Für das Wohnen denken: Heidegger, Arendt und die praktische Besinnung

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Following the interpretations of Robert Bernasconi, Jacques Taminiaux, and Franco Volpi, among others, this paper examines Heidegger’s “retrieval” of Aristotle’s practical philosophy as a radicalization of the Aristotelian concept of action (praxis). The modern “crisis of dwelling” is addressed by Heidegger as the outcome of the subordination, in the Occidental philosophical tradition, of the finitude and temporality of human action to metaphysical and theological ideals based on an initial understanding of beingness as constant presence (ousia). The basic form of this subordination is the Aristotelian interpretation of pure praxis as “superhumanly” self-sufficient contemplation without external aims. Nevertheless, the discussion of practical “foresight” (phronesis) in the Nicomachean Ethics provides a profound insight into the finite and situational character properly human self-enactment. Heidegger’s reading of the Nicomachean Ethics in his Marburg lectures on Plato’s Sophist can be regarded as the starting point for Hannah Arendt’s history of active life in The Human Condition. Arendt, however, studies the historical development of praxis more elaborately than Heidegger and at the same time takes into consideration what Heidegger largely left unthought: the political character of originary praxis and the apolitical nature of philosophy.

Original languageGerman
Title of host publicationHeidegger und Aristoteles
EditorsAlfred Denker, Günter Figal, Franco Volpi, Holger Zaborowski
Place of PublicationFreiburg
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
Publication typeA3 Book chapter

Publication series

PublisherVerlag Karl Alber
ISSN (Print)1612-3166


  • continental philosophy
  • phenomenology
  • ancient philosophy
  • political philosophy
  • Aristotle
  • Martin Heidegger
  • Hannah Arendt

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