Heidegger's Sein zum Tode as Radicalization of Aristotle's Definition of Kinesis


Authors
Joseph Carter
University of Georgia
Abstract
There is evidence in the early Vorlesungen to suggest that in Sein und Zeit Heidegger’s description of Dasein as Bewegung/Bewegtheit relies on his reading of Aristotle’s definition of motion, given specifically in the 1924 Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie. According to Heidegger, Aristotle identifies kinêsis with energeia and calls it ‘active potentiality’ (tätige Möglichkeit). In this essay, I show how Heidegger’s interpretation of Aristotle’s definition of motion sheds light on the arguments concerning being-towards-death (Sein zum Tode) in Sein und Zeit. I argue that self-understanding is Dasein’s active potentiality, since this is its authentic being-towards-death. In turn, I assess Heidegger’s philological and philosophical justifications for collapsing the distinction between energeia and kinêsis in Aristotle, showing how Heidegger diverges from Aristotle’s doctrines.
Keywords Heidegger  Aristotle  motion  being towards death  self-understanding
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DOI 10.5840/epoche201411411
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