Error and History according to Heidegger

by CT on February 17, 2014

From “The Anaximander Fragment”, by Martin Heidegger, translated by D.F. Krell.

“As it reveals itself in beings, Being withdraws.

“In this way, by illuminating them, Being sends being adrift in errancy. Beings come to pass in that errancy by which they circumvent Being and establish the realm of error (in the sense of a prince’s realm or the realm of poetry). Error is the space in which history unfolds. In error what happens in history bypasses what is like Being. Therefore, whatever unfolds historically is necessarily misinterpreted. During the course of this misinterpretation destiny awaits what will become of its seed. It brings those whom it concerns to the possibilities of the fateful and fatal. Man’s destiny gropes toward its fate. Man’s inability to see himself corresponds to the self-concealing of the lighting of Being.

“Without errancy there would be no connection from destiny to destiny: there would be no history. Chronological distance and causal sequence do indeed belong to the discipline of historiography but are not themselves history. When we are historical we are neither a great nor a small distance from what is Greek. Rather, we are in errancy toward it.

“As it reveals itself in beings, Being withdraws.”

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