Volume 26, Issue 2, Autumn 2021
Only a God Can Save Us ("Nur noch ein Gott kann uns retten")
George J. Seidel
Heidegger and the Overcoming of Metaphysics
Heidegger revisits German idealism after the “turn” in his thought in the mid-1930’s. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is philosophical, if not “theological” in his sense of that term. The other is personal. This later reason is emphasized by Otto Pöggeler, who suggests that after 1945 Heidegger sought to understand what had gone wrong in the tragic European debacle. Heidegger will lay the blame at the doorstep of what he terms onto-theology and the subjectivism he sees as endemic to the German idealist tradition, above all as exemplified in Hegel’s “onto-theo-ego-logy.” The article explores Heidegger’s reading of this tradition of German philosophy as it begins with Leibniz and culminates in Nietzsche. It is the Event itself that makes possible the overcoming of metaphysics and its onto-theology. As Heidegger says in Contributions to Philosophy (From the Event), the ens realissimum (das Seiendste) “is” no more. It is the Event (Ereignis) that is the “most real,” since it is the Event that shows up and manifests itself as the revelation of the truth of Beinge in Da-sein, the being that is there in the Event.