"Beyond" "Aufhebung": Reflections on the Bad Infinite

Dissertation, University of Toronto (Canada) (1986)
This thesis explores Heidegger's attempt to move beyond the recuperative powers of the dialectic. Its title announces a certain aporia: the "beyond," of course, is precisely what Hegel claims to have transcended; and he has determined that all attempts to overcome him--refutation, opposition, supersession; reversal , inversion , bisection , dissection , periodization --only confirm the potency of the original system. Heidegger displays an acute self-consciousness concerning such aporias of "overcoming." ;This thesis inscribes the Heideggerean project within the horizon of speculative idealism. Heidegger appears to be embroiled in Hegel's earlier struggle with Reflexionsphilosophie . He seems to oscillate between two poles: between a "speculative" drive to surpassing the limit and a "reflective" hesitation or acquiescence at the barrier ; between "good infinite" and "bad infinite"; ultimately between Vernunft and Verstand. Heidegger appears "speculative" in his resistance to the bad infinite in its modern guises , the flux of das Man, the seriality of Technik, the fragmentations of a political aggregate). He appears "reflective" or "Romantic" in his appeal to a "task of thinking": interminable, provisional, forever "underway." He thus appears, at one time, both to resuscitate all Hegel's protests against Reflexionsphilosophie and to vindicate a "philosophy of finitude" which risks relapsing into just the terms Hegel had sought to surpass. Heidegger's thought is neither Spekulation nor Reflexion: it risks the appearance of both in order to negotiate a space between. The movement "'beyond' Aufhebung" is thus in fact a movement between a philosophy of Aufhebung and a philosophy of the "beyond" . ;Such oscillation compels us to rethink the metaphysics of the limit; here a line is traced which may not be comprehended by a speculative logic, and which has many different aspects . This thesis explores these various aspects as they unfold throughout the Heideggerean corpus but with particular reference to Zur Seinsfrage
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