Heidegger and the Strangeness of Being


in Phenomenologies of the Stranger

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780823234615
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240722 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Heidegger and the Strangeness of Being

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How are we to understand hospitality? What can phenomenology tell us about welcoming the stranger? When the “stranger” in question morphs into the “uncanny,” it takes on a weirdness that the uncanny itself suggests. For the layman, the word suggests a feeling of dread or inexplicable strangeness, seeming to have a preternatural cause, as if locked into the present by some ominous and long forgotten past. This chapter examines the key questions and method introduced by Martin Heidegger through Being and Time, and points to an alternative reading of the notion of guilt. This alternative depends on subtly different translations of “Nichtigkeit” and “Unheimlichkeit,” but also on a careful hermeneutic reinvestigation of Sophocles's Antigone and Heidegger's interpretation of that play. Paradigm of a paradox experienced by all human beings, Antigone arrives at the home, the hearth, only to be uncannily not at home. By attending to the textual unfolding of “uncanniness” and “homeliness,” this chapter refigures our understanding of both the play and Heidegger.

Keywords: Martin Heidegger; strangeness; being; uncanniness; homeliness; hospitality; stranger; Being and Time; Sophocles; Antigone

Chapter.  5486 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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