Central and East European
Society for Phenomenology

Conference | Paper

Circumlocution as Method. Heidegger and the Possibility of Philosophy as Praxis

Dario Vuger

Thursday 2 December 2021

12:50 - 13:30

Zoom 1-3

In the paper, I will explore the possibility of reading Heidegger’s work as a methodological tool for a certain philosophical praxis. The main concept, by which a new interpretative value of his main work Being and Time will be presented, is the notion of circumlocution and circumstance as well as circumventing and circumfusing, or their respective reconceptualization in the manner of Heideggerian philosophy. By such a re-reading of his work, the possibility of a new understanding of Heidegger’s philosophical aims emerges: pushing forward the idea that thoughtful engagement with the world will, in fact, provoke new forms of behavior and relation to being. Once more, I stress the overwhelming importance of the notions of care and being-there in Heidegger’s philosophy outside the scope of Being and Time, especially in his shorter essays and presentations The Age of the World Picture, The Question Concerning Technology, and The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking, to name just the three of the most important ones. Circumlocution points to the central importance of going-about or being-present through one’s language, finding confinement within it, and bringing from within it the possibility of understanding phenomena. As such, circumlocution has a lot to do with vernacularism in Heidegger’s philosophy. It also gives us pointers for a methodically different understanding of other contemporary philosophies that build upon the legacy of Heidegger.

I will attempt to provide reasons for the necessity of this conceptualization. These reasons lie in the general disposition of Heidegger’s philosophy that can, to an extent, be understood as a radical overcoming of the western philosophical tradition towards a certain “realization” of philosophy, a “destruction” of metaphysics as well as a providing of new views and considerations of phenomenology as fundamental ontology. The ever-growing scholarly research surrounding Heidegger’s legacy seems wildly inappropriate and superfluous with regard to the task of his own philosophy, since Heidegger himself already implied in The End of Philosophy and the Task of Thinking that any further advancement in philosophy will only be the result of the growing cynical disposition of academic work, which can to a large extent be understood in terms of the capitalist mode of production, information, and cognitive capitalism. Heidegger’s own relation to philosophy and thought of his own time must be central to the understanding of the aims and the prescribing of the uses of his philosophy for a new conceptualization of such a mode of being that goes beyond the stalemate of binary dispositions of thought and action, theory and practice.

By this reconceptualization, a new intellectual map of philosophy as praxis emerges in the history of 20th century.