Heidegger’s Professed Utopia of Cross-Cultural Understanding: A Part from The Book Chapter: Cultural Barriers or Flawed Hermeneutics: Martin Heidegger’s “Dialogue on Language”

japanese culture

The biases induced by fashionable ideas were read into the several versions of Martin Heidegger’s encounter with Japanese scholar Tomio Tezuca, whose story was told by the Freiburg philosopher several years later (“Aus einem Gespräch von der Sprache. Zwischen einem Japaner und einem Fragenden” (1953/54) in Unterwegs zur Sprache (1959). As postcolonial discourse has been fashionable in the postwar era, several commentators claim to have identified in the dialogue an asymmetric relationship with Heidegger in a position of power as host, as inquirer and sage figure, referring to Europeans and the Japanese in terms of us versus you or even them.

Heidegger’s professed utopia of cross-cultural understanding is confirmed by Tomio Tezuka’s version of the encounter, “An Hour with Heidegger,” published in the anniversary volume Heidegger’s Hidden Sources, edited by Reinhard May (1989). He had opted for the articulation of a philosophical argument at a deep level, instead of looking at phenomena one after another. Tomio dwells extensively on the literary theory and interpretive methodology of Emil Staiger, who, he says, had been mentioned by Heidegger in their talk, and whose comments on the unity of an artwork, across all levels of language, reflecting the holistic vision of being as containing its past in sublimated forms, do indeed inspire a family resemblance. In this way, he made an important contribution to the identification of one of Heidegger’s sources.

Author(s) Details:

Professor Dr. Habil. Maria-Ana Tupan,
Alba Iulia University, Romania.

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