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Heidegger's struggle with history

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-17, 19:36 authored by Farin, I
Abstract: In this paper I analyze early Heidegger’s concept of history. First, I argue that early Heidegger makes use of three distinct concepts or spheres of history, namely (1) history as intergenerational process, (2) history as personal or autobiographical development, and (3) history as the real center and origin of all intentional acts in the intentional self. Second, I argue that an essential motif in Heidegger’s discussion is the re-appropriation of what he considers the externalized and expropriated historical reality in all three spheres. I suggest that this constitutes an objective parallelism to similar moves in Marx and neo-Marxist thought, especially Lukaìcs and the Frankfurt School. I show that Heidegger is on his way towards an ethics of time. First, in opposition to theoretical historicism and historical aestheticism or determinism of his time, early Heidegger advocates the active historical participation in history, the engagement in one’s historical situation or praxis. Second, in opposition to the publically regimented and reified time frames, calendars and interpretations, Heidegger argues for the self-reflexive, historical shaping of one’s very own and unique lifetime. Third, because Heidegger finds the origin of all history in the historical enactments of intentions in the intentional self, he ultimately argues for the self-reflexive acknowledgment of this ultimate historicity at the very heart of human intentionality, calling for the always renewed accentuation of this inevitable and ultimate historicity as a necessary condition for authentic temporality.


Publication title

Investigaciones Fenomenologicas










School of Humanities


Sociedad Espanola De Fenomenologia

Place of publication

Madrid, Spain

Rights statement

Copyright 2013 Sociedad Espanola De Fenomenologia

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Expanding knowledge in philosophy and religious studies

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