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Contemporary Philosophy Essay

On the first page of Being and Time, Heidegger describes the project in the following way: Our aim in the following treatise is to work out the question of the sense of being and to do so concretely. Heidegger claims that traditional ontology has prejudicially overlooked this question, dismissing it as overly general, indefinable, or obvious. Instead Heidegger proposes to understand being itself, as distinguished from any specific entities.

”Being” is not something like a being. “Being, Heidegger claims, is “what determines beings as beings, that in terms of which beings are already understood. ” Heidegger is seeking to identify the criteria or conditions by which any specific entity can show up at all. If we grasp Being, we will clarify the meaning of being, or “sense” of being, whereby “sense” Heidegger means that “in terms of which something becomes intelligible as something.

” According to Heidegger, as this sense of being precedes any notions of how or in what manner any particular being or beings exist, it is pre-conceptual, non-propositional, and hence pre-scientific. Thus, in Heidegger’s view, fundamental ontology would be an explanation of the understanding preceding any other way of knowing, such as the use of logic, theory, specific ontology or act of reflective thought.

At the same time, there is no access to being other than via beings themselves—hence pursuing the question of being inevitably means asking about a being with regard to its being. Heidegger argues that a true understanding of being can only proceed by referring to particular beings, and that the best method of pursuing being must inevitably, he says, involve a kind of hermeneutic circle, that is as he explains in his critique of prior work in the field of hermeneutics, it must rely upon repetitive yet progressive acts of interpretation.

Thus, Heidegger also conceptualized that being with time prior of having that time alone. This means that we can’t have time by simply telling that time exists but we also need to have that sense of being or the individual being to say that time really exist. Time in other hand, makes a history because of that sense of being which Heidegger rely on with his work of the Time and Being.


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