Category Archives: Heidegger


In astonishment, we hold ourselves back (être en arrêt). We step back, as it were, from beings, [astonished] that they are rather than are not. And astonishment is not exhausted in this stepping back before the Being of beings; but as this stepping back and holding oneself back, it is at the same time enraptured by and, as it were, held fast by that from which it steps back.

— Heidegger, ‘What is Philosophy?’ (tr. Capobianco)

What has long since been threatening man with death, and indeed with the death of his essence, is the unconditional character of sheer willing in the sense of purposeful self-assertion in everything.


Homecoming and being at home are not instantly acquired; they are possible only through estrangement or openness to the foreign.


What I am calling the moment was in fact conceived by Kierkegaard for the very first time in philosophy. This idea makes it possible to start the first completely new era of philosophy since antiquity.


Philosophising ultimately means nothing other than being a beginner.


Ask being! And in its stillness as in the beginning of the word, god responds.


The essential always happens suddenly. Lightning truly means in our language: glance. But the sudden, be it good or evil, requires a long time to be delivered.


The ever-veiled gift

In my youth, the vigil days, the days before the high feast days, were the most mysterious; they enchanted all expectations, and yet they placed everything into stillness, that which draws back into itself. The blue color of the chasubles on these days gathered everything into an inexplicable depth. The feast day itself seemed then almost as if empty and overly loud and drawn into the public eye. No one respected the vigil. Presumably because we can hardly measure how it is that all true and inviolable treasure of mortals rests in the unattained, in the granting of the ever-veiled gift.

— Heidegger, The Black Notebooks (tr. Capobianco)

Being-there—more originary and earlier than human being as usually conceived—is the site of the play of being and the origin of its essential happening. Man, as the entry into this play, is that entity who has at each moment decided for or against being-there, knowingly or not, and who builds his history on the basis of this decision.

— Heidegger, ‘Die Frage nach dem Sein’ (tr. Polt)

Hubert Dreyfus interview