Carlos Cardona in dialogue with Heidegger: the oblivion of being is not irreversible
On the occasion of the tenth anniversary of the death of the philosopher Carlos Cardona, the article presents some aspects of the posthumous work Olvido y memoria del ser. As a genuine “essential” thinker – and poet – Cardona takes up the challenge posed by the Heideggerian accusation of the forgetfulness of being and undertakes a global engagement with the philosopher from Messkirch. While agreeing in part with the latter’s “deconstruction” of modern metaphysics, Cardona shows how the Heideggerian approach to being is conditioned by an “onto-phenomenology” in which the Kantian transcendental remains latent. Cardona also lays out the way in which the metaphysics of Thomas Aquinas can both withstand the criticisms that Heidegger raises against Western metaphysics, and offer to philosophy an escape from the risk of nihilistic dissolution. This requires liberating the notion of esse ut actus from the formalistic twists of late scholasticism. Cardona is convinced that in order to “rediscover” being, it is necessary to recuperate an authentic metaphysical realism, which starts from the standpoint of the first grasp of being, well expressed in the Avicennian formula primo in intellectu cadit ens. Recalling the Augustinian notion of memoria Dei, he also holds that there is a sort of ontological reminiscence in the very being of the person, which surfaces in consciousness as the memory of one’s origin, and which therefore points to the infinite Being from whom man proceeds by a free act of love.