Monday, April 09, 2012
Abdul Rahim Afaki on interrogating the question of being, from "The Heideggerian Triad of Ontical, Ontological and Hermenautical Approaches to Sein".
Heidegger tends to formulate the question of the meaning of Being as the most fundamental question in a transparent way. Heidegger designs the structure of the question of Being as an ‘inquiry’ which, according to him, ‘is a seeking (Suchen).’ Attaining the transparency of the structure of the question of Being, Heidegger finds three constitutive factors of this inquiry as seeking namely ‘that which is asked about (sein Gefragtes)’, ‘that which is interrogated (ein Befragtes)’, and that which is to be found out by the asking (das Erfragte).’ When one inquires into Being, what one seeks, according to Heidegger, ‘is not something entirely unfamiliar’ to one rather an ‘average understanding of Being.’ This average understanding is vague in nature through which one cannot grasp Being at all in the first stance but out of it ‘arise both the explicit question of the meaning of Being and the tendency that leads one towards its conception.’ In this regard, the average understanding is to guide ‘beforehand’ the inquiry into Being as a kind of seeking. In this seeking, what is asked about is Being-‘that which determines entities as entities, that on the basis of which [woraufhin] entities are already understood.’ So in the question of the meaning of Being, what is asked about is Being but what is interrogated is not Being rather entities, provided ‘[t]he Being of entities is not itself an entity.’ As the number of entities in the world is infinite, one may find it unlikely to interrogate all of the entities, and so one should limit one’s interrogation to make it viable. Working out the question of Being as a transparent inquiry, one should, in Heidegger’s view, give priority to one particular entity in order that the meaning of Being is to be discerned. This prior entity is the inquirer himself who asks the question as his own mode of Being. Heidegger denotes that entity by the term “Dasein” ‘which each of us is himself and which includes inquiring as one of the possibilities of its Being.’ The third constitutive factor of the structure of the question of Being is its meaning, the goal of the inquiry that the Dasein intends to attain as a result of its seeking. That is to say, what is to be found out by the asking lies in what is asked about to be discerned by the Dasein (that which is interrogated) as a goal of the inquiry.
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