Heidegger and the Will: On the Way to Gelassenheit

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Northwestern University Press, Apr 11, 2007 - Fiction - 390 pages
The problem of the will has long been viewed as central to Heidegger's later thought. In the first book to focus on this problem, Bret W. Davis clarifies key issues from the philosopher's later period--particularly his critique of the culmination of the history of metaphysics in the technological "will to will" and the possibility of Gelassenheit or "releasement" from this willful way of being in the world--but also shows that the question of will is at the very heart of Heidegger's thinking, a pivotal issue in his path from Being and Time (1926) to "Time and Being" (1962).

Moreover, the book demonstrates why popular critical interpretations of Heidegger's relation to the will are untenable, how his so-called "turn" is not a simple "turnaround" from voluntarism to passivism. Davis explains why the later Heidegger's key notions of "non-willing" and "Gelassenheit" do not imply a mere abandonment of human action; rather, they are signposts in a search for an other way of being, a "higher activity" beyond the horizon of the will. While elucidating this search, his work also provides a critical look at the ambiguities, tensions, and inconsistencies of Heidegger's project, and does so in a way that allows us to follow the inner logic of the philosopher's struggles. As meticulous as it is bold, this comprehensive reinterpretation will change the way we think about Heidegger's politics and about the thrust of his philosophy as a whole.

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Preliminary Determinations
2 The Ambiguous Role of the Will in Being and Time
3 The Turn Through an Embrace of the Will
On Heideggers Interpretations of Schelling
Excursus on Meister EckhartAfter Heidegger
6 The Mature Critique of the Will
On the Way to anOther Beginning of NonWilling
8 Intimations of Being in the Region of NonWilling
9 Residues of Will in Heideggers Thought
10 The Persistence of UrWilling the Dissonant Excess of Eviland the Enigma of Human Freedom

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Page 3 - Philosophy will never seek to deny its "presuppositions", but neither may it simply admit them It conceives them, and it unfolds with more and more penetration both the presuppositions themselves and that for which they are presuppositions...

About the author (2007)

Bret W. Davis is assistant professor of philosophy at Loyola College in Maryland.

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