Re: on the other hand...


Your clarification/explication is very interesting, and you are
obviously well acquainted with the idealist tradition. And while I
now think we agree (or potentially agree) on several big points
(being shows up as intelligibility, which is not to say that being
*is* intelligibility. Better to say that being is the font of
intelligibility). I nevertheless think that your familiarity with
idealism is leading you to try an cram Heidegger's thinking into an
inappropriate model. Let me address a few of your specific points

CR wrote:In Being and Time, the

being of beings is disclosed by the authentic decision of Dasein.

Dasein is roughly the same thing as human being, this is to say that

is dependent upon the projection (Entwurf) of human being which is

identified with the subject. Your own earlier clarification (if it

you) makes this clear: outside of the disclosure or clearing is

i.e., there is no being outside of Dasein's disclosure. That's

subjectivism in a way very similar to German Idealism. That's also

nihilism, as Jacobi's criticism of Fichte makes clear.

You assert here that the being of beings is disclosed by... This
can't be right. If Heidegger said such a thing, he certainly took
it back (and here dates, the Nazi Q, where he rescinds his earlier
'subjectivism' would be very useful, to me at least). The idea that
the 'being of beings' could be disclosed... simply put, that is the
metaphysical intuition par excellance. It is the belief that (and
concomitant ambition to act on the belief that) being can be
articulated, thematized, conceptually-mined and layed out in a nice
list of principles, categories, or have its ground 'grasped' once
and for all, that leads themetaphysicians through the ages to
continue to construct all-inclusive systems, assuming from the
failure of all their predecessors that earlier attempts were simply
wrong-headed, not that the project itself is flawed (Hence
Heidegger's assertions from--at the latest the mid 30's--that
metaphysics is the history of seinvergessenheit, and thus *is*
nihilism. Is it your understanding that this is a critique *of*
My earlier clarification

int of my earlier clarification, that there is no being outside a
clearing, or that, as you well put it, outside of the clearing is
nothing, addressed someone's assumption of a given, a world outside
or beyond Dasein's disclosedness that needs to be somehow hooked-up,
re-connected to each Dasein's clearing, as if the two had somehow
split (the bad phenomenology of Cartesianism). This bad PhG is at
the heart of idealist representations of the Subject, whether Kant's
apperceptive unity or Fichte's I=I.

You then write:
There is, contrary to what you say, a transcendental unity of

apperception in Heidegger, because the TUA is intelligibility (or

condition of intelligibility); being gives us this intelligibility
as its


There are two very different, even contradictory ideas here. The
first Kant's, the second Heidegger's, and, as I said in my last
letter, to read Heidegger as a Kantian is, at best, to resubmerge
him in a tradition from which he is struggling to escape. In what
sense is intelligibility a transcendental unity of apperception?
And, more importantly, even if some answer there can be finessed,
why do so? Why make Heid a Kantian, when, despite the fact that
Kantianism was the dominant mode of thinking when he wrote B&T, and
was thus bound to leave its mark on that text, he nevertheless
struggled to think differently (in a way which doesn't buy into the
bad PhG of Cartesian subjectivism, which Heid spends a lot of time
in B&T deconstructing because it is the belief that such certainty
(of the subject over against an independent objective world),
certaintly of the intentional commerce, needs to be secured ahead of
the PhG analysis, that leads into the kind of subjectivism you
describe (the idealist subject as world-creating). This idealist
'subjectivism' is an offshoot of Cartesian subjectivism, a desperate
attempt to balance the books without abandoning the metaphysical
presuppositions (an internal mental subject over-against an external
ob-jective world).
There is also a big difference between "intelligibility" and
"the condition of intelligibility" in your statement above. The
idealists thought that categorization was the right way to
exhaustively catalogue the latter, and I canniot agree that to
contest that idea one must come up with new categories. That is to
accept the idealist framing of the Q, which Heid does not do.
As you say, and here it sounds like Heidegger (and I don't
see any TUA) 'being gives us intelligibility as its sending.' Yes,
and in the sending, he says (T&B), in the giving of the gift, the
giving is never given. It is obscured by its gift, which is taken
as correct, right, absolute... i.e., is not called into question
until another gift is given, and another system begins. Here I take
it that Heid is saying that the problem isn't with us, with our
inability to complete or close the system, but with the system, with
the idea of systematicity, the belief that a self-grounding system
could be constructed.

This is getting too long, so let me just say that I don't
agree that there's a TUA in Heidegger, nor that to contest this one
must invent new categoreies or even contest the principle of
non-contradiction (as Heid himslef does). If Heidegger cretes a
free space within the dominant tradition of metaphysics (idealism)
it is incumbent on those who would develop his insights not to
precipitously collpase that thinking back into the tradition it is
struggling free of. That said, there may be a quasi-transcendental
status to some of Heidegger's own attempts to elaborate the
structure conditioning intelligibility; in Ereignis as the
rapproachement of being and human being where the logos folds back
on itself (and thus perhaps some need to return to Aristotle and
Heraclitus--I take it that B&T is much more Aristotelean than
Kantian or Fichtean).

I. Thomson

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