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Why Wrestle with Being and Time? A Justification of Heidegger’s Methodology of Obscurantism and Obfuscation

Author:

Dave Mckerracher

Boise State University, US
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Abstract

It seems that complaints about Heidegger’s style of writing are common fare in secondary literature and the classroom. This paper argues that both Heidegger’s obtuseness and obscurantism work as methodological devices for effectively communicating and demonstrating his thought. By obfuscating, he forces breakdowns, which pulls the reader out of her ready-to-hand mode of reading/revealing, which otherwise threatens to fall into comprehending via reference from one’s average everydayness. By being obscure in some passages where taking the meaning in multiple ways will not interfere with the main points being made, 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 actually the demonstrative reification of its key concepts. Whether purposeful or not on the part of Heidegger, this methodology proves essential for understanding his thought.

How to Cite: Mckerracher, D., 2016. Why Wrestle with Being and Time? A Justification of Heidegger’s Methodology of Obscurantism and Obfuscation. International Journal of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities, 8(2), pp.17 (158–166). DOI: http://doi.org/10.7710/2155-4838.1157
Published on 24 Jun 2016.
Peer Reviewed

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