Francisco J. Gonzalez is associate professor and chair of the Department of Philosophy at Skidmore College. He is the author of Dialectic and Dialogue: Plato's Practice of Philosophical Inquiry (Northwestern University Press, 1998) and has recently completed a book entitled A Question of Dialogue: Heidegger and Plato.
Whose Metaphysics of Presence? Heidegger's Interpretation of Energeia and Dunamis in Aristotle
Version of Record online: 2 MAR 2010
2006 The University of Memphis
The Southern Journal of Philosophy
Volume 44, Issue 4, pages 533–568, Winter 2006
How to Cite
Gonzalez, F. J. (2006), Whose Metaphysics of Presence? Heidegger's Interpretation of Energeia and Dunamis in Aristotle. The Southern Journal of Philosophy, 44: 533–568. doi: 10.1111/j.2041-6962.2006.tb00017.x
- Issue online: 2 MAR 2010
- Version of Record online: 2 MAR 2010
- Cited By
In the recently published 1924 course, Grundbegriffe der aristotelischen Philosophie, Martin Heidegger offers a detailed interpretation of Aristotle's definition of kinesis in the Physics. This interpretation identifies entelecheia with what is finished and present-at-an-end and energeia with being-at-work toward this end. In arguing against this interpretation, the present paper attempts to show that Aristotle interpreted being from the perspective of praxis rather than poiesis and therefore did not identify it with static presence. The paper also challenges later variations of Heidegger's interpretation, in particular his account of dunamis in the 1931 course on Metaphysics Theta, which insists that its mode of being is presence-at-hand. By arguing that this reading too is untenable, the paper concludes that Aristotle's metaphysics is not a metaphysics of presence and that his texts instead point toward a possibility of metaphysics ignored by the attempts of Heidegger and others to overcome it.