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Epoché: A Journal for the History of Philosophy

Volume 22, Issue 2, Spring 2018

Ian Alexander Moore
Pages 315-342
DOI: 10.5840/epoche201813105

The Problem of Ontotheology in Eckhart’s Latin Writings

This article examines the extent to which two of Meister Eckhart’s Latin writings fall prey to Heidegger’s charge of ontotheology. It argues that the intellectualist, ‘meontological’ approach to God in Eckhart’s First Parisian Question and the analogical, ontological approach in his Opus tripartitum are not as different as may initially appear. Not only do both rest on Eckhart’s peculiar doctrine of analogy; both serve to dismantle the ontotheological architecture. Indeed, rather than an intellectualist alternative to ontotheology, Eckhart’s First Parisian Question presents a meticulously crafted dialectic designed to explode rational distinctions. Rather than a traditional account of God as the highest being, Eckhart’s Opus tripartitum obliterates hierarchies with its appeal to treat all being as God. Still, although both approaches contribute to an appreciation of Eckhart’s principal concern—the basic unity of the ground of the soul and the Godhead in releasement—neither suffices for unfolding its deepest implications. An ontotheological residue remains.