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Heidegger and Representationalism Author(s): Tom Rockmore Reviewed work(s): Source: History of Philosophy Quarterly, Vol. 13, No. 3 (Jul., 1996), pp. 363-374 Published by: University of Illinois Press on behalf of North American Philosophical Publications Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/27744713 . Accessed: 19/03/2012 11:24
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History Volume

of Philosophy 13, Number

Quarterly 3, July 1996

HEIDEGGER AND REPRESENTATIONALISM


Tom Rockmore
is at least as old as Plato who thought that the
of appearance Representationalism world was a copy, or

the representational present purposes, we can understand approach to as asserting a cognitive relation between what is directly given knowledge1 in experience, be it a mental image or an object, in a word the repre sentation, and what is so represented. This paper will examine Heidegger's contribution to a representational approach to knowledge. It might

representation,

of reality.

For

Heidegger

seem to be an error, even grievously mistaken, to consider and epistemology under the same heading. In his later turn which he equates with philosophy for thought against metaphysics, {Denken), Heidegger, as Derrida will later do, gives up the label of philoso claims for it, epistemological phy for his theory. Yet clearly he makes is starting with his theory of truth as disclosure. And if phenomenology it has an epistemological useful for epistemological ends, it is because
dimension.

It could be further objected that Heidegger consistently stresses the of his position, whereas epistemology is specifi pre-Socratic inspiration theory might seem to be an arbitrary mological potential ofHeidegger's conflation ofHeidegger with what he is concerned to reject. Yet clearly his concern early and late with being in general, or with the being of beings, his analysis ofwhat he initially describes as the problem of the meaning of being, concerns a kind of knowledge. The cognitive thrust in Heidegger's theory is strong, particularly in his and Time takes up a series of cognitive issues, including early period. Being subjectivity, or human being, as Dasein; the phenomenon in the context of the discussion of the phenomenological method of investigation (? 7); the hermeneutical circle (? 32); and the theory of truth as disclosure (? 44). The
cally modern. From that perspective, any attempt to measure the episte

difference between beings and being in general is captured in the ontologi cal difference that is the conceptual cornerstone of the book, but is scarcely mentioned in later writings. To parody Plato's remark about the epikeina tes ousias {Republic 509), we can say that throughout his writings Heideg ger is concerned with knowledge beyond beings. From an epistemological 363

364

HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY QUARTERLY


early theory is how to go from

perspective, themain problem inHeidegger's beings, or entities, to being. Although

the concern with being is allegedly unprecedented, or at least since the early Greeks, the general strategy of proceeding from neglected what is given in experience to what lies beyond it is frequent enough. Descartes, who is often said to begin modern philosophy, by Heidegger as well, introduces a subjective turn in which the problem of knowledge consists in understanding the conditions of a legitimate inference from the contents of the mind to the external world. critique ofDescartes and his debt toHusserl are well known. Heidegger's His theory is often understood against the Husserlian background, par ticularly in France. Heidegger takes pains to record his gratitude to the latter inBeing and Time. He even affirms that his study was made possible

relation to by Husserlian phenomenology. Yet although Heidegger's Husserl is suggestive, it would be a mistake to assimilate his theory to Husserl's. For Heidegger is clearly an original thinker; and original think
ers, however they regard themselves and are regarded by others, can never

simply be assimilated

to their predecessors.

Husserl's phenomenology is concerned with the phenomenology of the intuition. Like Kant and Plato, visible as it is visible in phenomenological is concerned with the invisible, more precisely with a phenome Heidegger nology of the invisible, or being in general, to which we can gain access through the visible, or beings. In his theory, the epistemological problem lies in the transition from beings to being. Kant's
phenomena, or things in experience,

theory can be read as turning on the cognitive


given which are taken as

link between
appearances

is not usually regarded ofwhat is not itself so given, or reality. Heidegger as a Kantian, although there are indications that point to the importance ofKant for an understanding of his position. In Kant and theProblem of he draws attention to a connection between Kant's theory Metaphysics? and his own in reading the critical philosophy as ontology and in suggesting the need to carry Kant's theory beyond Kant. From an epistemological perspective, the theory stands or falls on its success in solving an analogue of the Kantian noumena,

problem concerning the relation between phenomena and in Heidegger's theory the relation between beings and being.

preliminary account of phenomenology is rich in insights, complex, confus ing, possibly confused, possibly also hastily constructed. According to Heidegger, ontology is concerned with rendering explicit the being ofbeings through a method that cannot simply be taken over but must be grasped phenomenologically. Like Husserl before him, he understands "phenome

Method of In ? 7 of Being and Time, entitled "The Phenomenological a preliminary exposition of his concep Investigation," Heidegger provides tion of phenomenology at the time he composed this book. Heidegger's

HEIDEGGER AND REPRESENTATIONALISM

365

nology" as providing a method capable of reaching the things themselves {die Sachen selbst) through so-called self-evidence. Except for its ontological emphasis, Heidegger's depiction of phenome tone. Yet his apparent Husserlianism has a distinctly Husserlian nology quickly recedes in his three-fold discussion of the terms "phenomenon;" "logos," and their conjunction in the word "phenomenology." initial difficulty arises from Heidegger's specific approach to the in this work, here to philosophy since the early tradition philosophical Greeks, in later writings after the self-described turning in his thought to view, since the early Greeks philosophy philosophy itself. In Heidegger's has not advanced beyond but fallen beneath its original but still valid insights that he hopes to recapture and carry forward. Despite his unusual grasp of the philosophical tradition, unlike Aristotle and Hegel who take into account and build on earlier theories, Heidegger holds that the meta physical tradition must be "destroyed" in order to return to the original insights in their pristine form. Since he cannot rely on the philosophical tradition that has lost its conceptual way, he looks to etymology to under
stand these terms.

An

Clearly, an etymological approach to the "authentic" insights of early Greek philosophy is fraught with difficulty. Let us assume that at some time close to the inception of philosophy philosophers possessed ideas that for various reasons were later lost from view. That is plausible in the sense that insights are lodged within a context, a phase of the discussion at a given point in time. As the conceptual and historical context becomes historically remote, it obviously becomes increasingly difficult to under stand views that arose in that period. So the Thomistic form of Christian no longer seems intuitively plausible in an ized Aristotelianism secular period. Closer to home, it is difficult now to under increasingly stand the context ofHegel's Phenomenology ofSpirit.

in anything approaching their original form. Even the urge to do so follows from a perspective based on the later discussion. Gadamer, Heidegger's most important student, is correct to suggest that we can only understand prior thought from our present perspective.4

How can we recover such insights? Can we do so? It is implausible that some two and a half thousand years later etymological analysis of a few key terms will enable us to recover the insights of early Greek philosophy

Heidegger bases his account of "phenomenon" on a prior account of the Greek etymology of the term. In introducing a version of the familiar distinction between reality and appearance, he immediately takes leave of Husserl to return behind him to German idealism, above all to Kant. In
his distinction between

selves, Kant makes two points that are often conflated and that perhaps cannot be reconciled. First, he holds that noumena can without contradic

phenomena

and

noumena,

or

things-in-them

366

HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY QUARTERLY

tion be thought of as causes and phenomena can without contradiction be thought of as effects. Second, he makes a stronger, "existential" claim in to a cognitive relation between phenomena and drawing attention noumena since "otherwise we should be landed in the absurd conclusion
that there can be appearances without anything that appears."

we can say that German idealism tends to reject the Kantian conception of the thing-in-itself as unknowable, hence as leading to skepticism. Ger
man non neo-Kantianism, as an appearance. on the The contrary, latter leads emphasizes the idea of the phenome approach to a representational

two very different doctrines in Kant's text lead to contrasting, incompatible interpretations of the critical philosophy as centered on phenomena (Phenomena) or appearances (Erscheinung). In general terms, These

to

the problem of knowledge that Kant broaches in an early letter inwriting: "What is the ground of the relation of that in us which we call "repre sentation" (Vorstellung) to the object?"7 Roughly the same view ofKant is currently popular philosophy
ena,

in the anti-metaphysical (Rorty,Putnam).


whether are

reading

favored in analytic

At the heart of the problem iswhether there is anything beyond phenom


in a word

ing him, Sartre, explicitly reject the Kantian conception of the noumenon. In rejecting the underlying distinction between phenomena and appear ances, they reject as well a representational approach to cognition that now
reappears in Heidegger's approach to phenomena as appearances.

phenomena

appearances.

Husserl

and,

follow

According toHeidegger, phenomena are beings, or entities, which can or do show themselves. Hegel improves on Kant in distinguishing between to veridical According (Erscheinung) and false (Schein) appearances. Hegel, knowledge requires the essence (Wesen) to appear. Silently following Hegel, Heidegger
or appears as

distinguishes

between the phenomenon


and a second,

that shows itself,


meaning

it is, the primary

in which

it appears

in the form of a semblance.

meaning,

privative

insists on the distinction between reality and Like Kant, Heidegger appearance. Although reality, as he says, announces itself through appear
ance, what appears through the phenomenon identifies is not itself a phenomenon. and

In this way he sides with Kant, who holds that reality cannot itself be given
in experience, reality. against Hegel, who phenomenal appearance

Heidegger
closely Kantian

distinguishes
manner.

between
The former

phenomena
refers,

and appearances
words, to the

in a
way

in his

the latter refers something is encountered within experience, whereas Like Kant, Heidegger believes that a phenomenon is imme beyond itself. diately given, but an appearance has a referential function. He is saying is just what it is with nothing behind it, entirely that a phenomenon is a sign that points beyond itself to self-contained, but an appearance

HEIDEGGER AND REPRESENTATIONALISM

367

seems to something else. Again like Kant in one of his phases, Heidegger are in fact appearances be saying that phenomena that refer to what
appears.

To explicate the referential function of phenomena regarded as appear ances. Heidegger introduces a four-fold distinction between different senses of "appearance." These include: (1) the announcing but not showing itself, (2) that which does the announcing, (3) the showing itself or the view of phenomena that he now favors, and (4) finally the view that what does the announcing is never manifest. The latter, which later becomes his official view, is captured in the slogan describing being in general as
present under the mode of absence.

Like Kant, Heidegger establishes a tight link between phenomena that show themselves and appearances that point beyond themselves to reality. As the second step in clarifying "phenomenology," he turns away from the
referential character of appearances as to focus more

ing of phenomena
themselves. He

through an account of "logos" inwhich phenomena


interprets "logos" "discourse," understood in an

clearly

on the

self-show

show
apo

phantical

sense as "making manifest" or "letting something be seen as something." Unlike Kant, forwhom a phenomenon is just given, orHusserl forwhom a phenomenon is just given in language, Heidegger sees language as referring to a perceptual object that itself refers. The result is to introduce a referential structure into phenomena that are not simply perceived as they are, but perceived as they are through a further reference, ultimately through a possible use. For Heidegger, per ception is pragmatic and ultimately, at least here, anthropological.

the initial position to the later position, what in the Beitr?ge zur Philoso Q phie he refers to as the distinction between the first beginning and the other beginning. claims to develop the original Greek conception of truth as Heidegger as found, for instance, in Heraclitus, who is said to combine aletheia, concealing and revealing. According to Heidegger, a true statement lets that lets something be seen is reason. Yet reason, or letting be seen, is only one form of apophantical discourse about something which further includes that which is exhibited, or its ground. phenomena, Hence, it turns out that this view of discourse englobes both phenomena Discourse
as well as appearances. something be seen as something, whereas a false statement covers it up.

Heidegger now links this view of logos with a theory of truth that he develops inmore detail in ? 44 o?Being and Time. He elaborates it further in later writings, particularly the 1930 lecture "On the Essence of Truth" that some observers (e. g. Beaufret) regard as marking the transition from

Heidegger now brings together the results of this part of the discussion in a preliminary conception of "phenomenology" that he takes to mean

368

HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY QUARTERLY

letting the cognitive object, in his language what shows itself, be seen as it shows itself. From an epistemological perspective, it is clear that if to its ontological task, then itmust be is to be adequate phenomenology the case that being shows itself through beings. Even at this early stage, we should not overestimate the similarity In noting that what he calls letting the between Heidegger and Husserl. be seen as it shows itself is the meaning of the Husserlian object slogan "To the things themselves," Heidegger implicitly suggests that his view is or even that he has gone beyond Husserl to capture an insight Husserlian that escaped the latter. Yet Heidegger appears tomisunderstand the con own theory and Husserl's that was painfully ceptual distance between his clear to the latter. He remains Husserlian
or in Husserlian similar terms to various perhaps

in his desire to establish a science ofphenomena,


philosophy forms as a rigorous science, and in his view, to of analytic extensionalism, that claims

know require direct demonstration in experience. Yet Husserl is concerned with phenomena through an analysis of "consciousness," a term that is never mentioned in Being and Time. Heidegger is rather concerned with
phenomena as appearances. His aim

phenomena at all that are interesting to him only to the extent that they cast light on the question on which his theory turns: themeaning of being. In this respect, fundamental ontology has little ressemblance to Husser
lian phenomenology.

is scarcely

confined

to phenomena

as

The difference between Heidegger and Husserl is significant. Although Marxists often claim that Marx goes beyond Hegel, in fact he changes the that Heidegger topic. It is sometimes suggested, mainly by Heideggerians, goes beyond Husserl.
from a science

It ismore accurate
as such

to say that he changes the focus


to phenomenology as a method

of phenomena

intended to cast light on being through the interpretation of beings. The notion ofhiddenness implicit in the conception of truth as disclosure enables Heidegger to link his view of phenomenology to the disclosure of being. In that sense, Heidegger's problem is a version of the Aristotelian to ti hen einai? Yet in Kant's wake, ontology in the ontological question, ancient Greek sense, the study ofwhat Putnam has called the furniture of the universe, is no longer possible. Heidegger, who has absorbed the lesson, claims straightforwardly that phenomenology is possible
only as ontology.

Kantian

contrasting perspectives on the cognitive object. First, there is the familiar idea that we can uncover its aspects, for instance through scrutinizing what is present to mind. This approach relies on the role of the subject,

In support of this claim, he now redescribes the conception of the phe nomenon in a way that links phenomenology and hermeneutics. His earlier descriptions of "phenomenon" as what shows itself or can be shown offer

HEIDEGGER AND REPRESENTATIONALISM

369

as active in the cognitive processus, for calls Dasein, what Heidegger instance in carrying out research of a particular kind, etc. In this view the subject is active and the object just is, or is passive. according to Second, there is an inhabitual idea attributed toHeraclitus which the cognitive object lets itself be seen or shows itself or, on the empha contrary, withholds itself. The latter approach, which Heidegger sizes with respect to the self-showing of the being of beings, seemingly transforms the cognitive object into a subject. A similar doctrine is at least superficially illustrated in German idealism, for instance in Hegel's view that substance, or the cognitive object, becomes subject. The presence here inHeidegger's early theory of the view that the object shows itself prepares in part for the later so-called turning in his thought, as a result ofwhich in favor of being as his view of the subject as Dasein he abandoned
self-disclosing.

is concerned with what is to Heidegger, According phenomenology or concealed, and needs to be revealed, above all being in mainly hidden, general. He specifically claims that phenomenology offers "demonstrative precision" to ontology understood as concerned with the being of beings. Yet it is difficult to see the basis for this assertion that concerns what is not itself an appearance but which appears. We are entitled to ask how he knows what he claims to know? Since we never see being in general but only particular beings, it is difficult to understand how phenomenology could offer demonstrative precision or even see being at all. Heidegger expands on his distinction between concealing and revealing in remarks on the idea of covered-up-ness now said to be the antithesis of phenomenality. According toHeidegger, for phenomenology there is noth ing other than phenomena, although phenomena can fail to be given or to be covered-up. This claim raises two problems. First, it needs to be shown
how phenomena function as appearances to refer beyond themselves.

Second, it still needs to be shown how phenomena selves or fail to be manifest.

fail to manifest

them

Heidegger does not explain the referential dimension of phenomena. He offers a partial response to the second problem in distinguishing different (unknown, buried over, disguising) as well as types of covered-up-ness reasons for it. In identifying a form that is not accidental, although alleg edly but inexplicably rooted in the thing discovered, he again opens the way to consider the object as active in withholding itself from us. There is an obvious tension inHeidegger's view ofphenomenology at this point. On the one hand, he stresses the importance of his reinterpretation of subjectivity as Dasein, a real human being rooted in existence, active in the interpretation of the contents of experience. On the other, he seemingly attributes the success or failure of efforts to acquire knowledge, not to the or subject, but rather to the object that for unclarified reasons either gives

370
withholds

HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY QUARTERLY

itself. Heidegger neither here nor later brings together the two facets ofhis view whose tension he attempts to resolve by later decentering the subject while continuing to focus on his only real object: being in Scrutiny of beings ismeant to lead us to being. The form of phenomenol It is primar ogy undertaken by Dasein is interpretative, or hermeneutical. concerned with knowing being in general ily through beings, or a calls the transcendent object, through the analysis of what Heidegger

general.

existentiality of existence. Since forHeidegger, knowledge of being is the basic problem of philosophy, and since ontology is possible only as phe nomenology, he is consistent in describing philosophy as universal pheno menological
Heidegger an

ontology.
here makes an epistemological of being. One claim we can

the idea that through the phenomenological


acquire authentic grasp

approach
concerns

to beings we
the meaning

paraphrase

as

can
of

pretation of any kind. In appealing to interpretation, he opens himself to the charge that what he presents as the authentic meaning of being is no
more than his own view of the matter. "True" would then mean, say, what

that, since Kant, is routinely understood as indicating conditions of possibility, above all with respect to knowledge. Heidegger's is simply inconsistent with his claim of transcen appeal to hermeneutics dental truth (veritas transcendentalis), or truth stronger than mere inter "transcendental"

problem

corresponds to his prejudices or is discernable through his special capaci ties in some hierophantic, Platonic manner. This is not even remotely comparable to the elucidation of the conditions of possibility whatsoever
in a Kantian sense or phenomenological truth in a Husserlian sense.

Heidegger seems to realize this problem when, later in the book (? 32), he presents his view of the hermeneutical circle leading to a hermeneutical view of truth based on the elucidation of a preliminary conception. Yet this

obviously leaves him with two different and clearly inconsistent views of truth that we can identify through reference to two great German idealist

predecessors.

On the one hand, going back behind Husserl toKant, his view of pheno truth retains a transcendental claim. This is a further version menological of what we can call the traditional philosophical view of truth as inde pendent of time and place, in a Platonic, objectivistic sense through the grasp of unchanging structures that supposedly typify reality itself. In the wake of the Cartesian insight, basic to later modern philosophy, that only the subject provides access to objectivity, Kant's transcendental approach
is obviously meant to preserve a similar claim.

On the other, his interpretative approach, amplified through the concep tion of the hermeneutical circle he takes over from Dilthey and Hegel, is a stronger claim without invoking special, ad hoc clearly inconsistent with

HEIDEGGER AND REPRESENTATIONALISM

371

principles that cannot escape the consequence that "true" refers to the view one currently happens to hold but may revise or even abandon at some future time. This view of truth is close to "pragmatic" conceptions inHegel,
Merleau-Ponty, and Peirce.

The relation between the subject and claims forknowledge is a key aspect in any theory. If by "knowledge" we understand "objective knowledge," there is a special difficulty with respect to the role of subjectivity in Heidegger's theory. Heidegger silently rejects the modern tendency to a normative conception of knowledge rather grasp subjectivity through
than

conceptions of the subject that Heidegger initially refuses in his "thick" conception ofDasein, comparable to views of the subject inHegel and Marx. What is here called a "thin" conception of subjectivity drives a conceptual wedge between the cognitive subject and human being in order to preserve familiar, maximalist epistemogical claims that must be aban doned whenever we take the subject seriously by understanding knowledge as human knowledge.

orminimalist

conversely.

Descartes,

Kant,

perhaps

even

Husserl,

all

propose

"thin,"

analyses ofknowledge unrelated to, in fact often contradicted by, the nature and limits of, real human beings. Heidegger is correct to note that scrutiny ently fails to see that the kind of "thick" conception of subjectivity he proposes in his idea ofDasein is simply incompatible on any interpretation with epistemological maximalism, hence incompatible with claims to tran scendental truth.
of phenomena is always interpretative, hence hermeneutical. Yet he appar

In this view, Heidegger correctly invokes a "thick" view of cognitive since the only real cognitive subject is human being. Ideas like subjectivity lead to mythological the cogito or transcendental unity of apperception

One such indication, as already indicated, is his continued reliance on the idea of transcendental truth. Another is the idea of phenomenological idea method modelled on the via regia of Cartesianism. Descartes'famous ofmethod

plays no discernible role in his later writings but continues to impress later thinkers, including Gadarner. Although a phenomenologist, Hegel simply denies that method can be isolated from content. Yet begin ning with Husserl, later phenomenology consistently echoes the Cartesian view that claims for truth depend in some crucial way on phenomenological

method. Heidegger of phenomenology

relates phenomenological method to its scientific status we bracket and to its associated cognitive claim. Yet, if who should not be confused with the Husserlians, we can say that Husserl, there does not seem to be a discernible method either inHeidegger or in
Gadamer.

is here called Heidegger's "thick" conception of subjectivity func in the initial version of his phenomenological tions ambiguously ontology, both as that which uncovers being in general and that whose own being, What

372
or nature,

HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY QUARTERLY


must be uncovered. In practice, the reflexive Cartesian move

suggests, particularly in ? 10 ofBeing and Time, led Heidegger to an anthropological approach to Heideger's early theory, particularly in France, where, urged on by Koj?ve and later by Sartre, several generations of philosophers have incorrectly seen Heidegger as prolonging traditional In Koj?ve 's influential, brilliant but idiosyncratic French humanism.10 ofHegel's Phenomenology, Hegel was already familiar with both reading sometimes Heidegger and Marx. in all its forms concerns human being as a central value. Yet Humanism forHeidegger, themain concern is never human being but being in general. Even in his turning toNational Socialism, when he adhered to traditional German Volks id?ologie, he was never deeply interested in human being as such or even in the German Volk, but only interested in human being as as opening the way to an an approach to being.11 In criticizing Descartes transformation of philosophy in his lecture on "The Age of anthropological theWorld Picture,"12 Heidegger simultaneously rejects both the Cartesian inclination. theory as well as his own earlier anthropological The deeper problem is how

phenomenological analysis ger reads ofKant's claim to elucidate


objects and knowledge as a variation

to justify the very idea that through a ofbeings we can know being in general. Heideg the conditions of the possibility
assertion on Parmenides' concerning

of

the identity of thought and being (to gar auto noein estin kai einai). Heidegger's approach presupposes an unexamined cognitive link between approach to beings and being that is a variant of the representationalist cognition. Variations of this same general problem run throughout modern philosophy
refers

from Descartes
connects the

to recent analytic
latter's concern

philosophy. Putnam,
analytic

who

to Kant,

to recent,

efforts

to

understand Kant's

how language hooks onto the world.13

influential theory illustrates the difficulty of a representationalist In an important passage in the second edition of the Critique ofPure theory.
Reason, yond he famously construes phenomena that we do not as appearances and pointing cannot be themselves to noumena experience as the know.14

This

theory rests on an illicit extension


through a causal reading

of causality

beyond the field of


source of appearance.

experience

Ifwe overlook this difficulty, the fact remains that, as Maim?n points out, this line of argument leads to skepticism. For ifwe can never penetrate
appearances to reality, we cannot know.

of reality

beyond

Hegel, who understood the distinction between


consciousness where,

this difficulty, tried to overcome it in relativizing and reality as a distinction within appearance
appropriate conditions, reality and appear

under

ance coincide or reality appears. Yet Heidegger, who rejects the approach to knowledge through the analysis of consciousness in itsHusserlian form,
cannot take this route.

HEIDEGGER AND REPRESENTATIONALISM


The

373

and Kant is useful to understand analogy between Heidegger which is to elucidate a cognitive inference from Heidegger's problem, beings to being. The difficulty is not, as is often claimed, that Heidegger has no argument, but rather that the argument he does have is insufficient that phenomena show them to justify his cognitive claim. He maintains

selves and that being shows itself through beings. After Being and Time, it becomes increasingly apparent that, fromHeidegger's perspective, being sense the cause of beings. Like Kant, who holds is in some unexplained that the noumenon can without contradiction be considered as a cause of which the phenomenon can be considered as the effect since otherwise there would be an appearance with anything that appears, Heidegger sees world history as the effect of being. Yet if this is his claim, then, even on a charitable interpretation, there is no way that Heidegger can know this to be the case, hence no way to justify the inference from beings to being. Kant's
the

representational offers a variant

theory of knowledge
phenomena as

relies on his conception of


appearances of noumena.

of the Kantian view in his contention that a Heidegger can lead to being. For Kant, noumena cannot of beings phenomenology themselves be known since they cannot be given in experience. It is, then, not a mere accident that, despite much interesting discussion, Heidegger's phenomenological approach to being through beings finally remains prole gome nal. The problem is not, as Derrida objects, that Heidegger remains

thing-in-itself

to designate

committed to a phenomenology of presence15 but rather that he cannot justify his claim that being is present through beings. A science of phenom ena that requires direct exhibition and demonstration of its objects is not possible forbeing but only forbeings, since, inmuch the same way as Kant's thing-in-itself, being is not a phenomenon. itself through beings. Yet in claims that being manifests Heidegger of this claim we have only the faith of a phenomenologist. Since support our only access to being is through beings, phenomenological scrutiny of never show us that being manifests itself in this way. Hence, beings will own terms, unjustified the inference from beings to being is, onHeidegger's and unjustifiable. Despite his other achievements that are neither denied nor even minimized, Heidegger does not propose a satisfactory form of the representational approach to knowledge. There is a corollary of this point affecting the general question of ontol ogy. For while there can be a phenomenological ontology concerning beings as phenomena, it appears that there cannot be one of being through given In that specific sense, and despite Heidegger's beings as phenomena.

approach to ontology as phenomenology, it remains to be shown that after the critical philosophy ontology in a general sense is still possible. University

Duquesne

Received November

21, 1995

374

HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY QUARTERLY NOTES

1. See MIT 2. See, Heidegger

Robert

Cummins,

Meaning

and Mental R?duction

Representation

(Cambridge,

MA:

Press,

1989). e. g., Jean-Luc Marion, et la ph?nom?nologie sur Husserl, et donation, Recherches Presses and universitaires de France) (Paris: et la ph?nom?nologie 1990). (Paris: Vrin, trans. Richard the Problem and of Metaphysics,

Courtine, Jean-Fran?ois Heidegger 3. See Martin Kant Heidegger, Indiana Taft (Bloomington/Indianapolis: 4. See Tom

1990). Press, University e la storia della la prospettiva ermeneutica Rockmore, "Heidegger, e comprensione, vol. 6, no. 20, settembre-dicembre 1993, pp. 16-25. filosof?a," Segni 5. See Kant, trans. N. K. Smith (New York: St. Martin's, of Pure Reason, Critique 1961), B 566, p. 467. 6. Kant, 7. Kant Press, Critique to Marcus of Pure Herz, Reason, B xxvi-xxvii, p. 27. in Immanuel (Chicago:

Correspondence, 1967), 8. See Martin Hermann and York: 9. See

1759-99, p. 71.

21, 1772, February trans. Arnulf Zweig Beitr?ge Vittorio

Kant, University

Philosophical of Chicago ed. F. W. von

Klostermann, as Rigorous in Edmund Science," "Philosophy trans, with an Introduction the Crisis of Philosophy,

Heidegger, a. M.: (Frankfurt

zur Philosophie

(Vom Ereignis), 1989). Husserl, by Quentin

Phenomenology Lauer (New Antihu Uni

and Row, 1965). Harper 10. See Tom Rockmore, and French Humanism, Philosophy: Heidegger manism and Being and New York: Routledge, 1994). (London 11. See Tom Rockmore, Nazism and Philosophy On Heidegger's 1992). Press, versity of California in Martin 12. See "The Age of the World Picture," Heidegger, an trans, and with and Other Essays, Concerning Technology Lovitt Hilary Kant, Jacques 1967). 1992), (New York: Harper Renewing of Pure La and Row, 1977), pp. 115-154. 13. See Press, 14. See 15. See de France, Putnam, p. 21. Critique Derrida, Philosophy (Cambridge:

(Berkeley:

The Question Introduction by University 105.

William

Harvard

Reason, voix

B xxvi-xxvii,

p. 27; B (Paris:

93, p.

et le ph?nom?ne

Presses

universitaires