Jack Forster , Laziz Hamani
The two treatises The Overcoming of Metaphysics (1938/39) and The Essence of Nihilism (1946–1948) do not belong together temporally or formally, but they are brought together in this volume because they both treat a common thesis from the standpoint of different questions – namely, that nihilism is the essence of metaphysics in relation to the history of being.
The overcoming of metaphysics is, for Heidegger, the decisive historical moment in which metaphysics is experienced as the history of the abandonment by being and overcome at the same time. The abandonment of beings by being reveals itself in the final and most extreme intensification of metaphysics as the “unconditioned predominance of manipulation.” Manipulation means here the all-dominating producibility of beings.
The Essence of Nihilism is linked to the idea of overcoming. This text deals with the attempt to elucidate the essence of nihilism through Nietzsche’s words “God is dead.” The killing of God springs from the will to power as the most extreme form of manipulation. The being of beings is grasped here as the positing of values emanating from the will to power. In this positing of being as value, it becomes clear that being itself remained unthought in metaphysics. Therefore, metaphysics as such is nihilism proper.
These key works by Heidegger, now available in English for the first time, will be of great interest to students and scholars of philosophy and to anyone interested in Heidegger’s thought.