Heidegger Studies

Volume 39, 2023

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

George Kovacs
Pages 119-132

The Collision of Science with the Question of Be-ing in Heidegger’s Thinking

Science does not lead to the full, final, truly in-depth exploration of beings; it leaves unresolved (unclarified) the understanding of being; it does not think through the question of being, of the “to be”, of the “is”; it does not think being as such; it adopts a metaphysical idea of being as being of beings (as one, the highest of beings). As this study shows, being is not within the range of merely scientific investigation. Many philosophical questions (e. g., the foundation of the sciences; the understanding of the ontological difference) go beyond and transcend the reach of scientific inquiry. The collision of science with the question of being, with the question of the “to be”, comes from science attempting to move beyond its intrinsic limitations and boundary. According to Heidegger’s be-ing-historical thinking, scientific inquiry cannot resolve the question of the “to be” and that of the truth of the “to be”; it cannot eliminate (suppress) these distinctly philosophical concerns. Science cannot become a substitute for philosophy. As this study indicates, the understanding of the danger of the “collision” identified contributes to its prevention and to a creative interaction between science and philosophy.