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Journal of the History of Philosophy 40.1 (2002) 133-134

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Book Review

Heidegger's Concept of Truth

Daniel O. Dahlstrom. Heidegger's Concept of Truth. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2001. Pp. xxx + 462. Cloth, $59.95.

This somewhat trite and overly generic English title, from a Heideggerian perspective, is better specified by the title of the German original, which was perhaps too provocative for an analytical English audience conditioned by Carnap's critique of Heidegger: "The Prejudice of Logic: Investigations into the Theory of Truth of the Early Heidegger." The author's more-than-literal, amplifying and supplementing translation of his own German text of 1994 aims to face up to all the "hard interpretive decisions" (xxii) that Heidegger poses by leaving no German term uninterpreted or untranslated, including even Dasein as "being-here." The translation is thus more illuminating from the start in the sense in which "logic" too narrowly conceived and claimed to be the sole arbiter of truth becomes a "disabling" prejudice (xvi) rather than the "enabling prejudice" that logic normally is for any discourse and thought. Dahlstrom's focus is on the early and so "logical" Heidegger (1912-29), before he decided to lose even logic (better, "onto-theo-logic") in a more original tornadic "whirl" of abyssal questioning in the "turning." Hence, the opening pages point to Heidegger's quest for a more original philosophical (transcendental, phenomenological, ontological, hermeneutical) "logic of philosophy" (Emil Lask's phrase) that "produces" the fundamental concepts or categories for any field of being, including itself. This original productive logic of category formation "transcends" the formal logic of judgment while founding it.

It is the transcendental and material logic that Heidegger found in Kant, which is oriented toward the spatio-temporal schematisms of the imagination that emerge from the transcendental aesthetic to mediate the application of the judicative forms of the understanding into befitting categories of reality. But Dahlstrom does not get around to detail this quasi-Kantian account of material logic, or Lask's version of it, which finds its fundamental stratum in the already categorized (i.e., conceptually interpreted) originally unitary object, prior to its distinction into form and matter, subject and predicate, etc. Lask calls this a priori categorized realm of intentionally structured meaning (intelligibility, truth) a "panarchy of the logos," which Heidegger will readily transform into his "hermeneutics of facticity" (double genitive: "life lays itself out, interprets itself") and identify with the prejudicative, prepredicative temporal realm of truth as "disclosedness" and "unconcealment." [End Page 134]

But Dahlstrom does find, in Husserl's unpublished logic courses of the early twenties in which "Analyses of Passive Synthesis" are carried out, a "genetic logic" on the level of the "transcendental aesthetic" in the "complicated intentional systems" of the sensing human body situating itself by constituting the time and space of its world prepredicatively and prejudicatively, a "logic" or logos which accordingly "anticipates much of the analysis of being-in-the-world undertaken in Being and Time" (155). And yet Heidegger, who as Husserl's trusted assistant was granted generous access to such unpublished manuscripts, "remained silent" about these clear anticipations. Instead he criticizes Husserl publicly in his own courses, culminating in Being and Time, for neglecting the question of the "being of intentionality" as well as of the "sense" of being as such, which Heidegger finds in "timeliness" (Zeitlichkeit), the originary time of being-here. Yet in arriving at this temporal sense of being, Heidegger "clearly appropriates the horizonal (allegedly preobjective and presubjective) character of time-consciousness elaborated by Husserl." Why, then, "Heidegger's silence"? "These breakthroughs of Husserl's later thinking are not mentioned by Heidegger because he wants to appropriate them in his own way and without the framework out of which they arose. An injustice and a disservice is thus done to Husserl's phenomenology . . . [which is] the price of the philosophical maturity of its most famous student . . . [as] his thinking moves to a plane beyond the reach of Husserlian phenomenology and terminology" (169f).

This in-depth discussion of Heidegger's relationship with Husserl...


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