Studies on Heidegger

    Fundacja Augusta hr. Cieszkowskiego
    Warszawa 2024

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    Studies on Heidegger
    Andrzej Serafin

    To study Heidegger is to study metaphysics. Unless we live like Nietzsche in an Alpine refuge, in a cave like Zarathustra, or in a Schwarzwald cottage like Heidegger, with our eyes pointed towards the infinite vastness of the surrounding horizon, or even better, towards the inner, primordial temple of mind, usually we are focused on worldly affairs, businesses, duties and tasks, deterring us from the contemplative capacity of our life. Practising metaphysics is the intellectual equivalent of mountaineering, leading to similar peak experiences, uncomparable inner vistas, irreplaceable mental belvederes. Intellectual summits embodied in the chefs-d’oeuvre of philosophy are analogous to mountain ranges that we all attempt to climb when we undertake the study of the textual tradition of philosophising. Philosophical textbooks are nothing else than guidebooks and mountain maps, descriptions of paths hitherto taken by others. But even philosophical masterworks like Plato’s dialogues, Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit, or Heidegger’s Gesamtausgabe are not mountains themselves. As a piece of text, a series of letters, they still remain only traces, pathmarks of other people’s thoughts, climbings, ascents toward the noetic realm of mind. My book is no different. I follow the steps of Heidegger, retrace them, looking initially at his footmarks, slowly raising my sight to see the surrounding vastness of the mental space, and finally discover that it is a common domain shared by us all, a space of one single mind, traversed in the intellectual endeavour called philosophy. Finally I look up and behold that which unfolds itself into each form that I have ever encountered, into all words that I have ever uttered, some of them collected in the form of a book like this one, beginning with wonder, and ending in silence.