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Studia Phaenomenologica

Volume 6, 2006

A Century with Levinas

George Kovacs
Pages 319-345

Heidegger’s Contributions to Philosophy and the Failure of “A Grassroots Archival Perspective”

This study responds to Theodore Kisiel’s “review and overview” of Contributions, the English translation of Heidegger’s Beiträge, included in his essay published in Studia Phænomenologica, vol. 5 (2005), 277-285. This study shows the uniqueness and the significance of Beiträge, as well as the nature of the venture to render it into English (I); it explores the language and way of thinking, the be-ing-historical, enowning perspective, endemic to Heidegger’s second main work, and identifies the “ideal” and the difficulties of its translation as a hermeneutic labor, as well as the inadequacy of “an archival perspective” for guiding the translation and the grasping of his text (II). Based on these insights, this study, then, leads to a critical assessment of Theodore Kisiel’s hyperbolic, acerbic, despairing reactions to Contributions as a work of translation, thus exhibiting the collapse of his gratuitous assertions and assumptions under their own weight, as well as the failure of his “archival” approach to the translation (and ultimately to the assessment of Heidegger’s thinking) (III); it concludes with showing the nature and the disclosive power of Contributions, as well as its significance for the future of Heidegger studies (IV).

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