The Emergence of Being and Time as Ἐνέργεια: Heidegger’s Unfinished Confrontation with Aristotle’s Metaphysics

Kronos - metafizyka, kultura, religia 11:86-99 (2022)
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In this essay, I offer a critical analysis of one of the most provocative aspects of Heidegger’s unfinished confrontation with Aristotle’s thinking. Over the course of his lifelong engagement with Aristotle’s texts, Heidegger rarely failed to notice the constitutive ambiguity of the ancient Greek philosopher’s position within the history of being. On the one hand, Aristotle appeared to be the founder of the Western metaphysical tradition of ontotheology, whereby God was understood as the supreme principle and being of all beings. But on the other hand, there were traces or echoes of a more originary thinking in Aristotle’s texts that, according to Heidegger, could be developed for the sake of another beginning. In this essay, I draw on this constitutive ambiguity by focusing on Heidegger’s partial translation of Metaphysics Λ 6, where Aristotle most explicitly discusses the being (οὐσία) of the unmoved being. Using Heidegger’s translation as an aid, I argue that Aristotle’s account of the unmoved being in Metaphysics Λ 6 is perhaps best understood as of- fering an enigmatic description of the origin of movement and time as an act of pure temporalizing (reine Zeitigung), which is how Heidegger translates the notion of ἐνέργεια. In the conclusion of this essay, I suggest that the temporal account of being and time as pure temporalizing offers a possible way to reappropriate Aristotle’s thinking in a phenomenological context.

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Humberto José González Núñez
University of Texas at Dallas


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