The heart in Heidegger's thought

Robert Wood

pp. 445-462

The notion of the heart is one of the most basic notions in ordinary language. It is central to Heidegger's notion of thought that he relates to the primordial word Gedanc as underlying attunement that issues forth in emotional phenomena. He plays with all the etymological cognates of that word to zero in on the phenomena involved. The key experience of Erstaunen that grounds the first beginning of philosophy is paralleled by Erschrecken that grounds Heidegger's "second beginning" and plays counterpoint with the first. Along with Befindlichkeit as one's basic attunement, these are key phenomena that belong to the heart, not to "intellect' or "will.' Thinking in terms of the intellect is das rechnende Denken¸ thinking in terms of the heart, besinnliche Nachdenken. It is the latter that provides the "poetic-intellectual" experience for both the arts and philosophy in which such "world space" is created that even the ordinary appears extraordinary.

Publication details

DOI: 10.1007/s11007-015-9349-x

Full citation [Harvard style]:

Wood, R. (2015). The heart in Heidegger's thought. Continental Philosophy Review 48 (4), pp. 445-462.

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