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Title: The Seinsfrage and the place of the objective in Heidegger's early work
Author: Hernandez, Juan P.
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2011
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The thesis is guided by the question: What is the subject matter of Heidegger’s philosophy in the period of Being and Time? I start by arguing that Heidegger’s formulation of the question of being is ambiguous because the term ‘being’ is open to at least two interpretations. I claim that this ambiguity has motivated two types of reading of Heidegger’s early work. On the first reading, Heidegger’s philosophy is understood as attempting to infer metaphysical claims (claims about what-is, or being in a traditionally metaphysical sense) on the basis of claims about the structure of Dasein’s understanding. This reading typically renders Heidegger an idealist. On the second reading, Heidegger’s philosophy is taken to have no metaphysical ambitions, and thereby to be limited to elucidating the structure of Dasein’s understanding. I argue that both types of reading are inadequate and diagnose them as grounded in a Cartesian presupposition that Heidegger rejects. On the basis of direct textual evidence and a number of theoretical considerations I assert that although the second type of reading is right in that the primary object of Heidegger’s philosophy is the conditions of understanding and that the idealist reading is wrong, it is a mistake to deny that Heidegger’s philosophy has metaphysical implications. I claim that Heidegger’s exposition of the conditions of understanding involves a larger picture from the outset, a picture that delineates the relation between understanding and entities, and locates the objective in relation to Dasein. On this picture, 1) empirical entities are unqualifiedly independent of Dasein, 2) we have direct cognitive access to these entities as they are in themselves, and 3) there is no a priori unintelligible entities or aspects of entities. I address a number of potential objections to this way of interpreting Heidegger’s work.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Colfuturo (Columbia)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: B Philosophy (General)