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Heidegger's early ontology and the deconstruction of foundations

By James Grant Jovejoy


This dissertation is a polemical exegesis of Heidegger's 1920's position with respect to the foundational, extracting from his thought an original pre-conception of the foundational which does not conform to current patterns of Heidegger interpretation. This might be expressed as a rescuing of foundations from metaphysics. The first half of the dissertation concentrates on methodological idiosyncracies in the semantic, syntactic and macrostructural organisation of foundational ideas, an analysis which begins to yield a number of "patterns" embedded in the language and thinking of Heidegger, patterns which, for example, subvert the propositional and reverse the normal processes of understanding. These patterns are "paratypes", the tools of "disas-sembling" (the latter term describes that in Heidegger's thought which provides the original motivation for the later development of deconstruction). The second half of the dissertation applies and extends these findings in two directions: firstly, with respect to the internal development of the Sein und Zeit project, by exploring the coalescence of temporality and foundations; secondly, with respect to the direction and fate of the Sein und Zeit project, by exploring a limited number of "foundational" aspects (fugue, Kehre, Abgrund, Ereignis) of a single but singularly important writing from the 1930's: Beitr├Ąge zur Philosophie. In so doing the dissertation aims to bring out the Copernican thought-revolution in the early work, and to provide both the conceptual motivation and the methodological tools for a more farreaching reappreciation of Heidegger's early work. Thus the dissertation has consequences, not only for the foundational, but also for the language-thought problematic, for the possibility of overcoming metaphysics, for Heidegger's general development, and for the appraisal of the position of time in his work

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