Overcoming Metaphysics

Above all, overcoming does not mean thrusting aside a discipline from the field of philosophical "education." "Metaphysics" is already thought as the destiny of the truth of beings, that is, of beingness, as a still hidden but distinctive Appropriating, namely the oblivion of Being.

Since overcoming is meant as a product of philosophy, the more adequate rubric might be: the past of metaphysics. Of course this calls forth new erroneous opinions. The past means here: to perish and enter what has been. In that metaphysics perishes, it is past. The past does not exclude, but rather includes, the fact that metaphysics is now for the first time beginning its unconditional rule in beings themselves, and rules as beings in the form, devoid of truth, of what is real and of objects. Experienced in virtue of the dawning of the origin, metaphysics is, however, at the same time past in the sense that it has entered its ending. The ending lasts longer than the previous history of metaphysics.


Metaphysics cannot be abolished like an opinion. One can by no means leave it behind as a doctrine no longer believed and represented.

The fact that man as animal rationale, here meant in the sense of the working being, must wander through the desert of the earth's desolation could be a sign that metaphysics occurs in virtue of Being, and the overcoming of metaphysics occurs as the incorporation of Being. For labor (cf. Ernst Junger, Der Arbeiter, 1932) is now reaching the metaphysical rank of the unconditional objectification of everything present which is active in the will to will.

If this is so, we may not presume to stand outside of metaphysics because we surmise the ending of metaphysics. For metaphysics overcome in this way does not disappear. It returns transformed, and remains in dominance as the continuing difference of Being and beings.

The decline of the truth of beings means: The openness of beings and only beings loses the previous uniqueness of their authoritative claim.


Martin Heidegger (GA 7) The End of Philosophy