Whose Metaphysics of Presence? Heidegger's Interpretation ofEnergeiaandDunamisin Aristotle

Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (4):533-568 (2006)
In the recently published 1924 course, Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie, Martin Heidegger offers a detailed interpretation of Aristotle’s definition of kinesis in the Physics. This interpretation identifies entelecheia with what is finished and present-at-an-end and energeia with being-at-work toward this end. In arguing against this interpretation, the present paper attempts to show that Aristotle interpreted being from the perspective of praxis rather than poiesis and therefore did not identify it with static presence. The paper also challenges later variations of Heidegger’s interpretation, in particular his account of dunamis in the 1931 course on Metaphysics Theta, which insists that its mode of being is presence-at-hand. By arguing that this reading too is untenable, the paper concludes that Aristotle’s metaphysics is not a metaphysics of presence and that his texts instead point toward a possibility of metaphysics ignored by the attempts of Heidegger and others to overcome it
Keywords Analytic Philosophy  Contemporary Philosophy  General Interest
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ISBN(s) 0038-4283
DOI 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2006.tb00017.x
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