An Introduction to Metaphysics
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Contains a series of lectures delivered by Heidegger in 1935 at the University of Freiburg. In this work Heidegger presents the broadest and most intelligible account of the problem of being, as he sees this problem. First, he discusses the relevance of it by pointing out how this problem lies at the root not only of the most basic metaphysical questions but also of our human existence in its present historical setting. Then, after a short digression into the grammatical forms and etymological roots of the word "being, " Heidegger enters into a lengthy discussion of the meaning of being in Greek thinking, letting pass at the same time no opportunity to stress the impact of this thinking about being on subsequent western speculation. His contention is that the meaning of being in Greek thinking underwent a serious restriction through the opposition that was introduced between being on one hand, and becoming, appearance, thinking and values on the other.
appropriate definition of the essence of language.) The crucial view of language remains the grammatical view. Among the words and their forms it finds some that are deviations from, modulations of, fundamental forms. The fundamental position of the noun (the substantive) is GRAMMAR AND ETYMOLOGY OF " B E I N G " 65 the nominative singular: e.g. ho kyklos, the circle. The fundamental position of the verb is the first person singular of the present indicative; e.g. lego, I say. The infinitive
by our asking of the question "Why are there essents rather than nothing?" Whether we ask it or not, the planets move in their orbits, the sap of life flows through plant and animal. But // this question is asked and if the act of questioning is really carried out, the content and the object of the question react inevitably on the act of questioning. Accordingly this questioning is not just any occurrence but a privileged happening that we call an event. This question and all the questions
heaven and earth" is an answer to our question. Quite aside from whether these words from the Bible are true or false for faith, they can supply no answer to our question because they are in no way related to it. Indeed, they cannot even be brought into relation with our question. From the standpoint of faith our question is "foolishness." Philosophy is this very foolishness. A "Christian philosophy" is a round square and a misunderstanding. There is, to be sure, a thinking and questioning
re-presentation. According to the sphere in which this re-presentation moves, according to the degree of freedom, the sharpness and sureness of the analysis, and the breadth of its scope, thinking is superficial or profound, empty or meaningful, irresponsible or compelling, playful or serious. But all this does not tell us, without further inquiry, why thinking should enter into the fundamental relation to being, indicated above. Along with desiring, willing, and feeling, thinking is one of our
if it is through and through a decision for being against nothing and thus a struggle with appearance. But such essential decision must use violence if it is to persevere against the continuous pressure of involvement in the everyday and commonplace. The violence of this decisive departure along the path to the being of the essent wrests man out of his home in what happens to be nearest and most familiar to him. Only if we understand apprehension as such a departure shall we be fortified against