The Young Heidegger
Rumor of the Hidden King
Publication Year: 1994
"... a major contribution to Heidegger scholarship..." -- Journal of the History of Behavioral Sciences
"Van Buren's portrayal of these formative years is striking and vital to all future Heidegger scholarship." -- Christian Century
"Van Buren presents a clear and cogent argument for the theory that Martin Heidegger's mature thought, epitomized in Being and Time, actually was a return to his youthful theory and concerns.... Van Buren's ability to present a rounded discussion while using Heidegger's own technical vocabulary is highly commendable." -- Library Journal
"... here at last is a work on the philosopher that is of fundamental philosophical-historical import. Van Buren's book is both interesting and well written... " -- Choice
"... a readable, interesting, and first-rate book." -- John D. Caputo
A startling new reading of Martin Heidegger's early thought leading up to Being and Time (1927) and its subsequent development in his later writings.
Published by: Indiana University Press
Series: Studies in Continental Thought
I WOULD LIKE to thank the following journals and publishers for permission to use portions of my previously published essays: "The Young Heidegger: Rumor of a Hidden King (1919-1926)," Philosophy Today 33 (1989): 99-109; "The Young Heidegger and Phenomenology," Man and World 23 (1990): 239-72; "The Young Heidegger, Aristotle, Ethics," in Arleen A. Dallery and
PART I The Matter of Heidegger's Thinking
1 Heidegger's Autobiographies
FOR YEARS WE heard rumors about an unofficial story regarding Martin Heidegger's unpublished youthful writings prior to his 1927 Sein und Zeit (henceforth abbreviated "SZ"). The rumors have included suggestions that in these writings he had already discovered the being-question, made the turn...
2 Figuring the Matter Out
HEIDEGGER so radically transformed the traditional being-question that he eventually stopped using the term "being" as a designation for what he was ultimately aiming at. The appellation reiterated through the many waystations or topoi of his thought from his student days to his latest thought was in fact...
PART II The Student Years
3 Curricula Vitae
WE BEGIN WITH Heidegger's student years between 1909 and 1915. The young thinker was quite prolific, publishing two books, half a dozen essays, and eleven book reviews, as well as a handful of poems. In 1911 he read Husserl's statement in "Philosophie als strenge Wissenschaft" that "the impulse...
WHAT DOES THE later Heidegger's almost offhanded label of "onto-logic" for his earliest thought mean? In his 1912 essay "Das Realitatsproblem in der modernen Philosophie" (The Problem of Reality in Modern Philosophy), he
IN REKINDLING THE ancient "battle of gods and giants," of Eleaticism and Heraclitism, Heidegger's two dissertations reinscribed the content/relation/ temporalizing configuration of the first guiding metaphysical question about being (ground/logos/presence) into the logical sense/judgment/atemporality...
6 Demythologizing Metaphysics
HEIDEGGER'S HISTORICAL HETEROLOGY of being is ultimately based on a Neo-Eckhartian "breakthrough" to the deepest depth-dimension of a mystical heterology. Durchbruch is a fundamental idea in Eckhart's mysticism and means the breakthrough to the realization of the unio mystica vis-a-vis the...
PART Ill The End of Philosophy
7 Demythologizing Metaphysics
HEIDEGGER DID NOT get the chair of Catholic philosophy at Freiburg University to which he had been aspiring since 1913 with the help of his mentors Finke and Schneider. Upon receiving his license to teach in 1915, the eager lecturer had to be satisfied with assisting the temporary replacement Father...
8 Primal Christianity
THOUGH HEIDEGGER HAD announced to Krebs early in 1919 that, despite his "deep respect for the Catholic lifeworld," the Scholastic "system of Catholicism" was now "unacceptable" to him, it was not until his lecture courses of WS 1920-21 ("Introduction in the Phenomenology of Religion") and SS 1921 ("Augustine and Neo-Platonism") that he carried out a sustained destruction
IN ADDITION TO his demythologizing of medieval Scholasticism, the young Heidegger also attempted to unmask the original kinetic-personal physiognomy of being behind the traditional guiding metaphysical question at work in Husserlian phenomenology. In this sense he approached Husserl as a paradigmatic representative of the modern epoch of transcendental "ego-metaphysics
AROUND 1921 ANOTHER major influence entered the horizon of Heidegger's thinking and teaching, namely, an Aristotle who was very different from the Neo-Scholastic Aristotle of Heidegger's student years. From this point onward, there is a more complicated interweaving of Christianity, phenomenology, and...
PART IV New Beginnings
11 The Questionableness of Being
"0NE THING [is] certain," Heidegger wrote in WS 1921-22, "[thinking is] not at an end; therefore begin, begin genuinely, move toward the beginning." Heidegger added here that beginning has "its 'time' " and that "to begin for another time is senseless" (G61 186). How is the kairos of the young Heidegger's
12 It Worlds for Me
THE PRESENT CHAPTER sketches how the young Heidegger's kinetic-personalist thoughtpath explored the demythologized content-sense of the being-question as an "it worlds" and described its relational sense in personalist terms as the "Dasein of personal life. " Though it was only in his lecture course of KNS...
UNTIL RECENTLY WE had always thought that the terms it-worlds, Es gibt (there is/it gives), and Ereignis (event/enownment) belonged only to the lexicon of Heidegger's later thought. Here, I discuss how the young Heidegger already described the temporalizing-sense of the being-question as Es gibt and
14 The Mystery of All Life
THE MODEL FOR Heidegger's notion of Ereignis was hardly transcendental idealism, but rather his own phenomenology of religion and, more specifically, medieval mysticism and the Romantic mysticism of Schleiermacher's free Christianity, which he understood as reassertions of primal New Testament Christianity...
15 Indications of Ethics
HEIDEGGER CALLED HIS "authentic beginning" of philosophy "the most radical phenomenology that begins 'from below' " in the midst of kinesis and not from some mythological high-ground above facticallife (G61 195). There is a double sense of "radical" at work here. It suggests the depth-dimension of...
16 Reinscribing Heidegger
HEIDEGGER PROVED INDEED to be a "constant beginner." His subsequent drafts of of "Being and Time" from SZ onward reinscribed the seminal waytraces of his new beginning, and effected a remarkable filling out and deepening of his earlier rough sketches, which also brought many new themes. We...