David Wittenberg on Nietzsche at the end of metaphysics.
The end of metaphysics, which Nietzsche’s philosophy paraliptically heralds, is the first potentially proper experience of the essential historicity of thinking, the first experience in which the ever-repeating self-same differentiation of metaphysics, which Hegel called simply the “spectacle [Anschein] of so many and so varied [verschiedenen] philosophies,” can be properly reviewed as Being’s self-abandonment: “The metaphysical differentiation itself—that means always, the distinction structuring and underlying [fügend-tragende] all metaphysics—must first be experienced in its beginning [Anfang], so that metaphysics becomes decisive as Ereignis of the history of Being, and relinquishes the illusory form [Scheingestalt] of a doctrine or opinion, that is, of something produced by man”. For the first time, Heidegger claims—although such a move has been continuously anticipated at least since Hegel—the history of thinking may potentially occur and be appropriated as more than the coincidence of its development and variety through time, but as a necessary, and equally necessarily concealed, structure. Because Being is essentially a history, it may now be reconceived generally as the “saying not-saying [sagendes Nithtsagen]” of itself as metaphysics, the lack-of-itself or difference-from-itself over time which recurs as a “selfsame” structure at the “end.” “Being,” as historical, is grasped as general paralipsis, precisely the paralipsis of itself as historical. This Ereignis of the end of metaphysics means that one may now begin to unconceal the truth, the a-letheia, of Being in or as its historical absence within the systems of specific thinkers. But, as Heidegger notes, the uncovering of such a truth is “granted [getwährte]” by Being, and not by the thinker: it is granted by the historicity of the forgottenness of Being, Seinsvergessenheit, and the reduction of this forgottenness, finally, into its own self-overcoming in Nietzsche’s positivistic destruction of Platonism. Nietzsche’s philosophy is the “last possible configuration” of metaphysics. But it could not be so—that is, Nietzsche could not be read as (paraliptically) introducing the “new commencement” of the Ereignis of the Seinsfrage—unless, for Heidegger’s own reading, Being had not granted a finite number of interdeveloping forms as a single history. Let us suggest another, more provocative way of putting this point: Nietzsche is named the last because we come after the last. And we come after the last only because now, precisely due to Nietzsche’s destruction of Platonism, Being emerges, dis-covers itself, as the single whole of which Nietzsche’s philosophy is the final and concluding part.