The Business of Philosophers



The phrase “business of philosophers” was used by Heidegger to mock a tradition of western philosophy that has forgotten the most fundamental problem it was supposed to solve, the question of Being (Macquarrie and Heidegger 1978, Pg 23-24). This is an incredible predicament, considering Aristotle defines metaphysics as a study of “being qua being”, and the very thing that allows for any being to exist as being seems like a foundational problem for metaphysics. So if philosophy can forget, at least according to Heidegger, its core motivation, its most inviolable seeking, mustn’t we ask a more fundamental question, lest we forget this too? What is the business of philosophers and is it even necessary? Should the question of Being even occupy a human mind, for instance?

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