The Silence of the Origin: Philosophy in Transition and the Essence of Thinking

in Research in Phenomenology
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This article pursues Heidegger’s protracted engagement with the question of silent origins. First, I explore the so-called transitional thinking grounded in the fundamental attunement of reticence as it is put forward in the Beiträge zur Philosophie. Second, I consider the complex matter of Heidegger’s reference to the intimate, yet distinct, roles of poetry and thinking when it comes to articulating a response to the attunement of reticence. I then move to explain what is at stake in Heidegger’s engagement with Hölderlin on the nature of language, silence, and listening. This latter task involves analyzing Heidegger’s contention that Hölderlin’s poetic thought is both philosophically exemplary and futural. Finally, since I take Heidegger’s interpretation of Hölderlin to be a critical appropriation, we must assess the coherence of his redeployment of Hölderlin’s thought models, especially, I will claim, his appropriation of the halfgods.

The Silence of the Origin: Philosophy in Transition and the Essence of Thinking

in Research in Phenomenology




Daniel O. Dahlstrom“Heidegger’s Heritage,” Revista Portuguesa de Filosofia 59 (2003): 27.


Maurice Merleau-PontyLa Prose du monde (Paris: Gallimard1969) 64; translated by John O’Neill as The Prose of the World (Evanston: Northwestern University Press 1973) 46.


John Sallis“Grounders of the Abyss,” in Companion to Heidegger’s Contributions to Philosophy190.


HeideggerGA 39: 189; my translation.


HeideggerGA 39: 199–201.


See HeideggerGA 39: 267.


HeideggerGA 39: 245.


HeideggerGA 39: 117.


See William McNeillThe Time of Life: Heidegger and Ethos (Albany: SUNY Press2006) 150–51.


HeideggerGA 52: 69–71. Quoted and translated in William McNeill The Time of Life: Heidegger and Ethos 150–51.


See Dennis J. Schmidt“Strategies for a Possible Reading,” in Companion to Heidegger’s Contributions to Philosophy36.


See Robert Bernasconi“‘Poet of Poets. Poet of the Germans,’ Hölderlin and the Dialogue between Poets and Thinkers,” in Heidegger in Question: The Art of Existing (Atlantic Highlands, NJ: Humanities Press1993) 135–48.


HeideggerGA 4: 41 59. See also GA 39: 33.


See Charles GuignonHeidegger and the Problem of Knowledge (Indianapolis: Hackett Publishing Company1983) 142–43.


Richard Polt“Meaning, Excess, and Event,” Gatherings: The Heidegger Circle Annual 1 (2011): 34.


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