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John Harvey
Duquesne University

600 Forbes Avenue

Pittsburgh, PA 15282


Abstract: I examine Heidegger’s attempt in Being and Time to overcome the endemic Western
split between subject and object and conclude, following an examination of passages including
¶7. A. and ¶44 (b) (4), that it fails, even this radical work succumbing to the need for humans to
distinguish their experience from what is “out there.” The posit of the Objective, though cast into
doubt repeatedly by skeptics of varying metaphysical preferences, has proven impossible to
shake off. We can understand this objective imperative not by way of traditional epistemology
but through pragmatism, suggested by Heidegger in such passages as § 43 (b).


Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time acquires its sense of destiny from its role as a response to a

modern amnesia, the forgetfulness of Being. Though Heidegger would likely repudiate the

comparison, he offers what I might call a psychoanalytic diagnosis of this malady in An

Introduction to Metaphysics ([1935] 1959): “forgetfulness of being, which itself falls into

forgetfulness, is the unknown but enduring impetus to metaphysical questioning” (p. 19). This is

precisely the Freudian model of repressed psychic material as the cause of conscious

phenomena.1 Being and Time aims to resurrect the question concerning dem Sinn von Sein (Sein

und Zeit [hereafter S u. Z] H. 1). This phrase is usually translated “the meaning of Being,” but an

alternative which is attractive for various reasons is the rendering “sense of Being” employed,

for example, by Herbert Spigelberg.

Beginning with Sein und Zeit, it becomes apparent, though only gradually and indirectly, that
"sense of Being" ("Sinn von Sein") means something much more specific. For here "sense" is
characterized mainly as the final end (das Woraufhin) which makes a thing intelligible ([Sein und
Zeit] p. 151). (Spigelberg 2001, 285)

Certainly, Sinn sometimes means “meaning” in Being and Time, as in “Sinn is that wherein the

intelligibility [Verständlichkeit] of something maintains itself” (H. 151; Heidegger 1962). But at

other points other senses of ‘sense’ are relevant, as in “Sinn is the ‘upon-which’ of a projection

in terms of which something becomes intelligible as something; it gets its structure from a fore-

having, a fore-sight, and a fore-conception” (H. 151; Heidegger 1962; italics in original

German). Here the emphasis on the ‘dimension’ (as Heidegger confusingly calls it2) of the future

brings out the connotation of ‘sense’ as direction or orientation.


The problem

Heidegger’s 1927 masterpiece attracted attention partly because it seemed to be a

landmark attempt to overcome the split between subject and object that is endemic in Western

philosophy but which has come to be especially associated with the name of Descartes. Walter

Kaufmann paraphrased Heidegger’s admirers as saying “that he is the great anti-Cartesian who

has overcome the fatal bifurcation of matter and mind” (1956, 35). Joan Stambaugh has referred

to “The initial attempt in Being and Time to overcome the subject-object split” (Stambaugh

1995, 209). It is notorious that once one has created a gulf between mind and world, it becomes

epistemologically impossible to get the two back together again, that is, to attain certain

knowledge of what is “out there.” Thus opens an abyss leading to skepticism, relativism,

subjectivism, solipsism.

The view that a major part of the significance of Being and Time is its overcoming of the

subject-object split was inspired by the explicit promise of the work itself. Heidegger introduces

the problem at H. 59 by noting that though the “subject-Object-relationship” (which Heidegger

himself places in quotes) seems obvious, the presupposition of it is fatal (verhängnisvolle) “if its

ontological necessity and especially its ontological meaning [Sinn] are to be left in the dark”

(Heidegger 1962).

But although in many passages Heidegger steadfastly refuses to identify his distinctions

with the subject-object split, a case can be made that Being and Time, for all its brilliance, fails to

close the famous gap. In certain key passages related to Schein (semblance, illusion), Heidegger

makes a distinction equivalent to positing an object “out there.” In what follows, I shall support

the above thesis with a comparison of Heidegger’s writings with relevant points from earlier

thinkers, intending to position Heidegger’s project within Western thought’s ultimately

unavoidable wrestling match with the Object.

The role of time

It might be useful to begin with a sketch of Heidegger’s conception of the structure of

Dasein (Heidegger’s term for human being, Being and Time [hereafter BT] H. 11). Two of the

major themes of Heidegger’s chief work are time and disclosure. We have not understood these

themes until we see their intimate involvement: For Heidegger, primordial time is exactly the

disclosure of things out of the future, for the future is the source of things as they emanate

(literally “flow out”) into disclosedness. The Heidegger critic Thomas Sheehan identified

disclosure as “the temporal occurrence of being” (Sheehan 1999). Heidegger himself tells us, “the

present ‘arises’ [entspringt] from or is held by a future that has-been [gewesenden]” (H. 350;

Heidegger 1996). In this connection, we must distinguish temporality [Zeitlichkeit] from

Temporality [Temporalität]. 3 Here is Heidegger’s definition of temporality: “Having-been

arises from the future in such a way that the future that has-been (or better, is in the process of

having-been [gewesende]) releases the present from itself. We call this unified phenomenon of

the future that makes present in the process of having-been temporality” (B T H. 326; Heidegger

1996, translation modified). Further, Heidegger tells us that Temporality “means temporality

insofar as temporality itself is made into a theme as the condition of the possibility of the

understanding of being and of ontology as such” (Basic Problems of Phenomenology Part 2,

chapter 1; Heidegger 1982, 228).

Heidegger seems sometimes to express himself as eloquently with hyphens as with the

characters of the Roman alphabet. His most insistently repeated advertisement of his rejection of

the subject-object split is his famous neologism, In-der-Welt-sein (Being-in-the-world). The


hyphens here tell us that the world is not to be considered an extra, optional, contingent addition

to the subject, but rather a moment (constituent) of the manner of being that humans possess (BT

H. 12). Dasein is not a static thing, it is a project, es je sein Sein als seiniges zu sein hat (BT H.

12), “in each case it has its Being to be, and has it as its own” (Heidegger 1962). A further

indication of Heidegger’s teleology (to resort to the kind of terminology that Heidegger shuns) is

the privileged position he gives to the future among the dimensions of time. His idiosyncratic

ordering of reference “future, past, and present” (see, e.g., note 2 to this paper) is not of course

haphazard but reflects priority in a special sense: “Only in so far as it is futural can Dasein be

authentically as having been. The character of ‘having been’ arises, in a certain way, from the

future” (BT H. 326; Heidegger 1962).

Phenomenon, semblance, appearance

In Section 7 of Being and Time Heidegger prepares the ground for his chosen method of

investigation with an analysis in his characteristic etymological style of the word

phenomenology, which he of course divides into faino&menon and lo&goj . The

phenomenon in its primordial reference (ursprünglichen Bedeutung, H. 29) is “that which shows

itself in itself.” Derived from this, in Heidegger’s ontology, are two related terms.

1. Semblance (Schein) occurs when an entity “looks like something or other”

(“sieht”…“so aus wie…,” H. 28-29; Heidegger 1962, 51). This semblance includes the case of

an entity showing itself as something that the entity is not, which I shall examine in a moment.

2. Appearance (Erscheinung) is a more complex case. “What appears does not show

itself” (H. 29); rather “Appearing is an announcing-itself [das Sich-melden] through something

that shows itself,” as when a disease is indicated through symptoms. 4


It is within this framework that Heidegger shows that, for all his promise of overcoming

the subject-object split, he in effect believes in external objects. At H. 28 we have “Indeed it is

even possible for an entity [Seiendes] to show itself as something which in itself [an ihm selbst]

it is not.” The phrase an ihm selbst even reminds us of (though it is not identical to) Kant’s Ding

an sich, which created such grief for the next generation of idealists that they felt themselves

obligated to banish it (though some retained the phrase with an ideal meaning). I cannot

meaningfully construe this possibility of a thing appearing as what it is not without employing

(at least implicitly) the distinction between appearance and object. This distinction violates

Husserl’s phenomenology with its e0poxh& or deliberate bracketing of the existence of the

external world; though we cannot say that it violates Heidegger’s conception of phenomenology,

since it occurs in the midst of his exposition of it. 5 I shall return later to further evaluation of

Heidegger’s use of the notion of semblance.

An analytical philosopher might assume that we must believe in external objects before

we can conceive any desires about them. However, this betrays an intellectualist conception of

human life to overthrow which is precisely one of Heidegger’s aims. Dasein is already involved

in projects before there can be any question of consciously conceiving the ends of these projects,

for “Dasein … is nothing but … concerned absorption in the world” (Heidegger 1985, 197).

Heidegger has thoroughly absorbed the reliance on intentionality that he received from Husserl

and that can be traced back though Brentano to the scholastics.

The problem of error


I turn now to the problem of belief, true and especially false belief, because one of the

chief uses of the notion of objective reality has always been as a normative basis for the

assignment of truth-values to statements.

Accounting for error has always been a challenge in epistemology. Some philosophers

work so hard to guarantee that our beliefs about the world are true that they leave one wondering

how we could ever be wrong. Aristotle handles the problem of the origin of error with a simple

distinction. “Regarding the nature of truth, we must maintain that not everything which appears

is true; firstly, because even if sensation — at least of the object peculiar to the sense in question

— is not false, still appearance [h( fantasi/a] is not the same as sensation” (Metaph. 1010 b;

Aristotle 1952, trans. W. D. Ross). He explains to us the relationship between sensation and

fantasi/a by saying that the latter is a movement coming about by an activity of sensation (De

An. 429 a 1-2). Therefore there is room for many a slip between the cup of sensation and the lip

of fantasi/a.

Modernity is characterized by the gulf between consciousness and reality, which provides

a yet ranker possibility of error and delusion. It has been alleged that there was no philosophical

problem of consciousness until Descartes. 6 The Greek word sunei/dhsij has been translated

“consciousness” but seems in Plato and Aristotle mostly to mean rather “conscience.” If

consciousness is thematized only in the 17th century, then we see that there should accordingly

be no radical problem of connecting the subject with the object until that time, and therefore no

serious problem as to whether the external world exists. We should remember in this connection

that Plato did not assert that the world of becoming was unreal, but rather that it was like a

shadow relative to the forms; but shadows have their own being, as anyone searching for a good

parking place on a hot summer day may be aware. 7


Descartes’ Discourse on Method leads the first-time reader on a captivating adventure of

the mind, as we enter a state of unprecedentedly inclusive doubt, finding ourselves utterly at sea,

then grasping on to the Cogito and beginning the long struggle again to touch bottom

epistemologically. The student may wonder as we pause in the pit of doubt: How are we ever

going to get out of this? – But further, even when Descartes has established his existence it is by

no means obvious how he will escape solipsism. Now, there are to this day many philosophers

who accept the inference (if such it is 8 ) of the Cogito as valid; but the subsequent turn that the

argument takes, from Descartes’ version of the ontological argument to God’s goodness

guaranteeing the existence of the external world, has struck many readers as multifariously

dubious. Why this resort to questionable reasoning, and why has this episode not prevented

Descartes from being one of the most influential philosophers of the modern period? Because, of

course, both Descartes and his readers must have the world, and neither is very scrupulous as to

how it is obtained. I shall return to the examination of our compulsion to believe in the world.

The problem of error has always haunted phenomenology. Husserl proposed

phenomenology as “a purely descriptive theory of the essence of the immanent formations of

consciousness” (Ideen I § 60). If we restrict our attention to the formations of consciousness – a

move designed expressly to keep the foundation of Wissenschaft free from the possibility of

falsehood that may creep into empirical science, be the scientist ever so scrupulous – it is hard to

see how error could ever occur. Error, in a traditional account that Heidegger explicitly rejects, is

seen as the failure of the judgment to conform to the thing, since truth on this account is a

correspondence between intellect and thing, adaequatio intellectus et rei (see Aquinas, De

veritate, q. 1, a. 1 co.9 ). Without this traditional account, in what sense can phenomena

(including the phenomenon of speech) ever be wrong? Yet, pragmatically, is anyone seriously

prepared to accept a view of world and word in which no statement is ever erroneous? Certainly

none of us conducts our life this way, but rather, if a question is important, we want to get

accurate information and try to avoid misinformation. Heidegger does indeed have a place in his

world (let us not say Weltanschauung 10

) for error, but he must construe it in his own way.

“Because the truth of metaphysics dwells in this groundless ground it stands in closest proximity

to the constantly lurking possibility of deepest error” (Heidegger [1929] 1993, 109-110). Denis

McManus found that for Heidegger “Error arises not at the level of some sort of ‘bare

perception’ but at that of interpretation” (McManus 1996, 562). McManus supported his view

with Heidegger’s statement that something “takes over the possibility of covering up” when it

“no longer takes the form of just letting something be seen, but is always harking back to

something else to which it points, so that it lets something be seen as something” (B T H. 34;

Heidegger 1962). Here we must recall Heidegger’s definition of interpretation to see the intimate

connection between interpretation and the “as”: “The ‘as’ makes up the structure of the

explicitness of something that is understood. It constitutes the interpretation” (B T H. 149;

Heidegger 1962).11

Error is not a mere mistake (whatever that would mean) but is a kind of avoidance, akin

to forgetfulness of Being. The human being’s “flight from the mystery toward what is readily

available, onward from one current thing to the next, passing the mystery by – this is erring”

(Heidegger [1961] 1993, 133). This sounds like an account of the hazards of the spiritual path,

and therefore some philosophers might suppose that it has nothing to do with error in the

epistemological sense. But Heidegger, of course, does not analyze the world in the way that

Carnap did. For Heidegger incorrectness of judgments is only the most superficial mode of error

(Heidegger [1961] 1993, 133-134). He seems to be implying that the error of fleeing mystery

lays the groundwork for all erring, even miscalculation (133). 12 A parallel in Christian thought

would be the doctrine that human error in all its dimensions derives ultimately from our

fundamental rebellion against God. 13

Semblance and truth

I may now return to the problem posed earlier concerning semblance in Heidegger.

Though Heidegger takes “that which shows itself in itself” as the primary meaning of

phenomenon, he does not abandon the use of semblance in the development of his own

philosophy, employing it, for example, in the exposition of falling at H. 222. 14 Heidegger states

that semblance is dependent upon phenomenon, since we must have the notion of something

showing itself before we can think of it as showing itself deceptively. However, he does not

mention that (deceptive) semblance is also dependent on the existence of objects independent of

us, since a showing cannot be deceptive unless it fails to correspond (that despised word) to the

real object. This last locution is of the kind that Heidegger and other phenomenologists try to

avoid, but this is my point: anyone living a human life makes assumptions (true or false) about

external objects,15 assumptions that phenomenologists, as human beings, cannot do without, but

only (in their professional lives) remain silent about.

Heidegger refers to “the procedure (still customary today) of setting up knowing as a

‘relation between subject and Object’ – a procedure in which there lurks as much ‘truth’ as

vacuity. But subject and Object do not coincide with Dasein and the world” (H. 60). He realizes

that one may not unify the world by starting conceptually with subject and object and then

declaring them interdependent, for this is trying to build truth on an old faulty ontology. He

concedes that we may maintain the thesis that “every subject is what it is only for an Object” (cf.

Theaetetus 160 a-b), but the formal approach leaves the correlation and its terms indefinite. To

know what we are talking about, we must derive the subject-object pair on the basis of Being-in-

the-world (H. 208). Nothing less is at stake than the nature of truth itself: “Truth has by no means

the structure of an agreement between knowing and the object [Gegenstand] in the sense of a

likening of one entity (the subject) to another (the Object [Objekt])” (H. 218-219). “The world is

already presupposed in one’s Being alongside the ready-to-hand concernfully and factically, in

one’s thematizing of the present-at-hand, and in one’s discovering of this latter entity by

Objectification; that is to say, all these are possible only as ways of Being-in-the-world” (H. 365-

366; Heidegger 1962, italics in original German).

The Phenomenon and the object

I have said that Heidegger’s statement that a thing may show itself as something that in

itself it is not implicitly posits an external object. It might be said that such an object is

presupposed even by the notion of phenomenon itself, for a philosopher of Descartes’ stripe or of

Locke’s might analyze fai/nesqai into

1. The thing that is shown,

2. The showing, and

3. What it is shown as.

But I wish to be cautious here and to give Heidegger every benefit of the doubt: that is to

say, I do not want to condemn his formulation merely because it differs from the way another

philosopher would present the topic in question. That the rationalist-empiricist tradition wants to

divide the world a certain way does not mean that Heidegger is obliged to do so. He clearly

wants to preserve the showing forth of something as a holistically conceived event. In

Heidegger’s dynamic world, where being and becoming have everything to do with one another,

we need not have first the thing out there and then its appearance as an appended event. In his

interpretation of ancient Greek thought he concludes, “Being means appearing. Appearing is not

something subsequent that sometimes happens to being. Appearing is the very essence of being”

([1935] 1959, 101).

However, by contrast, with the case of an entity showing itself as something that it is not,

we can get no sense out of the notion without the distinction and contrast between the thing and

what it appears as; and in this contrast, the “thing” can be none other than the external object.

This object must be different from the subject, for the false seeming, as false, can only be


The object and the will

Heidegger had a complex relationship to pragmatism. Rorty saw the young Heidegger of

Being and Time as pragmatic, viewing sentences as tools; whereas the older Heidegger “decided

his early pragmatism had been a premature surrender to ‘reason [which], glorified for centuries,

is the most stiff-necked adversary of thought’ ” (Heidegger 1977, 112, quoted at Rorty 1991, 52).

Hubert Dreyfus, crediting Gadamer for the idea, suggests that Heidegger was exposed to

American pragmatism through Emil Lask (Dreyfus 1991, 6). 16 Yet, though Heidegger at one

point was willing to dismiss pragmatism as the “most barren Americanism, according to whose

fundamental principle that is true which succeeds" (quoted in Shalin 1992), the early Heidegger

acknowledged that for him the object is intimately associated with pragmatic concerns, as shown

by his discussion of Reality at B T § 43 (b). It is our will, not our intellect, which convinces us of

the existence of a world beyond our experience, as that world both torments us with frustration

and lures us on with the objects of desire (see Schopenhauer, Welt als Wille u. Vorstellung,

passim). Since for Heidegger the world is essentially temporal and dynamic, truth is not

approached by a process of abstraction in which one transfers one’s belief from immediate

experience to an impersonal world of physical objects; rather, truth is to be revealed (if at all) in

the very midst of the hurly-burly we call human life. Schelling’s acute analysis attempted to

show that it is the restriction of our original freedom that leads us to believe in objects: “what we

behold in the objective world is not anything present outside us, but merely the inner limitation

of our own free activity. Being as such is merely the expression of an impeded freedom”

(Schelling [1800] 1978, 35). Our involvement with the world convinces us of things beyond

ourselves even in their manifestation as (to employ Heidegger’s terms) das Zuhandene, the

useful thing, tool; but even more so in their manifestation as das Vorhandene, the thing no longer

ready-to-hand because it is broken or unavailable: for it is exactly this frustrating character that

marks it as something other than the self.

Western philosophers, who since the time of Plato and Aristotle have been taught that the

speculative (qewrhtiko&j) life is the best, are often less able than ordinary folks to see

important non-rational factors in life. 17 When it has been repeatedly discovered that analysis of

experience in itself is insufficient to prove the existence of the external world, philosophers feel

they have three alternatives: (1) denial of the external world, (2) skepticism or (3) the contriving

of a desperate argument to show that the world is there. These unsatisfactory options could be

honestly avoided by frank admission of the central and essential role of will in life. This

admission would allow us to say, “We believe in objects not because sense perception compels

us to, but because we have desires and aims that involve these objects, desires and aims that lie

closer to our hearts than any theoretical speculation.” It is unfortunate that the inevitable

translation of Worumwillen in Heidegger (see for example BT H. 87), ‘for-the-sake-of-which’,

obscures the reference to Wille, ‘will’.


The pressure of ends

I wish to develop the theme of pragmatism by asking: Why has Berkeley never convinced

anyone? All critics concede his brilliance, and the constant engagement with his ideas on the part

of philosophers since his time is at least implicit acknowledgement of the force of his arguments.

Is there a fatal flaw in his presentations that renders his works unable to gather a following?

More likely, his assumption as to what constitutes an adequate explanation is at odds with what

most Westerners require. Berkeley shows that he cannot find matter in phenomena, but all that

most Westerners require is that the positing of an entity have practical consequences touching on

affairs that interest them. It is enough for us that the assumption that rice, iron and oxygen exist

has consequences for our lives (lives not as passive sequences of experiences but as active

projects). It is pragmatism, not empiricism narrowly construed, that convinces most people that

objects exist.

It is not my contention here that it is useful to call Heidegger a pragmatist in the sense

that one can so call Peirce, James and Dewey. 18 There is too much in Heidegger’s sprawling

oeuvre that would stoutly resist such a classification, such as his discussion of the call of

conscience (see, e.g., BT ¶¶ 56-59) or his repeated insistence on the need for waiting (see

Heidegger 1966, part II, passim). Rather I call attention to pragmatic elements in his thinking in

order to buttress my contention that in Heidegger as elsewhere it is pragmatic rather than

theoretical considerations that argue for a belief in entities in themselves, apart from appearance.

If we turn for further illustration to Heidegger’s beloved Parmenides, we see that he

appears initially to have thrown off not only all concern with empiricism but also all concern

with pragmatism. (Before we dismiss all reference to ancient pragmatism as anachronistic, we


must recall the subtitle to James’ book on pragmatism: A New Name for Some Old Ways of

Thinking.) But after his astonishing exposition of the Way of Truth, which Bertrand Russell

called “a monstrous blow to commonsense” (Russell 1959, 28), Parmenides sets out a radically

different portrait of the world, a portrait that he calls “deceptive” (ἀπατηλὸν, VIII. 52), “the

way of Illusion,” and that can best be understood pragmatically, that is, as the sort of thing we

have to assume in order to get on with our lives. In this section of the poem, he deals with the

opposites that are the necessary components of the world of which we are conscious, contrasting

φλογὸς αἰθέριον (VIII. 56), ethereal flame, with νύκτ΄ ἀδαῆ (VIII. 59), unknowing night,

though according to Parmenides’ strict principles the latter should be impossible, since the

unknowing or unthinking cannot be, τὸ γὰρ αὐτὸ νοεῖν ἐστίν τε καὶ εἶναι (III. 1), “for

to think and to be are the same.” 19 Pragmatism as a justification for objective reality makes itself

felt even before Plato.


Concluding unscientific postscript: The world abides

Idealists since Kant have repeatedly tried to eliminate the inference from phenomena to

things-in-themselves. (Even Russell, who never shook off his early idealism as thoroughly as he

imagined, was still trying to avoid this inference with his maxim of substituting construction out

of known entities for inference to unknown entities.) Why do we believe in a world beyond

phenomena? We feel compelled to. Whence this compulsion? I have named as stimuli our desire

for things and our frustration in wrestling with recalcitrant objects. I conclude by suggesting,

without argument, a further motive for our belief in the objective world. This is a yearning

toward the Other. Without a neutral and objective world, there is no theater in which we can

touch and tangle.


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1. Heidegger discusses the burying-over (Verschüttung) of phenomena also at S u. Z H. 36. (I follow

in this paper Macquarrie & Robinson’s convention of designating the pages of the later German [Niemeyer] editions by the

prefix H.)

2 . I say ‘confusingly’ because time itself is usually considered a dimension, with past, present and

future as, say, regions of that dimension. However, Heidegger’s usage is not ignorant or sloppy,

but reasoned: “time represented as a line and parameter and thus one-dimensional is measured

out in terms of numbers. The dimensionality of time, thought as the succession of the sequence

of nows, is borrowed from the representation of three-dimensional space.

“But prior to all calculation of time and independent of such calculation, what is germane to

the time-space of true time consists in the mutual reaching out and opening up of future, past and

present. Accordingly, what we call dimension and dimensionality in a way easily misconstrued,

belongs to true time and to it alone. Dimensionality consists in a reaching out that opens up, in

which futural approaching brings about what has been, what has been brings about futural

approaching, and the reciprocal relation of both brings about the opening up of openness. Thought

in terms of this threefold giving, true time proves to be three-dimensional. Dimension, we repeat,

is here thought not only as the area of possible measurement, but rather as reaching throughout,

as giving and opening up” (Heidegger [1969] 1972, 14-15). In the view of Ronald Polansky

(personal communication, 2009) , this notion of three-dimensional time is modeled on Aristotle’s

belief in the completeness of the number three as manifested both in the sequence beginning,

middle and end and in the three dimensions of space (see De caelo 268 a).

3. I employ the typographical distinction between temporality and Temporality used by translators

including Macquarrie & Robinson, Albert Hofstadter and Joan Stambaugh.

46. Heidegger proceeds to make distinctions among the meanings of ‘appearance’, which

Macquarrie and Robinson analyze at H. 29 n 1.

5. Though Herman Philipse’s strictures against Heidegger parallel my own, I cannot endorse
them. He charges, “Heidegger at many places uses Husserl’s rhetoric of objectivity. He says, for

example, that in order to obtain genuine knowledge, we have to work out our conceptual structure

‘in terms of the things themselves’ ” (Philipse 2001, 581). This seems unfair both to Husserl and to

Heidegger, since Husserl’s Sachen are not instances of objectivity in the usual sense, and

therefore Heidegger is not positing an external object when he urges that Wissenschaft be

grounded in them.

6 . Given the earnest wrangling of Theaetetus and Posterior analytics, the notion that there was no

epistemology until modern times is “too absurd for discussion” (this useful phrase is perhaps most

associated with Shaw, but it goes back at least as far as Daniel Wilson [1816-1892]).

7 . We can see Augustine still struggling with the distinction between shadow and nothingness in

one of his commentaries on Genesis: “So shadows (tenebrae) were on [the deep] …. But there

was not absolutely nothing: there was a certain unshapeliness (informitas) without any form

(specie)” (Conf. 12.3). (At a later period, we find tenebra being used as a singular noun meaning

‘shadow’ by Bonaventure, Commentaria in Quatuor Libros Sententiarum, Lib. II, Dist. XII, Dub. II,

Resp. For the later history of the discussion, see Marcia L. Colish 1984.)

8. I insert this cautionary clause because various observers, including Hintikka (1962), have

doubted whether the Cogito, despite its form, is truly an inference or is rather an utterance of

another kind.

9 . Thomas gives credit for this definition to Isaac Israeli, but no such definition has been found in

that writer’s works. Some trace the definition back to Carneades (c. 213 – c. 128 BCE); see David


10. For Heidegger’s reservations about Weltanschauung in philosophy, see Heidegger (1982, 4-

10). Also in the Beiträge (Heidegger, unpublished, 2) we have “all worldview theories stand
completely outside of philosophy, for they can exist only by denying that Beyng is worthy of

question.” Emad and Maly (Heidegger 1999, 4) translate: “Every manner of scholastic worldview


1111. A connection is made between ‘as’ and ‘interpretation’ also at H. 62.

1212. We find in Nietzsche a thought that is similar to and perhaps the original of Heidegger’s:

“Error (— belief in the ideal —) is not blindness, error is cowardice” (Ecce Homo, foreword § 3,

Nietzsche 1992).

13. So, more narrowly, Augustine tells us that the revolt of the members is due to our larger

rebellion (De Civitate Dei Book XIV, 15-16).

1413. Heidegger was still using Schein in the exposition of his own views in Vom Wesen der

Wahrheit, a lecture that has been dated to 1930 and was first published in 1943. See Heidegger

[1943] 1954, § 4. We may also note Heidegger’s use of Schein in his exposition of Nietzsche

(Heidegger 1979, 213-18), though we cannot with certainty extract from this discussion an

account of Heidegger’s own views.

1514. By ‘external object’ I mean object “outside” the mind, both words ‘external’ and ‘outside’

being intended not literally (spatially) but metaphorically. It would be difficult even to formulate

the notion of “outside the mind” in Heidegger’s terminology.

1615. Hans Joas asserts, without specific citation, “In a lecture on Aristotle in 1921-22, Heidegger

refers to pragmatism in a manner which could certainly be described as sympathetic” (Joas 1993,


17. Rorty, reviewing the history of philosophy as a comic performance, commented that “we

[philosophers] are making ourselves unable to see things which everybody else can see – things

like increased or decreased suffering – by convincing ourselves that these things are ‘mere

appearances’ ” (Rorty 1991, 74).

18. Peirce, of course, was so repelled by James’ ver sion of pragmatism that he took to calling his

own doctrine ‘pragmaticism’; but scholars are right to classify thinkers not according to the

preference of those classified but to the convenience of the historian and the enlightenment of


19. I do not adopt Heidegger’s own translation of this verse, found at ([1954] 1968, 240-1).