Heidegger's Sophist and the Logic of Presence

One of the most pervasive themes of Heidegger’s philosophy, early and late, is the idea of the determination of the meaning of Being as one form or another of presence . Not only does the idea of Being as presence centrally underlie the late Heidegger’s historical interpretation of the successive epochs of the metaphysical interpretation of Being and beings since the Greeks, but it already plays a decisive role (perhaps the decisive role) in Being and Time ’s systematic attempt at a “de-structuring” or deconstruction [ Destruktion ] of the tradition of ontological thought in order to liberate and recover its most original sources of insight. Yet for all the methodological importance of the theme, early and late, it can be difficult to say on the basis of Heidegger’s shifting statements what the idea of Being as presence really comes to, especially when it is a question of the possibility of thinking Being “otherwise” than as presence, as it is in Heidegger’s later thinking “toward” Ereignis, the event of “appropriation” or “en-owning.”
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