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Uniqueness and the event : rethinking the horizonal in Martin Heidegger's Contributions to philosophy (of the event) Hanasyk, Matthew


This thesis explores the idea of uniqueness in Martin Heidegger’s Contributions to Philosophy (Of the Event). Written between 1936 and 1938, Contributions is an in-depth account of what Heidegger calls the event of appropriation [Ereignis]. It is written as a critique of the history of philosophy and a call to think this history from out of another beginning, which it attempts to sketch out in terms of what Heidegger calls beyng-historical thinking. This thesis focuses on the uniqueness of the event by focusing on what it means for the unique to emerge historically. This thesis challenges other scholarly research on the text by placing the idea of uniqueness within the context of its own horizon. Previously, the horizonal, as a concept, was inextricably bound to the concept of transcendence that Heidegger abandons as beholden to the metaphysical way of thinking in which he distances himself. This thesis attempts to show that the horizonal is in fact rethought in Contributions in terms of the unique. As a result, this thesis challenges the idea that only transcendence can be thought horizonally. This thesis focuses primarily on the chapter in Contributions titled, The Grounding. This thesis is itself divided into three chapters: Da-sein, Selfhood, Imagination; The Essence of Truth and the Simplicity of the Unique; Time-space and the Persistence of Fathoming. Each of these chapters focuses primarily on one or more of the subsections within the chapter of Contributions mentioned above. I argue that the uniqueness of the event can be thought of in terms of the separation between the horizon of uniqueness and the uniqueness of the horizon that opens up within uniqueness itself with respect to the grounding of Da-sein, or “there-being,” in its self-assignment to the event. It is the persistence of fathoming the simplicity of this uniqueness in the appropriation of the truth of beyng that opens up the time-space of the event for the coming to presence of the historical moment. Furthermore, I explore the possibility that uniqueness holds for giving a positive account of nothingness, which is an imperative expressed by Heidegger himself within the text.

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