Grasping Life as a Topic

Edited by Scott M. Campbell

in The Early Heidegger's Philosophy of Life

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780823242191
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780823242238 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy (FUP)

Grasping Life as a Topic

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This chapter provides a close analysis of the lecture course Phenomenological Interpretations of Aristotle: Initiation into Phenomenological Research (G 61), which Heidegger delivered in the winter semester of 1921–22. This chapter demonstrates the critical distinction between Heidegger's approach to life and traditional approaches to the same topic. The traditional approaches have made the term objectively ambiguous, rendering it impossible to understand. Next it shows how Heidegger makes a factical retrieval of the Being of life through Descartes. Both thinkers start with the notion of the “I am,” but Descartes focuses on the “I” whereas Heidegger focuses on the “am.” In this way, Heidegger can open up the temporal-historical dimension of life in ways that Descartes did not. It then looks at the profound connection in phenomenology between what something is and the words that express what something is, that is, between phenomenonand logos. I show here how Heidegger's analysis of the expression “life” opens up the phenomenon of life and the relation between “life” and world. Lastly, it identifies those structures that emerge from the factical interpretation of life and which make possible a vital, living philosophizing.

Keywords: Life-philosophy; Factical Ambiguity; Descartes; Phenomenology; Life

Chapter.  8787 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy

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