Reapproaching the issue of Heideggerian world disclosure

Heidegger’s concept of world disclosure gives us an account of how it is that human beings can experience the world in the way that we typically do, i.e., as a meaningful and coherent whole. The prior disclosure of meaning horizons is the condition of possibility for such an experience. However, Heidegger’s controversial views on the relationship between disclosure and truth is the subject of heated debate.

According to his critics, his account of disclosure as a historically specific ‘happening’ or ‘destining’ reduces meaning and intelligibility to the ‘truth’ of Being. This means that the disclosure of meaning horizons is closed off from critical examination, and the specific dimension of truth as evidence and certainty becomes unattainable.

In the face of these serious challenges, I want to re-examine Heidegger’s thesis that our normal understanding of truth is derivative of truth as disclosure. I argue that this does not entail the abandonment of the criterion of universal validity -nor does it result in historical relativism. Rather, it is possible for the human being to have a self-reflective and critical awareness of the pre-disclosed significances of the world, such that we can potentially transform them.

Presenter: Fifi Wong (University of Auckland)

Bio: Fifi is a doctoral candidate at the University of Auckland and is UQ philosophy's 2019 research exchange student. Fifi completed her undergraduate studies in visual arts and art at ANU, majoring in painting and philosophy, with an Honours project on the debate between Levinas and Heidegger.

Reapproaching the issue of Heideggerian world disclosure

Fri 10 May 2019 3:00pm4:30pm