Sunday, March 10, 2013
Laurence Paul Hemming on the there that isn't.
Jean Beaufret records an Exchange between Heidegger and Löwith in Heidelberg in 1969, where Löwith explained his differences from his former teacher at great length. At the conclusion, Heidegger is reported to have asked: "But Dasein in Sein und Zeit . . . how do you understand it?" Löwith replied: "The there of being". Heidegger retorted: "No! . . . being has no there". Heidegger laid the blame for this interpretation at the feet of Sartre, who translated Dasein into French as être là. Beaufret notes that Heidegger had dealt with the same question in a seminar conducted together with Eugen Fink two years earlier. There we find him addressing the same issue with almost identical words.
P. 5-6
"Heidegger: In Being and Time, Dasein is described as follows: Da-sein. The Da is the clearing and openness of what is, as which a human stands out. Representation, the knowledge of consciousness, is something totally different."

--Heidegger & Fink, Heraclitus Seminar 1966-67, p. 126.

Is this what Beaufret has in mind?

Is the point that the Da belongs to beings, not being?

I could swear, though, that Heidegger does speak sometimes of the Da for or of being.
Hemming cites Beaufret's Cahier de l'Herne: Heidegger p. 212. I don't have that one. Hemming then elaborates on the Heraclitus Seminar and cites GA 15 pp. 204-5. I don't have that either, but I think you're right and it's p. 126 in the Seibert translation. A couple paragraphs earlier MH refers to Sartre's translation of Dasein as être là.

I understand MH to be saying that Da/there is not the location of the subject, but an ontological openness. "MH: Thus, the clearing in which something present comes to meet something else present . . . presupposes the clearing in which what is present meets a human."

Thank you for the comments. I, too, would have responded as did Lowith. I had heard that MH continued to clarify the ontological difference but I never understood his latest version.

If Being has no there, then what about the characterizations of MH as delving into mysticism in his later years?
It's hard enough trying to come up with a consistent account of what MH meant, without getting off track on others' characterizations of him.

But that said, I'll contradict myself. I wonder how useful "topological" characterizations of MH are. If the "site of being" is an ontological clearing, it would seem ("being has no there") there's no there there. Thus, Oakland is the site of being.

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