University Of Tasmania
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Heidegger in the Arab context : Fathi Meskini

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posted on 2023-05-27, 09:38 authored by Sahi, MM
During the last two decades of the twentieth century, Heidegger was re-introduced to the Arabic world; however, while, originally, he had been presented as just another existentialist philosopher, this re-introduction saw him viewed quite differently by contemporary Arabic thinkers. In this thesis, I examine the impact of Heidegger on one such thinker, Fathi Meskini. He argues that Heidegger is less important for his treatment of existential issues than for his critique of hermeneutic reason, which helps reveal the history of metaphysics. In my treatment of Meskini's appropriation of Heidegger into Arabic thinking, I first discuss the problem of the language of Being, and Meskini's attempt to deconstruct philosophical Islamic tradition, from the moment when Aristotle's thinking was indigenised in the Arabic context. This Islamic tradition thought about the problem of being and expressed it in its own language. It is this tradition that constituted the basis of all Arabic reason throughout the twentieth century. Since the meaning of Being is accessed through the hermeneutics of the human being, I then go on to consider the way Meskini uses Heidegger's hermeneutic distinction between what-questioning, and who-questioning as a means to critique what Meskini called 'identical reason'. This mode of reason is still dominant in the Arabic sphere, in the thinking of both modernists and traditionalists. Meskini raises the question of how who-questioning can establish the meaning of belongingness, beyond the conflict between the self and other so as to achieve what he calls the 'new enlightenment of the last Muslim'.


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