NTU Philosophical Review

Issue 28, October 2004

Wing-Wah Chan
Pages 1-38

The Concept of Time in Heidegger and Gadamer

This essay analyzes the concept of time in the philosophy of Heidegger and Gadamer in order to show its relationship with both philosophers’ discussion on “Being”. I point out that no matter in his early or later writings, Heidegger’s concept of time is in conflict with his concept of understanding. Therefore, Heidegger’s quest for the meaning of Being cannot be accomplished. In contrast the Gadamerian concept of time makes the understanding of the meaning of Being possible. In the first part of this essay Heidegger’s concepts of time are revealed by an analysis on his two major works: Being and Time and On Time and Being. I argue that the concept of time revealed in these two books makes the understanding of Being impossible. In the second part Gadamer’s concept of time is discussed by an investigation on the following terms: contemporaneity, time in festival and fulfilled time. I show that the Gadamerian concept of time is in harmony with the understanding of Being. Therefore Gadamer’s philosophy can accomplish the task of illuminating the meaning of Being. Finally I show that it is justified to accept the Gadamerian concept of time in the interpretation of Being.