Heidegger Studies

Volume 39, 2023

In memoriam Friedrich-Wilhelm von Hermann (1934-2022)

Frank Schalow
Pages 39-54

De-cision, Freedom, and History
On the Path to a New Way of Thinking

There must be a forward trajectory to history, and not merely a connection to the chronology to past events, if history is to provide the stage for the disclosure of being. Conversely, if history does not merely reflect shifts in the course of human events, then the freedom to decide must originate from the reciprocity between being and Da-sein. In this essay, I outline the narrow passageway by which Heidegger shows how decision can unlock the transformative power of history, and, reciprocally, how history grounds decision as a compliance or measured response to the claim (Anspruch) of being. I will center my inquiry on sections 45–48 of Contributions to Philosophy (Enowning), not only to provide a sharper focus, but also to bring into play the enactment of being-historical thinking as the key to coalescing the key motifs of history, decision, and freedom.