Being, Presence, and Implication in Heidegger's Critique of Hegel

Hegel Bulletin 44 (2):345-369 (2023)
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Abstract

For Heidegger, Hegel understands being, ‘the highest actuality’, as the categories which pervade and thereby form all objects and events. Since, Heidegger argues, the categories are, in Hegel, present-at-hand, Hegel conceives of being as presence-at-hand. This is a problem, for Heidegger, because it entails the full transparency and knowability of being, whereas, in his view, being is partially hidden and unknowable. I consider the objection to this Heideggerian critique of Hegel that Hegelian logic understands being not only as the list of categories but also as their derivation and movement from pure being to the absolute idea, which (derivation and movement) establish being not only as presence but also as implication. Since being-as-implication is (a) not presence-at-hand and (b) necessary to being, it cannot be said that Hegel's account of being turns it into full transparency and knowability. Heidegger's critique should, therefore, be rejected. I argue that this objection is unsuccessful because there is strong evidence in the Logic that Hegel ‘subordinates’ being-as-implication to presence-at-hand. Implication's way of being is, in Hegel, only a collapse into presence-at-hand and hence ‘merely a modification of presence’. Consequently, Heidegger's critique of Hegel should not be rejected based on the objection. I conclude the article with a remark on the relation between language and being-as-implication. I argue that Hegel's account of being-as-implication in language disrespects the autonomy of being-as-implication therein and that Haas's argument for such an autonomy based on the phenomenon of the syntactic ellipsis of ‘is’ fails to undermine Hegel's account.

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Ioannis Trisokkas
National and Kapodistrian University of Athens

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References found in this work

Sein und Zeit.Martin Heidegger - 1928 - Annalen der Philosophie Und Philosophischen Kritik 7:161-161.
Studies in the Way of Words.Paul Grice - 1989 - Philosophy 65 (251):111-113.
Die Fragmente der Vorsokratiker.Harold Cherniss & Hermann Diels - 1939 - American Journal of Philology 60 (2):248.

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