What's Formal about Formal Indication? Heidegger's Method in Sein und Zeit

Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 53 (6):525-539 (2010)
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Against the background of a recent exchange between Cristina Lafont and Hubert Dreyfus, I argue that Heidegger's method of ?formal indication? is at the heart of his attempt in Sein und Zeit to answer ?the ontological question of the being of the ?sum?? (SZ, p. 46). This method works reflexively, by picking out certain essential features of one's first-person singular being at the outset of its investigation that are implicit in the question ?what is it to be the entity I am?? On the basis of these features, various further a priori, ontological structures (care and temporality) that constitute one as a first-person singular entity then become accessible. Formal indication is thus formal in two senses: it officially designates or signals certain first-person singular phenomena as the topic of investigation, and it picks out features which define the ontological form of the entity in question. It is thereby the method by which a legitimately transcendental account of our being may be begun to be generated by each of us from out of our factical, immanent existence



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R. Matthew Shockey
Indiana University South Bend

Citations of this work

Heidegger and the Human Difference.Chad Engelland - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (1):175-193.
Heidegger and the Essence of Dasein.Nate Zuckerman - 2015 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 53 (4):493-516.
Heidegger on Expression: Formal Indication and Destruction in the Early Freiburg Lectures.Jonathan O’Rourke - 2018 - Journal of the British Society for Phenomenology 49 (2):109-125.
Heidegger, Reification and Formal Indication.Nythamar de Oliveira - 2012 - Comparative and Continental Philosophy 4 (1):35-52.

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