Why Tugendhat's critique of Heidegger's concept of truth remains a critical problem

Inquiry 50 (2):156 – 179 (2007)
With what right and with what meaning does Heidegger use the term 'truth' to characterize Dasein's disclosedness? This is the question at the focal point of Ernst Tugendhat's long-standing critique of Heidegger's understanding of truth, one to which he finds no answer in Heidegger's treatment of truth in §44 of Being and Time or his later work. To put the question differently: insofar as unconcealment or disclosedness is normally understood as the condition for the possibility of propositional truth rather than truth itself, what does it mean to say - as Heidegger does - that disclosedness is the "primordial phenomenon of truth" and what justifies that claim? The central aim of this paper is to show that Tugendhat's critique remains unanswered. Recent Heidegger scholarship, though it confronts Tugendhat, has not produced a viable answer to his criticism, in part because it overlooks his basic question and therefore misconstrues the thrust of his objections. Ultimately, the paper suggests that what is needed is a re-evaluation of Heidegger's analysis of truth in light of a more accurate understanding of Tugendhat's critique. The paper concludes by sketching the profile of a more satisfactory reply to Tugendhat's critical question, advocating a return to Heidegger's 'existential' analyses in Being and Time in order to locate the normative resources Tugendhat finds lacking in Heidegger's concept of truth.
Keywords Heidegger  Tugendhat  Truth
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DOI 10.1080/00201740701239749
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