Preface to and translation of Phenomenological Interpretations with Respect to Aristotle by Martin Heidegger

Man and World 25 (3-4):355-393 (1992)
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When it comes to understanding the genesis and development of Heidegger’s thought, it would be rather difficult to overestimate the importance of the “Aristotle-Introduction” of 1922, Heidegger’s “Phenomenological Interpretations with Respect to Aristotle.” This text is both a manifesto which describes the young Heidegger’s philosophical commitments, as well as a promissory note which outlines his projected future work. This Aristotle-Introduction not only enunciates Heidegger’s broad project of a philosophy which is both systematic and historical; it also indicates, in particular, why a principal (or fundamental) ontology can be actualized only through a destruction of the history of ontology. This text anticipates several central themes of Being and Time (e.g., facticity, death, falling), and also foreshadows some of the issues which were to occupy the later Heidegger (e.g., “truth” as a heterogenous process of unconcealment). There is no doubt that much can – and will – be written on the meaning and implications of this important text. But instead of making my own, early contribution to such a secondary literature, I have decided to limit myself in this “Preface” to a few brief remarks concerning the historical background to Heidegger’s “Phenomenological Interpretations with Respect to Aristotle.”

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Michael Baur
Fordham University


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