HomeLUMINAvol. 22 no. 2 (2011)

The Path to Human Understanding in Heidegger’s Being and Time

Eddie R. Babor

Discipline: Psychology, Literature



Beyond any cloud of doubt, no professional philosopher can dismiss the claim that Heidegger is one of the pioneering thinkers in the science of deconstruction. Indeed, Heidegger has succeeded to sprinkle a different scent and aroma of his own way of giving “meaning” (Bloom, Derrida, and Miller, 1979:1) of reality. 

A good example of Heidegger‟s deconstructive efforts pertains to his analysis of the meaning of understanding and potentiality. Usually, understanding is understood in a subject-object paradigm where the knower comes to terms with the essence and accidents of a particular object. The object in-turn becomes poor victims of human knowledge or understanding. It is, so to say, robbed of its “privacy” to retain and sustain its being what it is without being disposed to the danger of being abstracted of its essence in order to become a particle of knowledge and to be stocked in the human mind. In case of potentiality, Aristotle (Babor, 1999:40), “St. Thomas Aquinas, and the rest in the row of the Scholastics, are fast in telling their audience that potency is derived from the verb „posse‟ whose meaning is “to be able” or “to have power (Phillips, 1950:180).”