Ponderings II–VI [49–51]

He thereby created a completely different attitude for humans— one of looking forward and demanding.

This superhuman labor had to break a man. (Cf. s.s. 32.16)

Nietzsche did not go so far as to transform being and | create a new horizon; ultimately because he himself did not understand the ancient problem of being. He could not in this regard break the hegemony of the tradition. Hence his fatal opposition between being and becoming, an opposition dating back to his early years (1873).

But he also remained misunderstood here; the “unscientific” philosopher. Everything remained as of old. The phenomenologists (Husserl and Scheler) did manage this one achievement: they awakened the immediate perception turned toward the things themselves (intuition— essence). In other words, they awakened something of the attitude characteristic of antiquity. But rootlessly and in subjection to the nineteenth century, i.e., within its schemata and “problems.”

Alongside this, in desultory and accidental consequence of Nietzsche, a multifarious unrest, confined to individuals and groups; the war——

And subsequently: 1.) historiology of and for the present

2.) worldview, and that as “presupposition” for science

3.) demand that science be close to life

4.) “philosophy of existence” (Jaspers).

But all this out of antiquity—indeed back into it—cf. Jaspers, whose “system” offers the most genuine philosophical presentation of this half-measure.

“Science” (entirely nineteenth century; Max Weber)

“existence” (Kant—Kierkegaard—philosophy of life)


Everything remains as of old—indeed “science” and “transcendence” were even devalued in favor of existence—i.e., relativized toward it. Being is constantly under discussion—and yet the question of being is not surmised in the least, let alone comprehended. Consequently the way has not even been paved for this question. On the contrary, the work has been looking backward.

(“Dialectical theology,”17 on account of its inconsequentiality and swindle, does not deserve attention. It is the worst deployment of Protestant Jesuitism.)

16. {Der Anfang, 45f.}

17. {Strain of Protestant theology deriving from Karl Barth’s commentary of 1919 on the epistle to the Romans.}

Ponderings II-VI (GA 94) by Martin Heidegger