Overcoming Metaphysics

The still hidden truth of Being is withheld from metaphysical humanity. The laboring animal is left to the giddy whirl of its products so that it may tear itself to pieces and annihilate itself in empty nothingness.


How does metaphysics belong to man's nature? Metaphysically represented, man is constituted with faculties as a being among others. His essence constituted in such a way, his nature, the what and how of his Being, are in themselves metaphysical: animal (sensuousness) and rationale (nonsensuous). Thus confined to what is metaphysical, man is caught in the difference of beings and Being which he never experiences. The manner of human representation which is metaphysically characterized finds everywhere only the metaphysically constructed world. Metaphysics belongs to the nature of man. But what is this nature itself? What is metaphysics itself? Who is man himself within this natural metaphysics? Is he only an ego which first thoroughly fixates itself in its egoity through appealing to a thou in the I-thou relationship?

For Descartes the ego cogito is what is already represented and produced in all cogitationes, what is present without question, what is indubitable and always standing within knowledge, what is truly certain, what stands firm in advance of everything, namely as that which places everything in relation to itself and thus "over against" others.

To the object there belongs both the what-constituent of that which stands over against (essentia-possibilitas) and the actual standing of that which stands opposite (existentia). The object is the unity of the constancy of what persists. In its standing, persistence is essentially related to the presentation of re-presentation as the guarantee of having-something-in-front-of-oneself. The original object is objectively itself. Original objectivity is the "I think," in the sense of the "I perceive" which already presents and has presented itself in advance for everything perceivable. It is the subiectum. In the order of the transcendental genesis of the object, the subject is the first object of ontological representation.


Martin Heidegger (GA 7) The End of Philosophy