Denis McManus presents a new interpretation of Heideggers early vision of our subjectivity and of the world we inhabit. Heideggers fundamental ontology allows us to understand the creature that thinks as also one which acts, moves, even touches the world around it, a creature at home in the same ordinary world in which we too live our lives when outside of the philosophical closet; it also promises to free us from seemingly intractable philosophical problems, such as scepticism about the external world and other minds. But many of the concepts central to that vision are elusive; and some of the most widely accepted interpretations of Heideggers vision harbour within themselves deep and important unclarities, while others foist upon us hopeless species of idealism. Drawing on an examination of Heideggers work throughout the 1920s, Heidegger and the Measure of Truth offers a new way of understanding that vision. Central is the proposal that propositional thought presupposes what might be called a measure, a mastery of which only a recognizably worldly subject can possess.
McManus shows how these ideas emerge through Heidegger's engagement with the history of philosophy and theology, and sets out a novel reading of key elements in the fundamental ontology, including Heidegger's concept of Being-in-the-world, his critique of scepticism, his claim to disavow both realism and idealism, and his difficult reflections on the nature of truth, science, authenticity, and philosophy itself. According to this reading, Heideggers central claims identify genuine demands that we must meet if we are to achieve the feat of thinking determinate thoughts about the world around us.
Denis McManus studied philosophy at Oxford, Cambridge, and Harvard, and is not Professor of Philosophy at the University of Southampton. His research concentrates on the work of Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein. He is the author of The Enchantment of Words: Wittgenstein's Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (OUP 2006) and editor of Wittgenstein and Scepticism (Routledge, 2004).