Sunday, July 04, 2010
Simon Critchley on the givenness of Being.
In Zeit und Sein, Heidegger’s continuation and radicalization of the thinking begun in Sein und Zeit, he seeks to raise the question of Being and time anew as a matter for thinking. To think Being in terms of beings, where the former is the ontological ground for the latter, is to think metaphysically (SD 4/TB 4). Heidegger replaces the customary expressions, namely that ‘Being is’ or ‘time is’ (‘Sein ist, Zeit ist’ SD 5/TB 5) with the formulations ‘es gibt Sein’ and ‘es gibt Zeit’ (ibid.). Thus, Heidegger displaces the problem of Being and time onto the horizon of an ‘it’ that ‘gives’ or provides the primordial donation of Being. This giving is ultimately thought as the appropriating event (das Ereignis, SD 20/TB 19) or, more precisely, as the appropriating of appropriation (‘das Ereignis ereignet’ SD 25/TB 24), which permits a thinking of the conjunction of Being and time without regard for beings, that is, without regard for metaphysics (‘Sein ohne das Seinde denken, heißt: Sein ohne Rücksicht auf die Metaphysik denken’ SD 25/TB 24).

What fascinates Derrida in the formulation es gibt Sein is the way in
which Being is divorced from the language of metaphysics and shown to belong to a prior giving, the giving of an ‘It’ (‘Sein gehört als die Gabe dieses Es gibt in das Geben’ SD 6/TB 6). The gift is an ‘It’, in Derrida’s text Ça, and the homonym for Sa, Savoir Absolu, exceeds the metaphysical determination of Being. For Heidegger, Being is not (‘Sein ist Nacht’) but, rather, gives ‘It’ as the unconcealing of presence (‘Sein gibt es als das Entbergen von Anwesen’ SD 6/TB 6).

P. 22-3
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