50(2014)1 - Re-reading Heideger

Michelle Mahoney

The ontological impossibility of a flourishing self in the absence of the other


This paper follows Iris Murdoch in an ongoing critique of existentialism that saw the beginnings of her philosophical work with Sartre and its conclusion with her manuscript on Heidegger. The continuity of her critique focuses upon her concern with the magnetism of the ego over and against attention toward the other. Heidegger, as a metaphysician working to close the post-Enlightenment subject/object separation, engages her thought regarding new possibilities for a future metaphysics. For Murdoch, seeking an ontology that rejects a transcendent God requires a notion of goodness that provokes a point of contention with Heidegger’s ontology of Being, where a new dualism of authenticity and inauthenticity toward Being undermines any ethos of the other.