Scott M. Campbell on Heidegger's "lost manuscript" and the facticity of life.
"Phenomenological Interpretations with Respect to Aristotle: Indication of the Hermeneutical Situation ," known as Heidegger's "lost manuscript," is the prospectus that he sent to Marburg and Göttingen for the purpose of attaining teaching positions at those universities. It is both historically and philosophically important because in it Heidegger outlined his current and projected philosophical interpretations of Aristotle. Gadamer, in his introduction to the subsequent publication of the manuscript (1989) after its rediscovery, titled Heideggers "theologische" Jugendschrift (Heidegger's "Theological" Youthful Writings), maintains that there are two impulses motivating the young Heidegger's interest in Aristotle: (1) a critique of Aristotle's understanding of Being and (2) a retrieval of the facticity of Dasein through Aristotle. It is the latter impulse, Gadamer claims, that is partly theological insofar as Heidegger affirms that Christian theology moves within concepts that originated in Aristotelian ontology. Since Reformation theology provided a critical impetus to Kant and the development of German Idealism, Heidegger's interpretations of Aristotle can be understood as an attempt to redirect current philosophical and theological traditions toward Dasein's facticity. In that sense, facticity involves both the retrieval of certain lost traditions and the reinterpretation of current traditions through that retrieval.
Considering that Heidegger was providing a sketch of his current research and drawing up plans for future work, the prominence of facticity as retrieval and reinterpretation in this brief yet enlightening and provocative text confirms its centrality to Heidegger's project. I show here how Heidegger intends to makes a retrieval of Dasein's facticity through Aristotle and how he believes that attention to facticity can bring about a radical reinterpretation of philosophical and theological research. My claim is that Heidegger does not simply want to retrieve ideas from the past. Rather, he is interested in the current state of philosophy and theology, which, he tells us, is operating with Aristotelian concepts but without a proper orientation toward Aristotle's philosophical-historical (factical) situation. If philosophy and theology can be traced first to scholasticism and then, on the one hand, through St. Thomas and St. Bonaventure back to Aristotle, and, on the other hand, through Augustine and Neoplatonism back to Aristotle, then Aristotle is certainly a pivotal figure. Philosophy and theology have lost sight of certain critical insights into ontology and logic that Aristotle had made through his own analyses of facticity of life. For philosophy and theology to reclaim those insights, they need to recognize that Aristotle's philosophy was a description of the meaning of factical life, which, Heidegger claims, is the proper object of any philosophical research.