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Document Details :
Title: 'The One Who Must Bear Witness to What he is'
Subtitle: Heidegger on Attestation and Testimony
Author(s): VAN DER HEIDEN, Gert-Jan
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 82 Issue: 4 Date: 2020
Martin Heidegger’s analyses of testimony and attestation are conspicuously absent from many of the most recent contributions to a philosophy of testimony. Yet, Heidegger’s ontological account of testimony and attestation offer much to think about for a philosophy of testimony, which nowadays seems divided by epistemological and ethical approaches. This article aims to show this in four steps. First, it discusses one of the metaphysical contexts in which the question of bearing witness imposes itself. Second, it turns to some of the passages in Sein und Zeit where Heidegger discusses Zeugnis, testimony, and Bezeugung, attestation. Here, the aim is to highlight and discuss a number of the essential features Heidegger’s account of attestation has to offer to a philosophy of testimony. Third, it discusses the passages in Heidegger’s reading of Hölderlin in which Heidegger expressly articulates the essence of the human being as 'Zeuge des Seyns'. Fourth, it concludes with a number of brief remarks concerning the promissive dimension of testimony and language.