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372 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY Vincenzo Vitiello. Heidegger: II nulla e la fondazione della storicita. Dalla Uberwindung der Metaphysik alla Daseinsanalyse. Urbino: Argalia Editore, 1976. Pp. 495. In a few introductory pages Vitiello explains his approach to Heidegger's philosophy. Nothingness , he asserts, is the abyss of Being from which its "presence" emerges always anew in the "world" of Dasein. Therefore, nothingness rather than Being is the ground of historicity. Since Being and Time is, in the author's opinion, the result of Heidegger's overcoming metaphysics, the meaning of the latter must be dealt with first. Vitiello begins his discussion with the modem age of science and technology, the most powerful expression of metaphysical thinking. Heidegger has coined the term Ge-stell to denote the way man looks at things in a "world" dominated by technology. Dasein (man) measures and calculates objects in order to make use of them as he pleases. But things are not present without the presence of Being; that is, Being reveals beings and things. The modem era is characterized by the fact that Dasein forgets Being, and Being has withdrawn, The forgetfulness of Being, however, has a long history beginning with Plato and leading to Nietzsche. The metaphysical thinkers comprehend Being as a being, an ideal absolute or a highest being--God. Vitiello gives a good account of the metaphysical tradition. His presentation of Heidegger's interpretation of Nietzscbe seems to this reviewer most successful. He points to the connection between the Will to Power, the Eternal Recurrence, and the essence of the technological world. In the epoch of the machine Nietzsche's Will to Power is reflected in man's will to dominate nature; the Eternal Recurrence "presences" things in accord with the will that acts upon them. Heidegger's criticism of the metaphysical tradition, however, is not the simple rejection it may appear to be. It was precisely the forgetfulness of Being by the great thinkers of the past that showed Heidegger a new path to Being. In its withdrawal Being has revealed itself. The double movement of Being as unconcealment and withdrawal circumscribes the "world" of Dasein. It is a "world" that defines the epochal events of Being. Because Being conceals as it reveals itself, the truth of any epoch is untruth (lrre) at the same time. This insight, it seems to me, is the focal point of Vitiello's argumentation. It helps him, for example, to give the ontological difference, a key concept for Heidegger, a deeper explanation and meaning. Instead of being satisfied with interpreting the ontological difference in terms of the event (Ereignis), the revealing-concealing of Being, Vitiello gropes more deeply. He takes into account Heidegger's claim to the effect that Being and Nothingness are the same and applies it to the ontological difference. Being as a whole is the abyss, the secret or nothingness that is the other to all that is. When Being reveals itself it negates, as it were, its own nothingness: "A new epoch, a new 'world' . . . are continuously negated," the author asserts, "in the negation of Being through nothingness and of nothingness through Being" (p. 277). From this it follows that the ontological difference names the differing, to wit, how nothingness is transformed within Being. The author distinguishes between "the not of the entity which defines Being from the not of the ontological difference which is the not within nothingness and Being" (p. 244). This reviewer considers the author's ability to make a convincing case for relating the ontological difference to nothingness as one of the most exciting results of his book. It is interesting to note that a chapter on Kant does not appear as part of the metaphysical tradition, but it is inserted in his long analysis of Being and Time. Vitiello's reason is that Heidegger gave a lecture course on Kant in Marburg in 1925-26 at a time when he was working on Being and Time. His interpretation of Kant was not unrelated to some major thoughts he developed in Being and Time. Heidegger focused his attention on Kant's concept of imagination, which played a central role in the first edition of the Critique of...


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