(a) What does Heidegger mean by ‘ontology’? What is the subject-matter of this discipline? What sorts of things get included? Excluded?
Martin Heidegger clearly refers to ontology as the Being as such. Hence ontology is said to be an inquiry into the very basis, the very unity of the different ontological categories. Thus this fundament or unity is to be realized in an analysis of the very important futures of a human being. Moreover it’s clear that the human being is the unifying fundament of fundamental ontology hence the subject matter of this discipline. Thus the following fundamental material contents are included in the work of the philosopher: The extensive elaboration of the thematic field which include the fundamental determination of intentionality, The immanent critique of phenomenological research which is given as a critical discussion of the four determinations of pure consciousness, the exposition of the neglect of the question of the being of the intentional as the basic field of phenomenological research and the exposition of the neglect of the question of the sense of being itself and of the being of man in phenomenology (Heidegger 1985)
(b) What is the methodology according to which Heidegger thinks ontological investigation must be pursued? How does it compare with the method put forward by Brentano and Husserl? In what sense is it phenomenological?
According to Heidegger, ontological investigation should follow up a particular motion by starting with the inquiry into our own being- us being the entities with some understanding of the basis for inquiry into the being of entities in general. The intrigue of being is then redeveloped into a question of the intelligibility of matter. Heidegger then proposes the beginning from a description of our own being in the phenomena of our daily practical affairs then following into the start from the “existentiell.” Husserl, like Brentano, claims that the laws of what is thought must distinguish between the psychic process of judgment, the act in the broadest sense, and what is judged in these acts. Distinction is made between the real intake of the acts, the judging as such, and the ideal, the content of the judgment (Heidegger 1985). This is arrived at using phenomenological reasons.
(c) What does Heidegger think is the relationship between the subject-matter of ontology, on the one hand, and the subject-matter of Brentano’s psychology and Husserl’s phenomenology, on the other? What does Heidegger think is lacking in these previous attempts at first philosophy? Why does Heidegger think that ontology is the most fundamental discipline?
In pursuing and analyzing the work of some leading researchers in phenomenology; the "phenomenon" notion as introduced by Husserl in his phenomenology discusses the early development of phenomenological research and examines the usefulness of reflecting anew upon its field of objects, out of itself according to its own principle. Thus it embraces in itself the following two issues: phenomenon as "representation of the world as it is reflected in consciousness" and the essence of a thing "as it is in itself, hence all his ideas are based heavily on consciousness. This has however made it clear for Heidegger that with a full representation of the structure of his phenomenology he mainly focuses on the being in general. Thus this brings a clear relationship of the being which reveals itself in all forms with its separate entities such as consciousness. Thus Heidegger shows that the being is a unity of all other phenomenological categories and is thus the most fundamental discipline.
(d) Are there any obstacles that Heidegger recognizes will need to be overcome in order for ontology to be successful? Are there further obstacles that you think Heidegger will have to deal with?
The phenomenological initial breakthrough concentrates on the very basic phenomena by which the objects of logic and epistemology are given. Hence it concentrates basically on the intentional structures which are essentially theoretical in character and at the same time particular on cognitive comportments which are said to be specifically scientific. Hence ontology must clarify the meaning of being and this in return will lay basis for an inquiry into the very being of entities in the general being thus leading to a successful ontology. The fact that the horizons of inquiry have remained the same as in traditional philosophy, they have triggered a successful venture of ontology according to his work in the history of concept of time, whereby Heidegger clarifies that the problems of Husserl and Scheler just serve only to define and portray the real development of phenomenology which gives a more complex application of the problem of demarcating and founding of the thematic field of phenomenology. Thus the due analysis of these studies will have to adhere to these two problems within this critical development of ontology. These were also at first complicated by the traditional disciplines of logic, ethics, sociology and philosophy of law which have holistically prevented the success of ontology.