Heidegger's "Metametaphysics": Heidegger on Modernity and Postmodernity

Interpretation 50 (1):81-108 (2023)
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Abstract

Methodologically rigorous description, analysis, and critique of postmodern phenomena presuppose a rigorous theory of postmodernity, for which the philosophy of Martin Heidegger holds great untapped promise. This essay explicates the basic content of Heidegger’s “metametaphysics,” since for Heidegger a “metaphysics” is the epochally prevailing projection of the meaning of being in general, and he offers a theory of Western metaphysics. I begin with Heidegger’s analysis of the “regional ontologies” of the sciences in his 1927 magnum opus Being and Time, since the metametaphysical works of the “late middle” Heidegger in the 1930s–1940s extend this analytical framework to metaphysics as global ontology. I then explicate Heidegger’s views on modern metaphysics, focusing on his analyses of modern science and the philosophy of Descartes, before turning to his theory of postmodernity, which I extract from his analyses of modern technology and the philosophy of Nietzsche.

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Allen Porter
University of Florida

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