Thinking corresponds to a truth of entities
that has already happened.
“The Origin of the Work of Art”1
To understand the later Heidegger is to understand why the question of being, which is the very issue of his thinking, must divaricate into the question of two economies of presence—one epochal and principial, the other eventlike and anarchic—once the phenomenology of man, of subjectivity, of consciousness, proves to be lodged in the philosophy of subsistent being and linear time.
Already in Being and Time the phenomenology of consciousness is denounced as inadequate to the “question of being.” And yet Heideggerian anti-humanism constitutes itself fully only with “the turning” subsequent to Being and Time. Hence the transitional status of that work; hence also the necessity of retracing briefly the path by which the “very issue,” die Sache selbst, of thinking progressively concretizes in Heidegger’s writings, transforming the question of being into that of the economies of presence and their difference from the event of presencing. (Note: I use the subjective genitive, ‘economy of presence’, to speak of the systemic constellations that make up an era and the objective genitive, ‘economy of presencing’, to include the event. This second expression is the shortest phrase for addressing what I will call the temporal difference).
The development in Heidegger can be summarized by the conceptual shift from Dasein to ‘thinking’. Dasein is man insofar as being is an issue for him. For ‘thinking’, on the other hand, being is no longer an issue that belongs to man; thinking is not the attempt to discover the ‘meaning’ of this issue. Thinking is simply the echo—response and correspondence—to any aletheiological constellation as it has already established itself, each time. “Thinking corresponds to a truth of entities that has already happened.” Therefore, the matter of phenomenology is the destinal precedence of being that the existential analytic lacked all tools to retrieve.2 The aletheiological constellations in which being precedes thinking are the economies of presence. The later the date of Heidegger’s publications, the more explicitly the economies are described as the way a given totality of things “enters of itself into presence” (von sich aus anwesen). This is a “new location” for thinking in which it finds itself constrained to “give up the primacy of man.”3