Heidegger's concept of thinking and its relation to concepts of thanking and the gift

Keppler, Amy (2001) Heidegger's concept of thinking and its relation to concepts of thanking and the gift. Masters thesis, Memorial University of Newfoundland.

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Abstract

In his text What Is Called Thinking? Heidegger refers to thinking as thanking and states that thinking is a gift to humankind from Being. Despite Heidegger's insistence that Being is not a being, the language he uses to describe Being appears to characterize Being as a being. Heidegger's insistence that Being is not a being is related to his attempt to step outside of metaphysics, since metaphysics is unable to see the difference between beings and Being, and thereby focuses on beings when it searches for Being. It is not simply that Heidegger's language appears to make Being into a being, but rather that it appears to make Being into God, which Heidegger thinks of as a being. Yet Heidegger's conception of God as a being is limited to the metaphysical conception of God, and, as I will present in my thesis, there is a difference between the metaphysical conception of God, and the God of faith. Thus, it is only the narrowness of Heidegger's conception of God which makes Being into a being. Therefore, if we step outside of the metaphysical understanding of God we see that Being can be thought of as analogous to God, without being thought of as a being. This is precisely what I shall argue in my thesis. -- Along with discussing the analogy between God and Being I will consider whether Heidegger is successful in his attempt to step outside of metaphysics, thereby avoiding the representational and subjectivist thinking metaphysics entails. It is the language Heidegger uses in describing man's relation to Being that suggest an analogy between God and Being. Yet this analogy presents the possibility that Heidegger is able to think Being through faith in much the same way that other thinkers within the metaphysical tradition think of God. Furthermore, Heidegger appears to be trapped by a language that is inherently metaphysical, yet he attempts to escape this language by resorting to a phenomenology based on faith and poetry. In this thesis I will explore Heidegger's conception of thinking as he presents it in What Is Called Thinking?, and argue that the language Heidegger uses to describe Being make Being analogous to God. Following from this I will examine the implication of this analogy on Heidegger's attempt to step outside of metaphysics.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
URI: http://research.library.mun.ca/id/eprint/1291
Item ID: 1291
Additional Information: Bibliography: leaves 116-117.
Department(s): Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of > Philosophy
Date: 2001
Date Type: Submission
Library of Congress Subject Heading: Heidegger, Martin, 1889-1976; Thought and thinking; Ontology

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