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Heidegger on the Semblance of the Beautiful

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image of Research in Phenomenology

In his Nietzsche lectures, Heidegger states that there is a concealed discordance between beauty, semblance, and truth in Platonism. This paper explores this claim in detail to show how such a discordance haunts not only Platonism, but the beginnings and ends of Western philosophy. This commences with Plato’s claim that beauty’s radiance is both the reminder of the non-sensible εἴδη and a semblance belonging to the sensible world. This discordance is not overcome in the ensuing Western tradition, however, but made more dreadful. This is because in Nietzsche’s anti-platonic retrieval of sensible beauty over non-sensible truth, the platonic reminder of the εἴδη is transformed into the dangerous production of new forms of power. In both cases, however, Heidegger proposes that this metaphysical thinking of Being-as-form conceals the early Greek insight that beauty’s tragic radiance lets Being appear as both truth and semblance.

Affiliations: 1: Christopher Newport University


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