A synthetic assessment of Heidegger’s entire path of thinking as a radical attempt to thematize and rethink the fundamental notions of unity dominating the Western metaphysical tradition.
From its Presocratic beginnings, Western philosophy concerned itself with a quest for unity both in terms of the systematization of knowledge and as a metaphysical search for a unity of being—two trends that can be regarded as converging and culminating in Hegel's system of absolute idealism. Since Hegel, however, the philosophical quest for unity has become increasingly problematic. Jussi Backman returns to that question in this book, examining the place of the unity of being in the work of Heidegger. Backman sketches a consistent picture of Heidegger as a thinker of unity who throughout his career in different ways attempted to come to terms with both Parmenides's and Aristotle's fundamental questions concerning the singularity or multiplicity of being—attempting to do so, however, in a "postmetaphysical" manner rooted in rather than above and beyond particular, situated beings. Through his analysis, Backman offers a new way of understanding the basic continuity of Heidegger's philosophical project and the interconnectedness of such key Heideggerian concepts as ecstatic temporality, the ontological difference, the turn (Kehre), the event (Ereignis), the fourfold (Geviert), and the analysis of modern technology.
Jussi Backman is University Lecturer in Philosophy at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland.
"…Complicated Presence is one of the most thought-provoking recent books on Heidegger, a complicated but essential contribution." — Gatherings: The Heidegger Circle Annual
"...an insightful, nuanced, well-written, cogently argued, and thoroughly researched interpretive account of Heidegger's philosophical pursuit of the question of Being … a valuable and insightful read … that deserves to be reckoned with … Highly recommended." — Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews