This volume contains “protocols” of the WS 1966/67 Heraclitus seminar, held with Eugen Fink and separately published in 1970; the protocols of four seminars (three at Le Thor, the last at Zähringen), translated from Questions IV (Paris, 1976) and separately published as Vier Seminare (1977); and a brief appendix containing a 1951 invited discussion (Aussprache) on the theme “… poetically man dwells …” In the Heraclitus seminar Heidegger and Fink are the main interlocutors, frequently differing (Fink proceeds from fire to the logos, Heidegger in the opposite direction, as Heidegger sees it), yet with the single aim, not of making any thematic contribution to Heraclitus-research, but of “determining the matter for thinking in conversation with Heraclitus” and doing so in a non-anachronistic way (124, 141, 181f).

The first Le Thor seminar (1966) discusses Heraclitus on logos and the cosmos, the final two (1968, 1969) look critically to Hegel and Kant respectively for access to being (albeit with excursions into the danger of the ontological difference, world-views, Marx’s thinking, technology, and the nothing), while the Zähringen seminar (1973) looks similarly to Husserl’s doctrine of categorial intuition, and the relation between consciousness and Dasein. In the final Le Thor seminar Heidegger identifies the “profoundest sense of being as letting [lassen],” glossing the German “there is” (es gibt) as a way of saying that “being” stands for and, hence, should give way to “giving” or “letting” beings be (363f). Of the seminars’ many clarifying retrospectives, perhaps the most notable is the “topology of being,” a differentiation of the three main steps on the path of Heidegger’s thinking. In SZ the question of “the sense of being” dominates, where the sense is to be understood from the standpoint of the realm of projection that the understanding of being unfolds. However, because the question of being’s sense lends itself too readily to understanding the projection (as Sartre does) as a human accomplishment, a structure of subjectivity, it is replaced by “the truth of being.” In order to avoid any (mis-)construal of truth as correctness, the truth of being needs to be placed, giving rise to the theme of the “place of being” (334f, 344).