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Title page for ETD etd-07042012-195158


Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Frahm, David Gregory
Author's Email Address davidfrahm@aol.com
URN etd-07042012-195158
Title The phenomenon of meaning and Heidegger’s ontology
Degree Master of Arts
Department Philosophy
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Dr. Michael Hodges Committee Chair
Keywords
  • phenomenology
  • onotology
Date of Defense 2011-04-13
Availability unrestricted
Abstract
PHILOSOPHY

THE PHENOMENON OF MEANING AND HEIDEGGER’S ONTOLOGY

DAVID G. FRAHM

Thesis under the direction of Professor Michael Hodges

The thesis is presented that the “ontological meaning” of an individual thing (a being) is how its nature fits within its specific existential context(s).

Martin Heidegger’s conception of meaning is examined (as well as several commentators on his conception), deficiencies are noted, and a new analysis of the phenomenon of meaning yields a fuller, more complex conception. That complex consists of six structural components (nature, vector, context, other things, humans, temporality) plus follow-on considerations (significance, the creation, and experience, of meaning).

Further, this fuller conception of meaning—or more accurately, meaningful thing, being—in turn illuminates both the conception of the “Being” of beings (e.g., hammers, jugs, human beings, artworks) and the “meaning of Being” in general, two main concerns of Heidegger’s ontology. It is argued that the Being of a being is how it exists, how it uniquely fits within its existential contexts, and ultimately suggested that the meaning of Being in general may be identity through time.

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