Heidegger and the Meaningfulness of Questioning and Thinking

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Beamer, Derek
Heidegger , Continental Philosophy , German Philosophy , Hermeneutics
What does it mean to question and think? Questioning and thinking are two activities which we consider imperative to doing philosophy and the two activities that we involve ourselves in most of the time, albeit without much thought given to that involvement. Are questioning and thinking those activities normally thought of as those belonging to reason alone and among the ranks of various mental activities? I would like to argue that, according to Heidegger, questioning and thinking carry a different essence than just mental activities, all the while still being imperative to philosophy. The following study seeks to investigate Heidegger’s reconceptualization of the themes of questioning and thinking and the meaning that lies therein. My aim is in the vein of a reconstructive exposure: to lay out and follow along Heidegger’s thought behind his conceptions of questioning and thinking and, through building them back up, to expose their deeper meaning, new understanding, and potential for interpreting the situation of one’s “historical time.” In order to argue this deeper meaning, new understanding, and interpretation, I put forth the following statement: where we find questioning, there too do we find thinking, meaning that if we take questioning to be that activity which opens up one’s situation, it is then thinking that confronts the opened-up situation as a struggle against it. This struggle against, however, is not to be conceptualised as a struggle against something so as to end it. On the contrary, the struggle against is that which runs up against the confrontation opened-up through questioning; a running up against that, while a struggle, nevertheless is intimately related to the confrontation that it struggles against. Ultimately, what is revealed through questioning and thinking is the “place” which most concerns the being who questions and thinks: the always-already there.
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