Heidegger's Hidden Sources: East-Asian Influences on his by Reinhard May

By Reinhard May

Contributor note: Translated with complimentary essay by way of Graham Parkes
Publish 12 months note: First released in 1996

Heidegger's Hidden Sources records for the 1st time Heidegger's striking debt to East Asian philosophy. during this groundbreaking learn, Reinhard may well exhibits conclusively that Martin Heidegger borrowed many of the significant rules of his philosophy - infrequently nearly be aware for note - from German translations of chinese language Daoist and Zen Buddhist classics.

The discovery of this remarkable appropriation of non-Western assets could have vital outcomes for destiny interpretations of Heidegger's paintings. in addition, it indicates Heidegger as a pioneer of comparative philosophy and transcultural pondering.

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3 Let us now turn to another topos that Heidegger often treats in his texts, and which he apparently employs in the contexts here articulated for the purpose of illustrating his thinking. From Being and Time on, he uses in appropriate contexts the word ‘clearing’ [Lichtung] in his elucidations of Being and Nothing. A selection of six relevant texts will help clarify his use of this key term. His aim is obviously to present a matter that plays a role in connection with the word ‘nothing’ in ancient Chinese thought, but in a pictographic constellation, the meaning of which is hardly even thought of any more today.

47See WL 45/US 142, and also 47/144, 48/146, 53/153. 48See Benl, ‘Seami Motokiyo’ 127ff, 232f. Compare also Wilhelm von Humboldt, ‘Uber die Verschiedenheit des menschlichen Sprachbaues und ihren Einfluss auf die geistige Entwicklung des Menschengeschlechts [1830–1835]’, in Wilhelm von Humboldt, Schriften zur Sprachphilosophie, Flitner and Giel, eds (Darmstadt 1963), 3:368–756, 449: ‘The simple word is the consummate blossom that buds from [language]’ (AkademieAusgabe 1903–36, 7:73) [On Language: The Diversity of Human Language-Structure and its Influence on the Mental Development of Mankind, translated by Peter Heath (Cambridge 1988), 70].

52 One should therefore pay close attention to these characteristic elucidations of his major ideas. We encounter Heidegger’s major guiding [wegweisend] idea already in the context of ‘the elaboration [and answering] of the question of the meaning of 51There are good grounds for talking of topoi in this context, in so far as Heidegger’s major ideas are appropriately understood as places along a way, as topoi on the path of his thinking. See Otto Pöggeler, ‘Sein als Ereignis’, Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 13 (1959):597–632, who understands Heidegger’s later thinking especially in the sense of a ‘topology’ (630).

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