Heidegger and Aquinas on the Self as Substance

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The thought of Martin Heidegger has been influential in postmodernist discussions concerning the “death of the subject” and the “deconstruction” of the metaphysics of presence. In this paper, I shall examine Heidegger’s understanding of Dasein in terms of care and temporality, and his corresponding critique of the metaphysics of presence, especially as this critique applies to one’s understanding of the human knower. I shall then seek to determine whether Aquinas’s thought concerning the human knower falls prey to Heideggerian critique. My purpose in elucidating the Heideggerian and Thomistic conceptions of the human discloser is to begin opening up some possible spaces for further dialogue between students of these two thinkers.
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