Heidegger began in the first half of the twentieth century to revise the classical metaphysics, in order to deconstruct it to offer a new vision of ontological philosophy. Heidegger prefers to logic a phenomenological approach. It differs in terms of what exists. Being is what is in all things, a reality in itself is but that does not exist, because this reality is not aware of itself, nor the world around him. To Exist is the ability to highlight what is beyond ourselves, because any illumination, including itself, requires passing a distance vis-à-vis self with that is. Exist in fact, is moving towards something, and to do that it takes the distance. The existence is somehow the path to the obvious that is. And what is the “being there”, the “Dasein” in Heidegger. That being is not specifically a phenomenon in space-time point, but what can be, what is possible. Existing is the only being who can understand this “being-there”, making this a reality is possible. The existence makes it possible to transform from nothing into being. But the existing, as opposed to being, not only because it is destined to die, is death that distinguishes it to be. In other words, because we are going to die. Heidegger, the “Dasein” is a new appreciation of death. He sees not as an event, that is to say, the end of life, but as rooted in the very existence. Death for him is not as mature as a condition of existence. Heidegger replaces to some extent the Cogitum ergo sum of Descartes by the following idea: I die therefore I exist.
In Being and Time, Heidegger raises the fundamental question of being. He called Dasein, that is to say “being there” in that it is distinguished by its very being that makes it (in) as it is there (da) in the world. Hence the triple task of existential analysis: the highlight being in the world to reveal the being in the world in its temporality; distinguished time as transcendental sense of being.
Heidegger begins by describing the fundamental structures of Dasein. It is primarily a “being with” and that “with” is defined in relation to other human beings and “utensils”, the concrete objects of civilization, which constitute the Umwelt, “the world around” . Dasein appears to itself through its daily life and must assume its “being-thrown-in-the-world” (Geworfenheit) as a project history. Then, as “being-in” Dasein is constantly prey to the temptation to fall in the inauthentic and the diversity of the everyday. He then discovers that it is determined by the nothingness that is the foundation of his being, a discovery that coincides with that of temporality. The meaning of his Dasein is indeed the “being-toward-death.” Understanding this finitude, which is the essence of temporality is for man to discover the historicity of their destiny, which he shares with all his generation. The scope of this work was considerable. It was said that based existentialism, what Heidegger has always refused. But Sartre will build on Being and Time to develop his philosophy, not without having made some misinterpretations.
So from that book, Heidegger turns to an interpretation of being as necessary to forget the metaphysical as it exists from Socrates. Western metaphysics founded by Socrates and Plato obscures the meaning of the truth that the pre-Socratics had updated and was forgotten. Indeed, the myth of the Cave narrated by Plato in the Republic be broke in two by splitting being and appearance. Or Nietzsche has shown that there is no “back-world” (Hinterwelt) and so there is no conflict in being itself. For Nietzsche, the truth comes back to its foundation is the “un-veiling” (Greek-lêtheia, allem. Verborgenheit A-): being is given to itself as will to power (Holzwege, paths that nowhere, 1935).
According to Heidegger, poets, thinkers such as, more than anyone else feel threatened by the omnipotence of technology that crushes man in bondage to the “object-ness” of the object and they fear that the instrumental purpose not submerge humanity in man. The distress of our times is precisely the lack of questioning, which makes the subject (though man-made) became the supreme certainty of daily life and the language has become information and communication: the only way out is brings the art.
Related articles on Heidegger and Dasein:
- Book review: Ontology – The Hermeneutics of Facticity (iupress.typepad.com)
- To Be Or Not to Be Isn’t the Only Question: The Nature of Being in ‘Synecdoche, New York’ (Feature) (popmatters.com)
- Rambles About the World… (visionsanddreams.wordpress.com)