Justifying Heidegger's Style

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Student Presentation

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Barbara Pearson


Complaints about Heidegger’s style of writing are rife in the literature and the classroom. This paper argues that both Heidegger’s obfuscation and obscurantism work as methodological devices for effectively communicating his thought. By obfuscating, he forces breakdowns, which pulls the reader out of her ready-to-hand mode of reading, which otherwise threatens to fall into comprehending in reference to one’s average everydayness. By being obscure in some passages, Heidegger enables his students to form personal (existentiell) interpretations, allowing for the possibility of authenticity. Therefore, one of the most hated aspects of B&T is simultaneously the active reifying of its key concepts. Whether purposeful or not on the part of Heidegger, this methodology proves essential for understanding his thought.

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