Type of Document Master's Thesis Author Frahm, David Gregory Author's Email Address email@example.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
Date of Defense 2011-04-13 Availability unrestricted AbstractPHILOSOPHY
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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