Although the status of the concept of being in Heidegger's thought is still the subject of controversy, textually it is quite clear that he held the fundamental character of being to be presence. Accordingly, this paper is not concerned to show that this was indeed Heidegger's conception of being. Instead, it undertakes to make a philosophical case for the prima facie paradoxical thesis that being is presence. It does so by first taking up Heidegger's account of truth in which it is identified with the mode of being of Dasein and thus with the 'uncoveredness' (Entdecktheit) of entities that Dasein effects. This leads to a review of traditional conceptions of being. I argue that being is not just the character that makes an entity the kind of entity it is; it is that entity's be-ing whatever it is. As such, it has the structure of a state of affairs and it is a state of affairs that makes statements or thoughts about it true or false as the case may be. But a state of affairs is not a part or a property of the entity it is about. As what makes a true statement true, I argue, it belongs to the context of truth and thereby of presence. In a final section, the relevance of these matters to contemporary philosophical discussion is taken up.
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DOI 10.1080/002017498321922
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