Heidegger and Derrida


The Nature of his philosophical conclusions effects the way he writes. He must create a new language that disrupts normal logical conclusions and introduces new ideas. He is trying to disrupt empirical thinking. Logic is only one state of being. He wants to destroy the duality of object subject. To create something that IS we can’t think logically.


The ultimate meaning of life is a function of literature and art. They are what make reality. “The meaning of something is how that something is used.”(p.260) Reality is the unfolding of being in time. Meaning is something that happens in time- does not come from analytical analysis. Every object gets meaning from its importance to you.


Beings are entities, having characteristics that define or determine them. Being denotes the being of these entities, being as such: the fact that they have their existence that they are.

  • ONTIC: a statement about some entity or another
  • ONTOLOGICAL: a statement concerning the being of such entities.

Being is not a being. It is not an entity. Nor is it a class or category of entities- nor some property or characteristic of them.


Heidegger is an ontological form of writing as opposed to Derrida who make epistemological statements. Heidegger is positive and Derrida negative.


  • Practical things that belong to the human world
  • Phenomenology of shoes: what things are as they show themselves to be.

This is because the being tells me about being. The outside objects force images on the brain. Equipment; the shoes are not what they are separated from their use. The essence of equipment is reliability. Equipmental is an ontological category. “The painting spoke.” It lets us know what things are in truth.


Can’t hide that it’s not being hidden. What does it mean to simple be there. Diconceal the unconcealed. Time is the beingness toward death.

Technology is taking us away from the authentic. It is making us less as being.


  • Natural things like stones or rain
  • Intractable, nature
  • The force of death
  • Makes imagination happen
  • You can put yourself in relation with it but it will win
  • We shape our environment to reflect ourselves, so we don’t see the earth
  • People don’t face death, so they can’t face life. If they face the earth they face death
  • Creates superficial and profound artworks-profound artworks are made by profound people.


  • Culture
  • What we do


Belongs to both the earth and the world- showing more meaning than the real shoes which simple belong to the equipment of the world.

  • Ontological showing of the world- brings life into the light
  • Art is not a replication. Replications just mean people see the world in a reductive manner.
  • Art is the only form of truth. (This is like Kant’s idea of beautiful.)

Art lets you see what something really is, more that you can see by simply looking at the objects or reading facts about it, or looking at a photograph. The artist and his work are one in the same. The beingness of one is completed by the beingness of the other.

  • Changing potential into actuality.
  • Don’t ask, “what does is mean” ask, “what is at work in the painting.”
  • The artist creates life by creating new being. He is the engine of a culture that creates it’s own being.
  • Art is the truth of what has set itself to work. Art is truth happening- it can be more or less profound.
  • Art is the tension between world and earth


The ontological force that allows us to confront the earth