The Torqued Horizon

Preliminary Notes on the Hypersurface of the Real

My task today is to trace the contours of an intuition, contours which, indeed, describe a structure of our existence, contours to which, I argue, we might be awakened by the project articulated by Quentin Meillassoux in his After Finitude: “to get out of ourselves, to grasp the in-itself, to know what is whether we are or not.”1

Meillassoux strikes to the heart of our collective task here today as participants in this conference on Radical Resistance—that is, the task of conceiving how “resistance take[s] shape across the humanities.” As a starting point, Meillassoux provides us with some productive tools for the reframing of our own thought and the mobilization of dissent against the status quo across the human sciences, and will, I hope, provide an effective angle of approach to the topic with which I am concerned, “The Torqued Horizon.” So, permit me a brief summary.

The primary target of Meillassoux’s book is the “central notion of modern philosophy since Kant”: that it is “naïve to think we are able to think something … while abstracting from the fact that it is invariably we who are thinking that something.” This is the “‘post-critical’” stance of the philosopher who comes after the “transcendental revolution,” a stance that Meillassoux labels “correlationism.”2 By “correlationism,” Meillassoux means the “belief in the primacy of the relation over the related terms,” the reification of the “‘co-‘ (of co-givennness, of co-relation, of the co-originary, of co-presence, etc.),” or in Heideggerian terms, which he cites, the primordial “co-propriation” of humanity and being.3 This elevation of the “co-“ in any work of philosophy or theory is a signal, for Meillassoux, of the correlationist “‘two-step,’” in which the “reciprocal relation” between thought and being is made into a “constitutive power” of being as such.4 The old dogmatism that pursued the “proper substrate” of philosophy has been replaced with the pursuit of the “proper correlate” instead. We see philosophy drawn into the churn, and we might even say, the violence, of the “correlationist circle,” continuously annihilating and reconstituting itself in the tension of this relation.5 As Derrida contended so many years ago, even the most ethical of philosophers, in deconstructing a prevailing transcendental signified, inevitably raises a new transcendental signified in its place.6 And yet, we persist; this movement toward the transcendental, the reified correlate, provides us with the “reassuring certitude” of a “fundamental immobility” that is itself “beyond the reach” of this annihilating “play,” a certitude that avoids the “anxiety … of being implicated in the game, of being caught by the game, of being as it were at stake in the game from the outset”—all of which is to say, that, even after the death of metaphysics, the death of the old dogmatism, philosophy remains transfixed by the “force of a desire,” a desire for the final possession of being beyond play, beyond this eternal recurrence of death and rebirth, a beyond grounded in what Gilles Deleuze describes as the “image of thought.”7

We see with Meillassoux, then, that even in critiques of “philosophies of representation,” critiques with which many of us in the humanities are intimately familiar, the maintenance of “a more originary correlation” takes place, the dissolution of representation preserving within itself the seed of its reproduction.8 What is necessary, here, is not a simple return to dogmatism and the pursuit of the “proper substrate” of philosophy, nor a reactivation of contemporary critical philosophy and the pursuit of a new “proper correlate,” but rather a rethinking of what it means for our thinking itself to be a “stage” in being, to consider that “temporality” in which we and our philosophies are “inscribed in an order of succession.”9 Such would be a philosophy that eschews the guarantee of the Image, taking this Image, from the first, as radically contingent.10

To begin this project of a contingent philosophy, Meillassoux presents his readers with the concept of the “‘ancestral,’” that “reality anterior to the emergence of the human species”—anterior to the image of thought—“or even anterior to every recognized form of life on earth.”11 Complementary to this concept of the ancestral is that of the “arche-fossil,” those “materials indicating the existence of an ancestral reality or event.”12 By considering these coupled notions, Meillassoux unseats the grounds of both (dogmatic) substrate and (critical) correlate, forcing us to consider the conditions of possibility for the emergence of any substrative or correlative ground that we might propose.13 To be clear, following Meillassoux, the ancestral and the arche-fossil do not merely “designate an ancient event” but rather an event that is absolutely, irremediably “anterior,” that which is prior to the existentially ancient or primordial.14

What will concern Meillassoux for the remainder of his book is the problem of “a being manifest[ing] being’s anteriority to manifestation,” and the possibility of a thought that might orient itself toward such an absolute, but for us, at this juncture, it is the moment of the manifestation that is of the greatest interest, a moment that will potentiate the torsional resistance I hope to articulate by the end of this talk.15

Few thinkers have considered this moment more incisively, more rigorously, than Martin Heidegger in his Being and Time.16 I would argue, in fact, that it is precisely thanks to Heidegger’s first troubling of the boundaries of the Kantian transcendental subject that Meillassoux’s project is possible at all. Though Being and Time certainly has large segments that we might describe as philosophical anthropology, it is important to remember that Heidegger is labouring, over the course of the text, to address the question of the meaning of being, to conduct a “fundamental ontology17 regardless of anthropological centre, and perhaps even regardless of centre at all.18 Indeed, by approaching this question through the figure of Dasein, we might even go so far as to say (especially if we draw on the later corpus) that Heidegger’s project is one of struggle against the correlationist circle rather than a reification of it. The key difficulty, for Heidegger, in raising the question of the meaning of being, the question of that which comes before us, is that we are, in fact, the ones who question, and that our questioning is necessarily determined by our being caught up in the world, in the everydayness of our existence, and the historicality of our thought. If we do not first acknowledge our facticity, as Heidegger terms it, our being as thrown into and entangled with the world, to simply trail after Meillassoux and presume to a correlate-rupturing absolute thought would truly be naïve. Dasein is the being to be “interrogated” on the way to being, which is that which is ultimately to be “ascertained.”19 Dasein is the “horizon upon which we are supposed to grasp and pin down the meaning” of being, but as this horizon, Dasein is in no way being itself, being in-itself, nor, even, the central being of being. There is a nuance to Heidegger that Meillassoux does not entirely acknowledge, a nuance that has perhaps itself been covered over by the history of interpretations of Heideggerian thought. Heidegger’s “special interpretation” of Dasein is not the end of his work; Heidegger’s special interpretation is rather a necessary detour on the way to being qua being, the first hint of an absolute step beyond the limits of the transcendental subject.20

“Do we in our time have an answer to the question of what we really mean by the word ‘being’ [‘seiend’]? Not at all. So it is fitting that we should raise anew the question of the meaning of being [Sein].”21 So writes Heidegger in the prescript to Being and Time, foregrounding the primordial spur, as it were, that drives him over the course of his philosophical career. Being, the in-itself (and I should note, this phrase, “the in-itself,” is not Heideggerian, but a distinctively French application most clearly seen in Sartre), has been “trivialized,” rendered “superfluous,” by the history of philosophy.22 As a concept, being is both empty and obscure, seemingly “obvious” and yet plagued by “prejudices.”23 Being is the universal genus; being is indefinable and therefore irrelevant to study; being is self-evident.24 Such reductions of the question of being are, for Heidegger, foundational reductions in our capacity for thought. We cannot simply skip over this question: we already “stand in an understanding of the ‘is,’” an understanding that is “average” and “vague,” to be sure, but an understanding that demands explication.25 Heidegger, like Meillassoux, wants to avoid the hypostatization of the image of thought that might evaporate the fact of thought as a problematic. He is not content to settle for the “common reason” of modern philosophy, which he connects in the first instance with the “absolute ‘being-certain’ of the cogito” in Descartes, and which in turn emerged from the tradition of medieval ontology.26 I must emphasize, once more, even at risk of overemphasis: Heidegger does not privilege the correlate over being itself. Dasein as horizon is not the end of philosophical inquiry, but rather its beginning. “To work out the question of being,” Heidegger writes, “means to make a being—one who questions—transparent in its being. Asking this question, as a mode of being of a being, is itself essentially determined by what is asked about in it—being … The explicit and lucid formulation of the question of the meaning of being requires a prior suitable explication of a being (Dasein) which regard to its being.”27 We see in this early thesis that the hyphenation of Dasein and being, subject and world, is not symmetrical, that the existence of thought is not equiprimordial with being; rather, thought, questioning-being, is essentially determined by being-in-itself. The hyphen is inclined, the relationship asymmetric. “[W]hat is questioned essentially engages our questioning”; being approaches us, hails us, and we, who emerge as a possibility from being, or we might say, as an open question of being, must necessarily respond.28 To get out of ourselves, to think what is, whether we are or not, we must first respond to the possibility that we are, and indeed, reckon with our “distinctive[ness]” as the “possibility and necessity of the most radical individuation.”29

Unfortunately, the project set out in Being and Time was not finished, and when the published but incomplete text was transmitted to France, and from France to the rest of the world, thinkers like Jean-Paul Sartre would fixate on the outcome of the individuation, the constitution of the individual, rather than on the moment of the individuation, the upsurge of the possibility, itself. Though Sartre certainly has moments of clarity regarding the question of the meaning of being throughout Being and Nothingness,30 he ultimately remains trapped within the transcendental prison of the for-itself that he erects. The for-itself is his endpoint, whereas for Heidegger Dasein is but the opening of the discussion. Citing Francis Wolff, Meillassoux characterizes this condition as “imprisonment or enclosure” within the “exteriority” of the transcendental subject. Thought, subjectivity, philosophy: these are locked away in the “‘transparent cage’” of the correlation.31

But how did Sartre fail to recognize this trap while Heidegger saw it clearly? Indeed, the introduction to Being and Nothingness is titled “The Pursuit of Being.” Certainly, it would seem, Sartre shares the primary concern of his teacher with the question of the meaning of being. So, where does the difference lie?

Superficially, this difference can be seen in the presentation of each thinker’s introductory materials. For Heidegger, the introduction to Being and Time serves to introduce a research question and a method; for Sartre, on the other hand, the introduction to Being and Nothingness consists of a series of assertions about being, concluding with section VI, “Being-In-Itself.” Though Sartre praises the progress in “[m]odern thought” that has “overcome a certain number of dualisms” in philosophy,32 his final aim remains to establish an unsurpassable dualism between the in-itself (world) and the for-itself (subject). It is necessary, for Sartre, to first articulate the structure of the in-itself so that he might then set the for-itself over against it as radically distinct. Heidegger, on the contrary, always situates Dasein within being, an exemplary possibility of being that exists as (its) possibility. Dasein is distinct as a being, but this does not mean that it is distinct from being. The analysis of Dasein prepares “the soil from which we may reap” the meaning of being because the question of being is in fact the “radicalization of an essential tendency” of Dasein.33 The horizon is not the centre, but in its being drawn the horizon simultaneously discloses its ground, insofar as it exists in an essential relationship (an asymmetric determination, a desynchronous articulation) with this ground. For Heidegger, Dasein belongs with and emerges from being; for Sartre, the for-itself is an absolute negation of being.

But a negation of what being, of being in what way? How does Sartre describe his in-itself? For Sartre, the chief success of modern philosophy is the dissolution of the “dualism of being and appearance,” which was replaced, in turn, with the “monism of the phenomenon.”34 He contends:

There is no longer an exterior for the existent if one means by that a superficial covering which hides from sight the true nature of the object. And this true nature in turn, if it is to be the secret reality of the thing, which one can have a presentiment of or which one can suppose but can never reach because it is the “interior” of the object under consideration—this nature no longer exists. The appearances which manifest the existent are neither interior nor exterior; they are all equal, they all refer to other appearances, and none of them is privileged … The appearance refers to the total series of appearances and not to a hidden reality which would drain to itself all the being of the existent … the appearance becomes full positivity; its essence is an “appearing” which is no longer opposed to being but on the contrary is the measure of it. For the being of an existent is exactly what it appears ... [the appearance] can not be supported by any being other than its own.35

Sartre claims that in this formulation of being-as-appearance he has arrived at “the idea of the phenomenon” as articulated by Husserl and Heidegger.36 Without looking to Husserl, we can say, at least, with respect to Heidegger, that Sartre has not done so. Sartre, to his credit, is an eminently concrete thinker, and rigorously materialistic, but in so being he privileges the substantial qualities of being and ignores its generative, processual, or evential qualities. Indeed, he repudiates the dualism of “potency and act,” declaring that the “act is everything,” while Heidegger declares that “[h]igher than actuality stands possibility.”37 This divergence is key for understanding Sartre’s phenomenology as opposed to Heidegger’s.

Sartre argues that the phenomenon “designates itself and not its being.”38 This means that being “is simply the condition of all revelation,” “being-for-revealing … and not revealed being.”39 In another formula, Sartre states that “the being of the phenomenon can not be reduced to the phenomenon of being … the being of the phenomenon although coextensive with the phenomenon, can not be subject to the phenomenal condition.”40 So, Sartre claims, being itself is “transphenomenal.”41 It is “the ever present foundation of the existent; it is everywhere in it and nowhere.”42

For Sartre, therefore, “even if it had been created, being-in-itself would be inexplicable in terms of creation; for it assumes its being beyond the creation … Being is itself.”43 It is “self-consistency,” “glued to itself,” “opaque to itself precisely because it is filled with itself,” “solid,” “indissoluble,” the “synthesis of itself with itself.”44 Sartre continues:

The result is evidently that being is isolated in its being and that it does not enter into any connection with what is not itself. Transition, becoming, anything which permits us to say that being is not yet what it will be and that it is already what it is not—all that is forbidden on principle. For being is the being of becoming and due to this fact it is beyond becoming. It is what it is. This means that by itself it can not even be what it is not; we have seen indeed that it can encompass no negation. It is full positivity. It knows no otherness … It is itself indefinitely and it exhausts itself in being.45

Sartre’s phenomenon is not Heidegger’s. His is a radically Parmenidean vision, quite distinct from Heidegger’s project of the possible, with its proclivities for what we might describe as Heraclitean tension (palintropos) and Lucretian swerve (clinamen). For Sartre, the “possible is a structure of the for-itself,”46 but for Heidegger, Dasein as possibility discloses the radical possibility of being as such, from which it is derived, and with which it comes to be as a “co-player [das Bei-spiel].”47 I will restate: Dasein, in Heidegger’s conception, is not equiprimordial with being, but is, as Meillassoux argues, “inscribed in an order of succession” in being, its co-play emerging as a possibility of and with being.

Sartre maintains that being-in-itself is “not subject to temporality,” but if we follow Heidegger’s preliminary phenomenological groundwork, we will see that this position is untenable.48 For Heidegger, “the central range of problems of all ontology is rooted in the phenomenon of time” because “being itself” is “‘temporal’ [‘zeitlich’]” [in] character.”49 Indeed, the “necessary … decompression of being50” that Sartre identifies as the for-itself can only be described as a temporal delay, deferral, or hiatus, an “originary non-self-presence” or “supplement” (to borrow some phrases from Derrida)51 made possible by what another philosopher, Gilbert Simondon, described as a “certain capacity of being to fall out of phase with itself.”52 For Heidegger, then, the “fundamental ontological task of the interpretation of being as such thus includes the elaboration of the temporality of being … In the exposition of the problem of temporality the concrete answer to the question of the meaning of being is first given.”53 Time precedes the subject; the in-itself is itself temporal.

Working in a similar direction, Derrida argues in Voice and Phenomenon that there is a “fold in presence or in self-presence [that] is irreducible,” a “trace” that is “always older than presence and obtains for it its openness.”54 We can say, following Derrida, that the “pure solitude” of the in-itself is “split open by its own origin” (for Heidegger, its presencing, its unfurling), “by the very condition of its self-presence: ‘time.’”55 The moment, the Augenblick, the blink of an eye, is (ecstatic) temporality as an in-turning or de-phasing of the solidity of the in-itself, the swerving actualization of a tensile possibility. The moment of manifestation, the moment of the horizon that Meillassoux refuses to absolutize, the moment that is the condition of possibility for phenomenology, is temporality as the being-possible of being—or in other words, becoming as the founding rupture at the heart of being.

If the in-itself is to be understood in this way, we see, then, that Heidegger is not subject to Meillassoux’s anti-correlationist critique. Indeed, insofar as Dasein is to be finally interpreted as temporality, and so the meaning of being to be attained by way of this horizon, it is Heidegger’s desire to “overcome[e] … the horizon as such,” to “turn back into the source” and into the “presencing [that comes] from out of this source”—which is to say, the wellspring of becoming as originary temporality that continuously twists and bends the horizon of understanding.56 Such a time is not to be considered “in the common way” as space, as a chain of successive moments of matter, but rather as an ecstatic unity (a self-exceeding unity, one that is more and less than one), and indeed, the ekstatikonpar excellence.”57 The time of being is the “primordial ‘outside of itself’ in and for itself,” or in Derrida’s words, the “pure exiting of time to the outside of itself,” which is to say, that retention or holding back (delay, deferral, hiatus) that allows for the repetition of the decisive moment that Heidegger calls clearing, and which is, after all, a return to the wellspring at the foundations of the world.58 Sartre was close in asserting that being-in-itself “has no within which is opposed to a without,” but misses, in this double negation, the double positivity of an actual structure of being, a structure prior to the inside-outside dichotomy that contains both, the original belonging-together of appearance and being, surface and depth, horizon and ground—all of which is to indicate the possibility of structure, the structurality of structure qua structure, insofar as it subsists in being, a possibility which is the possibility of a difference that belongs to, and in fact comes before, the blinding self-affirmation of what is. The superfluity of Sartre’s in-itself is thus reclaimed as the supersaturation of being overflowing itself with potential.59

We see, therefore, the significance of the moment of manifestation, the significance of the blink of an eye that Derrida draws from Husserl and Heidegger and develops so incisively. In the “Augenblick” there is captured the “interweaving” of “identity” and “non-identity” that constitutes the “temporalization of sense,” which Derrida also describes as the “interval” or “openness” of “originary supplementarity.” Temporality is, therefore, the “possibility [that] produces by delay that to which it is said to be added,” and is indeed the meaning of being as it is in-itself.60

Being as it is whether we are or not, the ancestral, is temporal. What is more, it temporalizes itself in a way that enfolds and unfurls us, draws us into its movement, indeed, gives birth to us in the manner of always “being born [existiert gebürtig]” (which also means “already dying [gebürtig stirbt es]”).61 As the translator of Being and Time helpfully notes, to be in such a way means to be in the manner of something “continuous, not … an event that is ‘past.’”62 It means to exist as the “between,” the hyphen of natality-mortality, which is to say, in the play of the hyphen as articulating structure, a play that plays with the “structure of occurrence” that precedes it, and which we might call, with Simondon, dephasing.63

We encounter, here, an intuition of Heidegger’s presaged in Being and Time that will occupy his thought unto his death. We have seen, already, his characterization of the relationship between Dasein and being as co-play, which, he goes on to say, is the action of Dasein holding itself out as a “perduring [wahrend]” that “plays to and with being,” so “bring[ing] [being] into the play of resonance,” the harmony of an attunement that precedes Dasein in its individuation.64 Heidegger’s co- does not hypostatize the correlation, but rather puts the being of Dasein into question before being-in-itself.

If we look to other works in the Heideggerian corpus, we can easily see the development of this intuition. As the translator of Heidegger’s The Question Concerning Technology clarifies, this sense of Dasein as perduring being, “‘enduring as presence’ (das Wahren als Gegenwart),” is the proper constitution of being, and of Dasein as a(n) (eminent) possibility of being.65 The essence of Dasein is to be found in the original usage of “wesen” (essence) as a verb, that is, to essence, a verb that, in its earlier forms, “meant to tarry or dwell,” and which, in Heidegger’s appropriation of it, arises to the meaning “to come to presence.”66

But, insofar as Dasein exists as a horizon of being, as a temporal horizonality, it necessarily casts itself ahead of itself, into the world and into the future, stretching itself in the structure of what Heidegger’s teacher Husserl termed intentionality (a concept that would profoundly derail Sartre’s project in Being and Nothingness). As Dasein rises to meet the world it fixes the manifestations of the world, the profiled structure of the world,67 in the horizon of its perception, finally arraying around itself an intentional web of concepts and instruments that Heidegger describes as the ontic “workshop” of Dasein.68 It is when this workshop is nailed in place, as it were, through the process of what Heidegger terms “enframing [Ge-stell]” or “destining [Geschick],” that the horizon comes to exist inauthentically, as a barrier rather than as a possibility.69 While this structure is near to us in our everydayness, it remains unthematic, a pre-ontological understanding of being: “the world does not ‘consist’ of what is at hand” in the workshop, but it is only in this “totality [that] world,” the opening of being, its originary errance, “makes itself known.”70 Sartre remains trapped here, in concrete consciousness, but never manages to make the leap (Sprung) back to the ground, as Heidegger does, the leap that he describes in his Introduction to Metaphysics as the leap that “attains its own ground by leaping,” an “originary leap [Ur-sprung].”71

For Sartre, the horizon is the absolute negation of being, the infinite fissure inserted like a crack or “hole” in being;72 for Heidegger, the horizon is not a negation but a structuration of a supersaturated field, the “positive possibilit[y]”73 of a transverse navigation74 of being, a playful contact with the “openness” of being as “region.”75 Following Heidegger, and by way of a poaching from geometry, the horizon can thus be considered a hypersurface inscribed in the ancestral region of the in-itself. This surface does not constitute anything akin to the “film” of appearance that Sartre opposes,76 but is instead surface-in-depth and depth-in-surface, the line of possibility running through being, the hyphen of the within-without, the in-itself, that marks out the moment of individuation in the void of the preindividual.77 Within the domain of phenomenology, therefore, the horizon is no longer absolute limit nor absolute origin; rather, it becomes the site of a contingent, haptical, and intimate possibility. The hypersurface is our constitution, and in this we at last encounter a possibility for resistance in the humanities. It is revolution as involution, as in-turning, unfolding, and continuous birth.


Stein, Eric. “The Torqued Horizon: Preliminary Notes on the Hypersurface of the Real.” Radical Resistance: Dissent and Boundary Crossing in the Humanities, Duquesne University, Pittsburgh, PA, April 6, 2019. Mirrors: Academia, ResearchGate.


  1. Quentin Meillassoux, After Finitude: An Essay on the Necessity of Contingency, trans. Ray Brassier (London: Continuum, 2008): 27. 

  2. Meillassoux, After Finitude, 4-5. 

  3. Meillassoux, After Finitude, 5, 8. 

  4. Meillassoux, After Finitude, 5. 

  5. Meillassoux, After Finitude, 8. 

  6. Jacques Derrida, “Violence and Metaphysics: An Essay on the Thought of Emmanuel Levinas,” in Writing and Difference, pp. 97-192, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978). 

  7. Jacques Derrida, “Structure, Sign and Play in the Discourse of the Human Sciences,” in Writing and Difference, pp. 351-70, trans. Alan Bass (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1978): 352. For “image of thought,” see Deleuze, Difference and Repetition, trans. Paul Patton (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994): 129. 

  8. Meillassoux, After Finitude, 7-8. Deleuze might conceptualize this “more originary correlation” as “Eudoxus,” the good will and orthodoxy of the dogmatic unity that we can schematize as thought-being. See Difference and Repetition, 131. 

  9. Meillassoux, After Finitude, 10. 

  10. This Image, with a capital I, being that which “in general … constitutes the subjective presupposition of philosophy as a whole.” See Difference and Repetition, 132. 

  11. Meillassoux, After Finitude, 10. 

  12. Meillassoux, After Finitude, 10. 

  13. Indeed, Deleuze would argue that such grounding propositions are always the common sense “presuppositions” that reproduce the “form of representation and the discourse of the representative.” If only the proper ground can be attained, then philosophy might begin from a place of “innocence”—so goes the logic of representation. See Difference and Repetition, 130. 

  14. Meillassoux, After Finitude, 20. 

  15. Meillassoux, After Finitude, 26. 

  16. Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, trans. Joan Stambaugh, revis. Dennis J. Schmidt (Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 2010). 

  17. Heidegger, Being and Time, 12. 

  18. We are reminded again of Derrida, of the “structurality of structure,” which “has always been at work” but “has always been neutralized or reduced” through a “process of giving it a center or of referring it to a point of presence, a fixed origin.” See “Structure, Sign and Play,” 351-52. 

  19. Heidegger, Being and Time, 4. 

  20. Heidegger, Being and Time, 37. 

  21. Heidegger, Being and Time, xxix. 

  22. Heidegger, Being and Time, 1. 

  23. Heidegger, Being and Time, 2. 

  24. Heidegger, Being and Time, 2-3. 

  25. Heidegger, Being and time, 4. 

  26. Heidegger, Being and Time, 23. 

  27. Heidegger, Being and Time, 6-7. 

  28. Heidegger, Being and Time, 7. My emphasis. 

  29. Heidegger, Being and Time, 36. 

  30. Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness: An Essay on Phenomenological Ontology, trans. Hazel E. Barnes (London: Routledge, 2003). 

  31. Meillassoux, After Finitude, 7. 

  32. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 1. 

  33. Heidegger, Being and Time, 17. 

  34. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 1. 

  35. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 1-2, 4. 

  36. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 2. 

  37. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 2, and Heidegger, Being and Time, 36. Heidegger makes this statement with respect to the status of the phenomenological school of philosophy, but with his punctuation he sets the statement off as distinct, a guiding principle. In fact, we might say that phenomenology is the study of possibility as a principle of opening within being, an immanent contingency. 

  38. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 5. My emphasis. 

  39. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 5. 

  40. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 6. 

  41. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 6. 

  42. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 18. 

  43. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 20. 

  44. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 20-22. 

  45. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 22. 

  46. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 22. 

  47. See Heidegger’s footnote, Being and Time, 6. 

  48. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 22. 

  49. Heidegger, Being and Time, 18. 

  50. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 21. 

  51. Derrida, Voice and Phenomenon: Introduction to the Problem of the Sign in Husserl’s Phenomenology, trans. Leonard Lawlor (Evanston, IL: Northwestern University Press, 2011), 74. 

  52. See, and Gilbert Simondon, “The Position of the Problem of Ontogenesis,” trans. Gregory Flanders, Parrhesia 7 (2009): 6. 

  53. Heidegger, Being and Time, 18. 

  54. Derrida, Voice and Phenomenon, 58. 

  55. Derrida, Voice and Phenomenon, 59. 

  56. See Heidegger’s footnote, Being and Time, 37. 

  57. Heidegger, Being and Time, 315. 

  58. Heidegger, Being and Time, 314, 324, 334, and Derrida, Voice and Phenomenon, 73. 

  59. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 22: “being-in-itself is de trop for eternity.” 

  60. For Heidegger on “Augenblick,” see three footnotes, Being and Time, 61, 313, 323. For Derrida, see Voice and Phenomenon, 74, 59, 73, 75. 

  61. Heidegger, Being and Time, 357. 

  62. Translator’s footnote, Being and Time, 357. See also Jean-Luc Nancy, The Birth to Presence, trans. Brian Holmes, et al. (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1993), for a development of this logic of birth: “‘to be born’ is the verb of all verbs …” (2). 

  63. Heidegger, Being and Time, 357-58, and Simondon, “Problem of Ontogenesis,” 6. 

  64. Heidegger, Being and Time, 6. 

  65. William Lovitt, trans., footnote 1 in Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology: And Other Essays (New York: Garland Publishing, 1977): 3. 

  66. Lovitt, footnote 1, The Question Concerning Technology, 3-4. 

  67. For “profile,” see Maurice Merleau-Ponty, Phenomenology of Perception, trans. Donald A. Landes (London: Routledge, 2012), 440, for Merleau-Ponty’s schematic of intentionality in profile

  68. Heidegger, Being and Time, 74. 

  69. Heidegger, The Question Concerning Technology, 19, 24. 

  70. Heidegger, Being and Time, 74. “Errance” I derive from Kostas Axelos, first in Marx, penseur de la technique: De l’aliénation de l’homme à la conquête du monde [The Unfolding of Errance Part 1] (Paris: UGE/Les Éditions de Minuit, 1961). 

  71. Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics, trans. Gregory Fried and Richard Polt (New Haven, CT: Yale University Press, 2000), 7. 

  72. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 507. 

  73. To adapt a Heideggerian phrase. See Being and Time, 22. 

  74. I draw “navigation” from Don Ihde, Technology and the Lifeworld: From Garden to Earth (Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 1990), and specifically, from his discussion of the “ancient South Pacific navigators” who traversed the pacific by way of a “relativistic” system of “dynamic constants” (147-49). 

  75. For “region,” see Heidegger, Discourse on Thinking: A Translation of Gelassenheit, trans. John M. Anderson and E. Hans Freund (New York: Harper Torchbooks, 1966), 65. The region is that “in which everything returns to itself.” 

  76. Sartre, Being and Nothingness, 4. 

  77. I will reserve a discussion of this conception of being-in-itself as the “preindividual,” derived from Gilbert Simondon, for a later time. 

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