Tuesday, March 31, 2009


So Heidegger, in writing Being and Time, is trying to get at the question of what makes any being, being. This is differentiated from the metaphysical questions that ask nuances (for Heidegger) such as "the highest Being (God) and the Being of all beings" (26). Instead Heidegger is setting up the stage for the question that allows these questions to even be asked, the essence of being or Dasein. Thus his question is far more complex than any question that has been asked before, according to Gadamer. Soon enough, language becomes a great barrier in even asking this question. It makes sense then that Heidegger makes use of new words, he mostly makes up, in order to talk about this technical subject. Furthermore, he even reinterprets words and uses them in completely different meanings (that at times it seems only he really understands). This makes Heidegger very difficult to understand, because the topic is so difficult to ask, the issue of how to begin talking about it, and then the problem of making use of language in a way that this can even happen.

To be honest every time I think I understand what Dasein is, or might be, I feel like I need to completely change my conception. The first time I heard of Dasein was exactly a year ago, and it has interested me ever since (popping up again in the last semester even), but at the same time I feel like my understanding of what it is has changed the more I reread Heidegger. I may just be forgetting about it and realizing how intense of a topic it really is. This may be why Heidegger is still studied profusely now, but I feel like the more I read about Dasein, the more complicated it becomes for me. This might be a problem Gadamer points out, in that, in terms of language, "[Heidegger] is the block that cannot be budged from his place" (37). How exactly is he the block though? And could it be that at the same time this block is keeping us from getting at Dasein, it is also protecting the concept of Dasein from misinterpretation?

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