"Overcoming Ontological Transcendence: The Hermeneutic Significance of Heidegger's 'On the Essence of Ground'" (unpublished 2009)


Though commentators have paid little thematic attention to Heidegger’s 1928 treatise “On the Essence of Ground” (OEG), recently available subsequent writings suggest that Heidegger himself saw OEG as a pivotal step on the way to “overcoming” his analysis of fundamental ontological transcendence. Among these writings is a set of rarely discussed lettered notes originally scribbled into his personal copy of OEG in which Heidegger offers a point-for-point deconstruction of the treatise’s fundamental ontological interpretation of transcendence. I argue that examining the interplay between these two tiers of analysis may illuminate the murky trail that cuts between the beaten track of Being and Time and the increasingly well-trodden paths of Contributions to Philosophy and other later writings. Part one motivates the reading I propose by situating OEG in the broader contexts of its reception in the secondary literature, its engagement by Heidegger himself in subsequent writings, and my own interpretation—in view of Heidegger’s remarks—of its utility for illuminating the catalyst’s role played by the transcendence problem in the development of his overall project. Against this backdrop, part two advances a selective reading of the most important developments in OEG’s main text and lettered notes, elucidating in the process their hermeneutic significance for returning to and “turning” from the progressive elaboration of transcendence that both initiates and eventually exhausts Heidegger’s fundamental ontological inquiries. The picture that emerges, I conclude, is that OEG is hermeneutically a significantly more important work (for Heidegger certainly, but potentially also for his interpreters) than its marginal status in the secondary literature might lead one to believe.



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References found in this work

Vom Wesen des Grundes.Martin Heidegger - 1929 - Annalen der Philosophie Und Philosophischen Kritik 8:110-110.
World, World‐entry, and realism in early Heidegger.David R. Cerbone - 1995 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 38 (4):401 – 421.
The Familiar and the Strange: On the Limits of Praxis In the Early Heidegger.Joseph P. Fell - 1990 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 28 (Supplement):23-41.
Getting to the topic: The new edition of wegmarken.Thomas J. Sheehan - 1977 - Research in Phenomenology 7 (1):299-316.

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