Heidegger: through Husserl to phenomenological ontology
This paper, “Heidegger: Through Husserl to Phenomenological Ontology” is a critical exposition of Martin Heidegger‟s novel and permeating characterization of the relationship between phenomenology and Ontology. The paper‟s aim is to show that the problem of what Heidegger saw as the “Nihilism of Being” (the forgetfulness of Being) was solved when he demonstrated that only the phenomenological method can ensure an unhindered access to Ontology. Employing the historical, expository and critical methods, the paper shows how Heidegger‟s encounter with Brentano‟s 1862 Dissertation on Aristotle‟s manifold meanings of Being as well as Edmund Husserl‟s Ideas, became a watershed in the development of Heidegger‟s thinking. This development not only resulted in the emergence of phenomenological ontology as a tradition-breaking philosophy but equally ensured that Heidegger became the source of many disciplines and attitudes in scholarly research such as Existentialism, Postmodernism, Political Theory, Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Community Theory, etc. The paper argues that Heidegger‟s refusal to accept the traditional view that ontology is a branch of metaphysics, but actually the main focus of philosophy, helped to restore philosophy to the unique and foundational place it occupied in the pre-Socratic period, during which phenomena were perceived in their phenomenality; that is, in their unmediatedness. The paper concludes by arguing that even when Heidegger dropped the use of the word “Phenomenology” he remained faithful to the presuppositionless attitude it represents.