Volume 36, Issue 2, Fall 2022
Kalpita Bhar Paul, Soumyajit Bhar
Reconciling Interpretations of “Being as Such”
Contribution to Ecophenomenology
Iain Thomson proposes that Heidegger’s notion of “being as such” should be regarded as the core concept of ecophenomenology. Here, we attempt to tease out further nuances of this concept by juxtaposing Thomas Sheehan’s interpretation of “being as such” with that of Ian Thomson. We demonstrate that Sheehan’s reading of “being as such” as the intrinsic-hidden-clearing aligns with Thomson’s interpretation, and further adds a nuanced hermeneutic-phenomenological understanding of the concept in Heidegger scholarship. We suggest that this reconciliation—which portrays that “being as such” qua ex-sistence qua the intrinsic-hidden-clearing denotes the same transcendental realm—is imperative to guide ecophenomenology to proceed further towards attaining its core philosophy of “back to the thing itself.” This reconciliation helps us go beyond safeguarding a particular thing or an ecosystem. Alternatively, it emphasizes the manner in which a respectful awareness of the “being as such” can build empathy toward the excess that a thing always possesses in our relation to it. This could give rise to an ethic of relationship.