A prevailing interpretation of 'Being and Time' holds that the issue at stake in Heidegger’s project is intelligibility. To be, the view goes, is to be intelligible or meaningful. But does the remarkable intelligibility of the entities that make up our world—the hammer, the pen, the glass of wine, etc.—suffice to capture the full extent of the problematic datum with which Heidegger is concerned? I present and defend three interrelated reasons for answering “no” to this question. Firstly, I argue that Heidegger explicitly endorses the importance of non-intelligible comportment in the first division of 'Being and Time'. Secondly, I argue that Heidegger locates the possibility of such comportment as a precondition on more typical—i.e., intelligible—forms of comportment. Thirdly, I argue that by accepting these two claims we can illuminate Heidegger’s problematisation of time and being, giving an articulable form to Heidegger’s problem with the “traditional” concept of being, and providing a criterion which his—or any—alternative would need to meet.
Post-Kantian European Philosophy Seminar Convenors: Joseph Schear, Manuel Dries, and Mark Wrathall