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Chapter Three Determination by Christianity and the Concept of Mathematical-Methodological Grounding in the Metaphysical Systems of Modernity

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

Metaphysics is the knowledge of beings as a whole. God—according to the tradition the highest being, summum ens—rules and determines all beings. But in another sense, Being is also comprehensive, that which belongs to every being as such, ens in communi. “God,” taken in the light of the most universal concept of Being, is only one being among others, albeit the highest.

Now, if we are right in our thesis of the predominance of the mathematical method in the inner construction and claim to truth of this metaphysics, then obviously this construction must begin with the simplest concept and its grounding deduction, and in such a way that on the basis of this inception all other beings are derived—both what they are and that they are. That applies above all and ultimately to the summum ens. So what is at stake here is nothing less than deriving the essence and existence of God as summum ens from the universal essence of Being in a step-by-step deduction.

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1. A Triadic Conversation on a Country Path between a Scientist, a Scholar, and a Guide

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

SCHOLAR: This past autumn we met for the first time on this country path. That meeting was a splendid coincidence, for I owe a precious inspiration to it: an old Greek word occurred to me, which since then has seemed to me to be a very appropriate name for what we are seeking.

SCIENTIST: Our meeting was indeed splendid, but it was no coincidence. What we so name is always just the gap that still remains in our chain of explanations. So long as we have not ascertained the explanatory causes, we like to plug up the hole that remains with the name “coincidence.” Yet the cause of our encounter, which has in the meantime been repeated so fruitfully, lies close at hand. Each of us wished to free himself from his daily work by means of a distraction.

SCHOLAR: The similarity of our occupations also quickly brought us to the thematic object of our conversation at that time. We spoke about cognition.

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Appendix I Notes and drafts for the lecture course of Summer Semester 1933

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

We do not know, without further inquiry, whether there is such a question for philosophy at all and what it is; whether philosophy still can be and is allowed to be at all; whether we should even preserve philosophy out of respect for the tradition. Or what a fundamental question is at all!

These questions may all be very important and profoundly critical—and yet they may be posed in the wrong place and at the wrong time and, if only for this reason, erroneously.

So, then—technically—only after the introduction, if at all.

Historically spiritual action only on the basis of a knowing about the future of the people. Never to substitute policies and institutions for this action—on the contrary.

But this knowing is a knowing that makes demands. Questioning, philosophizing—from the ground up, by asking the fundamental question.

On what basis? Neither by decree, nor by whim, nor by compact, nor by arbitrary preference. From the real urgency of our Dasein in the necessity of questioning. This questioning on the basis of its inception and origin.

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VI. The Future Ones

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

 

Those strangers alike in heart, equally decided for the bestowal and refusal that have been assigned to them. The ones who bear the staff of the truth of beyng, the truth in which beings are built up to the dominance of the simple essence of every single thing and breath. The stillest witnesses to the stillest stillness in which an imperceptible impetus turns truth out of the confusion of all calculatively correct findings and back into its essence, such that there is kept concealed what is most concealed, viz., the trembling of the passing by of the decision about the gods, the essential occurrence of beyng.

The future ones: the slow, far-hearing ones who ground this essence of truth. Those who offer resistance to the thrust of beyng.

The ones to come2 are those future ones who receive—insofar as they expect on the way back and in sacrificial restraint—the intimation and intrusion of the absconding and nearing of the last god.

The task is to prepare for these future ones. Such preparation is served by inceptual thinking as bearing the silence of the event. But thinking is only one way the few venture the leap into beyng.

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Chapter One The Development, Transformation, and Christianization of Traditional Metaphysics

Martin Heidegger Indiana University Press ePub

The historical path into the essence of philosophy—there is no other, for the very reason that philosophy itself is the fundamental happening of the history of our Dasein. To be sure, the historical path is complex, but always because of an essential necessity in its outset, development, and goal. The goal is to overcome the accidental character of a particular preference and valuation; to overcome particular standpoints, whether genuine or ungenuine, in accordance with their provenance and the course of their development—to expose oneself to the driving need as a whole and detect the course of the history of spirit.

Hegel—in confrontation with him, we are to attain the overarching mood and fundamental attitude of our historical moment in the whole history of our Western Dasein and of the mission of our people in this history.

Who is Hegel? Hegel is one of the main figures who formed the “German movement” through which, between 1770 and 1820, a new German spiritual world was formed in great, creative thought and poetry.

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