Thursday, November 13, 2014
Richard Capobianco's latest book, Heidegger's Way of Being, reemphasizes the case for the most influential understanding of Heidegger in English. That presented by William Richardson in Heidegger: Through Phenomenology to Thought. Some of the most influential American Heideggerians studied with Father Richardson.

In the other corner is Thomas Sheehan, representing the "new paradigm" that for Heidegger, being meant: the meaning of things as intelligible and significant within the world of human concerns. Sheehan's book explaining the new paradigm, will be published on Sunday. Many of his papers exploring various facets of the new paradigm are available on the excellent Heidegger at Stanford website.

The debate between Sheehan and Capobianco is a gigantomachia in contemporary Heidegger studies. At the beginning of his book Capobianco sums up the case for the old paradigm best.
What was the "it" that Heidegger -- for a whole lifetime -- had his eyes upon? This "it" (es) that "gives" (gibt) so richly and inexhaustibly is Being itself (Sein selbst) as the temporal-spatial emerging and shining-forth of beings in their beingness as gathered in the ensemble. Being as "manifestness" or "manifestation" (Offenbarkeit), this is the matter itself (die Sein selbst) of Heidegger's thought -- which, remarkably enough, is at risk of being "forgotten" all over again. A Seinsvergessenheit is settling in anew -- and in Heidegger studies of all places. Over the last decade there has been a trend in the Heidegger scholarship towards understanding Being as reducible to "meaning" ("sense"), that is, towards understanding Being only in terms of Dasein's constitutive meaning-making activity. Yet die Sache: not principally Dasein, but Sein qua manifestation -- what Heidegger came to call "the truth of Being" -- in relation to Dasein.
Pp. 7-8
Is there a good summary somewhere of where/how they disagree and how significant the disagreement actually is?
Not that I have come across.

Sheehan's been elaborating the new paradigm with most of papers he's published since his new paradigm paper a decade ago. I believe the new paradigm has its origins in the early Heidegger, but it's now been fleshed out to work with the Beitrage, and the later essays and seminars. A good restating is his paper in the 2011 Heidegger Circle Gatherings.

I have not come across a paper summarizing the contra-Sheehan rebuttal. Capobianco's new book is the closest to that. There's have been extensive point-counterpoint discussions between Sheehan, Capobianco, Richardson, and others in the Heidegger Circle proceedings and list, but that's currently private.

The Polt paper in the same journal represents a middle ground I think most scholars are settling into: Sheehan's new paradigm helps make sense of Heidegger, but it doesn't explain everything; there's an excess that needs to be considered.

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