L'Ultimo Heidegger [Book Review]

Review of Metaphysics 24 (3):537-538 (1971)
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The structure of Chiodi's book is based on Vuillemin's important hermeneutical thesis that existentialism is one more step in the program of the romantics to give an absolute foundation to finite reality through the establishment of necessary relations between subjectivity and being. These relations, once revealed, would dispel the facticity and contingency in which the natural world is enshrouded. The role of Heidegger in this tradition involves one further dialectical twist, since Heidegger centers all Western Philosophy, including his own, around the problem of ground in the manner proposed by the romantics. The suggested dialectical twist is then Heidegger's Kehre, a step beyond the radical contingency of Dasein in Sein und Zeit. Indeed, this contingency, once reached, shows unequivocally the failure of the romantic program. The ground cannot be ontologically connected with any object nor with the subject; it is rather the necessary history of the ground that determines all categorial differentiations in the world, including the reflective differentiation of subject-objects. Thus it becomes important to distinguish Heidegger from Hegel since, in both, history and necessity are characteristics of the ground. Chiodi gets to the bottom of this matter by pointing to the transfer of negativity from the process of history to the end of history. For Heidegger what is necessary is the repeated withdrawal of the ground so that it may never be confused with that which is known in any revelation or through all of them. This move, though clear, would still leave a fundamental ambiguity in the later philosophy of Heidegger: language, which acts as messenger from the ground to the world, must reflect the superabundance of Being from the standpoint of the ground while it only reflects possibilities of being from the standpoint of the world. This is an ambiguity that Heidegger would want to maintain. Chiodi's interpretation of Heidegger as a neo-platonist totally destroys this ambiguity and with it the very delicate balance created by Heidegger between infinite meaning and the ability of finite words to dwell upon it.--A. de L. M.



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