Ethics as Second Philosophy, or the Traces of the Pre-Ethical in Heidegger’s Being and Time

Saulius Geniušas


I argue that Heidegger’s central phenomenological contribution to the ethical problematic consists in disclosing the ethical life of subjectivity as split between two extremes, and there is no resolution between them. I show that in Being and Time, one can discern two sharply contrasting tendencies, which I call the anti-ethical and the ante-ethical tendencies. Although Heidegger has provided at least two ways to dispel such an ethical incongruity, I maintain that neither of the proposed solutions is satisfactory; nor is a solution called for. It is rather promising to return to the phenomenological description of two conflicting ethical tendencies in Being and Time. Heidegger’s early description entails a profound insight, viz., the insight that the ethical life of subjectivity is incontestably and inescapably torn between ethical regulations and moral motivations.


Article in: Lithuanian

Article published: 2009-09-15

Keyword(s): call of conscience; ethics; fundamental ontology; guilt; phenomenology

DOI: 10.3846/1822-430X.2009.17.3.62-70

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Coactivity: Philosophy, Communication / Santalka: Filosofija, Komunikacija ISSN 2029-6320, eISSN 2029-6339
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