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Department of Philosophy


Publication details for Professor Matthew Ratcliffe

Ratcliffe M. (2002). Heidegger, Analytic Metaphysics and the Being of Beings. Inquiry 45(1): 35-58.
  • Publication type: Journal papers: academic

Author(s) from Durham


This essay begins with an outline of the early Heidegger’s distinction between beings and the Being of those beings, followed by a discussion of Heideggerian teleology. It then turns to contemporary analytic metaphysics to suggest that analytic metaphysics concerns itself wholly with beings and does not recognise distinct forms of questioning concerning what Heidegger calls Being. This difference having been clarified, studies of identity and individuation in the analytic tradition are examined and it is demonstrated that such inquiries have far more in common with Heidegger than one might initially suspect. Indeed, it turns out that much of what the early Heidegger says about Being is tacitly presupposed by the workings of certain being-centric metaphysical projects in the analytic tradition. The discussion concludes with the suggestion that the central difference between the two projects should be understood as one of emphasis and that Heidegger’s discussion of Being and a realist metaphysics in the analytic tradition can complement each other as aspects of a broader, more unified philosophical inquiry.