Derrida’s Heidegger: la question de l’Etre et l’Histoire. Notes on First Session. By Alberto Moreiras.

Notes on Derrida’s Heidegger: la question de l’Etre et l’histoire.

First session:

The task: destruction of ontology, that is, destruction of the history of ontology, as always already covering up and dissimulation of being.

It should free up the ears to listen to the “originary experiences” that will be a guide for the future.

[Leaving aside the question of catching up with “originary experiences,” the always-already is therefore also the avenir.]

Destruction does not mean refutation, as if some people had been mistaken and needed to be brought back to the true.   The errance, that is, the dissimulation and oblivion, is structurally given and cannot be reduced.   [This is crucial for any possible thought of historicity and for any possible historical thought.]

Also for Hegel truth was historical through and through, not just knowledge.   In Hegel refutation is not completely abandoned, rather turned into “negativity.” [Hegel’s spirit, as last philosophy, subordinates all previous understanding rather than ‘refuting’ it. “There is no disappearance of the principle but only of its form of being absolute, ultimate.”   Hegel’s is a last philosophy because Hegel produces an eschatology where the horizon and the opening of historicity appear as such.]

But the Heideggerian destruction is not the Hegelian Aufhebung. The latter is still caught in classicial ontology, that is, it is still a dissimulation of being in beings.   So everything has to do with the difference between Hegel and Heidegger.

For Hegel being is a concept (conceptualism). And it is a concept consistent with the attempt to unify and gather being under an ontic determination, which happens to be “subjectivity.”   Subjectivity as substance is Hegelian onto-theology.

So that Heideggerian destruction is a fortiori the destruction of hegelianism.

But—destruction is not the positing of a new conceptuality or or of a new principle. It is simply a solicitation, a trembling or a making-tremble.

And YET: at stake is a destruction of ontology, that is, not the proposition of a new ontology.   [If the destruction is looking to make appear a nudity never revealed as such, it does not seek to posit its own nudity or its own “re-velation” of nudity.]   Heidegger is not really looking for an ontology, which is the reason why he will abandon all talk of a “fundamental ontology” after Being and Time.

Three stations: In Being and Time, still call for a fundamental ontology that could open itself to the Seinsfrage.

In Introduction to Metaphysics, eight years later, H. calls for an abandonment of the term “ontology” in order not to foster confusion.   He says, “it is a matter of quite something else.”

In “Nietzsche’s Word,” from 1943, H. clearly attacks ontology as indistinguishable from metaphysics.  

Which means we have moved from the destruction of the history of ontology to the destruction of ontology as such.

[And what would happen if, following along and accentuating the trend, we were to replace the question of being with the question of the common?}

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