Heidegger: An introduction to “A (Very) Critical Introduction”
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The paper is a short summary of a critique of Heidegger, which I formulated at greater length in The Early Heidegger and Medieval Philosophy: Phenomenology for the Godforsaken (Catholic University of America Press, 2006), and Heidegger: A (Very) Critical Introduction (Eerdmans, 2008). The critique is motivated by ethical and theological concerns and interrogates Heidegger’s key methodological distinction between ontological investigations and ontic discussions. I argue that this distinction allows Heidegger to re-populate the ethico-theological horizon with presuppositions that remain unexamined and, under the terms of the distinction, unexaminable. These presuppositions set the stage for Heidegger’s politics in the 30s and his theological impact on Catholic and Protestant theology in the latter half of the 20th century. In conclusion I argue that ontology must never be divorced from the ethico-theological concerns which are endemic to it.
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