Death and the Fissuring of Beyng

  • Johannes Achill Niederhauser


Heidegger suspects all of metaphysics to favour the sheer presence of the beingness of beings. The thinking of concealment is a gradual renunciation of the primacy of beings. Heidegger begins to see in possibility a distinct way to think outside the scope of a metaphysics of presence. Part I showed how the initial analysis of death leads Heidegger to think being as possibility. This chapter traces how Heidegger continues this thought in Contributions in light of the heterological movement of the history of being. In accordance with this history Heidegger in Contributions refers to the “structures” of beyng that allow for the revelations and concealments of beyng as Zerklüftungen, fissures (cf. GA 65: 244/192). Beyng is, or rather occurs, as fissured. Heidegger says that mortal thinking “can prepare the … time-space (site of the moment) … in Da-sein” (GA 65: 235/186) in order to make the figure of beyng’s fissure graspable. In Contributions Heidegger refers to Dasein’s structure of being-towards-death diagnosed in Being and Time in order to prepare for that time-space. That is, Heidegger returns to the analysis of death as possibility and impossibility, for here being briefly shows itself as split up. Heidegger further radicalises this thought and begins to think this inherent splitting of beyng in terms of fissures. Thus, the thinking that Contributions wishes to prepare is a thinking that carries out beyng-toward-death. This at once reflects back into beyng because death is of beyng. The discussion of the fissure of beyng will also allow me to touch on Heidegger’s reformulation of the ontological difference. Note that the talk of the fissures of beyng indicates that there always are several dimensions at stake in beyng.


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Authors and Affiliations

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

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