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BOOK REVIEWS 489 selections (and they happen to be the longest ones) deal with what may be called metaphilosophical topics. This emphasis is very appropriate since the nature of philosophy was indeed the central theoretical problem of Croce's work, which helped to integrate its diverse aspects. In short, Croce's multifaceted works constitute the preaching and the practicing of a new way of philosophizing, emphasizing criticism and concreteness. I wish only that this problem had loomed as large in the first part of Olivier's book as the second part shows it to have loomed in Croce's own mind. I conclude that this is a good introductory book on Croce, one whose competence and unpretentiousness make it difficult to deny that it successfullyaccomplishes what it sets out to do. MAURICE A. FINOCCHIARO University of Nevada, Las Vegas Heidegger and Ontological Difference. By L. M. Vail. (University Park, Pa.: Pennsylvania State University Press, 1972. Pp. 224. $8.50) Poetry, Language, Thought. By Martin Heidegger. Translated by Albert Hofstadter. (New York: Harper and Row, 1975. Pp. xxv + 229. Paper, $3.50) Early Greek Thinking. By Martin Heidegger. Translated by David Farrell Krell and Frank A. Capuzzi. (New York: Harper and Row, 1975. Pp. 129. $10.50) Heidegger has dealt with the question of ontological difference explicitly in two publications : the essay Vom Wesen des Grundes (1928), and Identitat und Differenz (1957). In the former, Heidegger discussed Leibniz's famous dictum nihil esse sine ratione and suggested that it was necessary to take a step back, as it were, from Leibniz's concept of propositional truth to lay open the ground (reason) on which true statements rest. In the course of the discussion Heidegger explained at some length what he intended to convey with the ontological difference . "Ontic and ontological truth," he stated, concern, each in its own way, beings (entities) in their Beingand Being of beings. They belong essentially together on the ground (by reason) oftheir referring to the difference between Being and beings (ontological difference).The essenceof truth in general, which in this manner is necessarilybifurcated, is possible only in conjunctionwith the coming forth of the difference. If indeed the distinctive character of Dasein (being-in-the-world,human existence)must be found in that it deals with beings by understanding Being, it followsthat this ability to differentiate (betweenthe two)--in which the ontological differencebecomes factical--must have struck the root of its own possibility grounded in (rooted in) the essenceof Dasein. Anticipating, we call the ground for the ontological differencethe transcendence of Dasein.' This passage shows the central place the ontological difference occupies in Heidegger's philosophy . It is not surprising, therefore, to note that the difference between Being and being, which also implies their belongingtogether, pervades Heidegger's whole work. The reader will encounter the theme in its many variations in any of Heidegger's writings. Professor Vail decided to investigate how the ontological difference applied to the major themes raised by Heidegger's philosophy. It is a path that leads her into repetitions since the various topics are most often intertwined. But her book, which grew out of a Yale thesis, is well written and gives evidence of an unusual insight into Heidegger's thinking. Examples illustrating the points she makes add a lively note to her rigorous argumentation. Vail begins with a discussion of Being as the open realm that Dasein traverses. Being shows a certain duality in that "it is somehow 'common' to all things that are: they all are. On the Vom Wesen des Grundes (Frankfurt a. M.: V. Klostermann, 1955),pp. 15-16(my translation). The same passage is also translated by Joseph Kockelmans, "The Ontological Difference," in On Heidegger and Language (Evanston, Ill.: Northwestern University Press, 1972), p. 28. 490 HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY other hand, there is an aloof singularity of Being" (p. 22). In one sense Being reveals itself in beings; in another, it conceals itself, and its wholeness remains, Heidegger says, a mystery. The twofold character of Being as revealing-concealingis important for Heidegger's concept of truth, to which Vail turns next. Concealment means that which "world," Being, does not let appear, does not make manifest for our...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1538-4586
Print ISSN
0022-5053
Pages
pp. 489-492
Launched on MUSE
2008-01-01
Open Access
No
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