Religions (Sep 2021)

Buoyant Ontologies: The Roots and Ramifications of Dialogue in Buber and Heidegger

  • Niels Wilde

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 12, no. 9
p. 778


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Both Buber and Heidegger develop a notion of responsivity—in terms of dialogue regarding the former, and correspondence in the case of the latter—not merely as different types of discourse, but as transcendental structures in a relational or fundamental ontology. However, the responsive register is also transmitted on a different frequency; one that begins from elsewhere, not in a transcendental a priori, but in a transcendent address. Through a focused reading of Buber and Heidegger, I argue that responsivity not only takes place across the transcendental–transcendent divide, but shapes the ontological makeup of such a divide. In short, the ontological conditions of dialogue are negotiated, in turn, through dialogue.