On Beginning and the Question of Being: Plays of Beginning at the End of Metaphysics
Deere, Michael A
Doctor of Philosophy
Date of Defense:
December 18, 2006
Dennis Schmidt, Committee Chair/Co-Chair Charles Edward Scott, Committee Chair/Co-Chair Christopher P Long, Committee Member Jeffrey Nealon, Committee Member Vincent M Colapietro, Committee Member
Heidegger Phenomenology Metaphysics
My dissertation explores the role of phenomenological beginnings in Heidegger’s formulation of the question of being. I show (1) that the relation between beginning and being is already present in Heidegger’s early work, specifically Being and Time, (2) that this relationship leads Heidegger to conceive of being as a far more concrete, finite, and historical phenomenon than he has previously been credited with, and (3) that this renewed sense of concreteness forces a radical reinterpretation of the relation between being and beings. My central insight is that the formulation of the question of being in terms of beginning leads Heidegger to rethink this question in light of the indispensable and necessary role played by beings. By way of beginning, the turn to being and the turn to beings occur together as inseparable movements.