ABSTRACT. The paper explores Wahrnehmungsvergessenheit, the forgetting of perception, as a pervasive trait in Heidegger’s writings, and as methodological shadow of Seinsvergessenheit, the forgetting of the ontic-ontological difference. Forgetting perception, the paper contends, is a precondition for Being conceived as an all-encompassing presupposition for phenomenal beings, a strategy that transforms phenomenology into a logos of Being. This reversal of phenomenology is argued to disclose itself methodologically in the “towards-structure” of Heidegger’s phrasing and in the demotion of perceptual evidence. A crucial moment in this deviation from Husserl is argued to be Heidegger’s rejection of both the “vulgar” concept of phenomenon, as well as its “formal” Husserlian variety, in favor of Heidegger’s own “eminent” notion of phenomenon as a vehicle of concealment. Yet, if human suffering is experienced and witnessed at the level of perception rather than that of Seyn, the paper concludes, then Wahrnehmungsvergessenheit also offers a philosophical explication of Heidegger’s political autism.

Keywords: Wahrnehmungsvergessenheit; Seinsvergessenheit; Being; beings; eminent phenomenon

How to cite: Ruthrof, Horst (2017), “Heidegger: Wahrnehmungsvergessenheit,” Analysis and Metaphysics 16: 84–102.

Received 31 January 2017 • Received in revised form 29 March 2017
Accepted 29 March 2017 • Available online 15 April 2017


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