of a reason” (Heidegger, BW 415, bracketed comment added). This is a watershed moment in twentieth-century continental philosophy, which sets the stage for later movements such as postmodernism (for example, Lyotard’s rejection of meta-narratives and, as we will see in chapter 8, Derrida’s deconstruction of metaphysics both embrace the Unmooring) and post-structuralism (as we will see in chapter 7, Foucault’s epistemes develop the idea of ICS). I do not think it is overstating the significance of this move to portray it the way Heidegger himself does, as one of the great shifts in the history of thought—the first thorough attempt in 2,500 years to embrace a thinking not grounded on the stable, certain foundation of what is really real: “Any kind of metaphysics has and must come to an end, if philosophy is to attain its other beginning” (Heidegger, CP 121, §85).

Despite its obscurity, the doctrines of the Heideggerian Paradigm fit together into a systematic, coherent view. We transcend particular beings to grasp our epoch’s understanding of Being—physis, divine creation, and technological Bestand, so far—which constitutes the character of the particular entities of an age (ICS). This is the detachment of the constitutive powers of the transcendental subject (A5), who now receives the understandings of Being and changes as they do (A6). Studying the history of philosophy shows A3 Ontological Pluralism—the fact that there have been multiple epochal modes of Being, none of which can be reduced to or derived from each other. These modes cannot be explained or placed in an order or logic, contra Hegel; they simply are and they simply change (though Heidegger does subscribe to the notion of a legacy). As the source of our rationality, they are beyond rational justification. Furthermore, HPO and UT demand that we accept each of these epochal understandings as true and real, rather than insisting on our own as the correct standpoint from which we can see the past as mistakes.

But we have one more important step to take in order to understand Heidegger’s later work—the step from the epochal understandings of Being (or beingness) to Being itself, also called the event of appropriation (Ereignis), the truth of Being, Beyng, or the clearing at various times. Being itself is the source (though not the cause, which would make it a being) of all the epochs, the “sender” of the sendings. As usual, language gets in the way, requiring many caveats and qualifications: “One can name it an origin, assuming that all ontic-causal overtones are excluded: it is the event [Ereignis] of being as condition for the arrival of beings: being lets beings presence” (Heidegger, FoS 59; see also Heidegger, BW 414–5). This tripartite structure made up of (1) beings, (2) beingness or the understanding of Being, and (3) Being itself is, I believe, the central organizing point of all of Heidegger’s later thought, yet it has given rise to a great deal of confusion, much of which could have been averted had he

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