Wednesday, February 02, 2011
Markus Gabriel on selecting the other god.
Essence does not exist as an entity among others which is disclosed to reflection. Such a view of essence (of the in-itself) would entail a fallback to the sphere of being. The in-itself does not exist independent of our activity of conceptualizing it. It is a pure ens rationale, the result of our penetrating the ‘veil’ of appearances. In other words, essence comes close to being (Seyn) in the peculiar Heideggerian sense. It is the very ontological difference between essence and appearance which may be interpreted in different ways throughout the history of being (Seyn) or reflection. In this context, it is, of course, absolutely crucial to insist that Heidegger is not talking about some Being independent of our access to it (which would be metaphysics). The history of Being is not the history of mistaken identifications of the One beyond discourse. Heideggerian Being is therefore not pre-, but post-Hegelian. Heidegger is far from falling back behind Hegelian reflection. He rather tries to radicalize it so as to eradicate any firm belief into Being as a transcendent agency revealing itself in history. Despite the theological ring of Heidegger’s formulations, he protests against theology in a particularly modern gesture of fighting ontotheology, a gesture Gadamer calls his ‘raising one’s hands against God (Handaufheben gegen Gott).’ In this vein, Heidegger famously asserts ‘that theology is a positive science and as such, therefore, is absolutely different from philosophy.’ In particular, he explicitly fights any identification of his project with Christian theology, an opposition he never gave up. Even in the Contributions’ resurrection of the ‘last God’ he unambiguously declares that what he refers to as ‘God’ is ‘totally other over against gods who have been, especially over against the Christian God.’

P. 43
I agree that MH does not intend that his use of beyng be identified with the tradition's usages. Yet he does write both of "essence" and of "metaphysics" as useful terms.

He writes that the essence of Dasein is existence. He does refer to another beginning for metaphysics.

He is clear and forceful about not identifying his sense of beyng with the Christian God. Yet at the same time, he has described himself in his letters as doing what Christian theologians have done. What that comment refers to more specifically, I do not recall.

Since the abandonment of beyng is not of human doing, the return of the divinities would also not be of human doing. Yet the latter requires that Dasein be open to it by letting be. I am willing to equate letting be with reverence.
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