Volume 44, 2010
Technology, Science, and Heidegger
Heidegger’s Encounter with Aristotle
A Theological Deconstruction of Metaphysics
This paper examines Heidegger’s concept of facticity in his writings from the 1920s. The sudden ‘discovery’ of facticity in these writings and Heidegger’s subsequent engagement with Aristotle are related to a decision to rethink existence in terms of Luther’s and Paul’s interpretation of early Christianity. Central to this interpretation is the experience of the καιρός and the awaiting of the παρουσία. Heidegger argues that this primordial Christian experience (urchristliche Erfahrung) constitutes a fundamental experience (Grunderfahrung) of factical life and undertakes a destruction of Scholastic theology and the ancient and especially, Aristotelian, ontology upon which it is based.3 Heidegger’s philosophical project thus centers in the recovery of this fundamental experience of facticity through a destructive appropriation of the tradition. In this paper, I argue that one of Heidegger’s key strategies in turning to Aristotle is to exclude cyclical temporality - whether thought of as transmigration of the soul (Plato) or as eternal recurrence (Nietzsche) – which is incompatible with this Christian experience.