74   Part I: Studies


distinctively human “gathering” in language or art. He is explicit and emphatic that being as “the primordial Logos” is “indeed a kind of saying and word” (259) and also “a kind of speech and voice” (244) – but certainly not “any kind of activity of human saying or stating” (277). The primordial Logos is “expressly not the voice of a human being” (244), he maintains. Our human task is to “hearken” in humble silence to what the primordial Logos “says” and respond in word and art, and this is the teaching of Heraclitus on the unique homologein, or “correspondence” (Entsprechung), of human beings in relation to the Logos.

There are other striking readings and tropes in both lecture courses that have gone largely unnoticed in the Heidegger scholarship, but which I discuss in greater detail in Heidegger’s Way of Being and also in Chapter 1 of the present volume.2 Yet the central issue I raise here is that this volume on Heraclitus, along with other major texts from the later years, presents a major challenge to certain contemporary readings of Heidegger: namely, it puts into radical question the currently oft-repeated claim that Heidegger “overcame” metaphysics. Although it is true that his reflections in these lecture courses bear out that he sought to move beyond a metaphysics and theology of substance or essence, nonetheless, at the same time, they also suggest an alternatively conceived metaphysical and religious or spiritual perspective.

As we have observed, his discussion of Being as physis as kosmos bears all the marks of a distinctive metaphysical position: Being as radiant, “everlasting,” temporal unfolding that is “on its way into its own truth” and by which, in which, and through which all particular beings are related and emerge into their own truth, linger, and pass away. Is this not a “process” metaphysics of some kind? It would seem so, but Heidegger does not tell us as much, unlike Alfred North Whitehead, for example. Still, the later Heidegger was always leaning and pressing in this direction. In the 1944 lecture course, we find him repeatedly seeking to redefine the “relation” of Being and the human being. He is clearly not satisfied with the traditional classical or medieval metaphysical account of this relation, yet at the same time, in some passages, he insists on the “independence”


Richard Capobianco - Heidegger's Way of Being