Making an issue of one’s being is what makes us human, claims Heidegger. He calls this “making and issue of one’s being” existence and claims that this is the essence of what it means to be human. After reading Micah’s brilliant little series on Modernism/Postmodernism:
>>>> What Is Modernism? | Examples | What Is Postmodernism? | Examples
I’m inclined to put Heidegger’s third state of being into the Postmodern category because it makes a claim against all other philosophers that “nothing” is our essence other than to make an issue of our essence. Kant argues that we are fundamentally Rational Beings, and Christians argue that we are fundamentally “Children of God” and so this claim that we are essentially and purely existence is a very “wheel-like” claim. I’m borrowing the wheel from Micah’s posts and this will make a lot more sense if you read through them- especially the Postmodern examples.
I’m probably making a fairly simple leap since Heidegger was of first importance to Derrida, Foucoult, and all the other Continental Philosophers- but bear with me as I’ve not done much study on Heidegger prior to this and even little accomplishments like this make me happy.
Now that I’ve giving a little ‘blog love,’ let me point this in a different direction, if I may.
Heidegger argues that only humans exist (his definition of existence is to “make an issue of one’s being”). He even goes as far as to say that God does not exist within this definition of existence (remember that He’s not refuting God, he’s saying that God doesn’t make an issue of his being). However, it seems to me that in the Christian worldview, God IS a Being whose essence is existence. He calls himself I AM, essentially stating that His very nature is built on His existence, thus making an issue of His own being. Following that idea, if we were made in the image of God- namely that His existence IS His nature, it would follow that our existence (and making an issue of it), would be our essence as well.
I doubt Heidegger really wanted this idea reconciled with Christianity, but there you have it. What’s done is done.
Nathan Key likes to think about faith and philosophy and talk about it with others. He lives with his family in New Hampshire. He doesn't always refer to himself in the third person.