Graduation Year

Spring 2014

Document Type

Open Access Senior Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts



Reader 1

Mark Blitz

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© 2014 Logan C. Vescio


This thesis analyzes Martin Heidegger's early interpretation of Aristotelian concepts. The goal is to acquire an increased understanding of the ideas underlying Aristotle's political philosophy, as well as those underlying Heidegger's own later philosophy. The investigation begins with a critique of Kantian logic and the assumptions which underlie it, which are ultimately traced back to Aristotle. The passages that pertain to Kant's interpretation are assessed by Heidegger, who concludes that it is speaking, not explicit definition, that grounds possibility for life in a human sense. To demonstrate Heidegger's argument, the thesis transitions into an assessment of the Greek view of life and the way it influences Aristotle's investigation of the human being. The goal of the first three chapters is ultimately to demonstrate the manner in which speaking allows for a unique way of being in the world for the human being, a way of being that makes ethical disposition and thus moral excellence possible. Beginning in Chapter 4, the thesis discusses the Aristotelian concept of ends and endhood, ultimately outlining the manner in which Aristotle goes about his investigation in the Nicomachean Ethics which serves to re-emphasize the interpretation set forth in the first half of the thesis. After giving an account of eudaimonia, the thesis discusses rhetoric and politics in chapter five, since it is demonstrated that an ethical disposition cannot be acquired without both being and conversing with other people in a community. A brief account of Aristotle's conclusions in the Politics and Rhetoric follows, and the thesis concludes with an outline of the web of ideas that Heidegger has set forth in his interpretation. The thesis also provides an in-depth interpretation of key passages from the Metaphysics, Politics, Rhetoric, De Anima and Nicomachean Ethics which ultimately serve as examples of Heidegger's unique manner of interpretation to the reader.


I "Latinize" (in the traditional manner) most of the Greek words and phrases interpreted by Heidegger in order to increase accessibility, denoted by italics when applicable.

  • Best Senior Thesis in Government