1st Edition

The Bounds of Self An Essay on Heidegger's Being and Time

By R. Matthew Shockey Copyright 2021
    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    224 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book provides a systematic reading of Martin Heidegger’s project of “fundamental ontology,” which he initially presented in Being and Time (1927) and developed further in his work on Kant. It shows our understanding of being to be that of a small set of a priori, temporally inflected, “categorial” forms that articulate what, how, and whether things can be.

    As selves bound to and bounded by the world within which we seek to answer the question of how to live, we imaginatively generate these forms in order to open ourselves up to those intra-worldly entities which determinately instantiate them. This makes us, as selves, the source and unifying ground of being. But this ground is hidden from us – until we do fundamental ontology. In showing how Heidegger develops these ideas, the author challenges key elements of the anti-Cartesian framework that most readers bring to his texts, arguing that his Kantian account of being has its roots in the anti-empiricism and Augustinianism of Descartes, and that his project relies implicitly on an essentially Cartesian “meditational” method of reflective self-engagement that allows being to be brought to light. He also argues against the widespread tendency to see Heidegger as presenting the basic forms of being as in any way normative, from which he concludes, partially against Heidegger himself, that fundamental ontology is, while profound and worth pursuing for its own sake, inert with respect to the question of how to live.

    The Bounds of Self will be of interest to researchers and advanced students working on Heidegger, Kant, phenomenology, and existential philosophy.

    Introduction: Undertaking To Be 1

    §1 Being a Self 1

    §2 Four Questions 2

    §3 Heidegger’s Kantian Cartesianism 6

    §4 Methodology 19

    1 Being in Question 24

    §1 Being Forgotten 24

    §2 The Ontological Difference and the Articulated

    Regionalization of Being 27

    §3 The Ontological and Ontical Priority of the Being-Question 30

    §4 Being and the Self: Pursuing Ontological ‘Self-Transparency’ 36

    §5 Conclusion 47

    Table 2: The Basic Concepts of Fundamental Ontology 49

    2 Outward Bounds – World and Others 50

    §1 World 50

    §2 World and Dasein 60

    §3 Presence-at-Hand, and Some Remarks on Method 65

    §4 Others 71

    3 Inward Bounds I: Care as the Being of the Self 76

    §1 Overview 76

    §2 Being-in and Care 78

    §2a Understanding and Existence 79

    §2b Discourse and Falling 91

    §2c Self-finding and Facticity 98

    §3 Modes of Care 101

    §4 Summary 102

    4 Inward Bounds II: Temporality as the Form of Care 105

    §1 Meaning and Time 105

    §2 Temporality and Selfhood 108

    §3 The Structure of Temporality 113

    §3a The Future 116

    §3b The Past 120

    §3c The Present 122

    §4 Summary and Discussion 124

    5 Inward Bounds III: The Kantian Reinterpretation of Temporality 129

    §1 From Being and Time to Kant 129

    §2 Ontological Knowledge and Imagination 131

    §3 Imagination as/and Synthesis 137

    3a The Synthesis of Apprehension in Intuition 137

    3b The Synthesis of Reproduction in Imagination 139

    3c The Synthesis of (P)recognition in a Concept 142

    §4 Ontological Creativity and the Nothing 147

    6 Time and Being 151

    §1 Introduction 151

    §2 World, Others, and Self Revisited 152

    §3 Regions and their Unity 159

    §4 Inter-Regional Relations 166

    §5 Conclusion 174

    7 The End of Ontology 176

    §1 The Bounds of Self 176

    §2 Doing Ontology – How? 179

    §3 Doing Ontology – Why? 188

    §4 Conclusion: Heideggerian Critique? 196


    R. Matthew Shockey is Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Indiana University – South Bend, USA