Dissertation, University of Warwick (2012)

Peter Wolfendale
Newcastle University, UK
The project of this thesis is to provide a comprehensive analysis of the question of Being posed by Heidegger, to identify problems with Heidegger's formulation of the question, and ultimately suggest a way in which these problems can be overcome. The analysis begins by laying out Heidegger's initial attempt to formulate the question presented in Being and Time and the work immediately following it. The real concern here is to get clear about the constraints Heidegger places upon the formulation of the question, and how these structure the inquiry projected in his early work. This focuses on the importance of the question of the structure of questioning in relation of Being, and the status of the question as a question of meaning. This involves examining the origins of the question in Aristotle, and providing a detailed account of Heidegger's theory of meaning and interpretation. The thesis then examines the way in which this initial formulation of the question evolves during the 1930's, moving from the meaning to the truth of Being. This involves providing a detailed account of Heidegger's theory of truth and the way this develops after Being and Time. After this, the thesis moves on to assess Heidegger's attempts to formulate the question in relation to the constraints just outlined. This reveals several insurmountable problems in both Heidegger's later approach, and a number of serious problems with his earlier approach, the worst of which undermines the very aim of the project. The thesis concludes by showing that there are resources for overcoming this within the way that Heidegger's approach develops after Being and Time, once this development is understood in terms of Heidegger's account of metaphysics. This leads to the outline of an alternative formulation of the question
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