why students of heidegger will have to read emil lask_kisiel

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Man and Worm 28: 197-240, 1995. 197 (~) 1995 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands. Why students of Heidegger will have to read Emil Lask * THEODORE KISIEL Department of Philosophy, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb IL 60115, U.S.A. A truly in-depth understanding of Martin Heidegger's lifelong expression of a debt of gratitude to Emil Lask (1875-1915) has long evaded even the earliest students of Heidegger. The most recent articulation of this puzzlement comes to us from Hans-Georg Gadamer's "Reminiscences on Heidegger's Begin- nings," along with a startling hint and suggestion toward its resolution.l In order to examine Lucien Goldmann's claim that Heidegger's analysis of the environing world in fact stems from Georgy Lukfics, Gadamer turns to the latter's recently discovered Heidelberg Manuscripts, written at a time when Lukfics had been in close contact with Lask. A careful reading of these manuscripts suggests that Lask, in the last two years of his life (1913-15), underwent an anti-idealistic turn by way of a study of American pragmatism, and it is in this context that Lukfics discusses the environing world in terms which are astoundingly similar to those later used by Heidegger in Being and Time. Could it be that Heidegger was privy, by way of third-party infor- mants, to this late development of Lask's thought, which is not particularly in evidence in the posthumously published Collected Writings of Lask? As of this writing ! have not been able to verify any of these connections. An examination of the posthumous final volume of Lask's Collected Writings, with at least one manuscript dating from as late as 1914 and first published only in 1924, indicates at most only a strong proclivity toward the traditional roots of pragmatism in the practical philosophies of Aristotle and Kant (especially as mediated by Fichte). However, with the recent publication of Heidegger's lecture courses of 1919, the most crucial aspect of Gadamer's tale appears to receive direct verification from the early Heidegger himself: "Lask discovered in the ought and in value, as an experienced ultimate, the world which... was factic. ''2 Thus it seems that, simply on the basis of the works published during Lask's lifetime (later published as the first two volumes of the Collected Writings) available to the young Heidegger (1907-1917), the early Heidegger * This article was first written in 1988,but never published in its originally intended vehicle. It has over the years been widely circulated as an unpublished manuscript and as such cited in the literature. The present text has been updated and abbreviatedsomewhat,deleting especially those portions that found their way relativelyintact into my The Genesis of Heidegger 's BEING AND TIME.

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This article was first written in 1988, but never published in its originally intended vehicle. It has over the years been widely circulated as an unpublished manuscript and as such cited in the literature. The present text has been updated and abbreviated somewhat, deleting especially those portions that found their way relatively intact into my The Genesis of Heidegger 's BEING AND TIME.Theodore Kisiel


Man and Worm 28: 197-240, 1995. (~) 1995 Kluwer Academic Publishers. Printed in the Netherlands.


Why students of Heidegger will have to read Emil Lask *THEODORE KISIEL Department of Philosophy, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb IL 60115, U.S.A.

A truly in-depth understanding of Martin Heidegger's lifelong expression of a debt of gratitude to Emil Lask (1875-1915) has long evaded even the earliest students of Heidegger. The most recent articulation of this puzzlement comes to us from Hans-Georg Gadamer's "Reminiscences on Heidegger's Beginnings," along with a startling hint and suggestion toward its resolution.l In order to examine Lucien Goldmann's claim that Heidegger's analysis of the environing world in fact stems from Georgy Lukfics, Gadamer turns to the latter's recently discovered Heidelberg Manuscripts, written at a time when Lukfics had been in close contact with Lask. A careful reading of these manuscripts suggests that Lask, in the last two years of his life (1913-15), underwent an anti-idealistic turn by way of a study of American pragmatism, and it is in this context that Lukfics discusses the environing world in terms which are astoundingly similar to those later used by Heidegger in Being and Time. Could it be that Heidegger was privy, by way of third-party informants, to this late development of Lask's thought, which is not particularly in evidence in the posthumously published Collected Writings of Lask? As of this writing ! have not been able to verify any of these connections. An examination of the posthumous final volume of Lask's Collected Writings, with at least one manuscript dating from as late as 1914 and first published only in 1924, indicates at most only a strong proclivity toward the traditional roots of pragmatism in the practical philosophies of Aristotle and Kant (especially as mediated by Fichte). However, with the recent publication of Heidegger's lecture courses of 1919, the most crucial aspect of Gadamer's tale appears to receive direct verification from the early Heidegger himself: "Lask discovered in the ought and in value, as an experienced ultimate, the world w h i c h . . . was factic. ''2 Thus it seems that, simply on the basis of the works published during Lask's lifetime (later published as the first two volumes of the Collected Writings) available to the y o u n g Heidegger (1907-1917), the early Heidegger * This article was first written in 1988, but never published in its originally intended vehicle. It has over the years been widely circulated as an unpublished manuscript and as such cited in the literature. The present text has been updated and abbreviatedsomewhat,deleting especially those portions that found their way relatively intact into my The Genesis of Heidegger 's BEING AND TIME.





(1919-1929) did find some help from Lask in his breakthrough to an "analysis of the environing world" and so to the "hermeneutics of facticity," which Heidegger himself identifies as the very first steps taken toward his opus magnum, Being and Time (hereafter BT). 3 If this is correct, it would prove to be the very first tangible evidence that we have of the direct influence of Lask on the more hermeneutically minded early Heidegger, beyond his obvious influence on the Early Writings (1912-16) 4 of the logically minded young Heidegger. In approaching the still-puzzling issue of Lask-Heidegger, two recent interpreters, Istvdn Feher and Steven Crowell, 5 necessarily take their point of departure from the earliest works of the young Heidegger and then leap over to the 1925 lecture course and the works that follow. I do not wish to repeat their excellent labors on the topic, but instead to continue their good work, in a way making it more complex by bringing in the period to which they did not yet have access, namely, Heidegger's courses of 1919, which have just been published. My first aim is to introduce and examine this new material on the question of Lask-Heidegger and so (at least on this issue) to mitigate the outstanding gap between Heidegger's juvenilia (1912-16) and BT (1927). Examination of this intermediate phase should at least fill in the somewhat broader comparisons to which they were forced to resort, adding aspects which their lack o f evidence perhaps led them to overlook confirming their comparisons or, if necessary, revising them. I shall at least try to meet their papers halfway, as it were, coming at the issue of the relation Lask-Heidegger more from the perspective of Heidegger himself precisely around the point in time (1919) at which he first truly finds his own voice and begins to articulate his unique hermeneutical approach, setting it off sharply and polemically from the neo-Kantianism with which he had previously allied himself. As a propaedeutic to this task it will be necessary especially to analyse the young Heidegger's habilitation work (1915-16) in some detail, in which the influence of the neo-Kantians, especially that of their "point-man," Lask, was at its peak. The very length of this exegesis is a record of the repeated surprise over how much latent Lask is in fact contained in the habilitation work and how important this proves to be for Heidegger's immediate conceptual development.

I. Preliminaries

A summary of some of the more salient points of the articles by Crowell and Feh6r, especially the ones upon which I hope to build, will serve to spell out the dimensions of the problem, with an eye toward delimiting and focusing a



more manageable area of discussion and establishing some of the leitmotifs which will follow. I wish to highlight two major themes for discussion: 1. Crowell's article raises the question of the nature of philosophy in relation to its basic domain, whether its "logic of logic" is to be regarded as an aletheiology, a logology, or a phenomenology. When Heidegger equates all of this with ontology, he is of course at once posing the question of the convergence (or in medieval terms, "convertibility") of being with aletheia and logos (which Heidegger quite early on prefers to translate "semantically"_ as "meaning" rather than as "reason"). In comparing this original domain of the Urwissenschafi (primal science) of philosophy, both Crowell and Feh6r uncover similarities in terminology between Lask and Heidegger which begin to suggest how deeply Lask's terms have infiltrated the language of BT: Lask's prejudicative, pre-oppositional "panarchy of the logos" is a domain of meaning and not of beings; whence the ontological difference, in which beings or objects are "in truth" (intelligibility, clarity). This original domain is structured by the Urverhiiltnis (primal relationship) of categorial form and matter, which for Heidegger (as we shall see) reflects a truncated noematic version of the phenomenological Urverhdltnis ofintentionality. The categorial form reflects or indicates a certain Bewandtnis (relevance, bearing) o f the matter, the "circumstances" or "appliant implications" o f the matter itself, just as in BT the tool is defined by its Bewandtnis (appliance) in and through the referential structures of the environing world. Finally, the priority of this original realm is such that even the cognition of it always contains a precognitive lived element, such that it is simply "1 ived through" and not itself known. I live in the category as in a context such that I simply experience its illumination; I thus "live in its truth. ''6 When such terms recur in Heidegger, a prior reading of Lask can only add to and deepen our understanding of their sense as well as their source. But, of course, Lask is no longer read - whence the specific examples of the subsidiary theme of Oblivion in scholarship, surfacing by and large in several footnotes. And so most of us are typically unaware of how much latent Lask permeates the fabric of Heidegger's texts at this time. This applies especially to the habilitation work of 1916, where the half-dozen overt references to Lask do not begin to convey the extent to which he had already left his mark on Heidegger's way of thinking about things logical and ontological] The following is accordingly a first attempt at bringing the shadowy figure of Lask, this "spearhead" of the neo-Kantian tradition lurking in the background of Heidegger's development, out into the open. It is a plaidoyer for reading Lask, from which you too might be rewarded, in baffling your way through some tortuous terminology in, say, Heidegger's Kant-book or his early lecture courses on logic, with the experience of ddj~-vu.



2. Feh6r's article, "The Problem of Irrationality and the Theory of Categories," in part attempts to identify the problem situation in neo-Kantianism and life-philosophy out of which Heidegger's thought arose: the resistance to Hegel's panlogism by insistence on the insuperable irrationality of the "matter" given to thought. Indeed, Lask himself quite early identified the locus classicus of this problematic in his dissertation of 1902, Fichtes Idealismus und die Geschichte (in Volume I of the Collected Writings): Fichte was the first to explore the various polar pairs in terms of the "hiatus irrationalis" (I, 84, 173ffetpassim), the abyss between the empirical and the apriori, the individual and the universal, quidfacti and quidjuris, intuition and concept. Fichte also saw the problem of the "irrational" individual in its full panoply of possibilities, not just the minimal epistemological sense which starts with the multiplicity of "bare" sense data, or the so-called "brute" facts of history, but also the more cultural senses: the historical individual in its fullest manifestations of freedom and human emotions (the hero, genius, artist: I, 17, 196, 205ff), the historical deeds of the Divine revealing Itself (I, 226ff, 240ff) through interventions in human history in what is since called a Heilsgeschichte. These more surcharged manifestations of"irrationality or "brute facticity" (I, 173; 284: so Fichte) thus mark the entry into history of the unexplainably new, unprecedented and creative (II, 206, 238). The degree to which this tradition is now forgotten - Oblivion again! - is measured by the fact that scholars have only recently discovered that the locus classicus of the early Heidegger's crucial term Faktizitdt is indeed this neoKantian tradition and can be traced back to the above-mentioned discussion in Fichte's later period (I, 173, 179, 188,214, 235,238; 284, 290). 8 The further task of evaluating what significance this historical root has for Heidegger's sense of facticity will clearly have to reckon with Lask as well as Natorp, Rickert and Windelband. Noteworthy in this very same context of the historical problem-situation motivating Heidegger's thought is a likewise nearly forgotten (!) French study of early 20th-century German philosophy, which treats Lask at some length along with the ascendant school of phenomenologists. The study was written by the Fichte scholar, Georges Gurvitch, and appeared in 1930, at a time when phenomenology had not yet completely overpowered neo-Kantianism. 9 Gurvitch finds the irrational hiatus manifesting itself in Husserl's positivism of material essences ineluctably irreducible to one another (65), in Scheler's emotional intuition of value essences (Chap. 2), in Lask's moment of logical nudity even of logical (categorial) forms (164f), in the alogical dispersion of forms through their matter, thereby making forms themselves opaque to one another (169 = Lask II, 63). All of these currents, and more, fuse in Heidegger's hermeneutics of existence (210), for example, in the irreducible



equiprimordiality of existential categories, in the thrownness of emotive disposition, especially in the uncanniness of Angst. "Anguish is the sentiment of the abyss, of the impenetrable and opaque hiatus irrationalis in which human existence is plunged" (215f), out of which the finitude of its radical temporality is reflected (229).

2. Propaedeutic to1919The high praise of Lask that we find in the juvenilia continues unabated - if anything, it escalates in philosophical circles in a postwar atmosphere of the heroization of"fallen" philosophers like AdolfReinach and L a s k - in Heidegger's lecture courses of 1919. This is in striking contrast to the sharp polemic mounted here against the major representatives of neo-Kantianism, Windelband, Rickert and Natorp, in order to promote the cause of phenomenology. In siding with Lask against Lask's teacher, Heinrich Rickert, Heidegger notes that he was already expressing such criticisms as a student in Rickert's seminars in 1912-14 in reports on Lask's "Theory of Judgment," and "encountering great resistance" from Ricl~ert. l This autobiographical testimonial indicates how early and how intensively Lask began to exercise his catalytic function, for which Heidegger both in his youth and old age repeatedly credits him, of mediating between Rickert (thus "back to Kant") and the then already powerful influences of Aristotle and Husserl (that is, of his Logical Investigations; Ideasldid not appear until 1913). In his 1919 course on "Phenomenology and Transcendental Value-Philosophy," Heidegger observes that Lask "went beyond Rickert under the guidance of insights from the Logical Investigations, without however taking the step into phenomenology," even though he was well along on the way toward it. I I What Heidegger is presenting to his students here was in fact common knowledge in 1918. Lukfics, for example, alludes to the phenomenological aspects of Lask in his obituary of that year. And Gurvitch in his 1930 study makes these aspects explicit: Lask's expansion of Kant's transcendental logic beyond Aristotle's categories of nature dictates that such categories themselves must have categories in order to become objects of knowledge. In turn, such categories of categories or "forms of forms" imply a precognitive moment in which the initial forms first present themselves as simply given in their "logical nudity," in being lived (vdcu) before they are known: ergo Husserl's categorial intuition (Gurvitch 160f= Lask II, 73ff, 126ff, 190). The very language of Lask's descriptions of the categorial forms enveloping (but not absorbing) their matter cannot help but remind Gurvitch of an objective counterpart of Husserl's intentionality: The forms are essentially in need of completion and fulfillment (erj~llungsbediirfiig); their basic attribute is that



of pointing toward (Hinweisen) and being valid of(Hingelten) their matter; they are through and through and nothing but a relation, a Hin-; thus the primal region of Logos casting light upon its manifold "something" can be described as a Strahlenbiischel von Relationen, a bundle of rays of relations (Gurvitch 166f-- Lask II, 58ff, 173ff, 330, 367-374). 1912: And Heidegger? The very first thing that the young Heidegger found in Lask, announced in the superlatives of first discovery in his 1912 review of "Recent Studies in Logic," is the demand to situate philosophy clearly and squarely in the Third Reich of the Logos as against that of entities, whether 1) physical or 2) metaphysical. Here we have the first appearance in Heidegger not only of the theme of the ontological difference but also that of its oblivion "in the entire course of the history of philosophy," which since Plato typically lapsed into "hypostatizing the [3] logical into [2] metaphysical entities." Lask's theory of categories is to be included among the great efforts of the past for having clearly singled out this domain of the logic of philosophy which, as a "logic of logic" whose categories are always "forms of forms," of course still bears upon the material-constitutive logic of nature (structured, say, according to Aristotle's categories of being) as well as upon the more remote and general formal-reflexive logic. In relation to the former, the constitutive categories of philosophy are always insuperably paired with the constitutive categories of being (nature) in a dual seriality (Zweireihigkeit) whose very union of form and matter is the source of meaning or better, is itself meaning. This constitutive relation in turn secures the basis for the more remote general-reflexive categories, beginning with the self-identical "something in general," which are without substantive or constitutive content since they are generated strictly in the sphere of the subjectivity. 12 (The contrast offered by the reflexive category will play a crucial role in the next decade of Heidegger's methodological development of the "formal indication.") Although perceiving the advantages of the sharp separation of logic from grammar in the logical interpretation of intractable grammatical forms such as the impersonal sentence, Heidegger will eventually, in a continuing endeavor to remain in touch with the concreteness of the human situation, oppose Lask's "metagrammatical subject-predicate theory" as he expands his own investigations beyond a theory of categories to a theory of grammatical significations in the habilitation work of 1916.13 1915-16: The habilitation work represents the high point of Lask's influence on Heidegger. The reader steeped in Lask senses it even in the casual use of terms: das All des Denkbaren as the scope of any system of categories (154); Strahlenbiischel (277), Formgehalt (249, 265, 322), Gegenstandsbemgichtigung (160, also 110, 119, 122), Herrsehafisbereich (dominion: 161, 179f, 256) and finally the study of the "dominion of logical form" (325), a



somewhat more open reference to the subtitle ofLask's Logik der Philosophie. More in the mainstream of the argument of the habilitation, which applies the insights of m o d e m logic to a Scotian theory of categories and speech significations, is the repeated Laskian insistence (153,205,229f), reinforcing Scotus, that Aristotle's categories do not constitute the totality of categories but only a particular class of a particular domain of actuality, that of the real; that the meaning-giving acts of a speaker (especially if they are taken to be 'real') as well as his signifying intentions (either thought or spoken) as opposed to the "valid" ideal objects of such intentions belong to different domains, each with its own governing regional category (especially validity versus reality) differing in meaning from other such region-constituting forms; if these different domains have their own logic, then there must be a logic which unifies and differentiates them, and this "logic of logic" (230) will in turn have its own categories. What then is the master "category of categories," "the ultimate and the highest, behind which we cannot inquire any further" (157: a formula that recalls Dilthey's regarding life), the moment that pervades any cognizable object, "objectness as such" (158)? Fusing the insights of his neoscholastic and transcendentalist mentors, the young Heidegger answers with ens commune ut maxime scibile (156f), the primary transcendental which is convertible with unum, verum, bonum (158), the "something in general" (159) "which is the condition of the possibility of knowing any object whatsoever" (157), in short, the matter of a reflexive category! Reflexive Categories. Among the neo-Kantians, Lask especially has studied the reflexive category (e.g. identity, difference, unity, multiplicity, plurality: Heidegger [277] refers to Lask II, 137ff). Its reference is to anything there is. It can thus be called the es gibt (II, 130, 142,155, 162ff, 254), that highest and purest form which is at once the thinnest and emptiest, which buys transparency at the price of depletion (II, 158, 10 68), which is "parasitical" (II, 163) upon the constitutive forms and is "created by the subjectivity" (277). The negative terms suggest that the reflexive category would be a prime example of the hyperreflection and excessive intellectualizing that Lask traces back to the Greeks (II, 202ff). But as a "mere" surrogate of constitutive categories and dependent upon them, the reflexive category plays an indispensable albeit subordinate role in the field of categories. After all, Lask observes at one point in their defence, what would we do without words like "and" and (!) "other"? (II, 164). Of course Lask, who seems inclined to include the mathematical among the reflexive categories (II,142, 167), might therefore be more predisposed to be positive about them, whereas the young Heidegger devotes many pages (162, 173-193) to distinguishing the transcendental one (= reflexive identity) from the numerical one.




Heidegger thus links this neo-Kantian discussion with that of the medieval transcendental unum. Any ens or 'something' is at once one with itself and different from anything else. Any thing is therefore a relation (!) of "heterothesis" (Rickert's term), and this identity and difference which makes the one and the many "equally primordial" (gleich urspriinglich !: 158, 166, 172, 323) is in fact the minimal order or "determinateness" necessary in order to apprehend any object at all (160, 166, 172f). At this most primitive level of (pre-objective!) givenness, "there is (es gibt) no object, no object is given, when the One and the Other is not given" (173 citing Rickert); when we think of an object, we at once think of the one and the other. Even the barest "thing," here the pure logical object, is never isolated; "in itself" it is always already a relation in context. These minimal logical relations recur in the grammar of the noun and verb, e.g. in the simple sentence ens est. Equiprimordial with the noun ens is the state-of-affairs esse. "Every object has its relational nexus (Bewandtnis), even if it is only a matter of being identical with itself and different from something else" (323). The apparent tautology ens est necessarily involves a heterology; a pure monism without opposites (with its implicit non-esse) cannot even be thought (Rickert). Invoking the unum which belongs to every ens adds nothing new to the object - based on a privation, "not the other," it has no positive content (163) and yet it brings a clarity to the object by imparting some initial order to it, without which it could not be thought or apprehended (166). In short, it imparts "form," removing the object from the realm of heterogeneity or "absolute multiplicity," that limit concept at the outskirts of any theory of categories (197). At this most primitive level of consideration, we most clearly see the first function of the much bandied word"form" in a theory of categories. Form means order (222), logos. "When we say that empirical reality manifests fi particular categorial structure, this means that it is formed, determined, ordered. The natural environing world ( U m w e l t ) . . . is already categorially d e t e r m i n e d . . , it stands in an order" (197). Logicians accordingly like to speak of the "logical place" of a phenomenon. Any cognizable phenomenon requires a particular place according to its content (yielding its Gehaltssinn), a particularization or determination which, as an order, is itself only possible on the basis of a relational system (yielding its Bezugssinn). "Whatever has its logical place fits in a particular way into a relational whole" (154). Adding the supernatural to the natural world brings us squarely into the medieval lifeworld (Erlebniswelt: 351) whose order of analogy is far more complex than the univocal relations articulated by the reflexive categories above (197ff). Scotus went further and regarded this world to be primarily and radically composed of individuals each with their own form of individual-



ity (haecceitas), their own "this-here-now" (Daseint), where the individuating categories of place and time suggest neither a univocal relational system nor an analogically graded world, but a "boundless multiplicity" or "heterogeneous continuum" (Rickert) of equiprimordial "irreducible ultimates" which borders on the equivocal (194t). And yet the young Heidegger insists that the reflexive categories play a "predominant role" precisely in the complex of relations of identity and difference operative in the spectrum defined by univocity, analogicity and equivocity as these manifest themselves and function in judgments and speech significations (277, 346). A comparison of this spectrum of signifying functions with the reflexive categories reveals some remarkable similarities: 1. Both are clearly products of subjectivity. This connection between the categorial artifices, which Lask asserts are "created by subjectivity," and signifying functions "which originate in the use of expressions in living thinking and knowing" (277; my emphasis) is one reason why Heidegger in the end will see the need to go beyond Lask's notoriously "halfsided" (349) I4 transcendental logic, which gives "primacy to the objective-logical" (II, 376), in order to "set the problem of the categories within the problem of the judgment and subject" (343), and still further, to set the fullness of this still schematic structure of intentionality within the concrete fullness of life (344, 348ff). In fact, Heidegger came upon this "translogical" (347) task precisely in his study of the medieval theory of significations which, in its exploration of unified ideal-real structure of speech acts and their contents, "manifests a sensitive and sure disposition of attunement to the immediate life of the subjectivity and its immanent contexts of meaning" (343). In this same context, Heidegger tantalisingly suggests that the variety of domains in any category system, even though they are differentiated from one another primarily in objective accordance with the actual domains themselves, at least to some extent receive their identity-difference correlations from the "subjective side" which finds expression in the reflexive categories (346). 2. On the other hand, like constitutive categories, reflexive categories are still "determined by matter," even though it is no longer "specific matter" but rather a "diluted content reduced to mere contentness" (277). Signifying functions like analogicity, which differentiates an identical meaning in accord with different realms of actuality, are even more subject to this meaningdifferentiating "principle of the material determination of any form whatsoever" (PMDF: 252ff). Such functions are moreover objectively anchored by the objective constellation of linguistic expressions and their directions of fulfillment (277f). 3. Finally, Lask attributes generality especially to the reflexive category, since its application is determined by no particular form or content (278).



But in contrast to the categories of natural reality and much like the reflexive category, linguistic forms of meaning also manifest a peculiar dilution and indeterminateness, which is precisely what makes them applicable to "anything whatsoever," the very matter of reflexive categories (2560. Constitutive Categories. The above comparison suggests the sorts of correspondences which the young Heidegger is seeking to establish between the orders of language, knowledge and being (modus significandi, intelligendi, essendi) by way ofa categorial scheme. As he moves from the transcendental unum to verum, does he uncover a richer and less superficial scheme than univocity and heterology, one more adequate to the analogical multiplicity of the domains and individuals which enter into the ultimately governing order of being? The first step is not particularly promising. Verum adds knowability to being which is really nothing new for, as we have seen, this note is already contained in unum (209). Is there more than bare univocity implied in the general statement of verum, "it can be known"? Indeed. For what we have here is nothing less than the "essential union of the object of knowledge and the knowledge of the object" (344, 208), in short, the complex order of intentionality, which now becomes the "operative concept" (Eugen Fink's word), the "constitutive" category in Heidegger's modernizing interpretation of the medieval categories, This reversal from the subjective-reflexive to the objective-constitutive category will unfold by way of a parallel reversal in the ordering relations between form and matter which, it goes without saying (and apparently, in Freiburg in 1915, Heidegger did not have to say who his terminological source was), will be thoroughly permeated by Lask's hylomorphic account. 15 An object known is an object 1) determined by knowledge 2) by conforming to a knowing subject, thereby undergoing a forming through knowledge. "Form is really the factor which bestows determination" (209). To be determined is to be "affected" (betroffen: touchO in Gurvitch's French account of Lask) by form. The object thus comes to be 3) in knowledge, in the knowing subject, in anima. But the ens in anima is no longer a real being. Its being known has transformed it into an ens rationis, an ens logicum, for which moderns like Lotze (and so Lask) have found "the felicitous expression 'validity'" (211). 16 The "is" of a judgment, where truth ultimately resides, no longer means "exists" but rather "is valid for." What then is the relation between the domains of real being and "unreal" ideal meaning, validity? Heidegger answers in both directions across domains: The non-validating kind of reality is given only in and through a validating sort of meaningful context (221). Or more in line with the above "introverting" analysis of the relation of knowledge: "It is only because I live in the validating element that I know about the existing element" (222).



Lask often expressed the same Husserlian point regarding living "in truth" and thus knowing about things in highly suggestive hylomorphic terms (II, 82, 86 ff, 124, 190ff): I know the matter o f thought in a mediate way only by living in the form through which I know. The form is immediately experienced but is itself not known. I live in categories as in contexts in which and through which I know the things "included" in and by them. Matter is encompassed, embraced (umgriffen), surrounded or environed (umgeben) by the form; it is enveloped (umhiillt), enclosed (umschlossen), trimmed (verbri~mt) in the form (II, 75f). This quick survey of just a few of the clearly exploratory and sometimes inventive metaphors used by Lask to express this insight is perhaps not an idle exercise, in view of the controversy generated by Lucien Goldmann and Georgy Lukfics: One could wonder whether such terms were suggestive enough to the early Heidegger in order for him to make the leap from "category" to "world" (cf. above, my opening paragraph), which is a central thrust of his first major breakthrough. If we already live in the encompassing forms, finding ourselves already ensconced in them and operating out of them toward the heterogeneous matter, then it is clear enough why "the problem of the 'application' of the categories loses its meaning." Is this the "transcendental-ontic interpretation of the concept of the object" implied in Lask's transcendental logic of which "he in the end was perhaps not fully conscious," which would yield "a satisfying answer on how 'unreal,' 'transcendent' sense guarantees us true actuality and objectivity" (348f)? Form shapes and determines objects and thus determines the order (world) in which the object finds its place, without which it could not be known. What is new here, over and above the self-identification opposing it to other (external) objects in the unum, is the internal correlation of form and matter "within" the object. If form is regarded as the active determination of the matter to be known, "'embracing' [umklammern] the matter encountered in givenness, getting it as it were within its power" (223), if form is always directed to a matter which is never totally absorbed by it and thus always remains other than it, then the logical object itself noematically reflects the structure of intentionality. "Forms are nothing but the objective expression of the different ways in which consciousness is intentionally drawn and related to the objective" (261). The purported form-matter dualism is bound by the unity of intentionality in the "boundlessness of truth" (II, 125ff). Accordingly, the regional category governing the logical realm is not validity but intentionality (225). 17 And yet, whenever Heidegger makes this point, thus modifying Lask's Lotzean formulation (II, 97ff), he almost invariably equates intentionality with Hingeltung, validation o f . . . (223,225), Lask's preferred term to describe the functional relationship of form to its matter in the logical object. Upon first transposing his notion of Hingeltung into



traditional hylomorphic terms, Lask observes that the objects of validity are intrinsically "enclitic," they have a fundamental need to "nestle against" and "lean upon" an other, and "this dependence, this need to be toward an other and for an other, in accordance with a venerable terminology can be called the form character of validity" (II, 32f, 93f). The kind of"reality" which belongs to "esse verum" is a relation, that of Gelten, and before it is a relation in a judgment between subject and predicate (21 lf), it is a relation of form and matter "within" the object itself, which, it may be recalled, is itself an external privative relation with any other object! Deficient "empty" forms stand in need of "fulfillment" by matter. Thus far, it has only been noted that forms "encompass" and "affect" matter without totally absorbing or permeating it. Thus far, form has been the active determinant in our "introverting" account, determining the matter of thought in order to draw it into the compass of knowledge. We must now turn outward from the order of knowing toward the order of being, to their interface where consciousness "encounters" the object, where it is "struck" by things and things are "given" to it (223), or in our present terms, where form "hits" (meets, touches) matter and, by the very nature of the encounter, is itself hit, affected, determined. The reversal in the direction of "determination" is crucial, reflecting not only the transformation of Kantian inwardness into phenomenological outwardness but, more to the point being made here, also the transformation of a hitherto univocal reflexive category of truth as "pure" validity into a constitutive category amenable to the "order of analogy in the world of real sensory and suprasensory objects" (224). More specifically, this reversal gradually develops, at first as a suggestive undercurrent (193, 198, 206f, 222,229), which then surfaces rather late in Heidegger's text (252-263), in order finally to become one of the central themes in his Conclusion (3449), by way of the above-mentioned "principle of the material determination of form," i.e. of the determination of form by matter, which in language and content is clearly an outgrowth of Lask's "doctrine of the differentiation of meaning" (II, 58ff, 102,169). What exactly does matter, traditionally the receptive "substrate," do to form? Heidegger provides the answer quite early (193): "Form is a correlative concept; form is form of a matter, every matter stands in a form. Matter moreover stands in a form befitting it; put differently, form receives its meaning (Bedeutung) from matter." Put in reverse once more, form accommodates ("tailors": II, 59) itself to a particular matter such that it is itself particularized by meaning. Meaning is thus the fruit of the union of form and matter. Meaning is that very union, which is why the ultimate answer to the question "whence sense?" cannot really be "matter" but instead "by way of matter" or "relatedness to matter." The "moment of meaning" is the "relatedness of



the validlike to the outside" (II, 170). The answer is not at all surprising in view of the "operative concept" of intentionality which governs the analysis. From the standpoint of "pure" form, meaning is an "excess" arising from its reference "to a something lying outside of it" which Lask views as a kind of fall of pure form from the realm of "pure" validity into a "lower" realm mediating the univocal homogeneity of the logical realm (sic Heidegger, 224) with the "multiplicity of all that is alien to validity," with the "opaqueness, impenetrability, incomprehensibility" and "irrationality of matter" (II, 5961, 77). Form accommodating itself to the multiplicity of matter yields the "impure" middle realm of meaning. The "moment of meaning" is accordingly the "principle of individuation" which particularises and differentiates forms, the "principle of plurality in the [otherwise homogeneous] sphere of validity (II, 61), multiplying forms as it specifies them. Form "burdened" with meaning thus becomes the fuller and more "specific" constitutive form, "the categorial determination called for by non-validating matter," which "lets the essence of matter shine through, as it were" (II, 172, 103). The constitutive form is accordingly an intrinsic "reflection of material determination" (II, 65: the only occurrence of Materialsbestimmtheit in Lask; note, however, that Heidegger's term in his principle is invariably without the intermediate 's'). It is a more determined form which has undergone a Formbestimmtheit (II, 58) 18 relating it to a particular matter; i.e., it is a form oriented toward being fulfilled by its own very particular content. What does the young Heidegger draw from this hyperreflective quasitheological story of the genesis and nature of the constitutive category? Leaving aside the Plotinian overtones, Heidegger quickly brings the counterKantian, phenomenological thrust of the analysis in tandem with the central thrust of his own investigation, namely, the task of distinguishing and at once characterizing the various realms of reality (174, 229, 342). He does this by identifying the starting point and specifying the attitude toward the constitutive category and its domains which he has in common with Lask: "That there are different domains of actuality cannot be proved a priori by deductive means. Facticities can only be pointed out. What is the sense of this showing, this demonstrative display?" (155). Or, in discussing the mathematical domain in regard to its constitutive category of quantity, he observes: "To give a schoolbook definition of it will not be possible, since it is an ultimate, something which is 'last.' Its essence can only be described, pointed out (notificari)" (189), "read ofF' (abgelesen: 197,257,263,346) 19 from the actuality itself. However, the articulation of especially the non-sensory, logical and psychic domains is "enormously difficult," where even the language is lacking and we tend to fall back upon the physical domain of nature for inadequate and ponderous circumlocutions. But it is precisely in such instances



that the indeterminate "dilution" of reflexive categories plays an indispensable starting role in developing more suitable descriptive categories (257). It is therefore not out of line, and even necessary, to embark first upon some "general considerations" (156) oriented toward explicating the "descriptive content" (143f) latent in certain traditional approaches to the Problem of Categories. For the systematic treatment of a philosophical problem cannot really be separated from a concomitant historical treatment (354, 138ff). But in the end, this "strictly conceptual" historical approach is "one-sided" and will have to be completed by a systematic retum to the full concreteness of life (342ff). Lask likewise opposes Kant's "purely logical" deduction of the categories, because they are after all "not logical through and through . . . but arise from alogical material" and so find their order in a material logic; "we can determine their place only by way of a detour across this matter, persistently looking at it and regarding its stufflike nature" (II, 62f). Also, contrary to Hegel's panlogism, the individual forms are not intertwined by reciprocal logical relations. They stand before us in a reciprocal heterogeneity and irreducible multiplicity. The pure forms in which we stand at most give us the inner light by which to regard their matter, since it is also being reflected from the impenetrable surface of matter's brute facticity. In our encounter with this interface of facticity, we can only accept its alogical order of being and resign ourselves to the limits of reason. The young Heidegger, concerned with the explication of texts and concepts in the process of"doing a dissertation," nevertheless already displays a remarkable propensity for cutting through the verbiage of exegetical content in order to expose and describe the moments of "brute" encounter at the interface between knowing and being, or speaking and being. This is particularly evident in his handling of 'simplex apprehensio' versus 'judicium' (209223), but it also surfaces in the categorial problems of analogicity (197-207, 275-8) and the differentiation of forms of signification (252-263). At this stage, I must be content with a cursory summary of these themes by tracing them with some dispatch back to their intersection in the fulcrum "principle of the material determination of form" to the "ground and keystone of the knowledge of an object" (247), in short, back to "the matter itself."

The truth of"simplex apprehensio," of simply having an object, has as its opposite not falsehood but rather non-acquaintance [Nichtkenntnis], not being conscious of But in a certain sense, simply pro-posing [Vorstellen] something, simply bringing it to givenness, can also be called false, when it apprehends the object in a determination not befitting [zukommenden: Lask's term for form-fitting e.g. II, 333] it. This intrinsically



false meaning can nevertheless come to consciousness. Even if it does not admit of objective fulfilment, it is still something objective, a "quid nominis," a meaning independent ofjudicative characterisation. Because the given precisely as given always becomes an object, simple pro-posing is in turn always true . . . . The truth is consummated in givenness and does not extend beyond it. (209f) With these sentences which introduce his one sustained account of the judgment, tteidegger first clearly broaches the radical prejudicative level of direct acquaintance with "bare" givenness, which Lask liked to call the "supraoppositional" stratum precisely because it precedes the judicative opposition between true and false sentences. And yet, at this rudimentary level, there is another, more pervasive, and "boundless" truth, "the truth in itself" which is identical with meaning (II, 129) which in turn, as the fruit of the union of form and matter, is identical with the object populating this level, the "ideal object" then much discussed in the war against psychologism. The conflation of terms tells us where we are within the relation of intentionality, namely, "oriented toward objectness (modus essendi) in the noematic realm" (252), the realm of meaning pure and simple. Modus essendi activus. A similar conflation occurs between the "modes" or orders (ratione) of being, knowing and signifying, precisely by way of the above limit-possibility of a misfit meaning, therefore false, which nevertheless achieves objectness and is therefore true (intelligible, meaningful). The question is really that of the scope of the sphere of meaning (ergo of a category system) in order to have it include every possible object of knowledge, including privations, fictions, perhaps contradictions like "square circles" (they were excluded on p. 162), indeed non-being itself. "After all, 'non ens' is also an object of knowledge, enters into judgments, is apprehended in meanings and signified by words" (230), which accordingly has its own actuality, if not reality. Putting the question at its simplest: We speak and think about reality. Granting the indispensable role of the first two modes (significandi and intelligendi), how are we to understand the third (essendi)? What then are we to include in "reality"? The three orders conflate when we take speaking and thinking "passively," i.e., noematically, in terms of their object or "matter" of concern, namely, reality. Their matters converge and coincide with the governing matter of reality, the "about which" of their concern. This is the universal reality-principle, the "principle of the material determination of every form" (253,256, 257,259). It dictates that the particular forms of signification (say, of parts of speech) be derived or "read off' (257,263) from the "givenness" (modus essendi) of reality in its "form differentiating" or "meaning differentiating function" (256, 258). But what about privative meanings like "blind," which refer to some-



thing lacking or missing in reality, therefore absent from reality? The young Heidegger's initial response: "Form can also be determined from somewhere else, with the proviso that the form does not contradict the matter for which it is to be the form, i.e., p r o v i d e d . . , that the matter tolerates this forming" (254). And his solution: A privation is to be understood as an ens rationis. Its reality is precisely its being known (255). There is more to reality than meets the eye. The modus essendi must include "not only the real actuality of nature but also the non-sensory logical, the known as known, and thereby anything objective whatever. The modus essendi coincides with-the universal domain of'something in general,' circumscribed by the primal category ofens" (256: emphasis mine). His conclusion: "The forms of meaning (modi significandi) are thus read off under the guidance of the given (modus essendi), which in turn is givenness only as known (in the modus intelligendi)" (263). One might also add that the modus essendi would in turn also have to include the linguistic modes of signification which it serves to articulate and differentiate. Thus, for example, when he identifies intentionality with Lask's Hingeltung, Heidegger likewise brings "assertibility" into the equation (223). What then is reality? "The modus essendi is whatever can be experienced and lived (das Erlebbare), in the absolute sense whatever stands over against consciousness, the 'robust' reality which irresistibly forces itself upon consciousness and can never nor again be put aside and eliminated" (260). The overriding sense of facticity emanating from ttiis passage has been building ever since Heidegger mentioned the fact of different domains of reality, whose very difference cannot be proven but only pointed out, shown. 2 "Whatever gets pointed out stands before us in its selfness and, graphically put, can be grasped immediately.... Regarding the immediate there can be no doubt, probability and delusions. For, as immediate, it has, as it were, nothing between itself and the apprehension (simplex apprehensio)" (155). And we get hints of it in the analogical distribution of an identical meaning differentiated "in each case" (je) in accord with "the inherent differentiation of meaning coming from the domains of reality themselves," and so "determined by the nature of the domains" to which the meaning is applied (198f, 229). A few years later, the small German distributiveje, so easy to ignore (it often is by translators), becomes the veritable mark of the facticity of Dasein, which in formal indication is "in each case (je) mine." But by now, it should be evident that the young Heidegger is also working at cross-purposes with his mentors regarding the basic "noetic" character of this rudimentary level of givenness and meaning, reflected in terms like simple apprehension, direct acquaintance (Kenntnis), pre-judicative cognizance and finally 'lived experience' (Er-leben). Is it living or knowing, or perhaps both at once? What exactly is the modus essendi activus (262; latter emphasis



mine) analogous to the active noetic correlate in the orders of knowing and signifying? What is the character of the immediate experience corresponding to immediate givenness? This question of a rudimentary "understanding of being" is at least speculatively "mirrored" in the remarkable "backtracking" into the Scotian text (or, if you will, "re-duction" or "deconstruction" of) which we have been following. The crucial pages (259-262) bear closer scrutiny, inasmuch as they are invariably missed or botched or balked by virtually all commentators, much to their detriment, especially in understanding the much-remarked Eckhartian footnote in the Conclusion (344), which refers more or less explicitly back to those pages. In the words of one commentator, "it would make no sense to speak of a modus essendi activus" apparently because, when it comes to the given, all that one can ultimately say is "that is how the things themselves are. ''2! But "brute" facticity is not the last word for medieval man, who can always go on to say "God made it that way"; likewise not for the young Heidegger, who is still operating wholeheartedly out of the medieval worldview (351; his Vorhabe in common with "Scotus"). And it is precisely those allusions to the ultimate baseline of medieval experience, namely, to that "distinctive form of inner existence anchored in the transcendent Ur-relationship of the soul to God" (351), that he now draws out of the Scotian text. Heidegger begins his final "backtrack" here by observing that all three modes, though they converge noematically by being one in their matter, nevertheless differ in form, in the regard in which that matter is taken, where he clearly includes the modus essendi among them (259f). What then is its form, especially if we recall that "forms are nothing but the objective expression of the various ways in which consciousness is intentionally related to the objective" (261) What is striking here is that "Scotus," even though he never explicitly speaks of a modus essendi activus (as the young Heidegger explicitly does, p. 262), nevertheless invests this mode with a particular ratio, thereby making it"approach the character of a determinateness of form, which must correspond to the character of an act." What then are "the acts in which immediate givenness actually becomes conscious"? (262). The answer can no longer be put off: "The modus essendi is the immediately given empirical reality sub ratione existentiae. There is something significant here which must be noted: Duns Scotus characterizes even this empirical reality as standing under a "ratio,' a point of view, a form, an intentional nexus [Bewandtnis]; this is nothing less than what is nowadays being said in the following terms: Even 'givenness' already manifests a categorial determination" (260). In Rickert's words, what we have here are the "most rudimentary logical problems" which force us to "draw even 'prescientific' knowing into the sphere of our investigation" (260). Or in our terms, the immediate experience corresponding to



immediate givenness is that o f " a categorial determination," it is a categorial experience, in short, it is what Husserl called a categorial intuition. Lask's way of putting it is particularly telling in this nexus of thoughts and thinkers. In a fascinating but elusive chapter on "Living and Knowing," Lask speaks of an immediate experience not only of the so-called "sensedata," but in particular of the non-sensory as it is in its first occurrence, "as a pretheoretical something" in which we first simply live before we know it. So far, this only repeats what has been said above regarding Lask's transposition ofHusserl's "categorial intuition" into his own framework. But then he continues in a decidedly "mystical" vein with his descriptions and examples. In brief summary: our first experience of categories is such that we are "lost" in them in "pure absorption," for example in aesthetic, ethical or religious "dedication" (Hingabe: II, 191; but also 56, 85, 103, 129, 132 et passim) in which we find ourselves simply "given over" to the given form, meaning value (II, 191). This is the life especially "deserving" of philosophical study, "not brute lactic life but rather the sphere of immediate experience replete with value, of life already made worthwhile" (II, 196). And this is precisely what the young Heidegger finds in the medieval experience of reality sub ratione existentiae, namely, the immediate experience of the transcendental verum and bonum convertible with esse existentiae, according t which "to be" is at once "to be true" because reality is in intrinsic conformity with the mind of its Maker. Or, put in a term relating to the above discussion of the transcendental realm of meaning, the scholastic doctrine of ontological truth, of the conformity of being with (especially the divine) intellect, yields the result that being is intrinsically intelligible, and so, put noetically, intellectualizable by intellectually disposed beings. The latter also yields, inasmuch as being is primum in intellecto and so the primum intelligibilium, what Heidegger will later prefer to call an initially pre-ontological "understanding of being" (BT, H. 7) definitive of Dasein. But what is especially tantalizing in this nexus is not so much the early anticipation of this keystone of Heidegger's hermeneutic ontology: in early 1919, "understanding" is openly identified with categorial intuition; shortly thereafter, the Husserlian experience of truth in evidence, Selbsthabe, is used to express the fulfilment of the self in authenticity, thus placing the medieval equation of being and truth on the level of personal conation. What is especially fascinating is the shadowy presence of Laskian terms like Hingabe and Bewandtnis within this nuclear fusion of terms outlining the rudimentary transcendental realm of intentionality and meaning, and so planted into the seedbed out of which Heidegger's concepts will grow. The multi-faceted Hingabe (submission, resignation, self-abandonment, devotion, dedication), used by Lask first in a pre-decisional way, i.e., finding oneself



already absorbed in meaning, puts us in a direct line toward not only prevolitional Befindlichkeitbut also the more volitional, Eckhartian Gelassenheit (letting-be, releasement, abandonment). The young Heidegger uses the term Hingabe once, to characterize the medieval's high regard for tradition in the attitude of "absolute devotion to and passionate immersion in the transmitted body of knowledge." This "giving of oneself over to the matter" explains why "the value of the subject matter" prevailed over that of the subject (140). Aside from being an early articulation of authentic historicity, this is the earliest example in the text of the intentional receptivity implicit in the "principle of the material determination of form." PMDF. The principle itself first clearly emerged, according to Heidegger's retrospective summary in the Conclusion, by way of a study of the medieval doctrine of significations. "Duns Scotus's task of analyzing a particular level of act, that of the modus significandi, forces him to go into the sphere of acts as such and to establish some fundamental matters regarding the individual levels of acts (modus significandi, intelligendi, essendi) and their relationship to one another" (343). (After a year's time, the young Heidegger's textual discovery is still very much on his mind!) He continues: "The very existence of a doctrine of significations within medieval scholasticism reveals a fine disposition to tune in on the immediate life of the subjectivity and its immanent contexts of meaning, without however acquiring a precise concept of the subject" (343). Nevertheless, this retum to a fundamental sphere of subjectivity, the levels of acts, "leads to the principle of the material determination of every form which, in its turn and for its part, includes the fundamental correlation of object and subject" (344). It is from this most fundamental correlation of the "understanding of being" suggested by the above modernizing of the medieval verum that "Eckhart's mysticism first receives its philosophical interpretation and appraisal in connection with the metaphysics of the problem of truth" (344 n.). But Heidegger did not hold his course on medieval mysticism and Eckhart, announced for the winter semester of 1919-20. Thus, the very first clear application that we got from Heidegger's publications of such "mystical" structures of receptivity, in particular, of the attitude of"letting be" inherent in the unio mystica, took us from the sublime to the mundane. In the "absorption" of the craftsman in his world of"handy" tools, in his "submission" (BT; H. 87) to that world which meaningfully organizes his tools, tasks and materials, the truly responsive craftsman understands, "knows how" to let his tool serve its purpose by yielding to its tasks and being compliant to the appliant material 'that it works, i.e., to let it take its course along the paths prescribed by his world, to let it "do its thing"; or, in Heidegger's words, "to let something handy be so-and-so as it already is and in order that it be such" (H. 84). From this



letting serve, deploy, comply and so letting be, we can in turn quite naturally "read off" the very being of the handy tool, its being-such and so-and-so, namely, its appliant deployment, its Bewandtnis (H. 84ff)! In applying Lask's alternative word for form and order to a "system of relations" (H. 88) far richer than that schematized, say, by a reflexive category, the early Heidegger has clearly traveled some distance from the old hylomorphic framework he himself once employed. Although he himself never wrote what he, in his critique of Lask in the Conclusion of 1916, already deemed indispensable, namely, "a fundamental investigation of the value and limits of this formmatter duplicity" (347), he nevertheless indicated the direction of such a deconstruction shortly thereafter, in his critique of thinkers like Natorp. 22 But even this story is too long to be told here, especially in regard to a word like Bewandtnis, in my opinion the most difficult of the early Heidegger's words for the translator. But some light can perhaps be thrown on this translator's problem by summarizing how the young Heidegger first appropriates this word from Lask. Bewandtnis, as an alternative word for form (logos, ratio), quite naturally first appears with the introduction of the concept of form (165). In relation to matter, it is a "how" word, the way in which matter is taken, viewed, faced, regarded, namely, "as" such-and-such or so-and-so. To the question "How?" one answers "So!" Bewandtnis thus specifies the "with regard to" (hinsichtlich), the "in view of" (gegeniiber), e.g. matter"as to" its quantity, the regional category generating and ordering the domain of mathematics (177). One problem: Is such an ordering regard noetic or noematic? Is Bewandtnis the regarding that orders or the order that results from the regard, the facing or the facet? Or should perhaps, thirdly, the direction of the regard be stressed, i.e., the perspective, angle, slant, tilt, inelinatio (329), bearing, which gives the object a noematic 'bent' or 'twist', thus highlighting a certain facet or aspect of it? Thus, in the sentence ens est, the verb-form 'declines' the noun-matter in a certain direction (329), bringing out a specific aspect or face(t). Accordingly, being "something," being a "what" (Et-was), is called the "primal face" (Urbewandtnis) of everything which is and can be an object (288). (Soon, eidos is called the "look" of an object by Heidegger.) So far, in my translation of two places out of the text, I have vacillated between the first two, more generic senses, going from the noematic "relational order" to the noetic "intentional ordering." Let me try a few more passages in conjunction with the third sense, the sense of direction (directed stance, bearing), beginning with its first appearance: "All that stands 'over against' and 'in relation to' the I in experience is somehow apprehended. The relation of 'vis-h-vis' itself is already a certain regard (a respectus), a bearing (Bewandtnis) which it has with the object" (165). Accordingly, once the minimal order of the



reflexive category is in place, it can be said: "Through the unum, there is [it has] a certain bearing with the object" (166; emphasis mine). The bearing is together with the object: In other words, the noetic bearing-towards (or upon) is immediately correlatively reflected in the noematic bearing o f the object. Thus, Bewandtnis always "analytically needs an object upon which it can, as it were, support itself" (330). The prepositions are ultimately the key to understanding our term, which itself is a preposition in disguise controlling a cluster of prepositions. In one fascinating passage, Lask brings many of them together, emphasizing the most important: "To know something thus always means: to have something else before oneself, namely, a categorial form in regard to or concerning ["touching"] it, to apprehend the truth about and clarity over it, to be aware of the objective bearing which it has with it, thus always to experience something about it and around it" (II, 82). 23 Even the unemphasized prepositions are worth pondering, as anyone who has studied the early Heidegger's analysis of the world "around" (um) us knows; perhaps even someone who just thoughtfully looks "about" in order to ponder what that world is "about" and says "about" us. Then consider the hapless translator already suspended between two overlapping but not really coincident linguistic networks of prepositions; add to that the transposition from a hylomorphic to a mundane network; and there you have the problem of translating the net surrounding Bewandtnis from Heideggerian German into the King's English (as well as virtually every other language)! A last, albeit still incomplete look at the Conclusion, 24 to flesh out a bit further the young Heidegger's project of a "translogicar' philosophy of life, will provide a springboard into the 1919 courses, whose basic thrust is likewise geared "Toward the Definition and Mission of Philosophy." 25 The operative concept defining the object of philosophy in 1916 is intentionality, which is no longer to be regarded as just a theoretical attitude, but is to find its concretion in the fullness of the "living spirit" (Friedrich Schlegel's term), which in turn is a "historical spirit in the broadest sense of the word" (3480. The ground shifts from an epistemology to a metaphysics, and the metaphysics of truth now becomes a metaphysics of history with truth as its telos. On the one hand, in keeping with the full medieval sense of verum, Heidegger would seek insight into the ultimate "still point" of intentionality correlative to the realm of"supra-oppositionality" (348) in a study of the phenomenon of mysticism, especially Eckhart's account of it (344n, 352). On the other hand, in keeping with the modernizing of such categories, such a metaphysics of God and the world (206) will include "the task of an ultimate metaphysicalteleological interpretation of consciousness, [for] in it the value-laden already lives in primal authenticity insofar as consciousness is a meaningful living deed which realizes sense" (348). This statement of purpose has a Fichtean



tone 26 and has already surfaced in Lask's singling out of "the sphere of immediate experience replete with value" (II, 196), which includes ethical, aesthetic, religious as well as theoretical values, as the true and full object of philosophy. This sphere is in fact history, the arena of"value formation" (352) correlative to the living spirit in "the entire fullness of its accomplishments" (350). History so understood and "teleologically construed in the manner of a philosophy of culture must become a meaning-determining element [i.e., a form-differentiating matter, a reality-principle] for the problem of the categories" (350). Such a broadly based "cosmos of categories" governed by the principle of analogy, in replacing the current "inadequate and schematic table of categories," would provide the conceptual means "to bring to life and to comprehend individual epochs of intellectual history" along with the "qualitatively filled and value-laden lifeworld" correlative to each. The young Heidegger is interested especially in the "medieval worldview," which is "so radically and consciously teleologically oriented" (350f). This, after all, is what he himself ultimately expects from his own modernized metaphysics a "genuine optic" ( 3 4 8 ) . . . a worldview! While it to some extent presages what is soon to come (the historical ego immersed in the environing world), Heidegger's statement of the return to historical life clearly still relies heavily upon the vocabulary of the transcendental philosophy of values. In the context of this Conclusion, Lask is the only one of this persuasion who is openly confronted (347-9), in both praise and criticism, and more (as we have seen) in conjunction with the two tasks propaedeutic to this third, namely, domain differentiation and the inclusion of subjectivity in the transcendental realm. 27 In Lask, Heidegger sees a kindred spirit in the effort to return to the concrete, where "supra-oppositionality" is an especially "fruitful element" in bringing together a number of competing epistemologies. But the obverse to this are the complications thereby introduced into the problem of opposition and thus of value. How are values and their negative poles distinguished? Is the value of validity a form of"ought" or a peculiar sort of "being"? These are the questions that Heidegger hopes to clarify by the return to life, which he assumes, as Lask does, to be already fraught with values. In explicit conjunction with such questions stemming from Lask and in response to the need to supplement Lask where he has not gone far enough, the young Heidegger promises a more thoroughgoing investigation on "Being, Value, and Negation" (349n). This promise is in some part fulfilled by the courses of 1919, but only after undergoing one final, crucial purification, which amounts to a #~r&/3a~ ~& ~AAo 7~vo~.



3. 1919

In view of my chosen theme, treatment of the revolutionary courses of 1919, which blaze the trail that eventually leads to BT, must be selective and sparse. At this stage, I am more interested in how the early Heidegger is developing from Lask's neo-Kantian context rather than where he is going. 28 The following retrospectives will simply serve both to bridge the gap and to measure the leap between 1916 and 1919. My first question: What now happens to the young Heidegger's concluding philosophical hybrid of a phenomenological neo-Kantianism laced with medieval metaphysics? The focus of the question now falls upon the neo-Kantianism, already partially transformed because of the hybridizing, in part through Lask. For the first task of the 1919 courses is to set phenomenology off as sharply as possible from neo-Kantianism, especially the branch called "transcendental value-philosophy," beginning with Windelband and ending with Lask. In view of his own close alliance with this branch, the courses represent for Heidegger a personal exercise in self-deconstruction that involved a distantiation from his former teacher, Rickert. A sharp contrast is dictated by the very proximity of the two schools. In 1919, both approaches in particular lay claim to the venerable ambition of establishing philosophy as the "primal" or "original" science (Urwissenschaft). Both seek to determine origins and ultimates, the first and the last things, the underived from which all else is derived, which can only be "shown" or "pointed out" but not "proven," thereby inexorably implicating the original science in a circle, assuming in the beginning what it wishes to find in the end. What, for example, is the "original leap" (Ur-sprung: ZBP 24, 31, 60, 95 = 160, 172, 247 in the habilitation) of thinking or knowing, the point from which it gets its start? Phenomenology places this search for origins under the motto, "zu den Sachen selbst." The young Heidegger adds a metaphysical note to this regress toward origins, this search for the "primal leap," by asserting that philosophy's real mission is to get beyond the surface of things and to aim at "a breakthrough into true reality and real truth" (348). It is therefore striking when Windelband uses the same word to describe the neo-Kantian quest in terms which are unequivocally opposed to all "metaphysical hypostatizing." For the primal science is not metaphysical but instead "critical," and the breakthrough that it seeks is not toward reality but toward reason. It is not after what actually is but what ought to be, those normative values in every sphere of human activity - cognitive, practical, emotive which are universally valid even when they are not in fact so acknowledged. Thus the "fundamental fact of philosophy" (cf. ZBP 153) is the 'conviction' (!) that "there are" such norms. "Philosophy is thus the science of the normal



consciousness. It searches through the empirical consciousness in order to establish the points of saliency within it where such a normative universalvalidity 'leaps out'." Working on the basis of the conviction that "here and there" within the movements of natural necessity of the empirical consciousness a higher necessity "now and then" appears, "philosophy looks for those points at which such a necessity breaks though" (my emphasis). Accordingly, the very idea of philosophy, as the science of the consciousness of these norms, is itself an ideal concept realizable only within limits. As a product of the human spirit, it is closely tied to the history of that spirit, which in the pursuit of its particular problems on occasion makes the "breakthrough" to the consciousness of universal norms. The history of philosophy is in like fashion teleologically oriented, depicting in its progress an ever deeper and more comprehensive grasp of the normal consciousness. But the teleological necessity which it exposes, whenever and wherever "the immediate evidence of normative validity comes to light," neither explains nor describes "brute" reality as such, its natural necessity or the acknowledgment thereof. The criticalteleological method is indifferent to factual acknowledgment. Philosophy's sole role is simply to show that, in such necessities in fact acknowledged, there is another necessity whose validity must be acknowledged unconditionally, if certain goals are to be (ought to be?: sollen "unclear" here. See ZBP 154) fulfilled. These are the norms which have to hold if the human being wants its particular activity to be fulfilled in absolute fashion: for thinking to be true, for willing to be good, for feeling to apprehend beauty. 29 Even the young Heidegger had begun to point out the ambiguities of"being" in this formidable system of values built upon Lotze's distinction between being and validity (347). And from early 1919 on, the early Heidegger will embark on a path which, in SS 1920, leads to the explicit naming of"facticity" as the positive leitmotif of his thought, in effect adopting a term from neoKantianism in blatant provocation against it. But before taking a look at this course of development, one should at least note that the later Windelband himself yields to "a certain metaphysical pressure" (357) within his System and makes room for a metaphysics precisely in his philosophy of religion. One therefore cannot exclude one final possibility of rapprochement between him and the young Heidegger, who clearly also has a philosophy of religion on his mind (147f, 344n) in his quest for a "breakthrough to true reality and real truth." Windelband's essay is entitled, "The Holy," which is identified as the goal, norm and ideal of religion. The holy is not just one more value alongside the others but rather the value which comprehends the others. The "crux of the holy" (ZBP 145n) is moreover not just the unity of the true, good and beautiful, but also their reality. It is the absolute telos ("true reality and real truth"!) which 'lifts' the distinction between being and value. "The holy



is thus the normal consciousness of the true, good and beautiful experienced as transcendent reality." Religion is transcendent, meta-physical life. Thus, at the very limits of the reflection carried out by the critical sciences of values (logic, ethics, aesthetics), there emerges a belief in the really real, "the conviction that the norm of reason is not our invention or illusion, but rather a value which is grounded in the ultimate depths of the reality of the world." 30 The early Heidegger therefore has grounds to conclude, on the opening day (February 7, 1919) of his course on "The Idea of Philosophy and the Problem of Worldviews," that the critical science of values, despite its antimetaphysical animus, "based as it is on the basic acts of consciousness and their norms, has in its system an ultimate and necessary tendency toward a worldview" (ZBP 12). And breaking with his own earlier desire for a metaphysical "optic" as well as with the entire tradition of philosophy, he proposes, as an opening thesis, that philosophy and worldview have absolutely nothing to do with each other. The course thus places itself in pursuit of "a brand new conception of p h i l o s o p h y . . , which would have to place it outside of any connection with the ultimate human questions" (ZBP 11). And if philosophy is still to be the Ur-science, this would necessarily entail an entirely new conception of Origins and ends, the first and the last things. Philosophy itself, in its entirety, now becomes a problem: in its starting point, subject matter, method, and goal. What then is The Idea of Philosophy? As promised in the Conclusion of 1916, the course moves, albeit slowly and laboriously, to displace the neo-Kantian starting point for the original science in "the fact" of thinking and knowing with the phenomenological starting point in life and experience. Situating the original domain of philosophy beyond the theoretical in a "pretheoretical something" at once overcomes the circularity of presupposition and proof which characterizes the neo-Kantian Idea of philosophy. The principles and structures developed in 1916, largely by way of Lask's catalytic role, play a significant part in this movement of displacement. The following selective summary of the course 31 will focus on the strategic use of those principles and structures - PMDF, reflexive versus constitutive categories, Hingabe, etc. - in that deconstruction and regression toward the original domain of the "environmental experience" and of"life in and for itself." The Principle of the Material Determination of Form surfaces already in the second hour, in the specification of the Idea of the primal science. As a Kantian Idea, as an infinite task, it must be left open to further determination. Any further determination of the Idea depends on the content of the object of the Idea, i.e., on the "regional essence" or categofial character of the object which motivates the search (ZBP 15). The problem of Material Determina-



tion then gradually but inexorably displaces the teleological determination that the "forms and norms of thought" provide. In order to found the laws of thought in an ideal and normative manner rather than in actual fact, the teleological method is at first sharply set off from the genetic-psychological method. But in order to offset the abstract constructivism of the early Fichte's "dialectical-teleological method," the "critical-dialectical method" allows for, in fact is in need of, a "material clue" or "guideline" (Leitfaden: ZBP 37 = 263 of the habilitation!) simply to find the points at which the goal of reason is "realized." Thus, for example, philosophy "borrows" from psychology the material distinction of psychic functions into thinking, willing and feeling, on the basis of which it then proceeds to articulate the normative domains into the true, good and beautiful. But in the end, psychology offers only the formal characteristics: "The real content, the formations of rational values, is first shown in history, which is the true organon of critical philosophy. The historical formations of cultural life are the real empirical occasion for the critical-teleological reflection" (ZBP 38; correcting the last word from Bestimmung to Besinnung). The quotation also recalls the young Heidegger's third task for a "cosmos of categories," of factoring in the Material Determination of "history in its teleological interpretation along the lines of a philosophy of culture" (350). Psychic and historical matter provide the "impetus" that "motivates" the bestowal of norms. The operative concept of intentionality is clearly in evidence as the early Heidegger gradually draws the givenness of matter and the giving of normative forms into an indissoluble intentional unity. The noetic side involves a first attempt to unravel the neo-Kantian tangle of validity, value and oughtness. For the weak link of the critical-teleological method is its noetic hinge: It is in search of the universal valid values which "ought to be" acknowledged once they are "pointed out." But acknowledgment is not the same as consent or approval, which is the "Yes" response Windelband really wants to a valid judgment, but cannot demonstrate. In what "form of experience" does validity "give itself"? "Does it correspond to a subjectcorrelate of an original kind or is it a founded phenomenon, perhaps even extremely founded?" Heidegger points to the direction he would take: "In the end, validity is a phenomenon constituted by its subject matter, presupposing not only intersubjectivity but the historical consciousness as such!" (ZBP 50f). And oughtness? "How does an ought give itself at all, what is its subject-correlate?" (ZBP 45). Is its object-correlate always a value? Clearly, the reverse does not always hold. The value of the "delightful," for example, gives itself to me without a corresponding experience of the ought. This entire tangle of experiences calls for an "eidetic genealogy of primary motivations" to set things fight (ZBP 46, 73). For that matter, even to call the



valuable an "object" is already wrong. Like validity (es gilt), the valuable is best expressed in an intransitive impersonal sentence. "The value is not, but simply ' v a l u e s ' . . . In the experience that is 'worth taking', 'it values' for me, for the worth-experiencing subject" (ZBP 46; correcting urteilende with werterlebende, "worth-experiencing"). The Heidegger of 1919 is already finding that language is not "up to" the "new typology of fundamental experience" that he wishes to express. The complaint about language is not incidental. It puts us in touch with the very "nerve" of the course. It explains why this course, despite its intricate structure and laborious development, created a sensation and started the "rumor of a hidden king in Academe" (Hannah Arendt) circulating through post-war Germany. The rumor reached Gadamer a year or two later of an "extremely individualized and profoundly revolutionary lecture course" in which Heidegger had used the audaciously idiosyncratic phrase, es weltet. 32 This was his first course after the war, in the extraordinary "war emergency semester" of early 1919. Without further ado, let me present the capsule summary of the entire course contained in the progressive sequence of impersonal sentences, common German idioms except for the two aforementioned idiosyncratic coinages, which are intoned on its pivotal pages (ZBP 46, 61, 73, 75):es gilt, es soll, es w e r t e t - es g i b t - es weltet, es er-eignet sich

The very fact that the most basic constitutive categories of neo-Kantianism and hermeneutic phenomenology are separated here by Lask's formulation of the reflexive category par excellence, Es-Geben (ZBP 67, 69 = Lask II, 130, 142, 155, 162ff), now gives substance to the methodological claim we discovered in the young Heidegger (257): In those instances when language fails us, the very indeterminacy and dilution of reflexive categories can "play an indispensable starting role in developing more suitable descriptive categories." But have we been prepared in any way for the impersonal content now emerging from this ultimate regress to the Ur-sprung, to a non-objective realm which "is" not, but instead gives, values, worlds, etc.? Have not all the prior descriptions of the fundamental stratum of meaning (intelligibility, truth) made allusion to at least an "ideal object" to describe it? What precedent could there possibly be for an impersonal, non-objective, even non-entitative realm of experience? How are we to fathom, let alone think of, a pretheoretical realm which precedes and underlies the distinction between subject and object while at once describing their dynamic intentional unity? We have indeed been prepared for this "breakthrough" of 1919 by both the young Heidegger and



Lask. The exemplar, the model of prefiguration offered for this reduction to the ultimate pretheoretical situation is the unio mystica. The so-called "mystical element in Heidegger's thought" (Caputo) is operative from the very beginning of his career, and will be used here as a guiding clue in the central phenomenological task of articulating the structures of immediacy. It is perhaps significant that Oskar Becker, in his transcription of this course, adds a footnote to es wertet: "Compare es west ['it essences'] in Eckhart" (this verbal already appears on p. 202 of the habilitation). Going far beyond what Windelband and Rickert ventured to do in their "transcendental empiricism" (ZBP 40), where matter is a mere appendage to the teleological method, Lask gleans the following description of the material realm from Fichte's "middle" period, in his most extreme "positivism" (I, 148): "The 'really real' is what you 'really live and experience,' the givenness which happens to you, 'filling the flowing moments of your life,' the self-forgetting and immersion of dedicative intuition." This is life at ground-level, "raised to the first power," so to speak; or in reverse, it is "the sinking of consciousness to its lowest power. .... Whatever occurs in this sphere is what is called 'reality,' 'facts of consciousness' or 'experience" [Erfahrung]." ls Lask/Fichte here describing the mute life of the dullard, "the limiting case of dull abandon to the given" (dumpfes Hingegebensein), 33 or is it the immediate contact with the very source of life, the "mystical" stirrings of the initial upsurge of meaning in human experience? In short, is this immediacy mute or meaningful? The first alternative applies if we rule out the possibility, like good Kantians, that our most immediate experience is already "categorially" charged. The latter option is clearly the early Heidegger's direction of interpretation, if we were to judge simply on the basis of his continued use of Lask's language for categorial intuition in his own descriptions. "The only way to get at this original sphere is by pure dedication (Hingabe) to the subject matter" (ZBP 61; 65). "Let us immerse ourselves again in the lived experience" (ZBP 68). To escape unwarranted opinions, free-floating theorems and speculative excesses, "the philosophers.., throw themselves into history, into robust reality" (handfeste Wirklichkeit = p. 260 of the habilitation!) and "give themselves over to its richness and its movement" (ZBP 135). For this primitive level of direct acquaintance or "taking cognizance" is already "characterized by a pure and undivided dedication to the subject matter. It operates first of all in the very stuff of natural experience." It is subject to different levels of clarity and so can be improved upon. It can become the preparatory form of the theoretical but is also the "primal form in the religious" (ZBP 212). It is in fact toward this boundary issue of immediacy ("Mute or meaningful?") that Heidegger now, at the very fulcrum of the course, directs his



thought experiment, which aims to reduce everything to the level of the es gibt (there is, it gives; thus, "there is given"), that is, to the level of "brute" facticity, of the sheer and naked "there it i s . . . and nothing else": Is there something? Is there even the "there is"? Everything is now made to hinge on such boundary questions reminiscent of Leibniz's famous question. "We are standing at the methodological crossroad which will decide the very life or death of philosophy; we stand at an abyss: either into nothingness, i.e., absolute thingness, or we somehow manage the leap into another worM, or better: for the first time into the world as such" (ZBP 63). 34 The issue leading up to this critical juncture is in fact the material determination of the forms and norms of thought by their psychic matter. The joining of the issue begins when the matter and the ideal norms are drawn so closely together that Heidegger can entertain the anti-Kantian question: Is the giving of matter perhaps also the giving of ideals? For in a certain sense, "everything is psychic or mediated by the psychic." Can we perhaps arrive at an "objective level" within the psychic itself at which the ideal norms could be grounded? Can psychic processes be so regarded such that they at once give the ideal? How is the psychic itself as a total sphere, perhaps as the primal sphere of origins, to be given? (ZBP 60). "We can only get at the sphere by pure submission to the subject matter." Without bringing in assumptions or theories, we must fall back upon a description "pointing out the facts befitting the 'thing itself'." Just the facts (Tatsachen) of the thing (Sache) itself, of the psychic? Description? "But description itself is a psychic phenomenon [and thus also] belongs in the thing itself. What is that supposed to mean, to have one thing describe another? Is description really a way of connecting things?" (ZBP 61). "We are thrown from one thing to another, which remains mute like any thing" (ZBP 65). Can we even speak of things when there are only things? "Is there even one thing when there are only things? Then there would be no thing at all, not even nothing, for with the total domination of the thing itself there is not even the 'there is.' Is there the 'there is'?" (ZBP 62). And yet, there is still something in the interrogative movement itself, "Is t h e r e ' . . . ? " What does the interrogative experience itself give us? If we simply immerse ourselves in the experience itself, in its movement toward what motivates it and nothing else, and now diligently seekto avoid stilling the movement through the blatant reification ("absolutizing ofthingness") o four previous reflection, we really do not find anything either psychic or physical. The "object" of our present reflection is a living experience and not "a mere entitative occurrence." It is even questionable whether we have an "object" here. "The living-out of an experience is not a thing which exists in brute fashion, beginning and ending like an encountered process. The 'relating to'



is not a piece of a thing attached to another piece, the 'something.' The living and lived o f experience are as such not like entitative objects stuck together" (ZBP 690. In fact, this particular experiencing is itself not only non-objective but also impersonal. For is it really I myself, in full personal involvement, who asks, "Is there something?" Not really, precisely because what is asked about (Gefragtes) does not touch me personally. The experience is related to an I (n 'importe qui) but not to m y I (ZBP 69). Finally, what is asked about, that toward which 'T' live in the experience, the content of the question or its "hold" (Gehalt) and so its "hold" on me. For in any experience, intentionally understood, there is a "pull" (Zug) toward something, such that the noematic pole, in its directive sense (soon to be termed the Gehaltssinn), motivat