3:AM: Can we understand Heidegger’s metaphysics in relation to any of the analytic metaphysicians—or is he best understood in reaction to Husserl?
AM: I believe that there are deep connections between Heidegger’s metaphysics and the concerns of analytic metaphysicians. One of the things that I try to do in my book is to show that Heidegger’s metaphysics involved him in a kind of battle with language that was reminiscent of Wittgenstein’s early work. But that is just one example of very many. And it illustrates the point we touched on earlier: how profitable it can be to set non-analytic traditions alongside the analytic tradition.
That said, I also believe that it is crucial to understand Heidegger in relation to Husserl, and in particular to understand him as pursuing Husserl’s phenomenological project of “bracketing” our normal beliefs and focusing on their significance for us. There were important differences between them, to be sure, but I think that the differences—which were more a matter of doctrine than of basic methodology—were on the whole far less important than the similarities. I have a section in my book entitled “Heidegger as Phenomenologist, Pro Husserl and Contra Husserl”. One of my aims in that section is to combat a tendency among commentators to emphasize the “contra” at the expense of the “pro”.