Heidegger was clear in his lectures about presence and thinking that when he noted his distance from science by questioning the way we represent the phenomena of the world, “it was not from an impertinence of a better knowing, but due to the prudence of a not knowing“. This emphasis on the limits of his work he said were “on the side” of the greatness of the philosophers who had the lead way by opening up the grounds of Western European thinking.
We had arrived with a list of questions on the difficulties of the thought of being, on Sien und Zeit (Being and Time),his first book which had made him famous. With scattered pauses, we talked about this and that until early afternoon. Our global civilization is still in its beginning, he said. Thinking ought now to prepare to one day overcome the scientific and industrial settings in which it was defined. It was therefore necessary to re-understand and make be understood, something that had already been said as a prelude to the night of the ages, but that philosophy had never really thought: the free “clearing of being”. There was probably hiding the original point of entry into presence that set the dimensions of the World Game.
Heidegger answered our questions with patience: yes, many theses have been written on his work, but they’ve continued to speak of the “philosophy of being” as if it were a recipe or an opinion, and not about a work to find in the otherness of philosophy the permanence of a first question . Those who hoped to use being as a launching pad to propel a Weltanschauung,a new world view, could only be disappointed. The question he posed, on the truth of being, offered no support to such programs. He said the important thing in a true philosophy course was not what was said directly, but that which was reserved for the silence. Therefore, he said in a lecture on Hölderlin, it was easy to blacken pages with notes without even knowing what it was about.