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The Existential Sources of Phenomenology: Heidegger on Formal Indication



Abstract: This article contributes to the contemporary debate regarding the young Heidegger's method of formal indication. Theodore Kisiel argues that this method constitutes a radical break with Husserl—a rejection of phenomenological reflection that paves the way to the non-reflective approach of the Beiträge. Against this view, Steven Crowell argues that formal indication is continuous with Husserlian phenomenology—a refinement of phenomenological reflection that reveals its existential sources. I evaluate this debate and adduce further considerations in favor of Crowell's view. To do so, I analyze the young Heidegger's account of phenomenological communication and argue that it further reflects the continuity that Crowell identifies: as he does with reflection, Heidegger refines Husserl's account of phenomenological communication and sheds light on its existential sources.