By Raymond Tallis (auth.)
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Extra resources for A Conversation with Martin Heidegger
The nature of truth itself will (you will not be surprised to learn) occupy an important place later in our conversation – if only because you had many interesting things to say In My Study 33 about this, the queen of philosophical questions. Let me, however, talk about death – for the ﬁrst, but by no means the last, time in our conversation. You will not object to this switch of theme, I am sure, given that death was so central to your own thinking. Death provides my second argument in support of the primacy of objective presences over the ready-to-hand; or, at the least, the equiprimordiality of the readyto-hand with the present at hand.
Death provides my second argument in support of the primacy of objective presences over the ready-to-hand; or, at the least, the equiprimordiality of the readyto-hand with the present at hand. Death for you was our ‘ownmost’ thing because it is the one event in our lives at which no one can stand in for us. ‘Death is a possibility of being that Da-sein always has to take upon itself. With death, Da-sein stands before itself in its ownmost potentiality-of-being’ (BT 232). To be aware of this is to be aware of our ultimate solitude, of the solitude that, for all the crowded companionship of our days, pervades every moment of our life.
And while it may very well be the case that this philosophical conversation is putting me in an artiﬁcial state of awareness, I cannot duck certain difﬁculties in your account of the world that itself seems to solve so many difﬁculties. I cannot, as you do, simply bypass the problems that philosophers of the past have wrestled with, and I, too, have wrestled with. Let me explain why. As it appears to me now, when I look up from the keyboard where this imaginary conversation is being woven – and with which I engage in a nexus of signiﬁcance, a referential totality of signiﬁcation, into which it dissolves as obedient tools do – I seem to see (material) objects ‘over there’ and to feel me (or my body) to be ‘over here’.