Toward a Resolute Reading of Being and Time: Heidegger, Wittgenstein, and the Dilemma between Inconsistency and Ineffability

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Both Heidegger and Wittgenstein consider the possibility of a philosophical inquiry of an absolutely universal scope—an inquiry into the being of all beings, in Heidegger’s case, and into the logical form of everything that can be meaningfully said, in Wittgenstein’s. Moreover, they both raise the worry that the theoretical language by means of which we speak of particular beings and assert particular facts is not suited to this task. And yet their own philosophical work seems to include many assertions of ordinary, theoretical language. Are they being inconsistent? Or are they hoping to use theoretical language in a way that conveys what cannot be said in that language? Much of the scholarship on each of these thinkers takes the form of one of the two horns of this dilemma. In the context of Wittgenstein scholarship, however, a third alternative has been proposed: the Resolute Reading of the Tractatus. My aim is to establish the availability of a similar solution to Heidegger’s predicament. It will emerge that Heidegger rejects the possibility of a theoretical account of being and pursues a project of a radically different sort, whose goal is to bring about a transformation of our fundamental relation to being.
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First archival date: 2021-04-02
Latest version: 4 (2021-04-07)
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