Hernandez Juan Pablo
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50(2014)1 - Heidegger and the Ethics

Juan Pablo Hernandez

Hermeneutic conditions and the objective in Heidegger’s "Being and Time"

  • Language: English


For several years an interesting debate has unfolded regarding the extent to which Heidegger’s thinking in Being and Time can be classified as either idealist or realist, or rather, and for many this is Heidegger’s official stance, as an attempt to overcome the presuppositions that give rise to these doctrines. One way of considering the debate regards the question as to whether the conditions of intelligibility or, as Taylor Carman calls them, the ‘hermeneutic conditions,’ that Being and Time lays out, are to be understood as access conditions to, or as metaphysical conditions of, entities. The first but not the second interpretation is compatible with a realist reading of Being and Time. For many, including me, the realist reading is the most satisfactory one, both exegetically and theoretically. Several attempts at working out a way of making sense of the transcendental conditions as access conditions have been made, starting with Dreyfus’s and Spinosa’s widely discussed paper. A very important contribution to the debate is owed to Taylor Carman’s excellent Heidegger’s Analytic, where he makes a case for a full-blooded realist reading of Heidegger’s early work. I will argue, however, that Carman’s reading is not completely successful in making sense of the conditions of intelligibility as access conditions rather than metaphysical conditions. I will present a general diagnosis of Carman’s impasse and argue that it results from a thought that has no hold in Heidegger’s way of thinking.