cannot be understood as a subject projecting onto otherwise meaningless entities. There are no two steps in such Bedeutsamkeit, or meaningfulness: an encounter with a mere object and then a subjective projection of value by an individual or community. There are not two steps because there is no such first step; Dasein is “always already” within the world of meaningfulness. It is the only way things show up for Dasein and bear on it. We can, however, take objects to be available in a way that conflicts with and covers up their actual availability. Scientism is like this. The insistence, thanks to the philosophical tradition, that things are manifest for Dasein primarily in their cognitive intelligibility is another distortion—that is, in their being rendered intelligible by “logos” (all of which is what is brought to that culmination in German Idealism in general and in Hegel’s Science of Logic in particular). Everyday thoughtlessness is another (FCM, 275ff ).

I should pause here to make a special point of emphasizing the direction of interpretation already suggested in the passages cited above and in many that will follow. When Heidegger insists that any question we might raise about any of the beings or any region of beings depends on, and is oriented already from, some originary implicit understanding of the meaning of Being, he does not mean a reliance on an implicit view of, or belief about, “what it means to be,” where that is taken to raise the question of how we divide the world into those things that exist or could possibly exist and those that do not or could not, or whether we can have some sort of unfiltered access to the real. He is not proposing to exfoliate a preconceptual or, as he says, “pre-ontological” understanding of this division. He always says that would also itself presuppose an implied answer to the question he is most interested in asking: the meaning of Being in the sense sketched above, as meaningfulness, Bedeutsamkeit, and mattering as setting a horizon for what is originally available. Appreciating this fact will, as we shall see, completely alter many of the well-known construals of the problems that are taken to follow from Heidegger’s question: skepticism, truth, idealism, intentionality. Heidegger is proposing to shift the main tasks of philosophy from the analysis of the concepts involved in knowledge claims, empirical experience, and moral claims to an interpretive enterprise, at the center of which are these notions of familiarity (Vertrautheit), meaningfulness (Bedeutsamkeit), and care (Sorge). As he tells us, a “fundamental ontology” is a “hermeneutics of facticity,” and for all of the revisions in his language and approach, I don’t believe he ever changed his views about the centrality or “fundamentality” of such a hermeneutics. Another reason it is important to keep this focus is that without it, it would be very hard to comprehend what Heidegger proposes as a “new way of thinking,” the notion of poetic thinking already on partial view in BP. This means that there is something

The Culmination by Robert Pippin