OVERCOMING METAPHYSICS

DESTROYER

Still on the “destruction of ancient ontology”, Heidegger writes in The End of Philosophy that metaphysics is something to be overcome.Heidegger argues that metaphysics has been the ground of misunderstanding by preventing access in experience to the essence of Being.

This essence of Being is something that itself allows the overcoming of Being, it is an acknowledgement of the temporality, facticity, and thrown-ness of Being. While metaphysics has been thought to be the truth of being, it translates as the oblivion of Being, namely, it destroys and prevents access to the disclosure of Being as aletheia, of Being as fundamentally situated and thrown in the world. The history of metaphysics becomes something to be overcome, as this past binds us to an erroneous conception of truth as an idea, or essence that is concealed.

Heidegger argues that metaphysics has entered its end with the disclosure of Being, or aletheia, as truth in place of truth as metaphysics. In every instance of this description however, Heidegger repeats metaphysics by borrowing from its terms as something to be overcome, destroyed and denounced, and thus proceeds to reinscribe it entirely within its language. Heidegger thus does not escape metaphysics but is doomed to repeat the metaphysics he sets out to destroy by repeating its entire structure and ontological terminology.
Heidegger writes that metaphysics is in decline and is approaching its end, as the earth informed by metaphysics has become desolate. This is evident from the events of the last century.

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This decline marks the oblivion of Being as metaphysics, as the truth of metaphysics has met its desolation. Heidegger argues that metaphysics has been an illusion that sustained reality and is now approaching its end, in place, truth needs to be rethought as the unconcealment of Being as aletheia. In this disclosure of Being, the essence of Being in is factity, thrown-ness, temporality is revealed and the metaphysical past of Being meets its oblivion.
As previously stated however, this so called overcoming of metaphysics becomes repetition of metaphysics in every sense as it designates metaphysics as something to be overcome and destroyed. It thus proceeds entirely within its terms rather than proceeding to new territory. While emphasizing in place facticity, thrown-ness and temporality as the essence of Being this radicalization of intentionality merely subverts or reverses the existing metaphysical structure and thus repeats it as an empirical rather than transcendental idealism.

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Far from escaping metaphysics, Heidegger thus repeats it in every sense by being bound to the language of metaphysics in designating it as something to be overcome and destroyed. As Derrida argues, a negative metaphysics remains a form of metaphysics and is no different from metaphysics because it borrows entirely from its vocabulary and ontological structure.
Heidegger’s destruction of metaphysics is hence, a repetition of it rather than any true departure or overcoming of metaphysics. In showing post-metaphysics repeats the ontological vocabulary of metaphysics, Derrida demonstrates that Heidegger’s inversion of metaphysics is repetition, and hence, paradoxically, affirmation. It is the quasi-transcendental or the written mark, functioning as if it was transcendental, which enables metaphysics as it is the conditionality of transcendental-empirical differentiation as well as the condition of impossibility for designating an exclusive sphrere of empirical signs. The quasitranscendental relates the transcendental and empirical in simultaneous identity and difference, identity and non-identity. Hence Heidegger’s exclusion of idealism depends on the possibility of distinguishing the transcendental and empirical through the quasitranscendental.
Were there no written mark or quasi-transcendental, Heidegger would not be able to distinguish the transcendental and empirical and reduce metaphysics to anthropological empiricism. Heidegger hence suppresses differance and the quasitranscendental as the true conditionality of metaphysics. Heidegger requires the exclusion of the transcendental to maintain his anthropological and empirical realm of Being. Empirical thus only exists in relation to the transcendental through iterability and differance.

 

 

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