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Sheehan (2015:11-12) – a questão não é o ser, mas a inteligibilidade

quarta-feira 24 de janeiro de 2024, por Cardoso de Castro


É conosco, seres humanos, que ser entra em ação. [GA73  .1:90]

Ser: aquilo que aparece apenas e especificamente no homem. [GA73.1:337]

Não pode haver ser dos entes sem o homem. [GA89  :221]

Ou ainda: Quando Heidegger afirma que, no mundo moderno, "as coisas, é certo, ainda são dadas… mas o ser as desertou", esta "deserção" não significa o desaparecimento da "exterioridade" das coisas (a sua existentia   ou Vorhandensein  ), mas refere-se, antes, à perda da compreensão de como as coisas se tornam significativamente presentes: "Onde a luta [πόλεμος  ] cessa, as coisas não desaparecem certamente, mas o mundo [i.e., a clareira doadora de sentido] desaparece." [GA40  :67]


So we repeat the sentence with which we began: What, after all, was Heidegger’s philosophy about? In his Four Seminars we read at 6 September 1973, “The only question that has ever moved Heidegger is the question of Sein  : what does Sein mean?” But right there we run into a major problem. The word Sein or “being” comes from the lexicon of traditional realist metaphysics, where it usually refers to the “substance”—the essence and/or existence—of anything insofar as it is understood to be real. However, Heidegger’s own work takes two major steps away from metaphysics and its traditional concern with “being.”

In the first place, Heidegger’s philosophy was not   in pursuit of Sein at all. Rather, he was after das Woher   des Seins, the “whence” of being, “that from which and through which . . . being occurs.” (We note the frustrating ambiguity in the meaning of “Sein” in this case. It could refer either to the clearing or to the being of things. Here I take it in the second sense.) Originally Heidegger called this “whence” the intelligibility of being (= der Sinn   von Sein). Over the years he reformulated that as the “disclosedness” or “place” or “clearing” or “openness” or “thrown-open realm” for the being of things, all ex aequo. His endeavors were to bring to light this intrinsically hidden “whence” that classical ontology had overlooked and forgotten. Being (Sein) in all its incarnations is the topic of metaphysics. Heidegger, on the other hand, is after the essence or source of being and thus the ground of metaphysics.

In the second place, long before Being and Time  , Heidegger had carried out a Copernican Revolution under the banner of phenomenology. He took a decisive step away from the naïve realism of the Aristotelian-Thomistic ontology in which he had been steeped as a young man, in order to focus instead on the correlativity of man and being in what he would eventually call a “phenomenological ontology.” This means that the only entrance into Heidegger’s work is through the phenomenological reduction. Over the door of his Academy is engraved ἀϕαινομενολέγητος μηδεὶς εἰσίτω, which translates roughly as follows: “No phenomenological reduction? Don’t even try to get in.”

The material object of traditional metaphysics is the real insofar as it lies ἔξω ὄν   καὶ χωριστόν: “outside of thinking and separated from it [= independent of it].” Phenomenology, on the other hand, regards things only insofar as they are meaningfully present to us within our concerns and performances—that is, insofar as they are “present to mind” in the broadest sense. Years ago Professor Aron Gurwitsch pointed out that once one has carried out the phenomenological reduction (the sine qua non of phenomenological work) “there are no other philosophical problems except those of sense, meaning, and signification.” To the degree that Heidegger’s work is phenomenological (and to the end of his life he insisted it was), it was solely and exclusively about meaningfulness and its source. Heidegger interprets the essence of “mind” in terms of what he calls “being-in-the-world,” where “world” means the meaning-giving context opened up by and as ex-sistence. Why, then, as Professor Tezuka asked, did Heidegger continue to employ, in his own phenomenological work, the ontological vocabulary of a surpassed metaphysics? For example, when Heidegger declares that “das Sein lets things be present,” is he claiming that Sein “presences” amoebas during the Proterozoic era, two billion years before Homo sapiens? Or is he referring to the arrival of things in the realm of human apprehension—that is, “insofar as things can be encountered [by human beings] at all”? Clearly it is the latter.

It is with us human beings that Sein comes into play.

Das Sein: that which appears only and specifically in man.

There can be no Sein des Seienden   without man.

Or again: When Heidegger claims that in the modern world “things, to be sure, are still given . . . but Sein has deserted them,” this “desertion” does not mean the disappearance of the “out-there-ness” of things (their existentia or Vorhandensein) but refers, rather, to the loss of the understanding of how things become meaningfully present at all: “Where struggle [πόλεμος] ceases, things certainly do not disappear, but world [i.e., the meaning-giving clearing] disappears.”

On both accounts, therefore—(1) that Sein was not his focal topic and (2) that what he did mean by Sein was the intelligibility of things—why didn’t Heidegger obviate the problem at the outset (and steal a march on the obscurity and incomprehension that still haunts his philosophy) by simply surrendering the word “being” to the metaphysics that owns the term, and then go on to articulate in phenomenological terms what he was after? But for whatever reason, he did not, and he thereby opened a Pandora’s Box of misclues and misunderstandings that still hamstrings his work to this day. Professor Tezuka was quite right: when it comes to the needless confusion that dogs Heidegger’s philosophy (not only among analytical philosophers but among Heideggerians as well), much of the blame must be laid at Heidegger’s own doorstep.

Ver online : Thomas Sheehan

SHEEHAN, Thomas. Making Sense of Heidegger. London: Rowman, 2015