Master of Arts (MA)
Philosophy and Religious Studies
This essay is interested in Heidegger’s radical reconception of truth as disclosure and how this reconception relates to truth as it operates in assertions. This concept of truth derives from his interpretation of the ancient Greek work for truth, aletheia, which means unhiddeness or disclosure. Heidegger appropriates this notion of truth to criticize post ancient Greek philosophy, which advocated the correspondence theory of truth. This theory contends that the locus of truth lies in an assertion’s correspondence with states of affairs or facts in the world. In contrast, Heidegger contends that, although correspondence is a way of accessing truth, it is not the only way, or even the most fundamental way we encounter truth. Rather, truth is most fundamentally accessed through our everyday Being-in-the-world. This everyday Being-in-the-world discloses instrumentality, which operates through the readiness-to-hand of beings, as the primordial phenomenon which makes anything like assertional truth possible. Being-in-the-world grounds correspondence theory; therefore, it is mistaken to posit correspondence theory as the sole bearer of truth. True disclosures arise prior to the assertions that make them explicit. In order to demonstrate Heidegger’s contention that Being-in-the-world is the fundamental state of humanity, the first section of the paper is devoted to clarifying and explicating Heidegger’s argument. The second chapter focuses on Heidegger’s critique of presence-at-hand, and illustrates how assertions operate within the founded mode of the present-at-hand. The third chapter provides an in-depth analysis of sections 33 and 44 of Being and Time, in which Heidegger offers his take on assertions and truth.
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Kraus, Erin M., "Heidegger, aletheia, and assertions" (2009). LSU Master's Theses. 2197.