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Heideggers Phänomenologie des Gewissenrufs

Back to issue: Phänomenologische Forschungen 2009
EUR 14.90

This essay examines Heidegger’s phenomenology of conscience in Being and Time. From a phenomenological perspective, the call of conscience needs to be analysed with respect to who is calling, who is being called, what message is conveyed, and how the message is conveyed. Heidegger’s results are rather surprising to our common understanding and impose various challenges on his interpreters. In my article, I return to Heidegger’s text in order to question some persuasions and assumptions of the common readings. The call comes from me, yet in such a way that it overcomes me. The call does not come from a different being in the world, and the call of conscience should thus not be conflated with the ‘voice of the friend’ mentioned in an earlier section of Being and Time. Rather, we need to take the call seriously as alien and yet my own, giving me to understand that I am guilty before and outside of any economy of deeds. Because the call of conscience belongs to such a fundamental level, Heidegger’s response concerning the ‘how’ of the call also becomes understandable. The call is unambiguous, even though we always give ambiguous interpretations of it.