Franco Volpi - Heidegger and Aristotle

Translated by Pete Ferreira


From this connection of temporality and the practical structure of being-there spring two consequences relevant to the Heideggerian understanding of time and of being-there. First, as has already been pointed out, because of the practical connotation of the being of being-there, the decisive time dimension becomes the future, since it is future being that is addressed in practical decisions. And this enables Heidegger to counteract the traditional primacy of the present in Western thought from Aristotle to Husserl. Secondly, as soon as being-there takes upon itself the weight of its own practical determination or unloads it by taking refuge in impersonal forms of Being, temporality will be implemented in an authentic or inauthentic manner. When implementing authentically the could-be, being-there is always ahead of itself (vorweg), it is ex-static, it ex-sists, and so develops that authentic dimension of the future that Heidegger designates as anticipation (Vorlaufen). To it corresponds the authentic temporalization of the present as instant (Augenblick) and the authentic realization of the past as repetition (Wiederholung).

These authentic realizations of temporality undergo an inauthentic deformation due to the unnatural tendency in being-there towards dejection, the tendency to get rid of the weight that having to decide about its own being involves. In removing the need to confront its own being, that is, to suppress the call of conscience to assume the burden of decision about its own being, being-there also removes the future as determinant of the temporality of its being. In the inauthentic attitude, which subtracts itself from having to decide about its own being (which, while it is not yet decided, is the future), the decisive dimension becomes the present, the entity in a restricted sense becomes the entity that is present, in which being-there loses itself forgetting itself. Accordingly, both the future and the past will suffer in their realization of inauthentic deformations.

The result of the interconnection of the temporal structure and practical structure of being-there can now be summarized in the following schema (tiles marked in bold indicate the respectively determining time dimension).

A page from Franco Volpi's Heidegger and Aristotle