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Gatherings: The Heidegger Circle Annual

Volume 9, 2019

Jennifer Gammage
Pages 28-59

Accidental Origins
The Importance of Tuchē and Automaton for Heidegger’s 1922 Reading of Aristotle

I examine a passage from Heidegger’s 1922 overview of a proposed book on Aristotle wherein he addresses the importance of Aristotle’s treatment of accidental (sumbebēkos) causes in the Physics II.4–6. My analysis shows that this passage plays a key role within the account of Aristotle’s ontology presented in the overview insofar as it allows Heidegger to open up a new way of reading Aristotle, one that both diagnoses and pushes through the inheritance of being understood as technē in order to retrieve originary insights about the movement of factical human life, world, and care. Rather than subordinate tuchē and automaton (chance) to the four “real” causes they would remain merely incidental to or derivative of, Heidegger asks that we recognize the priority of praxis, whose archē unfolds as care toward and within a world of accidents.

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