth. The primary claim of §44 is that once the mode of being of the relation of the proposition to its object is put into question phenomenologically. ist die Minimalbedingung.’3 Whilst this captures Heidegger’s initial intentions well. appear to be equivalents. at least not on the face of it. and therefore the central problematic of epistemology and thus metaphysics in general. essential equivocations that Heidegger makes no attempt to make explicit or justify. however. but rather that the mode of being of this correspondence. Tugendhat’s basic critical argument is focused on the way in which Heidegger reaches his first positive statement of his concept of truth by way of a series of formulations. In which case. namely. Thus when Tugendhat’s critique sets off immediately with the claim that in his pencil sketch of correspondence theories of truth Heidegger does not manage to incorporate all such theories. in which the correspondence is held to pertain between two ideal contents rather than between an ideal content and a real thing4 – then Heidegger is already misunderstood. According 209 . Tugendhat’s opening claim functions as a basic premise within his argument. The standard conception of truth as propositional truth predicates truth of the proposition which corresponds to the object to which it refers. remains unquestioned by the metaphysical tradition. that it belies an inadmissible phenomenology of relation. and that most notably he fails to incorporate Husserl’s account. Whilst the new concept of truth that Heidegger develops is indeed intended to make the standard or traditional conception understandable in its ontological genesis. die er erfüllen muß. it is nevertheless in essential respects incongruous with it as the basic determination of the concept of truth. the relationality as such is revealed to be dissimulated. but which conceal. belying an ecstatic movement or process of unconcealment.

The purpose of this second formulation is once more to bring this point to the centre.INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES to Tugendhat. or it might refer to the how of the entity within its uncoveredness. is essential to the concept of truth as such. apparently innocuously.’9 This step is decisive for Tugendhat insofar as Heidegger no longer formulates his position in terms of how an object is uncovered. Heidegger emphasizes the fundamental thought that the proposition is not to be conceived as uncovering its object in terms of a representation of it in the ‘how’ of its being. Heidegger takes his analysis. Heidegger writes: ‘Das gemeinte Seiende selbst zeigt sich so. it is allowed by Tugendhat to count as equivalent to the first formulation insofar as the ‘so. Heidegger suggests that the following propositions are equivalent: 1 On p. ‘The how of that which is uncovered’ – this is ambiguous: it might refer to the how of the entity uncovered as it is independent of this uncovering. als wie Seiend es in der Aussage aufgezeigt. wenn sie das Seiende “so” aufzeigt. 218. beyond the sphere in which it remains meaningful to speak of the concept of truth. wie’ is included or incorporated in ‘selbst’. dass es in Selbigkeit so ist. and claims that it is used to form a bridge which allows Heidegger to cross. which takes the decisive step.’6 ‘Die Aussage ist wahr. das heißt. the third formulation. but rather in terms of uncovering as such.’7 2 This second formulation leaves out the phrase ‘so. bedeutet: sie entdeckt das Seiende an ihm selbst. however. according to Tugendhat. so that the relata of the relation lose their definition.8 It is. according to Tugendhat. uncovering without regard to the how of that which is uncovered. the word 210 . It is precisely the distinction and the relation between these that. wie es an ihm selbst ist’. Whilst Heidegger has already made himself explicit on this point. Insofar as this distinction is left aside or covered over. wie es an ihm selbst ist. Tugendhat himself locates the ambiguity in the word Entdecken. 3 ‘Wahrsein (Wahrheit) der Aussage muß verstanden werden als entdeckend-sein. the ‘so–wie’. it is nevertheless the case that by leaving aside in this second formulation the aspect. Whilst this may be acceptable. entdeckt wird.’5 which is abbreviated by Tugendhat to: ‘Die Aussage ist wahr. entdeckt. On the one hand. the essential gap between the second and third formulations above. Tugendhat claims. “wie es an ihm selbst ist”. Tugendhat claims. Nevetheless. how it is uncovered. it remains ambiguous in the extrapolation that Tugendhat presents above.

Are the two meanings of uncovering elaborated above really to be distinguished? On the face of it. despite this determination. How is it possible for truth conceived simply as uncovering to incorporate or at least accord with an adequate concept of falsehood? He claims that the word truth only receives its determination through possible contraposition to its opposite. in §44 Heidegger writes: ‘die Entdecktheit des innerweltlichen Seienden gründet in der Erschlossenheit der Welt’. One cannot say that the disclosure which the proposition effects is merely grounded in the ontologically fundamental disclosure that is Dasein itself if language makes this disclosure first possible.TUGENDHAT ON HEIDEGGER’S CONCEPT OF TRUTH Entdecken corresponds to the Greek apophainesthai. In this case. Tugendhat’s argument. it should be recalled. but 211 . falsehood. it retains the basic trait of language as such. albeit not by itself alone. of understanding. its revelatory function. Of course. Before considering whether Heidegger’s characterization of propositional truth as uncovering can incorporate an adequate conception of falsehood. Entdecken is used in such a way as to correspond to the Greek aletheuein. It would seem then that Heidegger in fact explicitly distinguishes the two meanings contrasted by Tugendhat. On the other hand. whether true or false – does that not amount to Heidegger’s basic ontological concept of disclosure? One should not forget that language constitutes. which will require a thematization of Heidegger’s fundamental concept of untruth and its grounds. then no further grounds are needed for rejecting it. the disclosure of Dasein. Whilst on the first meaning every proposition will count as an uncovering. Heidegger characterizes the proposition as a derivative mode of interpretation. and is equivalent in meaning to the German Aufzeigen. to point out. but nevertheless. On the other hand. Tugendhat’s worry might be expressed in terms of a concern with the question of falsehood. the false as well as the true. I shall first consider whether Tugendhat is justified in charging Heidegger with ambiguity. This is the essential import of Tugendhat’s critique. that it is oppositionally defined: ‘Es ist aber gerade diese Differenz [zwischen einem unmittelbaren. to uncover or reveal what is true. gleichsam vordergründigen Gegebensein … und der Sache selbst]. Uncovering conceived as a function of any and every (meaningful) proposition. aus der das Wort “Wahrheit” überhaupt erst seinen Sinn gewinnt. despite his own presentation. the false proposition will instead amount to a covering up. is the primary concept Heidegger used to characterize the mode of being of the proposition in §33 of SZ. it appears so. on the second meaning only a true proposition will count as an uncovering.’10 And thus if it turns out that the conception of truth which Heidegger arrives at in §44 is incapable of being intelligibly opposed to falsehood.11 The particular disclosure of inner-worldly beings of the (true) proposition is here claimed to be grounded in the basic disclosure of Dasein. should not be construed as charging Heidegger with ambiguity. which.

there is no longer any ground on which they might be separated: both are the fundamental ontological happening of unconcealment ecstatically constitutive of the being of Dasein. ‘levels’ of manifestation of this stasis. which is so long as Dasein is. the grounding of the specific uncoveredness of propositional truth in the original truth of disclosure as such. Ontic understanding. which Heidegger apparently presumes to perform.INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES rather in terms of the claim that the derivative manoeuvre. but rather as a happening. or as a fact of the matter. but between two applications of the 212 . Whilst one may distinguish two different domains of application. The ontic understanding of inner-worldly beings is thus grounded in the ontologically prior understanding of being. and consequently finds no legitimation given in the text for moving from one to the other whilst using the same name for both. is the same. one as disclosure as such. a stasis. inner-worldly beings are first disclosed in their particularity. Both extensions refer to the simple happening of emergence from concealment to unconcealment. The grounding function concerns understanding. not as a state of affairs. or as a process. to distinguish two.’12 Rather than having two different concepts here. which accords with these forms of understanding. But should there be a movement of derivation here? Does Heidegger slip between the two? If disclosure as such is understood. but the form of disclosure proper to each is the same – the process of unconcealment. or as of the mode of being of Vorhandenheit. as a process or happening. in order to make sense of §44. The grounding concerns ‘levels’ of understanding. according to Heidegger. And Heidegger insists that it should be so understood insofar as he equates the ecstatic being of Dasein with it: ‘Erschlossenheit aber ist die Grundart des Daseins. since the talk of a grounding function is incompatible with holding the revelatory function to be singular? The distinction here is between the ontological and the ontic. but as a factum. Upon this horizon. one ontological. is grounded in ontological understanding. or even contradiction. the revelatory function as such. not as a process. as ecstatic. is unjustified. one as propositional truth. Once uncovering is conceived. as it were. Nevertheless. distinguished by their target domain – one ontic. we have two different employments or extensions of the same concept. according to the traditional categories of constant presence. Heidegger would not be slipping between two meanings attributed to the word Entdecken. as the ontological event of emergence from concealment into unconcealment. The determination of the horizon of world is Dasein’s unthematic understanding of being. as Heidegger conceives it. the event of uncovering is the same in both. Tugendhat’s mistake is to conceive uncovering. gemäß der es sein Da ist. then these two ostensibly different characterizations of truth – considered purely with regard to this determination – are not in fact distinguishable. the bridge across which Heidegger slips between the two formulations above. He then finds it necessary. Is not Heidegger then to be charged at least with inconsistency. at least in the terms of the text.

It seems. that the false is part. die Neugier und die Zweideutigkeit. For him. an element. Nevertheless. rather than standing in stark opposition to it. Uncovering is an ontological determination. According to Tugendhat. disclosure in general. This is the thought which decisively distinguishes Heidegger’s concept of truth from that of the tradition. Das Sein zum Seienden ist nicht ausgelöscht. then. if propositional truth is to be understood as uncovering. gerade das Wort ‘Wahrheit’ zu gebrauchen? Etwa daß die Erschlossenheit der 213 . aber zugleich verstellt. under the banner of original truth. and appears as such only from the standpoint of the traditional conception of truth – which is precisely that which SZ as a whole is intended to overcome by laying bare its ontological genesis. Heidegger’s thesis concerning ontological truth is not thrown into doubt by this last point. Thus. granted that propositional truth is to be understood as uncovering. insofar as this process of uncovering is the ontological event of Dasein as such. and that the event of uncovering is primordial truth. however. As I have just shown. or indeed of untruth in general. then. this implies that truth conceived as uncovering cannot do without the qualification ‘as it in fact is’. namely. at least a determination. Das Seiende ist nicht völlig verborgen. and accomplishes the phenomenological step that Tugendhat is no longer prepared to follow. a mode perhaps. Heidegger is justified in claiming the latter. this meets only part of Tugendhat’s critique. and thus that the third statement of truth as uncovering formulated above is inadmissible as it stands as a candidate for the thematization of truth. for example: Was hätte [Heidegger] in diesem Fall dazu veranlassen können. aber entwurzelt. and in this sense amounts at the same time to a Verdecken. Imgleichen sinkt das vordem Entdeckte wieder in die Verstelltheit und Verborgenheit zurück.TUGENDHAT ON HEIDEGGER’S CONCEPT OF TRUTH same meaning. that the ambiguity Tugendhat professes to find in Heidegger’s analysis of truth in §44 is illusory.13 That the false proposition is also an uncovering. sondern gerade entdeckt. as uncovering its object in a way other than it in fact is. of the true. That this is so is given testimony by the incredulity with which Tugendhat writes. an en-covering. Heidegger too speaks of the false proposition as uncovering: Das Entdeckte und Erschlossene steht im Modus der Verstelltheit und Verschlossenheit durch das Gerede. implies that truth incorporates falsehood within itself. then the false proposition is also to be understood as uncovering. es zeigt sich – aber im Modus des Scheins. or some equivalent. It remains to question whether this conception of truth as uncovering is capable of supporting a phenomenologically adequate concept of propositional falsehood.

must be directed immediately as an unconcealing function towards the picture itself. the encovering. Insofar as the false proposition is immediately directed towards (a being-towards) its object. has to do with Ausweisung. with proof. sie als ‘ursprünglichere Wahrheit’ zu verstehen? Aber dann könnte man sie mit demselben Recht auch als ursprünglichere Falschheit bezeichnen. Only therefore does it also concern falsehood. and even Entdecken im Modus des Scheins. the context in terms of which he presents his illustration. One cannot argue then that one must at least have recourse to a relationality of correspondence.15 What marks it out from the true proposition is the fact that it dissimulates its object in its statement of it and in this sense is at the same time an en-covering. But then one might wonder why Heidegger characterizes falsehood in terms of Verdecken.14 But what does it mean to conceive falsehood as integral to truth? Suppose the person with her back to the wall in Heidegger’s example had said falsely: ‘the picture on the wall is not hanging crookedly’. As an immediate beingtowards the object. it is to be conceived in terms of an uncovering function. with the establishment of truth and falsehood.INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES Wahrheit ‘zugrunde liegt’? Und das berechtige sogar. One could construe truth and falsehood as configuring the structure of truth. The false proposition is uncovering insofar as it is a being-towards. a non-correspondence between the object as it in fact is and the object as it is represented in the proposition. falsehood must also be established by the uncovering of the picture itself. etc. The uncovering that establishes the proposition to be false is precisely the uncovering as the truth of the matter. or rather non-correspondence. is always at the same time an uncovering. Verstellen. as dissimulation. in the case of the false proposition. rather than simply in terms of uncovering. but as this uncovering it is dissimulated insofar as the being that it is towards is proposed differently from its genuine unconcealment. that is. In this 214 . a non-correspondence of two beings of the mode of being of Vorhandenheit. Verborgenheit. the falsehood of the false proposition does not consist in the comparison of two presentations of the entity. then it is not difficult to see here that the falsehood of the proposition also consists in uncovering: in order that the person can turn around and establish that her proposition is false. but rather in the dissimulation or en-covering within its uncovering function. Entwurzelung.. The false proposition. if one remembers that the angle at which Heidegger attempts to enter the problematic of truth. Verschlossenheit. just as much as the true. Now. a concealing function. The essential point is that uncovering–encovering belong together. Establishment concerns uncovering as truth. falsehood can only stand in an opposition to truth as disclosure because both are determined fundamentally as uncovering. Indeed. But this would indicate a misunderstanding of the normative asymmetry proper to the structure of truth and falsehood.

It should also not be forgotten that equally fundamental to the movement overcoming metaphysics is the claim that propositional falsehood is only one mode of what Heidegger calls untruth. of course. and it is on the basis of the primordial absence of the 215 . Verfallen thus denotes the congealing of the temporal horizon. this does not ground any ambiguity since truth as that which makes both truth and falsehood possible is not something additional to the determination of truth and falsehood themselves. But this should not hide the fact that it is precisely insofar as falsehood is taken up into the essence of truth that original truth can be articulated beyond the reach of metaphysical categories. Presence itself is the site of concealment. nevertheless it is made clear in SZ. whilst there is no ontological priority here. first and foremost.16 In the first place it should be noted that. the concealment within unconcealment. The structure of concealment–unconcealment is. Dasein’s being is correlatively determined by the three moments of the structure of Sorge. As we have seen. which blots out above all its own movement of exclusion. if one is allowed to put it this way. unconcealment. the ground of concealment. being configured within the basic ontological structure of temporality. and indeed an ontologically insignificant mode at that. whilst it may not be brought out thematically in §44. In the rest of this paper I shall offer a reading. that Dasein first and foremost understands itself in terms of the static mode of being of the beings constantly present in the world around it. truth as unconcealment. far from comprehensive. Indeed. Verfallen denotes the rigidifying of the temporal dynamic amongst the beings of the world. is the possibility of this structure. that is.TUGENDHAT ON HEIDEGGER’S CONCEPT OF TRUTH case. its existential determination – which is to say it denotes the restriction of disclosure. that all unconcealment is at the same time a concealment. Heidegger’s argument in §44 would then move from a determination of truth as it appears in contrast to falsehood to a determination of that which makes both truth and falsehood possible. as uncovering. Verfallen. of Heidegger’s concept of untruth as it is articulated in SZ. existentiality. Both ‘truths’. in particular in the fourth chapter of the second part (Temporality and Everydayness). are ecstatic uncovering. that which determines the being of Dasein always already. and openness itself initiates closure. an ontological determination of Dasein. care: facticity. One must not forget that unconcealment is always partial – that is what makes history possible. Every unconcealment is at the same time a concealment of all that is not unconcealed. Disclosure is the play of disclosure and closure. concealment is that which holds sway in general. revealing and veiling. it denotes the closure of the essential openness which is the temporal ecstasy. Yet it also designates the existential correlative of the temporal ecstasy of the present. Structured according to the three temporal ecstasies. It therefore functions as the existential or ontological ground of the untruth proper to the essence of truth. disclosure.

by the obverse argument. misunderstanding. For Heidegger. accords. of all other modes of error: ‘Jedes Verhalten hat gemäß seiner Offenständigkeit und seinem Bezug zum Seienden im Ganzen je seine Weise des Irrens. as Heidegger makes clearer in Vom Wesen der Wahrheit. we shall consider the existential of Verfallen in more detail. to be grasped as one of two basic modes of temporality. in terms of an original ecstatic being of Dasein.’17 Error is here to be understood as the ontological or existential ground of all ontic or existentiell erring in general. articulated units. as the mode in which ontological truth functions as the basis of projection. all ontic or existentiell understanding. the future is awaited and the past forgotten in an enmeshment within a nonecstatic present. presupposes an understanding of existential possibility. Verfallen is the formal possibility of error. On the other hand. This coming into coincidence is the clearing away of the dissimulations of inauthenticity. etc. Correlative with the structure of care with Verfallen as its pivot. original temporality dissimulates itself through the ecstasy of the present. It is the mode in which the structure of care coincides. to misrepresentation. the opening of the clearing for truth. Der Irrtum erstreckt sich vom gewöhnlichsten Sich-vertun. Inauthenticity is. falsehood. despite being the all-pervasive mode of temporality. is the ground of the possibility that ontic understanding is first of all not subject to the dissimulations and concealments of error.INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES ecstatic future that the unconcealment or disclosure of projective understanding is first possible. Uneigentlichkeit is essentially connected with untruth. Only thus is understanding projective. Being the breakdown of the dynamic whole into discrete. The possibility of error is grounded in the constitution of the being of Dasein as Verfallen. as it were. but also. existence. Inauthenticity therefore names the ontological error by which the being of Dasein. The former mode of being is given the terminus inauthenticity precisely because it covers over. all understanding of inner-worldly beings. which differs markedly from the accounts of many commentators. is dissimulated. inauthenticity is only determinable. Being is dissimulated from the bottom up. In this temporal modality. of which the false proposition is only a relatively insignificant instance. Sich-versehen und Sichverrechnen bis zum Sich-verlaufen und Sich-versteigen in den wesentlichen Haltungen und Entscheidungen. or even corresponds with the self-temporalization of temporality as such. the being of Dasein. authenticity. in which Dasein’s being is disclosed to itself on the dreadful horizon of death. Grounded in the revelatory 216 . that is. In order to defend this reading. for its part. as the mode of temporality in which the truth of Dasein’s being as such is disclosed. conceals. Verfallen is therefore the ground of false propositions. indeed as its all-pervasive mode. the ontological error that makes ontic understanding inevitably prone to error. through the understanding of being as presence (Anwesenheit). of the being of Dasein. Verfallen is to be understood in terms of the inauthenticity of Dasein.

their original disclosure. which is held to be constitutive of disclosure. let it not be forgotten. which develop the preceding analyses of the being-in constitutive of being-in-the-world: das Gerede (chatter). through the dissimulative function of its ontological-structural moment of Verfallen – and therefore. Nothing. Together. Das Man remains in the world. in terms of three interrelated concepts. no inceptive relationship with inner-worldly beings is fashioned. Nothing. For Dasein is not in a position to care genuinely about its inner-worldly being – and thus allows the existentiality of das Man to take over and determine it. nothing is essentially decided. is really or genuinely encountered at all. chatter. and hence inauthenticity. a concealment. of das Man predominate and close off a genuine and original. of the project in general. the possibility of original or inceptive disclosure. nothing is determinate. Rede (speech or talk). expressions. only it never generates an 217 . Taken together. is definitive. and has answered all significant questions. On the other hand. Heidegger analyses the existential of Verfallen. and indeed that authenticity is not at all a distinct mode of being. curiosity and chatter determine the ambiguity of the disclosure of Dasein in the mode of being of inauthenticity. The task of these concepts is to capture the existential and existentiell consequences of the ‘transformation’ (the quotation marks indicating here. but is rather itself a modified mode of inauthenticity) of the original disclosure of Dasein. a dissimulation. authenticity makes genuine unconcealment first possible. no experience. Inner-worldly being as such is dissimulated. On the other hand. it is not difficult to see the essential connection of Verfallen with untruth. On the one hand. within the clearing of disclosure. In general. of course. in which the sayings. in the case of curiosity. is shut down and Dasein considers them or is interested in them just insofar as they suggest novelty – a flattening out and up-rooting of existential interest. has already made all the important decisions. which denotes the inauthentic encounter of Dasein with inner-worldly beings presented to or for it. etc. die Neugier (curiosity). the lines or contours of existential activity are blurred so that nothing really matters. and. die Zweideutigkeit (ambiguity). an inceptual relationship to that about which one speaks. nothing is really grounded. for example. the possibility of a genuine relationship to things. has understood everything already. as a function of its intercourse with other Daseins – into a closure. this characteristic is itself concealed by the predominating opinion that das Man knows everything already. in fact Dasein is always already in the mode of being of inauthenticity. or better.TUGENDHAT ON HEIDEGGER’S CONCEPT OF TRUTH projection of being as such. vocabulary. the movement of Verfallen can be understood to imply two basic ontic characteristics for disclosure. the proper understanding of beings. that despite the analytical exigency of speaking of an ontological transformation. flattens out into Gerede. is cut off by the predomination of the opinions and the chatter of das Man. indeed. therefore. to language itself.

How can it if the original being-towards-death of Dasein. one ontological. from the dreadful disclosure of Dasein’s genuine ontological constitution. put as baldly as this. It may pertinently but briefly be recalled at this stage that Tugendhat had claimed the necessity of Heidegger’s concept of truth being congruous with the traditional conception in order that it count as a concept of truth at all. 218 . and if he wishes to uphold the concept of truth as such. it must be remembered that the covering-up function of Verfallen just is a self-concealment. Nevertheless. constitutive of the being of Dasein. rather than simply presuppose. one may note that insofar as this traditional concept is grounded in the mode of being of Verfallen. ‘Diese Verdeckungstendenz ist von der Möglichkeit des Sichverschließens klar unterschieden. Every process of concealment bears the same ontological determination. Heidegger’s argument appears circular. namely. given that truth belongs to the being of Dasein. of being.’18 But this claim stands in immediate contradiction with his critique of Heidegger’s concept of truth. it can be pointed out that the concealing function of closure and covering-up is the same in each instance. If Tugendhat claims that truth cannot be so conceived. Every characteristic of Dasein is only to be understood in terms of a concealing–revealing function.INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES authentic. is shut off? Inner-worldly beings in general are dissimulated. grounded being-towards anything. since only the genuine understanding of existence can ground something like the care by which the experience of inner-worldly beings can be brought to genuine unconcealment. the genuine understanding of possibility. Tugendhat shares my conviction that Verfallen is in the first place to be understood purely formally: ‘Das “Verfallen” soll aber nicht eine bestimmte konkrete Tendenz des Daseins sein. then he thereby rejects not only Heidegger’s concept of truth. is the formal condition of covering-up in general. it will be essentially grounded in untruth. Tugendhat distinguishes Verfallen as Verdeckungstendenz from Dasein’s possibility of Sichverschließen. sondern steht lediglich für die formale Struktur der Verdeckungstendenz überhaupt. itself the possibility of disclosure. one ontic. Without entering into the details of Heidegger’s derivation of the traditional concept of truth from truth as disclosure. It is precisely in terms of a closure of the original dis-closure of existence that Dasein flees to the familiarity of a mode of being in which the truth of its comportment is not put into question. but nevertheless this consideration at least throws into relief the requirement that Tugendhat argue for.’19 In the first place. Of course. If Verfallen. but also the existential analysis in its entirety. Again we have two different applications of the same basic concept. this basic premise of his discussion. his account of Heidegger’s concept of Verfallen demonstrates the same misunderstanding as his account of Heidegger’s concept of truth. parallel to the case of disclosure. Further. then concealment–unconcealment must configure the structure of truth. The two are correlative. a closing oneself off.

Untruth in its various forms thus remains a permanent possibility of its being. Heidegger’s illustration in §44 does not necessarily thematize an authentic Dasein’s utterance. Surely. Indeed. But only a genuine relation to beings grounded in a revelatory relation to being as such. is socially inept. inauthenticity and authenticity are not at all factically mutually exclusive. etc. if there is to be an existential analysis at all. whilst the inauthentic person. Indeed.TUGENDHAT ON HEIDEGGER’S CONCEPT OF TRUTH One may object that this categorical homology of truth and authenticity. just as truth never fully emerges into the clearing within the darkness of concealment. authenticity as resoluteness. despite the dissimulation of beings in the world. Nevertheless. one thinks. to her society and company. is precisely the one who ‘succeeds’. as it were. it conceals its own being and thus existential possibility as such. even – within a dynamic whole. This enterprise must remain faithful to the phenomenology. in general: the avoidance of error. it is important to remember that Dasein is a structure. the structural possibility of disclosure – temporality – and that the various analyses of SZ are structural analyses or analyses of structural possibilities of the being of Dasein. in accordance with its structural constitution. for which truth cannot remain merely something fortuitous. untruth and inauthenticity. since there we have to do with a formal grounding of the possibility of truth. Verfallen may not appear wholly congruous with the apparent facts whilst retaining fundamental ontological explanatory value. Dasein is always inauthentic. the proper use of one’s time. if 219 . Similarly. possibility of untruth. she who is continually adapting herself to the exigencies of circumstance. it can be pointed out that this does not preclude inauthentic Dasein from. is contrived and too formal. remembering. the correctness of one’s decisions. Of course inauthentic Dasein is capable of uttering true propositions. etc. This would not conflict with the analysis. uttering true propositions fortuitously. The analysis of Verfallen attempted to show that inauthentic Dasein is cut off from an original and thus genuine relation to beings insofar as.21 Conceived as the structural. is it not plausible to imagine that authentic Dasein is capable of making mistakes of one kind or another. itself a mode of inauthenticity.. typically perhaps the person whom we should like to call authentic is quite hopeless at making her way in the world – she falls down wells.. Nevertheless. to be disingenuous and dishonest. and at the same time. As we have already noted. authenticity is only a modification. and that means formal.20 Such criticisms ought not to be simply dismissed as irrelevant to the fundamental ontological enterprise. and therefore of erring? Even resolute authentic Dasein does not have complete control over its corporeality and is subject to the basic finitude of existence. who is always willing to deceive. and cannot possibly do justice to the multifarious phenomena of daily life. They are structural possibilities – abstractions. fails in the economic system.22 could guarantee the truth of one’s utterances. inauthentic Dasein is capable at least of uttering true propositions.

who has already decided what is important and what is not. as a mode of inauthenticity. only an essential normative asymmetry. then truth must be able to be guaranteed. As regards the existential ineptitude of authentic Dasein. and fixed contradistinction to its opposite. except where otherwise indicated. even if. falsehood. 1994).’ 220 . Germany Notes 1 2nd ed (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter. Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg. post-metaphysical critique of Heidegger’s concept of truth would first be available. which we must go through first. isolated. it will always remain a partiality. no longer is truth conceived solely in essential static. 345: ‘The question concerning truth … is for us the prior question. Withdrawal (Entzug) is the essence (Wesen) of being as presence. 2nd edn (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann. Gesamtausgabe Bd 65. Conceived in this way. Untruth can only be judged. The normativity of truth would tolerate no arbitrariness. Conceived as formal conditions of possibility of truth and untruth.’ All English translations in this paper are my own. And insofar as authenticity. 1970). the horizon of the question of truth is no longer metaphysical – no longer are the categories of objective presence determinative. properly speaking. and for whom the projection of authentic Dasein may be unintelligible. 331: ‘That a concept of truth accords with propositional truth is the minimum condition it must fulfil in order to count as a concept of truth at all. Authenticity and inauthenticity are permanent structural possibilities of its temporal being. p. which grounds understanding at the ontological level. The formal possibility that is the guarantee of truth is the creation of original ontic relationships through the fundamental ontological relationship that is the determination of authentic Dasein. The fundamental flaw in Tugendhat’s critique is first of all his refusal to take the decisive step onto that horizon where the possibility of a fundamentalontological. is a permanent possibility of Dasein. whether or not this guarantee is hermeneutically conditioned. the thinking of being. Only authentic Dasein can. this would concern the inauthentic judgement of das Man. is to be possible. 2 Beiträge zur Philosophie. from the perspective of the disclosure of being as such. who has already decreed the criteria of success. There is no ontological primacy within the structure of truth. and unconcealment is always an overcoming of a prior concealment. 3 WHH. p. it is no argument against the analysis of the being of Dasein in terms of authenticity and inauthenticity that Dasein is always capable of standing within truth or within error. Concealment is only possible on the basis of unconcealment. as it were. as we noted above. Dasein never has the whole truth. truth is also its permanent possibility.INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES philosophy in general. be certain. in the last place. no hierarchy.

that is. consequently. §39. J. the structure of projective understanding. The determination of something as something requires primordially. Heidegger distinguishes two nomenclatorial meanings of Als: the existential-hermeneutic. Prior to §44. See Vol. p. a notion decisive for both the Husserlian and the neo-Kantian theorizations of truth. The explicitation of understanding through speech is clearly structurally homologous. 5 ‘The being intended itself shows itself as it is in itself. that which is uncovered and disclosed stands in the mode of dissimulation and closure. Findlay). precisely this distinction [between an immediate and. p. however. p.TUGENDHAT ON HEIDEGGER’S CONCEPT OF TRUTH 4 For the Husserl of the Logische Untersuchungen truth is ‘the ideal adequation of a relational act to the corresponding adequate percept of a state of affairs’ (trans. 220: ‘Disclosure is. Heidegger has given his well-known analysis of what he calls the Als-Struktur. p. that it is in sameness just as it is indicated to be in the proposition. Language is to be conceived existentially. nevertheless it is clearly of relevance to the determination of propositional truth in terms of a wie.’ 12 SZ. Being towards beings is not extinguished but is uprooted. they show themselves – but in the mode of apparentness. 222: ‘Through chatter. as it were. At the same time. The as that accords with any uttered proposition is thus relative to the given understanding or interpretative projection as part of which the proposition is uttered.’ 6 WHH. in virtue of which it is its “there”. 335: ‘It is. be understood as an attempt to retain the essential connection between truth and universal validity. or in general the absolute adequation that obtains in the unity of coincidence between the epistemic essences of an intention and a fully given state of affairs or object. which concerns the determination of the propositioned being in the mode of being of Vorhandenheit. no meaning in-itself.’ 8 There are two German words that can be translated with the English ‘as’: als and wie. that which was previously uncovered sinks back again into dissimulation and concealment. rather they are precisely uncovered. p.’ 10 WHH. 218: ‘The proposition is true means: it uncovers the being in itself. however. the basic character of Dasein. which is primordial and concerns the projection of interpretation onto the determining horizon of world. p. Whilst Heidegger does not incorporate this figure once more into the explicit argument of §44. which is found in the context of discussions of interpretation and the proposition. 9 SZ. 218: ‘The being-true (truth) of the proposition must be understood as being-uncovering.’ 221 . This means that the determination of any proposition is relative to an existential scheme. ostensible givenness … and the thing itself] in terms of which the word “truth” first receives a meaning at all.’ 11 SZ. and the apophantic. Beings are not fully concealed.’ 13 SZ. Although this is not the primary focus of Tugendhat’s critique. N. II. The discussion of propositional truth in §44 obviously has in the first place to do with the latter. uncovers. Tugendhat’s insistence on the concept of truth maintaining reference to an ‘as it is in-itself’ can. which in turn precludes propositional truth from being thematized in terms of universal validity. The as-structure can be seen to deprive all determination of any intrinsic character: there is no determination. it is nevertheless of relevance to it. but they are at the same time dissimulated.’ 7 SZ. the being as it is in itself. p. 332: ‘The proposition is true if it indicates. 220: ‘The uncoveredness of inner-worldly beings is grounded in the disclosure of world. for Heidegger. derivative of the latter. curiosity and ambiguity. that is. outside all existential reference.

16 Although at this point. it did not mean. Ti Kata Tinos (Freiburg im Breisgau: K. 9)). Heidegger considers the origin of the metaphysical understanding of being – being as presence. an un-concealment that includes or incorporates the moment of concealment. ‘that’ which is true. specifically of Plato and Aristotle and their particular doctrines of being and truth. in which being as such is newly cast as presence before or for apprehension or perception.INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF PHILOSOPHICAL STUDIES 14 WHH. at least in a certain sense. before Plato. but at the time Tugendhat was writing his dissertation the claim was generally held to be a key thesis of Heidegger’s philosophy of the history of being. Heidegger later came. according to a relatively early essay of Heidegger’s. On the other hand. meant. Tugendhat. in Plato’s philosophy. and thus it is not. Plato’s doctrine of forms. that truth’s determination was essentially modified. as per Heidegger’s early contention. It is not that the moment of concealment was driven out of the concept of truth by Plato’s doctrine of forms. Our task in this paper is restricted to Tugendhat’s critique of Heidegger’s own concept of truth. It is not difficult to imagine that the determination of being as presence – for the Greeks. and therefore differences in the reception of Greek philosophy are not immediately relevant to our discussion. literally conceived. He points out that the Greek word that we translate with ‘truth’. aletheia. but unconcealment that excludes from itself all concealment. to retract this consideration of a change in what he termed the essence of truth. for example. The logical problems of non-referring terms are well known. un-concealment. precisely in and through its unconcealment. simple revealedness (schlechthinniges Enthülltsein (p. phusis – and the determination of truth as unconcealment are conceptually implicatory – being is. to some extent at least. after all. Nevertheless. gives both the pre-Platonic concept of truth and the Platonic concept of truth a different determination and thereby contests Heidegger’s thesis concerning an essential change.’ 15 It can be no argument against this thesis that the objects of false propositions often are not. took place. but rather simply amounts to a precise determination of it. however. the motivation and precedent behind the critique issued here by Tugendhat. he himself outlines a new logic of absence. 1958)) had taken issue with Heidegger’s interpretations of Greek philosophy. from aletheia. does not initiate a change in this conception of aletheia. and cannot accept that 222 . Alber. and I should only add that insofar as Heidegger’s most basic philosophical categories are presence and absence (Anwesenheit and Abwesenheit). to the metaphysical conception – which goes hand in hand with a change in the way being is understood. or unconcealment. an oblivion. that has left all concealment behind itself. As is well known. meant unconcealment. of non-being. since that can also be true of true propositions: ‘The holy Roman Empire no longer exists’. to correctness – that is. For Tugendhat. The change in the conception of truth. p. it is significant to note that here the charge against Heidegger takes a similar form: Tugendhat wants to drive a radical wedge between truth and falsity. Earlier work of his (in particular his doctoral dissertation. 336: ‘What could have induced Heidegger to use the word “truth” in this case? Perhaps that disclosure “grounds” truth? And that even justifies its being understood as “original truth”? But then with the same justification one could also refer to it as original falsehood. and not simply correctness. aletheia. with the pre-Socratics. Being as presence for perception again implicates truth as simple unconcealment – and subsequently as the correctness of the perception. it might be considered fair to pause in order to contextualize. of the nothing. that carries with it. as for Heidegger. Anwesenheit – to lie at the very beginning of philosophy.

to unbind. is essentially the same. miscalculating. appearance. But here it again becomes clear to what extent Tugendhat remains within a metaphysical conceptuality. namely. On the one hand. On the other hand. mere seeming. past participle of resolvere. 314: ‘This tendency for covering up is to be sharply distinguished from the possibility of self-closure. in fact. that which is super-sensuous. meaning originally Aufschließen. 197: ‘All comportment has its own manner of erring. it must. their respective understandings of regret or failure will be incommensurable. Or simply: Dasein is the structural possibility of disclosure. always be re-emphasized that Dasein is not simply a synonym for ‘human’. p.’ WHH. making mistakes. For Heidegger. for Tugendhat. Dasein is best perhaps understood as the structure which determines the essence of the human to be disclosure of being. failure is only to be determined within the configuration of an existential projection. it seems. it is precisely this ambiguity. but rather stands simply for the formal structure of the tendency for covering up as such.’ Of course. open. in general. 223 . Error extends from the most ordinary wasting of time. be a particular concrete tendency of Dasein. to unlock. The etymology of Entschlossenheit. in contrast. His most basic diagnosis of Heidegger’s deception also occurs in his dissertation. 326: ‘“Verfallen” should not. to going astray and venturing too far in essential attitudes and decisions. the characterization of being as presence has the virtue of capturing both of these determinations. it is true that presence corresponds to that which all metaphysical theory understood as being in its authentic sense – the intelligibility of the intelligible. loosen. Wegmarken. or the forgetting of this distinction. it also corresponds to that which metaphysical theory considered to be precisely not being in its authentic sense. The characterization of the metaphysical understanding of being as presence (Anwesenheit) contains a vital ambiguity. Insofar as authenticity and inauthenticity determine essentially different projective horizons of possibility. From Latin resolutus.’ WHH. It is only possible to regret something that is incongruous with some current project. which distorts Heidegger’s conception of truth. Thus.TUGENDHAT ON HEIDEGGER’S CONCEPT OF TRUTH 17 18 19 20 21 22 truth and untruth are inseparable. 1996). however. 3rd edn (Frankfurt am Main: Vittorio Klostermann. p. according to its openness and its relation to beings as a whole. The phenomenon of regret is particularly illustrative. p. the phenomenal.

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