Plato and Heidegger: A Question of Dialogue
In a critique of Heidegger that respects his path of thinking, Francisco Gonzalez looks at the ways in which Heidegger engaged with Plato&’s thought over the course of his career and concludes that, owing to intrinsic requirements of Heidegger&’s own philosophy, he missed an opportunity to conduct a real dialogue with Plato that would have been philosophically fruitful for us all.
Examining in detail early texts of Heidegger&’s reading of Plato that have only recently come to light, Gonzalez, in parts 1 and 2, shows there to be certain affinities between Heidegger&’s and Plato&’s thought that were obscured in his 1942 essay &“Plato&’s Doctrine of Truth,&” on which scholars have exclusively relied in interpreting what Heidegger had to say about Plato. This more nuanced reading, in turn, helps Gonzalez provide in part 3 an account of Heidegger&’s later writings that highlights the ways in which Heidegger, in repudiating the kind of metaphysics he associated with Plato, took a direction away from dialectic and dialogue that left him unable to pursue those affinities that could have enriched Heidegger&’s own philosophy as well as Plato&’s. &“A genuine dialogue with Plato,&” Gonzalez argues, &“would have forced [Heidegger] to go in certain directions where he did not want to go and could not go without his own thinking undergoing a radical transformation.&”