University of Sussex
Elsen, Jana.pdf (1.3 MB)

On difference within the same: a reading of Martin Heidegger’s Was Heisst Denken?

Download (1.3 MB)
posted on 2023-06-09, 07:23 authored by Jana Elsen
In this thesis I offer an exegetical account of Martin Heidegger’s 1951/1952 lecture course Was Heisst Denken?. My reading of the text is based on two essential tenets Heidegger puts forward in Was Heisst Denken?: that there cannot be a conceptual definition of thinking and that thinking begins by attending to the unfolding of language from the Ereignis. Thus the thesis aims to show how Heidegger’s teaching of thinking takes place largely through attending to the unfolding of language, which seeks to interrupt the conceptual and representational thinking of metaphysics through challenging its instrumental use of language. Heidegger’s development of a notion of thinking does thus largely take place through a critique of traditional forms of thinking by seeking to find an entry within metaphysics to that which calls forth thinking, which he names as the twofold of being. As Heidegger presents the lecture course as a concerted effort to learn thinking, the structure of the thesis follows the structure of the lecture course itself, in order to show how the momentum of Heidegger’s text builds up through a consistent introduction of difference through language, in order to allow the reader to hear the difference at the heart of the Ereignis itself. To show this my reading is based on the German text rather than its English translation, in order to highlight how Heidegger works with the particularity of the German language in order to find and instil difference within the conceptual and representational thinking of metaphysics.


File Version

  • Published version



Department affiliated with

  • Philosophy Theses

Qualification level

  • doctoral

Qualification name

  • phd


  • eng


University of Sussex

Full text available

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date


Usage metrics

    University of Sussex (Theses)


    No categories selected