The Turn

  • Johannes Achill Niederhauser


Heidegger’s first pursuit of the question of being took its direction from Plato’s warning that we do not properly seem to grasp the meaning of being, even though we always already have an understanding of being. In 1931 Heidegger devotes a lecture course to Plato’s Analogy of the Cave in order to initiate a thoughtful return to what he later calls the “first beginning.” In this lecture course and in a talk on the same matter from 1930 Heidegger radicalises his early interpretation of truth as ἀλήθεια. Plato’s Analogy is an archetype of the revealing character of truth. However, Heidegger sees precisely in the Analogy also the epitome of the loss of the primary experience of truth as ἀλήθεια. He sees the Analogy as a loss of the simultaneity of unconcealment and concealment. The word ἀλήθεια, claims Heidegger (cf. GA 34: 120/87), becomes “powerless” with Plato. This is of a profound impact for Occidental thought, argues Heidegger, because here a sheer presence gains the upper hand and the forgetting of concealment sets in. When Heidegger by way of destruction thinks through the history of metaphysics the experience he makes is that (self-)concealment has been forgotten.


  1. Coxon, A.H. 2009. The Fragments of Parmenides. Las Vegas: Parmenides Publishing.Google Scholar
  2. Dahlstrom, Daniel. 2009. Heidegger’s Concept of Truth. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Davis, Bret. 2007. Heidegger and the Will: On the Way to Gelassenheit. Evanston: Northwestern University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. de Beistegui, Miguel. 2004. Truth and Genesis: Philosophy as Differential Ontology. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar
  5. Haar, Michel. 1993. Heidegger and the Essence of Man. Trans. W. McNeill. Albany: Suny Press.Google Scholar
  6. Schelling, F.W.J. 1979. Über die Natur der Philosophie als Wissenschaft. In Schellings Werke: Fünfter Hauptband. Schriften zur geschichtlichen Philosophie 1821 – 1854, ed. M. Schröter. München: C.H. Beck Verlag.Google Scholar
  7. Vallega-Neu, Daniela. 2003. Heidegger’s Contributions to Philosophy: An Introduction. Bloomington and Indianapolis: Indiana University Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2021

Authors and Affiliations

  • Johannes Achill Niederhauser
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Philosophy, Birkbeck CollegeUniversity of LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations