Idealistic Studies 25 (1):51-67 (1995)

In mid 1930's, Heidegger recognized that thinking must relinquish its claim to self-guidance in its hermeneutical mode in order to regather its impetus through an encounter with what is presumably antithetical to it, namely, the “systematic philosophy” of a figure like Schelling. By entering into this tension, it becomes possible to dislodge more fertile ways of speaking ; the opportunity arises to juxtapose apparently incongruous forms of discourse. These are as divergent as that aimed at in addressing the etymology of the word “being,” or that involved in the exposition of the character of evil which is found in Schelling's Of Human Freedom. The linkage of these two forms of discourse allows for a reformulation of the question of being, whose hallmark lies in redirecting thought through the issuance of an attunement rather than through the self-guidance of hermeneutics. Schelling's question as to the enigmatic character of evil and the question of being do not even remotely seem to share the same kind of lexicon. The purpose of this paper is to show how the rekindling of the concern for evil as it arises in Heidegger's 1936 lectures on Schelling poses a special challenge; for it involves inscribing within Heidegger's discourse a set of assymetrical meanings to express the basic motifs of his thought. Such assymetry resounds with a special attunement by calling forth the tragedy of human being's imperfect kinship with the Divine, of our enduring the tension of a greater conflict as the counterpole of darkness against which to illuminate the essence of human freedom in a new way. The prospect of finding an index to correlate disparate terms proves far more difficult in this case than with Heidegger's dialogue with other thinkers like Kant and Nietzsche where he links more symmetrical terms such as temporal finitude/sensibilized reason or resolve/will to power.
Keywords Continental Philosophy  History of Philosophy
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ISBN(s) 0046-8541
DOI idstudies19952515
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