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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 20, Issue 2, Spring 2016

Richard Capobianco
Pages 465-476
DOI: 10.5840/epoche20162160

Heidegger on Heraclitus
Kosmos/World as Being Itself

This essay draws on texts previously untranslated into English, and in particular Heidegger’s brilliant 1943 lecture course on Heraclitus, to show how Heidegger understood kosmos as an early Greek name for Being itself (Sein selbst). The contemporary scholarship has altogether missed the significant role that this Greek Ur-word plays in his later thinking. The “gleaming,” “adorning” kosmos—which the later Heidegger understood to be “world” (Welt) in the fullest and richest sense—is not in the first place any kind of transcendental-phenomenological “projection” of the human being; rather, it is the resplendence of the “ever-living” Being-unfolding-way itself from out of which both the gods and human beings come to pass and pass away. The independence of kosmos/Being itself in relation to the human being is highlighted. An Ode by Pindar and a painting by Andrew Wyeth are also considered.