Saturday, August 06, 2005
Ten Theses on Heidegger

2. For Heidegger die Sache selbst is not Sein but that which makes possible the phenomenological occurrence of Sein.

a. Heidegger designates the basic question about his focal topic (= die Grundfrage that pursues die Sache selbst) as die Frage nach dem Sein selbst or nach dem Sein als solches. This question moves beyond the Leitfrage (which asks what/how/that entities are and what the highest entity is) as well as beyond all takings-as in which such "being" occurs. The Grundfrage asks what it is that makes possible all such takings-as and thus all instances of "being."

b. If "being" shows up only in a Seinsverständnis, Heidegger's central topic is "die Bedingung der Möglichkeit des Seinsverständnisses" (GA 24, 405.12-13).

{the condition of the possibility of its understanding}

c. If "being" is the is-ness, we ascribe to entities, Heidegger is after what allows for such ascribed is-ness: "Grund und Zulassung der Seiendheit" (GA 68, 51.5).

{Reason and permission of the beingness}
d. If "being" is the presence/accessibility of entities, Heidegger asks how such presence/accessibility comes about" "Die Frage, inwiefern es Anwesenheit als solche geben kann" (SD 77.17-18).

{Reason and permission of the beingness}

e. If "being" is the manifestness/availability of entities, Heidegger's focal topic is the prior possibilizing of that manifestness/availability: "die vorgängige Ermöglichung der Offenbarkeit von Seiendem" (GA 9, 114.26-27).

{the previous making possible the obviousness of what there is}
{The a priori enabling of the open disclosure of beings}
I'm not terribly confident with my {translations} above. Please add comments with better renderings and I'll update them.

die Sache selbst: the things themselves.
Grundfrage: basic question.
Seinsverständnis: understanding of being.

[Thesis 3]
I'm not sure, but "the things themselves" could be a misleading translation, because Heidegger distinguishes between "Sache" and "Ding". The latter is a special term in Heidegger's later philosophy: It's 'der Versammlungsort des Gevierts' (cf. Das Ding; Bauen Wohnen Denken, in: Vorträge und Aufsätze). I don't know, if there's an opportunitiy to make it clear in English.
You're right to subject that might not be the best translation. Perhaps "the matter itself" might be more literal. But this phrase, which is not Heidegger's, but was used by Husserl before, and even by Hegel a century earlier I believe, has traditionally be translated as "the things themselves", so I'll stick with the canonical translation.
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