Monday, April 25, 2005

Martin Heidegger, "What is Metaphysics?" Part 3e

III. The Response to the Question

Because the nothing becomes manifest in the ground of Da-sein, we are led to ask "Why?" Wonder, is, indeed, the revelation of the nothing. That is why asking about the nothing (wondering) is the metaphysical question.

Metaphysics belongs to the nature of humanity as a basic occurance of Da-sein. Metaphysics is Da-sein. It is not the exclusive province of some academic department. Nor is metaphysics accountable to scientific measurement, it exists primordially far deeper than measurement. Metaphysics is the air in which we breath. And what is philosophy but metaphysics getting under way, meaning our activity of inserting our own existence into the fundamental possibilities of Da-sein as a whole.

Here is the method of philosophy, then. First, that we allow space for beings as a whole; second, that we release ourselves into the nothing, which is to say, that we liberate ourselves from those idols everyone has and to which he is wont to go cringing; and finally, that we let the sweep of our suspense take its full course, so that it swings back into the basic question of metaphysics which the nothing itself compels: "Why are there beings at all, and why not rather nothing?"

this is an audio post - click to play