Oxford Literary Review 37 (1):45-66 (2015)

Ammon Allred
University of Toledo
I offer a hermeneutical/deconstructive interpretation of a specific drawing by Leonardo da Vinci and a thought-experiment suggested by that drawing. My reason for turning to this drawing is that it graphically illustrates an ambiguity in Martin Heidegger's notion of the hermeneutical circle. I take this ambiguity to be illustrative of an interpretive problem of crucial importance to mainstream interpretations of Heidegger as well as to the hermeneutical and deconstructive traditions. I explicate this problem through an interpretation of relevant passages in Being and Time and argue 1) that there are two different, irreducible understandings of futurity in Heidegger's thought, and 2) that Heidegger's understanding of the present helps to mediate these different meanings of futurity. The thought experiment with which the article begins raises questions about the role of the imagination in understanding the temporal structure of intentionality. By calling attention to the mediating role that the present plays in Heidegger's understanding of temporality in Part II of Being and Time, I argue for an interpretation of the hermeneutics of understanding that better answers the questions posed by this thought experiment.
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DOI 10.3366/olr.2015.0150
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