Fundamenta eventontologravity OntologyDasein/The End of Philosophy, 105 – 6.
23 ga 12: 41/owl 166 – 67; tm. For Nietzsche’s claim, see Friedrich
Nietzsche, Sämtliche Werke, Kritische Studienausgabe, vol. 5 (Ber-
lin: de Gruyter, 1980), 81 and vol. 11 (Berlin: de Gruyter, 1980),
24 ga 12: 41/owl 167; tm.
25 Grimm and Grimm, Deutsches Wörterbuch, s.v. “sanft.”
26 ga 12: 41/owl166; tm.
andrew j. mitchell
27 ga 12: 41/owl 166; tm.
28 The 1928 – 29 lecture course Introduction to Philosophy devotes
a few pages to the nature of childhood (more speciWcally to Da-
sein in both its early [frühzeitliche] and young [frühmenschliche]
forms). Heidegger immediately speciWes young Dasein, noting
that “essentially diVerent without further ado it is not, even if
it is to be understood otherwise than as human” (ga 27: 123).
Heidegger then worries over the methodological question of how
to conceive of such a Dasein, deciding that it can only be pur-
sued in something of a “privative manner, i.e. in departure from
a positive foundational conception of Dasein” (ga 27: 123). The
similarities with the treatment of the animal are striking. And
just as the animal operated in a ring of behavedness (Benommen-
heit) which has connotations of a kind of captivated daze, so too is
the child said to be in a “semi-conscious state [Dämmerzustand]”
(ga 27: 125). Most importantly, however, the child does not sim-
ply comport to beings, rather “Some being is already open to the
child, although still no comportment to this being follows” (ga 27:
125). As Heidegger explains, “the semi-conscious state in which
such a young Dasein is, does not mean that there would be still
no relation [Verhältnis] to beings, but rather only that this self-
comporting to … [Sichverhalten zu… ] still has no deWnite goal.
The being with the beings is to a certain extent still clouded over,
not yet illuminated, such that this Dasein can still make no deter-
minate use of the beings” (ga 27: 126). So let us simply note that
even at the time of fundamental ontology, there is recognition of
a distinction between the adult and the child, that the human is
not simply human. The category that is supposed to be preserved
against contamination by an animal other, for example, is already
compromised. Not all humans are alike.
29 See ga 29/30: 388/267; ga 2: 320/Being and Time (2010), 232;
and ga 79: 17 – 18.
30 ga 79: 56.
31 ga 79: 18; cf. ga 7: 180/Poetry, Language, Thought (2001), 176.
Heidegger’s Later Thinking of Animality
32 ga 79: 56.
33 ga 12: 42/owl 167; tm. Obviously such a view calls into ques-
tion the supposed anthropocentrism of Heidegger, a central te-
net of the interpretations of animality in Heidegger. Calarco, as
one instance among many, claims: “The problem is rather that
Heidegger uncritically accepts two basic tenets of ontotheological
anthropocentrism: that human beings and animals can be clearly
and cleanly distinguished in their essence; and that such a distinc-
tion between human beings and animals even needs to be drawn”
(Calarco, Zoographies, 30). With the mortality of the blue deer,
this no longer seems the case.
Gatherings: The Heidegger Circle Annual, 1 (2011): 86 – 93.
Richard Capobianco. Engaging Heidegger.
Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2010. 182 Pages.
Reviewed by Lawrence J. Hatab
Richard Capobianco’s impressive book, Engaging Heidegger, tackles
some fundamental questions in Heidegger’s thought, and does so in a
remarkably clear and pointed manner. In this brief review I address the
following salient topics covered in the text: the status of the Seinsfrage
in Heidegger’s later thought, particularly in relation to Ereignis; the
question of homelessness and being-at-home; and the position of Angst
in some of Heidegger’s writings after Being and Time.
In his Wrst two chapters, Capobianco challenges some readings of
Heidegger that see the later writings moving beyond or supplanting
the centrality of being in the early works. The primary example of this
supposed shift is the focus on Ereignis, understood as that which “gives”
being (as in es gibt Sein). Capobianco makes a thoroughly convincing
argument that the being-question remains the fundamental Sache in
Heidegger’s thought through to the end (well documented in the late
text, Four Seminars). This argument is trenchant as long as being is
shown in its “diVerence” from beings and metaphysical constructs
drawn from beings – a diVerence named in such words as Seyn, Sein
selbst, Sein als solches, and Sein als Sein. Being is then diVerent from
beings (Seiendes) and from the metaphysical “beingness” (Seiendheit)
of beings. In Capobianco’s analysis he draws these distinctions quite
eVectively. Yet he is careful to maintain that being is always the being
Review: Engaging Heidegger
of beings and that something like Dasein’s ecstatic dwelling in, and cor-
respondence with, being never recedes in Heidegger’s thinking. Capo-
bianco then shows how various focal words in the course of Heidegger’s
work – e.g., unconcealment, presencing, the freeing, letting, or giving
of beings, Lichtung, and Ereignis– are variations on the primal theme
of being. There is a very helpful chart (Engaging Heidegger, 8 – 9) that
organizes the diVerent ways in which Heidegger expresses the being-of-
the-beingness-of-beings (drawn in terms of being itself), metaphysical
beingness, beings, and human responsiveness.
Capobianco also does a great service in his attempt to render the
features of being itself that can be tracked in Heidegger’s thought,
which I will cull from diVerent passages (Engaging Heidegger, 4 and
50) as follows: Being as such is the temporal-spatial, Wnite and nega-
tived, appearing of beings in their beingness, which calls forth from
Dasein a cor-respondence in language that allows both what appears
and appearing itself to become manifest. According to Capobianco, be-
ing itself in this sense is the “same” as key words in the later writings,
including Ereignis. Capobianco concedes that Heidegger’s language in
the 1950s and 1960s was not always careful on this matter – for in-
stance, the idea that Ereignis is that which “gives” being. Yet through
a meticulous analysis of various texts, and especially the four seminars
given between 1966 and 1973, Capobianco is able to show convincingly
that the Seinsfrage was the single question animating Heidegger’s en-
tire thought, and that Ereignis gives the beingness of beings, not being
itself, for which Ereignis is “another name” (see the summary discus-
sion in Engaging Heidegger, 43V).
I have no criticism of Capobianco’s work in these Wrst two chapters;
I am in complete agreement with their contents. But I would like to
oVer what I think is a supplement to his argument by considering how
we should understand the language of Heidegger’s core words. As with
any thinker, we are prone to look for the fundamental terms, what
these terms mean, and whether any change in terms is a change in the
thought. Capobianco is warning us against asserting the latter notion,
and his account of being itself that I culled earlier is an impressive
lawrence j. hatab
articulation of what seems to persist throughout Heidegger’s thinking
(with duly noted variations or shifts of emphasis, of course). With such
an articulation of die Sache selbst, I don’t really care what we call it,
although care is called for when selecting or considering the resonances
of a focal word or phrase.
In Introduction to Metaphysics, Heidegger called ontology “the
eVort to bring being into words.”1 For me, Heidegger’s thinking, from
beginning to end, was an “experiment” in bringing the question of
being into words, not in the typical philosophical manner of canoni-
cal terms meant to govern thought, but an attempt to gather in lan-
guage a resonant response to the enabling environment of language and
thought, which as such cannot be exhausted by language and thought.
For this reason I think we should recognize “term limits” with res