Heidegger, Martin: Metaphysik und Nihilismus
1. Die Überwindung der Metaphysik (1938/39)
The two treatises "Die Überwindung der Metaphysik" (1938/39) and "Das Wesen des Nihilismus" (1946-1948) do not belong together in terms of time and form. Nevertheless, it seemed appropriate to unite the two texts in one volume, because they both treat a common thesis answering to different questions: namely that the being-historical essence of metaphysics is nihilism. The "Überwindung der Metaphysik" is for Heidegger the decisive historical moment in which metaphysics is experienced as a history of the forgottenness of being which is at the same time overcome. The forgottenness of being reveals itself in the last and extreme heightening of metaphysics as the "unconditional supremacy of machination." The second essay, "Das Wesen des Nihilismus," is linked to this basic idea of "overcoming" in terms of the being-historical conditions of machination. This essay deals with the attempt to elucidate the essence of nihilism through Nietzsche's word "God is dead". The killing of God springs from the will to power as the ultimate form of machination. The being of beings is understood here as a positing of values emanating from the will to power. In this positing of being as value, it becomes obvious that being itself has remained unthought in metaphysics. For this reason, metaphysics as such is the real nihilism.
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