The Metaphysics of Temporality: Heidegger’s Later Concept of Time Open Access

Merwin, Christopher (Summer 2020)

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Our experience of time is not the same as the chronological passage of time. In his landmark 1927 text Being and Time, Martin Heidegger poignantly described how humans project time through how we orient our own individual human cares and concerns. Heidegger’s description of the experience of time springs from our everyday existence and had profound impact on the phenomenological interpretation of time. Heidegger’s reflections on time did not end with the publication of Being and Time, however. In 1962, just over a decade before his death and 35 years after the publication of Being and Time, Heidegger gave a short lecture entitled “On Time and Being”, his last treatment of the topic of time. In this lecture, Heidegger argues for a more radical interpretation of time. Time is ontologically relational. Our conceptions of “past”, “present”, and “future” are determined through the ontological presence and encounter with other beings. Over the course of 35 years, the locus of Heidegger’s analysis had shifted from a concept of time framed around individual human experience to a deeply ontological and relational understanding. To show the radicality of Heidegger’s concept of time in his later thought, I trace his thinking of time from across his entire career through his early, middle, and late periods. In the early period, around Being and Time (1927), time was understood as something we inter-subjectively create through our projects and in the living of our lives. In his middle period, in the unpublished treatises around the Contributions to Philosophy (1936–38), time is no longer thought from out of human Dasein but is instead thought in terms of the time-space of an event. Time in Heidegger’s later period becomes something deeply relational because it is defined by the intersecting temporalities of discrete entities. This concept of time offers a provocative alternative to contemporary metaphysical conceptions of time. My dissertation thus traces the development of Heidegger’s unusual concept of time across his entire career from Being and Time until just before his death in the 1970s and addresses the metaphysical questions which an individuated and inter-relational concept of time raises.

Table of Contents

Introduction 1

Chapter One: Heidegger’s Early Concept of Time 18

I.     The Timeliness (Zeitlichkeit) of Dasein 23

A. Temporality as the Ground Dasein’s Constitution 26

B. Timeliness, Historicity, and the Common Concept of Time 29

  II.    The Temporality (Temporalität) of Being 35

A.    Heidegger’s Logic Course & the Development of Temporality 36

B.     Being and Time and the Project of a Fundamental Ontology 40

C.    The Basic Problems of Phenomenology and beyond 42

 III.   The Ontological Difference & Transcendental Science 50

A.    Temporality and the Transcendence of Dasein 51

B.     Interpreting Aristotle’s Physics and Metaphysics 55

1.      Aristotle’s ‘now’ 56

2.      The ontological interpretation of motion 61

C.    Augustine’s Concept of Time 66

1.      The Augustine Seminar 67

2.      “Tempus itself spatium” 70

3.      The Beuron Lecture 79

  IV. Conclusion: From Temporality to Time-Space 85

Chapter Two: The Time-Space of the Event 89

I.     Development: The Essential Unfolding of Time-Space 93

A. The Beginning of Western Philosophy and the Turn to Anaximander 93

    1. The Stepping Forth and Receding of beings (γένεσις and φθορά) 95

        2. Compliance and Noncompliance (δίκη and ἀδικία) 97

    3. The Allocation of Time (χρόνος) 98

B. The Unity of Time and Space 100

C. The Confrontation with Being and Time 103 

  II.    Time-Space as the Abyssal Ground 105

A.    The Fissure of Beyng and the Abyssal Ground. 108

B.     The Temporalization of Time-Space 113

C.    The Site of the Essential Moment 115

D.   Da-sein and the Decision Between Beyng and Beings 120

 III.   Dispensation, Conjunction, and Emergence 122

A.    The Return to Anaximander, Heraclitus, and Parmenides 124

B.     Dispensation, Ordaining, Integration and the Junction of the Beginning 128

C.    The Transition and Emergence of a Being 133

D.   Lingering as the Allotment (Zuweisung) to Presencing 137

  IV. The Essence of Time: The Whiling (das Erweilnis) 141

A.    Need as the Essence of Presencing 142

B.     Whiling as the Essence of Time 147

   V. Conclusion: From Time-Space to It is Time (Es ist Zeit) 153

Chapter Three: On Time and Being 157

I.     The Giving of Time 159

A. The Giving of Being from Presence 163

B. The Event: Being & Time 166

C. The Sending and Allotment of Being 169 

  II.    The Giving of Proper Time 173

A.    Openness, Approach, and the Nearing Nearness. 174

B.     Proper Time as the Fourfold Extending of the Open 180

 III.   For Each Their Time 184

Conclusion 192

Bibliography 210

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