Heidegger, Rationality, and the Critique of Judgment

Review of Metaphysics 41 (3):461 - 499 (1988)


THE OPENING OF MARTIN HEIDEGGER'S summer of 1928 Marburg lectures on logic is, to use a word he himself invokes elsewhere about these matters, "dismaying"--providing perhaps additional evidence for the perennial charge that aspects of his work contain tendencies toward irrationalism, mysticism, and forms of nostalgic romanticism. In fact, the lectures show Heidegger calling for nothing less than a "destruction of logic," a move not only consistent with a similar destruction in Being and Time, published a year previously, but also consistent with a context which its author describes as one in which "the inner rebellion against knowledge, the revolt against rationality, and the struggle against intellectualism have become fashionable." His ensuing condemnation of "the widespread sterility of academic courses" in this area and the call for "loosening up traditional logic," would seem to lead directly to the proclamation which would issue from Heidegger's struggle with Nietzsche in the decade thereafter, that "reason, glorified for centuries, is the most stiff-necked adversary of thought." The question of Heidegger's account in this regard has continually troubled those writing in its wake--not only in the continental traditional, such as Gadamer, Adorno, Habermas, Merleau-Ponty, or Derrida, but also those "beyond" it, such as Carnap, Ryle, Rorty, or Putnam. And yet, such claims seem only to provide added weight to the concern that the "retrieval of metaphysics" thought to be essential to these issues based upon the Daseinanalytik of Being and Time would only lead the classical issues in philosophy associated with justification and decidability into a quagmire. Its emphasis upon the conjunct in its title, being and time, could only lead, on the one hand, to anthropological reductionism--since it returned the interrogation of Being back to the commitments of the being through whom the questioning arose-and on the other hand, to a new version of historicism--since it claimed that questions concerning "truth" were tied essentially to time, and specifically, to the latter's appearance within the temporal horizon of the being to whom they appeared. Moreover, that even those closest to Heidegger viewed the matter similarly is clear, for example, in the criticisms his mentor, Edmund Husserl voiced in the 1931 response, "Phenomenology and Anthropology." There the strategy Husserl used in arguing against Dilthey's flirtation with relativism in a Logos essay of 1911 was reinvoked against Heidegger himself. In this regard, far from contributing to a retrieval of classical issues in philosophy, Heidegger would be simply guilty of effecting their ultimate dissolution, a claim which, like that of irrationalism, has accompanied his works ever since.

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The Unique Role of Logic in the Development of Heidegger's Dialogue with Kant.Frank Schalow - 1994 - Journal of the History of Philosophy 32 (1):103-125.

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