Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 16, Issue 2, Spring 2012

S. Montgomery Ewegen
Pages 373-388

A Unity of Opposites
Heidegger’s Journey through Plato

In his 1942 lectures on Hölderlin’s der Ister, Heidegger discerns within Hölderlin’s poetry a movement beyond the strictures of metaphysics and its representational language. This movement finds its most explicit articulation in the figure of the appropriative journey of the poet from the home into the land of the foreign fire. I argue that Heidegger’s reading of Hölderlin is rendered problematic by Heidegger’s own treatment of Plato’s ‘Myth of Er’ as it appears in his 1942–1943 Parmenides lectures, and that Heidegger’s reading of der Ister is itself a creative re-inscription of Plato’s ‘myth of Er.’