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Being and Time Paperback – 12 Oct 1978

4.6 out of 5 stars 21 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 592 pages
  • Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell; New Ed edition (12 Oct. 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0631197702
  • ISBN-13: 978-0631197706
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.7 x 21.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 214,858 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Review

"The masterpiece of the greatest philosopher of the 20th Century. He transforms our sense of the world from that of a burdensome given to a miracle." ( The Week, November 2008)

From the Back Cover

A knowledge of Heidegger′s Sein und Zeit is essential for anyone who wishes to understand a great deal of recent continental work in theology as well as philosophy. Yet until this translation first appeared in 1962, this fundamental work of one of the most influential European thinkers of the century remained inaccessible to English readers. In fact the difficulty of Heidegger′s thought was considered to be almost insuperable in the medium of a foreign language, especially English.

That this view was unduly pessimistic is proved by the impressive work of John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson who have succeeded in clothing Heidegger′s thought in English without sacrificing the richness and poetic subtlety of the original.

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Format: Paperback
Martin Heidegger's (1889 -- 1976) "Being and Time" (1927), together with Ludwig Wittgenstein's "Philosophical Investigations" is one of the seminal philosophical works of the Twentieth Century. The work still remains difficult, obscure, and highly controversial. The book, and its author, provoke wildly varying responses. This translation, by Macquarrie and Robinson dates from 1962 and appeared in paperback only in 2008 with a useful introduction by philosopher Taylor Carman. Another translation, by Joan Stambaugh, appeared some years ago; but the Macquarrie and Robinson version, for all its difficulty, has become the standard version in English.

Heidegger spent his early years in a seminary but abandoned Catholicism in 1917-1918. His interest in and ambivalence toward religion permeates "Being and Time." Heidegger was a friend of Edmund Husserl, the founder of the philosophical movement known as phenomenology. "Being and Time" is dedicated to Husserl and includes several laudatory references to him. Heidegger was Husserl's assistant at Freiburg, but he wrote "Being and Time" when he had assumed a position at Marburg. He became Heidegger's successor at Freiburg upon Husserl's retirement in 1928. Before writing "Being and Time", Heidegger was regarded as a brilliant scholar and a charismatic teacher. But he had published little. "Being and Time" made him famous, virtually a celebrity, an accomplishment rare for a philosopher. Heidegger remained in the public eye through what became a notorious life through his political involvement with Nazism, and through a long life after WW II in which he did not expressly repudiate his earlier politics.

Even though Heidegger turned Husserl on his head, the phenomenological influence in "Being and Time" is pervasive.
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Format: Paperback
This book is pure genius in the most literal sense, and is without a doubt the most important philosophical work to be produced in recent years (and possibly ever). Whilst Heidegger is suitably well read (and taught) in the academic world, the full implications of his insights have yet to 'sink in' fully. Once this has happened Heidegger's thought will most certainly be seen to be the foundation of a truly momentous paradigm shift in consciousness and thought on a general level.

It is frequently asserted that Heidegger (and in particular Being and Time) is almost completely impossible to understand. This may well be true for those readers that attempt to 'dip in' to his works; or who wish to read something at speed. There are no 'quick insights' to be gained from Heidegger. However, anyone with a modicum of patience and the ability to study rather than simply read will not have this issue. A small amount of preparatory reading (especially of Husserl) also doesn't hurt.

The main difficulty is the language used, however this is simply something that one gets used to by progressing through the book. The introduction may seem impenetrable on first reading; but read it again mid-way and afterwards and it makes complete sense.

A note on the translations: this version (Macquarrie and Robinson) is by far the easiest to read, and is the closest to the original German. The alternative (Joan Stambaugh), whilst it has been designed to be more accessible, is actually somehow a lot more confusing. However, be warned: the Macquarrie and Robinson version leaves all Greek terms and most Latin terms completely un-translated, which can be very irritating. It may therefore be advisable to have both copies.
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Martin Heidegger's Being and Time has been one of the most challenging books to read that I have ever come across. Not only was it because this was a translation from the original German into English (albeit excellently done by John Macquarrie and Edward Robinson), but because Heidegger's own use of German words and his coining of new terms and phrases were difficult for both German- and English-speaking readers. The subtleties of his thought and the nuances in his original German were not just a challenge for our translators, but also a challenge to readers of any excellent translation of his work.

Having said that, it is important to emphasise that Heidegger's book is original and quite brilliant, and it is not at all surprising to discover that his book has had a deep influence on twentieth-century philosophy, and even theology.

The book is divided into two Divisions, one on `Being' and the other on `Time'. Both Divisions form what Heidegger calls Part 1 of a two-part work. Sadly, the second Part was never published (was it even written?). My first reaction to this book (this is the first work by Heidegger that I have read) is that the first Division on `Being' was the more difficult of the two, in large part because so many new items of specialist Heideggerian terms were introduced here, and hence produced a more demanding read as one tried to accommodate oneself to his way of thinking and expressing himself. The second Division on `Time' was a (slightly) easier read because one already had most of the `vocabulary' in hand, even though new terminology and concepts (such as the `temporalising of temporality') were also introduced.
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